Me, My Yorkie, and God

Seven years ago, my daughter, Kara Beth, who was sixteen at the time asked for a Labrador retriever for Christmas.  Her dad quickly reminded her that we lived in the church parsonage which was right by the church parking lot and that we just couldn’t have a Labrador retriever.

Kara Beth was so disappointed, but she moved to plan B. “Can I have a Yorkie instead?”  A house dog. Umm. Now my husband and I didn’t really want a house dog, but Eddie agreed to check out Yorkies and see. His research led him to tell our daughter that she could indeed have a Yorkie because they didn’t shed, etc.  But then he found out how much they cost. Ouch.

“Kara Beth, we can’t give you a Yorkie for Christmas. They can cost from $400-$800 each and we can’t spend that much for each of you (we have four children).” Once again, she was heartbroken so she sadly put the dagger through Eddie’s heart and asked if she could have some blue jeans. Quite a drop of expectation level  from a dog to a pair of jeans.

Only a few days later, a woman I had not previously met approached me at our church service, introduced herself, and told me that she believed God had told her to give us one of her Yorkie pups from the litter of her registered Yorkie, if we would like to accept it. I remember thinking that I hoped Eddie was serious when he told her Kara Beth that she could have a Yorkie because it appeared that God was giving her one. I thought of how my daughter had been on a seventy day fast from her lunches, spending her school lunch hour praying instead of eating.  It seemed that God was about to give her the desire of her heart.

You should have seen Kara Beth’s face when she heard the news. Tears in her eyes. She was speechless, a condition not common for our daughter. My new acquaintance, Kathleen, made arrangements for Kara Beth to pick her pup out of the litter and explained how long it would be before the pups could leave their mom. My daughter picked the runt of the bunch because he was the spunkiest.  And so we became the owners of Gabriel whom we affectionately call Gabby. Or maybe I should say that Gabby became the owners of a new family of six.

And so we began the journey of life with Gabby. Since that time Gabby became my dog when my daughter left home for college.

I was reflecting on life with Gabby this morning as he slept in my lap so I thought I would write a bullet list of lessons I’ve learned about life and God from my dog.

·         Gabby is completely dependent upon me and my family. We have to feed him, give him water, bathe him, and clean up his messes.

·         He dances around and around every day begging for food.

·         If his belly is full, nothing makes him happier than to lie in my lap and sleep, close enough to me to feel my heartbeat.

·         He loves to have his belly rubbed and thinks we enjoy it as much as he does.

·         He will sit on command for a treat, but he would prefer not to have to mind anyone.

·         He is sad when we leave home, and ecstatic when we return.  When we return home after having been gone, if even for a few minutes, he dances and smiles (really, he shows his teeth), and begs to be held and acts as if we’d been gone for days.

·         He often begs for things he does not need, some of which upset his tummy, and believe me, you do not want your inside doggie to have an upset tummy.

·         Occasionally he gets fleas which causes him to scratch and makes his skin break out, wakes him up at night, etc. We have to kill the fleas for him giving him a pill which goes into his blood and kills the fleas when they bite.

·         He doesn’t always behave perfectly.

·         Overall, he just makes for a lot of extra work for me.

·         Overall, he provides a lot of extra love for me.

This morning I was thinking about how much my relationship with Gabby is like God’s relationship with me.

·         I am completely dependent upon God. He provides for me, refreshes me, cleanses me, and cleans up my messes.

·         I dance around and beg him for my basic needs which he fully intended to provide for me anyway. He is just aware of the importance of the timing.

·         When my basic needs are met, I can rest in Him, as if I were lying in his lap, close enough to hear his heartbeat.

·         I love his affection and believe (most of the time) he enjoys loving me as much as I enjoy receiving his love.

·         I try to obey him, but often would prefer to do my own thing.

·         He is sad when I leave him, if even for a few moments, but ecstatic when I return.

·         I often beg him for things I do not need, some of which would be harmful to me and create more messes for him to clean up.

·         Occasionally, I get the equivalent of spiritual fleas which make me uncomfortable and drive me nuts even though the fleas think I am the perfect host. God is the only one who can kill them. Oh, I might scratch one or two off, but God has to do something inside my blood to change me so they can’t live on me anymore.

·         I don’t always behave perfectly.

·         I am a lot of extra work for God.

·         He really loves me anyway.

 

 

 

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