We recently decided to add a puppy to our family. When he came to live with us a few short months ago, he looked like this:Adorable right! I mean, how could anyone resist this little bundle off cuteness? When my husband first walked in the door with this little guy in his arms, it truly was love at first sight. Instantly, I fell in love with this little creature, partly because he was so cute, but mainly because he was ours.
Time has passed and Rudy has become an energetic, mischievous, and wild pre-teen with a serious attitude! Do I love him any less? Certainly not.
This morning, as we went for our morning walk, I was pondering the many lessons that this dog has taught me. There are so many. My first thought was how for Rudy, it is all about the journey. The destination is irrelevant. Why should we be in a hurry? Rudy loves to explore the woods. He sniffs every log, splashes in every puddle, wades through every bit of mud, chases every bird and wind-blown leaf, and runs like he is being chased, just because he can. What a lesson this is for busy people like us. I want to find joy in the little things and relish every moment of this journey.
Rudy sees every person and every creature as a friend. When he first catches sight of a potential new friend, his little tail starts going so fast that his whole backside shakes. He is not picky about who he will be friends with. Elderly person in the nursing home, no problem. Rambunctious child, no problem. Mentally disabled, no problem. Dressed oddly, no problem. Frightened cat, no problem. Dog 6x his size, no problem. I am learning that I should express more enthusiasm when greeting loved ones (okay, so maybe tone it down a notch and not shake my backside…) and that I should go out of my way to get to know the potential friends in my world.
Today we had a big scare. I was walking with Rudy out in the woods and trying to navigate around a very large puddle when he caught wind of something and headed off into the woods. When this has happened before, he has come back fairly quickly as he doesn’t seem to like to get too far away, but this time was different. I called and called, but he was out of sight. I called my husband and we searched for our missing dog for three hours, a short eternity. I yelled for him over and over and over. I cried and sobbed, afraid that I may never see him again. Between the desperate shouts and the tears, I prayed. At last, I didn’t know where to look anymore. We had searched the woods and driven down the nearby roads. I sat in my car, wondering what to do next when I received a call from a neighbor. A new friend. When I arrived to pick up my lost pup, they revealed to me that they had returned home to find Rudy playing with their dog in the yard. Rudy’s new friend was a 16 year old, deaf husky. They were having a blast. To Rudy, it was all just one, grand adventure. He was happily unaware of the danger he could have been in.
Tonight I am grateful to have my puppy back. He may drive me crazy, get into trouble, and be a giant pain, but I love him. He is mine. What a great reminder of how God feels about me. When He first saw me, he loved me. He thought, “Wow! She is mine.” No matter what messes I get myself into, He is the one that is seeking me out, calling for me to come back to Him. No matter how far I stray, he is always happy to see me when I finally come home.