From the furry side

Thinking about dogs …
8/9/2008 10:58:10 AM by: Elsi

When I was first introduced to the Lord, I was baffled by one thing: His unconditional love. That was something I’d never been exposed to before, and I couldn’t grasp it at all. I had always been loved, or liked, or accepted, primarily for what I did: pretty, smart, good grades, good writer, helpful, friendly, obedient … But now I was told that God loved me, and it wasn’t because of what I did! He just loved me, unconditionally. I didn’t understand this at all. But eventually I came to realize my dogs have always loved me unconditionally—when I’m kind or angry, if I forget to refill the water dish, if I trip over them … they still love me. That gave me my first model or example of our loving Lord’s attitude. I’ve been thinking about the dogs I’ve had in my sixty-one years: In my family of origin, Odif, Poppy, Numa, and Tibby; in my own family, Powder, Reepy, Bitsy, Lady; in Mother and Daddy’s family, Ditto, Tibby Two, Winston. Of those eleven dogs, all were beagles except for Poppy (mutt), Powder (mutt), and Numa (basenji). Beagles, Daddy and I agreed, are the best. My family was big on clever names. Odif is Fido spelled backwards. Tibby is short for Tibbar, which is Rabbit spelled backwards, because beagles chase rabbits. Ditto was the offspring of my Reepy and a sire named Pete (Reep-Pete, therefore Ditto). Powder is short for Powdermilk and Bitsy for Raw Bits, both from Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon stories. Poppy was Mary Poppins; Numa is African for lioness, according to the Tarzan books. Reepy is Reepicheep, from the Narnia books. Winston was Daddy’s used dog; his original owner thought he looked like Winston Churchill. And Lady was a stray, whose rescuers called her Baby; I refused to call, “Baby! Baby!" but didn’t want to give her another entirely new name, so kept the vowel sounds (plus there’s the wonderful book and movie, Goodbye, My Lady). more on this Monday ...

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