Is there anything about that beautiful dachshund, on the left, that I do not love? I hate it when I hear someone say, "Well, they're just like a member of the family." What is that? And is that really how people think of their own family? Just one of the members? Or is it that they are really saying, that the heart and soul of my little dog, is "just a dog?" How could they?!
This little dog has never left my side, willingly. He has, throughout his life, lived with honor and truth. I'm his, and that's all there is to it. I am in his care, not the other way around. If he must he will die defending me. That little dog is so inside my heart, that he is present in every beat. I've told you a lot about him, but this story I haven't told.
When Happy was a year old, he came down with a deadly form of mange. It took four insecticide treatments to kill the deadly mites. He was so sick that it looked like he would die. I'll never forget the morning that he sat up, with ears perked, and then came trotting to my side, as if to say, "Mommy, let's run and play."
When Happy Dog was six years old, he "went down" with a protruding spinal disc. Spinal disc disease, common among low, long-backed dogs, especially dachshunds, is deadly if left untreated. It was a nightmare. I knew I would lose him, and I just couldn't bear it!
He has a wonderful veterinarian who moved heaven and earth to get him to the research hospital at Virginia Tech. The surgery was successful, and Happy Dog was allowed to come home. We crated him for four weeks. Then right before his sixth birthday...you guessed it...another surgery. And, you guessed it again, he survived to race and play again.
One evening, I walked Happy Dog in my front yard, being careful where he stepped, since he was still recovering. There was a feral dog in the neighborhood. I saw the dog, but I had stared the dog down before, so I was unafraid. Quickly, I hurried my faithful companion towards the door. I walked in with Happy Dog, and quickly he did an about face. The ruff on his neck and back stood straight up, and he was growling. Next thing I knew, my husband was down the stairs, and the dog high-tailed it away. That vicious dog had followed us into the house. Can you believe that? And he was after Happy Dog.
Crippled or not, Happy Dog, stood his ground to defend me. I swear, if that wild dog had harmed my precious pet, who is so full of honor and truth, I would have hunted that dog down and torn it limb from limb. Hard to believe that a 62 year old crippled woman would make such a remark. Huh?
Approximately two years ago, Happy had minor surgery, along with teeth cleaning. When I went to pick him up, my hand felt moisture on his chest.
"What's this?" I asked.
"Oh, it's just a little fluid. It's normal." What?
By the time we got home and out of the car, my clothing was soaked with Happy's blood. I held him up, and the blood "drip-drip-dripped." Back to the emergency we went, and the same doctor who had saved his life before, saved him again.
Now, Happy Dog is almost ten years old, and I am grateful for every minute. The only thing that keeps me from letting him sleep in the bed with us, is my fear of him injuring his back in the middle of the night.
So, at a time in our Country, when we have a Presidential election staring us in the face, and every mortgage company and insurance company needs a bail-out, things look pretty bleak. These are the times, however, that I look to my little dog. I have never seen him give up. He has fought every set-back with every ounce of his being. He has no trouble recognizing danger, and when the time comes, he's ready to fight.
Today, I consider the blessings in life, that God has already given me. My husband and daughters and my Christian faith. Another one of my greatest gifts is the love of my Happy Dog. If need be I must face my fears with his courage and grit. There is only one way for my little dog in the face of adversity: fight, and when all else fails, then to stand unmoved.
This present crisis, in the United States, smacks of corruption, or at least, lack of oversight. It's downright scary. Yet, I wonder how Happy Dog would handle this situation. Truthfully, I think that Happy Dog would grab hold of the culprits in charge, and he would give them, while growling fiercely, a great big shake.
So, take heart, my friends. Look around you, and in family and friends, you will find true riches beyond compare. You certainly have blessed my life, just by listening to me. I just hope my little metaphor has blessed you.
Father, bring us through this time of desperation. Help us to understand what is honor and truth. Help us to face the storm ahead, knowing that Your loving presence will be there for us, in the eye of the storm.
Friday, September 19, 2008