Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Encouraging Words for People Who Love Their Dogs by Jaye Lewis

Hello friends,

If you go to the bottom of this page, you will see a sweet poster that celebrates my Happy Dog, the dog of my life.  He is a very old dachshund.  Today I would like to share with you a story of how Happy Dog became, and so remains the dog of my life.  I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy telling it.

Just Hang On!  By Jaye Lewis

He dogs my every footstep.  With each step I take, he’s right there with me, guarding me and ready to die to defend me.  I have seen him take on the most aggressive vacuum cleaner salesmen.  God help the one who sticks his foot in the door without invitation, because my little powerhouse of faithfulness and aggression will give that foot a fight for it’s life, shoes, socks, and laces!

Make no mistake, a dachshund may be small, but they are quick, and relentless in an attack.  They aren’t called “badger dogs” without cause.  In their natural habitat, a dachshund has been known to track a badger - one of the fiercest animals known - hurrying down into it’s tunnel, and locking onto it’s snout, never letting go, not even in death.

When I leave the house without him, whether it’s just a walk around the yard or a day trip to the next town, Happy will keep watch at the top of the stairs.  With every sound, he will launch himself onto the back of the couch, to get a good look out of the window, to see if I’m almost home.  I can hear him announcing my arrival before I even get out of the car.

“She’s home!!” he cries.  “She’s home!  She’s home!   All is well!”  As I open the door, he immediately gives me a tongue lashing, yelping with joy!  I try to always have a “present” for him, and I delight at his enthusiasm, as he roots through the bag until he finds it.

Happy has a perfect bandit face, a black mask surrounded by  rich, golden tan.  His ice-cube nose is ever questing for a treat or just a warm place to cuddle.  He has shoe-button eyes that never miss an opportunity.  And when he locks those intelligent eyes onto mine, I lose all power to resist.

Happy, like all dachshunds, loves to tease and play.  Every clever thing he does is simple evidence that even a woman my age can be taught “new tricks.”  He brings me the ball.  I throw it.  He steals my slippers.  I chase him.  The worst thing you can do, in the face of improper behavior, is laugh!  I, joyfully, failed that test long ago.  I am Happy’s willing slave.  No matter how dark my mood, Happy can always make me laugh.

Happy doesn’t  know that there are not “badgers” lying in wait.  He’s always prepared, just in case, and I have learned much from this little dog.  I have learned that a faithful life is one of constant vigilance.  I have learned that some things are worth fighting for, and if necessary, dying for.  However, the greatest lesson that Happy has taught me, is to live my life in the moment, just as he does, ever joyful for each blessing, ever vigilant for those “badgers” that are certain to cross my path.  And when life takes a nasty turn, I have learned from Happy, to grab a hold and just hang on!

Many years later:  As you can see by my picture above, Happy Dog has grown older, but his heart is still the same.  At the time of this story, Happy Dog was majestic in his beauty a lot like this:

I do hope you enjoy this story of my Happy Dog.  Please click the "Like" button above and let this dachshund lover, especially the lover of a special dachshund, that you also see how special he is.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Encouraging Words for Those Who are Housebound Again by Jaye Lewis

Hello friends,

Well, I’m in the bed, again.  The sky is blue, and the air is balmy, especially for February here in the mountains of Virginia.  I would love to pull on my hikers, throw on a wind breaker, put a sweater and coat on my Happy Dog, and head outside.  A nice walk down the hill sounds like a dream to me.

I’m very blessed, however, because I know this is temporary.  I’m on medication that is helping me, and by the time the week is out, I should (I hope) be out of bed and slowly be on my way.

I think that I know why I’m “laid up,” as we say in the hills.  I have an inflammation in my right hip.  At least I hope it is only inflamed, kind of like an arthritis attack, because of a fall I had two months ago.  It seems like it was only the other day that I could fall, get up, and just keep on going, but that was twenty years ago.  I used to joke, “when I fall, I just bounce.”  Not any more.  When I fall, I leave a hole in the ground, and I’m still in the hole.

It may seem as though I’m depressed, but I’m not.  This is one of those learning experiences.  Do I focus on what I don’t have?  Or do I recognize the blessings that I do have?  I’m not alone.  I have my family, who can’t do enough for me.  If I neglect myself, by not requesting help in my needs, whether my need is medicine, or my diabetes testing supplies, or food or drink or just an arm to hold me up so that I can go to the bathroom, someone is always near to help me.

It is a humbling experience, just experiencing how much they love me.  Their love for me is selfless, a precious gift, which reminds me just how much God also loves me.  They are God’s perfect gift, that is as obvious to me as one of the beautiful sunsets that I believe He provides to delight my soul.  You might say that my family is the delight of my soul.

I have the loveliest daughters, funny and wise, beautiful inside and out, unselfish, and the joy of my heart.  My husband is tender and kind.  His love for me is expressed in unusual ways.  He has taken a reader, which he had given me for my birthday, and he has expanded it so that I can do so much more, like downloading more e-books and reading the news, like the major news-hound I am.  It’s amazing to me.  He is so brilliant, but his heart is still humble and wise, as he does all these things that make life easier for me.

You see, I am slowly losing my sight.  As a result, I cannot read a regular book, and I LOVE to read!  I must have a light behind the letters, or I cannot see them very well.  So, he just redesigned the whole thing.  Now, I can go to Amazon or Barns & Noble and buy books that I love to read.  He is so wonderful.

I wonder.  If I were busy, busy, busy, would I notice just how blue the sky is through my window, as I write to you?  Would I take delight in the stars, in sunrises and sunsets? Would I see just how much my husband and daughters cherish me?  Would I take for granted every breath I take, or the steps that I am able to take just to get a glass of water for myself?  If I were able, would I take the time to consider the people who don’t have what God has given to me?  Would I understand your pain, as I think of you, my brothers and sisters, who may be struggling to see the blessings, within your own life?  Would I take a moment to pray for you, as I am now?  Would I be too busy to really see?  Or feel?  Or understand?  If I were a hurried, worried person, who believed that I gave every blessing to myself, would I appreciate every blessing that God has given to me?

So, I thank God, right now, for every breath, for every step, for laughter, in spite of my tribulations.  I thank Him for my medicines.  I thank Him for my diabetes, because I understand what you go through.  I thank God for my trigeminal neuralgia, and for the medications which erase my pain.  I thank God for the chemist who designed the drugs, and for the Pharmaceutical Companies who provide the drugs which give me a quality of life that I would not have without them.  For all the things and people that I used to take for granted, I thank God right now.  He is a good God.  He is a sweet God, a generous God, gentle, kind and merciful, and I praise Him right now.

And then, I thank God for the little things:  a warm bed, when it is cold; cool sheets when it is hot – all those little things that we forget, sometimes, that God provides for us, too.  I thank Him for my little dog, Happy Dog.  For the fourteen years that God has given me with you, dear Happy Dog, I thank Him for each day, and all the years that you have blessed my life.  What a joy you have been.  I love you Happy Dog.  I never dreamed that I could have a love like yours.

Dear Heavenly Father, I know that every heart beat is a gift from You.  I know that You are my provider, my friend, and my Savior.  I know that all the things that I should remember, and I have forgotten, are also Your gifts to me. And, Lord, for those who read this, I pray for all the grace they can hold, that they may know You.  And if they are busy, may they stop and know that those busy times are a gift from You, too. And, Lord, for those of us who are laid up, may we realize our blessings, and may we thank You for them too.   Thank You, Lord, and to You be the praise, the honor, and the glory, forever.

A brief update:  I was rushed to urgent care yesterday.  I met a very kind doctor.  Gosh they are young these days!  I discovered that I do have arthritis in my hips, particularly my right hip.  To give me freedom of movement, I have been given a prescription of lidocaine, which is a gel patch which does what your dentist does when he anesthetizes your mouth.  It will numb the pain while I increase gentle stretching exercises and give my glucosamine time to help build up the cartilage in my joints.  This requires a lot of me.  It’s not magic, but then is anything worth doing magic?  Or should it be? I will keep you all informed as to my progress.  God be with you!

With love,
Jaye Lewis

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