My Own Mother confessed to me just yesterday that sometimes she does not read my blog posts because they are too long. I already knew that! She has told me that before! And you might think the very same thing!
I have promised before to write shorter posts…and even succeeded for a little while. I want to try again. I want to write a “Short and Sweet” series.
So, without further “ado” … and without extra words and explanation…let’s begin.
When I was a young teenager I begged my dad for a dog. My dad is not an animal lover …and truth be told we had some traumatic endings to pet dogs. We had a Collie named Heidi that was hit by a dump truck when I was about 5. A construction truck going to the building site for a new house in the neighborhood was “flying” over the hill. Our dog was in the road just on the other side of that hill. Mrs. Baker who lived at the top of the hill was a witness to what she believed was a child getting run over (there were LOTS of little kids in this Fox Den neighborhood in Morristown, Tennessee in the early 1970’s and we did play everywhere.) The news in the neighborhood was that “Mrs. Baker thought a kid got run over!” Only later did I realize that it was actually my very own pet.
Our second dog was not really a “family” dog because I was the one who had begged and pleaded and cajoled. One day, much to my surprise, my parents told me that we were going to go and pick out a puppy…And we did. He was a funny looking yellow fluff-ball which also happened to be a full-breed cocker-spaniel. We thought about names…but my mom convinced me that no stupid name would do because he would be registered and have papers…I am not sure why all that mattered since we had him “fixed” and he was obviously not “show dog” material. Anyhow…we ended up naming him something like “Sir Nicholas Robespierre from Shire”….Not really. But we did name him Nicholas. A dog named Nicholas. It makes me chuckle to think about him…and his name…and his long blond bangs that hung over his eyes like a California surfer or a skate-board punk…If he could have talked in people talk I have no doubt that he would have sounded like Bill and Ted in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. And Nicholas wore t-shirts. I used to have him wear little t-shirts that I had outgrown.
That poor dog. He had a pen and a dog house and a “run”. But he did not get a lot of attention because I was gone to school all day and to sports all afternoon and then I was tired.
That poor dog.
I got him in 4th or 5th grade and he died when I was in 6th. One of my sister’s friends came over to our house to visit. He should not have even been driving a car because he just had a permit…and it happened to be on a day that Nicholas was not in his pen or on his run because I was outside in the yard playing with him.
I used to blame the boy for killing my dog…but it was my fault too. The boy was driving in the road…my dog was chasing his car. My dog was not a smart dog…at all. And I knew that. Nicholas was a very very very NOT SMART dog.
I saw my dog go under the car wheels…but fortunately I did not have a vantage point to see the carnage that ensued.
I ran in the house screaming and then I cried for about 3 days straight and I missed a few days of school.
So, our luck with dogs was not stellar…or maybe i should say our dogs luck with us.
But the summer before I was in 9th grade I had been begging my parents for a dog. And my good friend Julie wrote a reference letter on my behalf to my parents.
One of my mother’s friends had a mutt who was pregnant so my mom said that maybe we could get one of the puppies. I always wondered if the puppies had not been so dang cute if my mom would have said…”Nah…don’t think so.” But that isn’t what happened. The puppies were ADORABLE. Imagine a white Nerf football covered with inch long fuzzy standing straight up fur… two- inch legs and a two inch curled like a piglet’s tail….little soft floppy ears and tiny black button noses and eyes. There has never been a cuter bunch of puppies. I ended up choosing the one that they called “Fat Fred” because his legs were so short and his tummy was so round that it almost dragged the ground. When he became my puppy I called him “Tater”.
Tater and I were the best of friends. We did everything together. I had learned my sad lesson of feeling regretful when I had lost Nicholas and realized I had not been the best mommy to him…so that was not going to happen with Tater.
Before school I would get up every morning and walk him around my neighborhood. It was always just after the crack of day when the dew was still heavy on the grass and the air was cool no matter what season. No one was out at that time of day except me and Tater…so often I would put a big jacket on over my pajamas or nightgown. I would slip on my tennis shoes and we would be off on a brisk blood pumping and mind working stroll.
On a stretch of road at the top of a hill I noticed Tater bend over and put something in his mouth. I bent down to see what he had gotten a hold of and was very surprised to find that he had picked up a $20 bill. There was no way of knowing who the money had at one time belonged to…so Tater and I took our treasure home.
The reason for this story today is because it makes me think about how happy and excited I felt on that day… to first thing when I woke up to find a $20 treasure. I told everyone about it! And even today …30 years later…I am telling you about it. But since that day and every day since, do I get up every morning and feel happy and excited about the treasure that is the gift of My Life? And the gifts that are my family and friends and other blessings that keep me warm or cool and fed and dry? Do I act excited for this treasure? Do I lift up my hands to the Provider of all good things each morning and say, “Thank You!”
Today I wanted to. Today He gave me this memory to share with you. And while I am saying, “Thank You” I wanted to invite you to do the same.
Happy Friday, friends. Peace.