I walk downstairs to my Mom’s cozy Mother-In-Law pad. Bella, her 14 year old black poodle is soundly sleeping. I wake her up to let her out for a bathroom break. Bella shakes her head, and gives me a few affectionate head rubs. It takes her a few minutes to stretch out from the curled up slumber position she had been in on her bed. She cues me her readiness to go outside. She is slow to wake up these days, hard of hearing, slightly blind but a still sweet disposition once she realizes you are there.
Bella sleeps a lot these days. I wonder what she dreams in those deep slumbering hours. I wonder what doggy adventure she experiences. On her afternoon walks, sometimes she struggles to find her pace. She seems disoriented at times. Then suddenly she will break into her poodle trot as if she is fine.
My mom likes to let her out on a lead and leash in the backyard when she is home.
(The one above is actually not hers- it was a borrowed too big leash from Banjo while we visited for a few minutes in our front yard.)
Recently I have noticed that I don’t need to put Bella on the leash. After years of routine perhaps she discovered the truth in Pavlov’s theory for herself and wags her tail in agreement. As I observed Bella on this day, God seemed to want to show me something more than the fact that Bella now walks out, does her business and turns around to come right back in the house.
I mean let’s give the girl some grace, she is getting up there in doggy years, right?
She no longer seems to notice the grass.
She used to.
Or the surrounding properties and boundaries.
Or her ball.
She shuffles back in,
and only seeks a biscuit for pleasure.
fairly oblivious to everything but the most basic things.
I try to spend a bit more affection on her.
I linger and give her extra pats, rubs and loving words.
I pondered, how we can be like Bella…
How we can forget the simplest joys and pleasures.
How we grow familiar with that which IS fleeting.
How we need to be reminded that we are loved and cherished
and not forgotten;
how simple gestures can bring great joy.
How the smallest kindness can be the
grandest gesture to a needy heart.
Let’s not live our lives like Pavlov’s dogs.
Let’s not go through the motions of this life.
Let’s not be oblivious to the hearts around us
that need a bit of encouragement.
Friends your Faith Life Preserver is a reminder to be fully alive.
Available to give grace and to receive it.
Think of it as Bella’s Reminder to you.
Every dog has their day, friends.
But every day is the Lord’s day
and we CAN
rejoice and be glad in it!