I Am Your Girl

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I call you friend
because you always come
when I call your name
without fail

You never complain
when I’m busy
or in a tizzy
just smile with your tail

I call you friend
and when I come undone
your soft, wet nose
brings me back 
to feeling human
I call you friend
on you depend
the best welcome home 
I’ve ever known 
with body wagging, 
love not lagging
a joyful reunion daily…
I call you friend and wonder when
you are alone
sleeping by your bone
 are you dreaming of 
romping with me, 
or wandering nose to the ground,
 sniffing off 
on grand adventures unknown?
I lay my head right by your side,
share my deepest secrets
never have to hide…
Eyes look straight through to my heart,
fiercely protective you were, right from the start
from you my friend,
I never want to part

You remain a puppy in my mind always…

I have heard it to be said
that diamonds are a girl’s best friend
but I’ll tell you what I know-
diamonds are only for show
easy come, easy go
dogs reign supreme.

My best friend, pants, wags and barks
is faithful…
worth more
than a trunk of treasure-
beyond measure.

I wouldn’t trade you for the world
Not diamonds,
 or pearls.
I remain a child in your eyes always…

I look deep into your soul-filled eyes
I see me
and realize
 I am your world
How can I live up to this precious hope?
You are my dog and I am your girl.

© Dawn Paoletta

Linking with:
Time-Warp Wife
The Extraordinary Ordinary (for the first time! @Just Write)
Rich Faith Rising
The Scoop @ Cedar Hill Ranch (for the first time)
Create with Joy for Wordless Wednesday for Pam’s Picture!
My Daily Walk in His Grace

*A few days ago a friend posted this picture of her daughter and dog as she caught them one busy morning and grabbed this great shot. It inspired me to write these words…
for girls and their dogs everywhere.

Bella’s Reminder {Faith Life Preservers – Day 20}

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.
Or duty.
 Bella seems 
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!
31 Days of Faith Life Preservers 
October 1-31, 2012
See all other Faith Life Preserver Posts HERE.

Check out all of the other 
31 Day Topics and Bloggers HERE!

Santa Banjo

This is Banjo. 

He’s in a 2013 calendar contest  for rescued pets.

He  We would love it if you pop over there and vote for him.

We have a nickname for him:

“The Most Interesting Dog In The World”

 If you are on Facebook would you consider dropping 

by the page and voting for him by

 clicking “like” under  

his picture in the Calendar contest post?

We love all the sweet entrants and appreciate your support!

Thank You!

The Day He Remembered He Was A Dog

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 
1 Timothy 1:7

He is a funny character.
He still growls when my hubby kisses me goodbye.
He makes grunt sounds as if he tries to speak at times. 
He likes to be the center of attention and makes it known in a variety of ways.
He thinks the couch makes a fine bed, although he will settle for his own when told.
He is one happy tail wagging, welcome wagon to his family members when they return home.
He gets along well with the cats and does not eat the bunny, to our great relief.
Sometimes, I wonder if he thinks he is one of us. He looks to us for his cue to where he fits in. 
Like a child at times he competes for attention. He never misses scrap opportunities while I prepare lunches. He believes he should have a taste of everything that we eat. When I walk him at the beach he is uninterested in people, and only has eyes for me. Occasionally he will look at a dog and bark to make sure they know that I am his bone. “Back off”  in doggy language is pretty easy to understand.
Until this one day.
 Something was different.

As we were coming near the end of our beach walk on a chilly afternoon.
He noticed the Piping Plovers. It’s not like they are not always there when we walk, but this time he seemed to be awake to their presence. It was as if someone knocked him upside the head and said, “Duh, hello- see the birds? You are a dog and you should chase those guys!”
But, the leash.
Ah, sweet restraint. 
I sensed his interest. 

Off the leash has led to many, frustrations and altercations.
I looked around. It was cold, and some droplets of rain were falling. The beach was pretty empty.
I paused briefly, as he sought assurance in my face. I let him loose on those birds, knowing full well he did not have a chance. I would have never done it had I thought otherwise. 
What joy I beheld, as he seemed amazingly enthralled with the idea that he should chase these creatures.
At last he remembered who he really was. I was like an overprotective mother hovering over and not trusting that some unleashed beast would suddenly appear and wreak havoc on his joyful moment. 
But the moment was not stolen away from that old pup renewed!
This dog who walks the edges of the shore and runs from the rolling in waves dashed toward those precious plovers, given to the thrill of the chase and hope of a catch. Into the wave kissed shore toward the water; not too deep. Yet. I laughed and felt the pleasure of his moment, with an ever doting presence of my own. 
Always cautious, ever suspicious the moment will be robbed. At last realizing we would enjoy this gift and momentary pleasure together. I leashed him back up as we came to the parking lot. I saw him notice the gathering of sea gulls. He glanced at them, and back at me, eyes pleading approval. I dropped the leash and watched as the gulls easily stole away.
Ah, but the joy of it.
I would not let him be deprived of it.
The fleeting moment, beautiful.
The day he remembered he was a dog.

Friend, God has spontaneous moments of joy prepared for you. He delights in you as you delight in Him and receive from him with thanksgiving each moment fearlessly. Let’s consider embracing all He gives with thanksgiving. Trusting in His goodness. Not expecting to be robbed of it, like I was in the story…suspiciously awaiting the Goliath moment; almost allowing fear to rob the present joy. 
I am learning this…even as I walk the beach with my sweet pup. 
One day at a time. 
Seeing his joy and the way he forgot his fear of the water and waves in the moment reminded me that I too, need to be fearless in embracing the future with my faithful God. 
I need to Fear Less. 
Trust more.
Embrace each moment as a gift from the Giver of good things. 
Shall we run toward the waves, fearlessly?
Will we trust, repenting and fleeing from the sins of doubt and fear of the unknown? 
Will we embrace faith running toward the everlasting arms?
Are you ready? 
On Your Mark- Let’s Go!
We all win, dear one. Of this you can be sure!
I did it at the start of the year…perhaps this is another in my lessons of Less for the year. 
For to the man that pleaseth him God giveth wisdom, and knowledge, and joy...
Ecclesiastes 2:26

Here are the pictures I snapped,  in the order of the story. 
I completely dedicate this writing to my friend Susie and her new fur baby, Layla, in light of the current growing pains the family is experiencing during their adjustment period! 

Be ready for joy in unexpected moments!
Linking up with Bonnie at Faith Barista!

A Dog-Eyed View of God?

Me and my adoring shadow. 
There is great wisdom to be found in the company of dogs. Do not be deceived by their easy going ways. Or for that matter by their charming persuasion. God often reveals himself in the mundane. Or the Great Dane. 
To those who have eyes to see, these canine counterparts hold much wisdom. Quite honestly, some of  the greatest wisdom, therapy and comfort I have received has been in the wordless exchanges with my very own “Man’s Best Friend”. 
I remember when our daughter began her full assault on us in acquisition of thus said dog. I remember my fears, having grown up in the company of cats; to this day still in the company of them. I only had one dog, growing up; a stray I hid in the garage at the apartment duplex we lived. My mother was quite surprised when the landlord inquired about our new dog, which she knew nothing about. I fed that pup potato sticks and hot dogs when I exhausted my meager allowance for dog food unbeknownst to my unsuspecting mom. That sweet dog who I named “Friend” went off to the pound promptly and I swore off dogs forever in an attempt to quench the heartache I felt. Her memory remains with my guilt ridden mother and I to this day. I’m not sure what happened to her.
I didn’t trust dogs, either. I understand cats. They are independent. Predictable in their unpredictability. I get cats. They are aloof, and affectionate on their own terms. I can handle that. But dogs always seemed…needy.  Not just “needy”, but dependently needy. Unappealing to me. I am selfish, thank you. Cleaning cat litter is as sacrificial as I wanted to get. 
But, the Queen of Everything spoke and my husband sided with her in memory of his own dog. Two against one. Unfair. I knew this would impact me more than either of these two idealistic beings. I knew who would be on diaper duty. That would be me. I shuddered at the thought. 
We looked, and sought and eventually found the dog who would become our very own fur family member.
The decision making process fell more heavily on me as time went on as I visualized what this new family member’s presence would entail. 
Having inherited the “Eeyore” gene from my mom (this is a bit of a family joke and yes, she knows!), I began imagining in my mind potential catastrophes based on  various choice outcomes. I considered a small dog and was told they were yappy and snappy. I envisioned walking the yappy small dog in our then rural, backwoods area and imagined Coyotes or Fisher Cats springing out at us in the dusk and early hours. I pictured the two neighboring giant Rottweilers chewing the little dog at the end of my leash down to collar as I screamed uncontrollably. I dreamed of the wee lad dashing in front of a car, crushed under a tire, on one of the hilly, sharp cornered roads that surrounded our community. The large breed frightened me too. I visualized my daughter crushed by the behemoth sized dog, while she slept. I pictured us walking peacefully and again approached by loose dogs, caught between hundred pound bodies of angry, thrashing beasts.
Then we saw our medium sized “beast to be”. There was nothing so wonderfully appealing about him, except his eyes looked woefully in need of a home. The rescue told us he would be a good family dog. So this is how he came to us. This would be the beginning of our terms, in my mind. We provide a safe place for you, you be a safe dog for our girl. Simple enough. I brush my hands off and smile. Check off dog from list of things acquired for Queen of Everything. 
I did not suspect there would be wisdom to glean from this mangy mutt. But therein lies the beauty and providence of God. He uses everything to reveal Himself and draw us closer to His Truth, for those who have eyes to see. Perhaps we need to take a look from our dog Banjo’s perspective. 
The Tail Wagging Truth

Those brown, unwavering eyes blink lovingly at me day after day. I seem unable to do anything wrong in the sight of this sweet mutt. You see I am the giver of good things in his eyes. He receives and expects only good things from me. Biscuits, water, food, walks, and all sorts of mouth watering scraps. Good things are all he sees when he sees me. It’s obvious when I look in his eyes. 
There is something I long to grasp in this tail wagging truth. Something for me to learn from his eager anticipation of good from me. There is a spiritual biscuit to be gained here. 
My God is the Giver of Good Things. So often I anticipate bad from His hand. So frequently I am waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under me instead of anticipating the net that catches my fall. Instead of anticipating good when he takes something away I suspect he is going to give me something less than. Something bad. I ask for good, and anticipate bad. Talk about double-mindedness. Why do I expect snakes instead of fish? Why? 
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
Luke 11:11

When I call, that dog gets up and comes. Why? I am the giver of good things. 
There is no doubt. No hesitation. 
He comes expecting good things because he trusts and believes in me.
Obviously, I am not God. I fail. Yet Banjo’s love, trust and positive expectation of me does not waver. He continues to look at me with brown eyes blinking full of love. That look says that I am the tastiest, meatiest, best bone he has ever laid his doggy eyes on. His love is possessive and jealous. He still growls when my husband kisses me goodbye. He does not like anyone else near his favorite bone after all. 
God’s love never fails. Ever. He is jealous of anything that might deter me from His best for me. Unlike Banjo, God does not need anything from me. He loves me unconditionally, un-waveringly and with completely pure intentions. 
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I’m still learning  to trust the God who is trustworthy, faithful and true. Even Banjo would have to conclude, compared to God, I’m less than a Milkbone dog biscuit crumb compared to the choicest, most satisfyingly meaty bone and so much more worthy of devotion. I suppose that is the tail wagging truth. At least perhaps the dog-eyed view. 
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:11-13
This post is dedicated to my friend Stacy @ A Life Lived Well who recently lost her precious fur friend Scooby and also to Susie @ Recovering Church Lady who has a her own new fur addition to the family- Layla.
May God bless both of you, right where you are, today and in the days to come with his presence, peace and love.
More Dog lessons here: Lessons From A Dog’s Ruff Life

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