“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you.” -Job 12:7
I noticed it from the upstairs window looking out on that drive. Silly me, I tapped on the window, pushed down its sash, and (incredibly) said, “Hi!” It stopped short, looked up, and wagged and wagged its tail.
Just like that, to a dog. What made me do that?
Well, the neighbors had a black dog, were away for two weeks, and my eyes weren’t working too well then… But I think I knew it was a different dog…
I went down to it. I know: Not recommended in hot August, stray dog. And, turned out, he had no tag.
Friendly he was. A gentleman dog. Welcomed a petting and a hand holding his collar, panted a dog smile, looking up to me all the while like he’d known me all his young life. Sat just like that, snap, when I quietly said, “Sit.”
I guessed he belonged at one of those houses back in the direction from which he’d come. I’d seen a black Lab with red collar like this… But why was he so skinny?
We gave him water, a handful of cat food. He gobbled greedily, poor ribs sticking out. Then Husband got the truck, and I helped now-leashed Mr. Dog up past the high running board and into the cab with a rear end push. He balked at sitting in the seat, maybe trained not to, curled on the floor. They took off, to look for his owner.
I waited. Time passed. What was taking so long?
At last the truck returned, turned—dog still inside, now happy on the front seat.
They’d visited seven houses, directed from one to the other. Everyone loved him, none owned him.
So there we were.
He was too nice to turn in to the warden, and maybe end up dead. He sat, he heeled, he jumped for joy, but not on us. We’d have to report we’d “found” him (though he found us). We’d have to look hard for his owner. Secretly I started hoping…
Leaning sideways toward him as he sat beside me, I murmured, “Could you be a seeing eye?” I thought he could.
Yes, Dog came trotting up that drive that day, and right into my heart. I never thought I’d lose my heart to a stray dog, but I did. In less than an hour—and lost it more in all the moments with him thereafter.
It was more than his pleasant personality, more than his good behavior. Exceptionally well-trained he was, but it was more than that.
We bonded, Dog and I. That was the thing. If I walked brisk, he trotted brisk, happy pink tongue hanging sideways out. If I slowed, so did he. If I stopped by a field just to stand and gaze he stopped right by me and gazed out, too. It was as if his canine heart drank in the invisible intentions of my human one and walked them out or stood them out or sat them out or lay down still if that was my desire.
That was Dog’s lesson to me. I do well to really learn it!
Bond with the Master. Mesh with His Spirit. Walk with Him, stop with Him, treasure what He treasures. BE HIS.
There I saw Obedience in its shining trueness.
I miss Dog and his trueness. We had to part, but he remains with me in the lesson he left: of how my relating with my tenderhearted Master is meant to flow and grow, so bonded. About the obedience my Master wants: not slavish doing of dismal duty, but loving, trusting oneness with His spirit.