Monday a little lost black doggie showed up at my neighbor’s. She was small, scraggly and shaking with fear and cold. We tried to approach her to see if she had a collar but the little thing just growled and tried to hide. It was heart breaking and as the day wore on I began to worry. There was more snow in the forecast. Then she did something that nearly pushed me over the edge she started howling, a teeny tiny sad howl.
I texted my friend, “There’s a little stray over here. I don’t have any dog crates or anything and I can’t get it to come to me.”
“I’ll be right over.” she responded.
So my sweet, animal loving friend, came over with a dog crate, blankets and cookies. She sat outside coaxing the nervous pup for two hours! I had given up and started putting the kids to bed. I figured we’d leave the crate outside and hope the dog could find shelter in there on her own. But, my friend didn’t give up. She popped her head in the back door, as I was tucking the boys into bed to tell me that she had gotten the dog into the crate and moved it into my garage. Momentary relief for me, at least the dog would be safe from the wind and cold bundled up in blankets. First thing in the morning I’d take it to the shelter, hopefully she had owners looking for her somewhere.
In the morning I googled the shelter. It didn’t open until noon! I went out to check on the dog, the crate was a mess. We couldn’t leave her in there until who-knows-when we’d be able to get her to the shelter. So I moved her to the backyard, all the while she growled. I opened the door to the crate and out she ran to hide. I threw away the old blankets and put fresh ones in. I got her more food and water and wondered how I was going to get her back into the crate. I went outside several times during the day. I tried to bribe her with food and soft words but nothing worked. She howled all afternoon and I cried. It was so frustrating, if she would just let me hold her, I could bring her in and clean her up!
My friend, came back over and after an hour was holding the little pup, who we named Salty because I thought she looked like she belonged on a Scottish fishing boat (if you know you can’t keep a stray you probably shouldn’t name it). This dog was curled up on my friend shaking and snuggling. By the time we got to the shelter she was walking around wagging her tail. It was like having those arms around her took away her fears and reminded her who she was; a spunky little dog.
The entire thing reminded me of what God must feel like with us. We’ve been abandoned, lost and abused by the world, and the entire time God is there, reaching out to us, coaxing us with soft words and spoonfuls of spiritual peanut butter. We growl and try to hide, but he’s there patiently waiting to put his arms around us. Sometimes we get close and lick the peanut butter but we run away as soon as He tries to get closer. We go back to hiding under bushes and trying to do it all on our own. But, if we let him pick us up and put His arms around us then we remember who we were meant to be, we remember who we are. The fears are driven out by his strong embrace and the knowledge that He only wants what’s best for us.
In case your worried about Salty, she’s at the Calhoun County Animal Shelter. She has to be there for four days (from Tuesday) in case someone is looking for her, and then she’ll be put up for adoption.
The Winner of the “My Mother’s Chamomile” giveaway is: Bethany Clay! Congratulations!