A Different Perspective, Victoria Advocate
We adopted a ten-month-old puppy to keep our eleven-year-old male dachshund company eight weeks ago. Lacey is a white dachshund with large mottled gray spots, black ears, and one pale blue eye. In a previous column, I wrote about our rewarding experience with the Dorothy O’Conner Pet Adoption Center, and I’m happy to say Lacey is a keeper. She’s found her forever home with us, and we can’t imagine life without her.
The experience has had its moments.
One evening last week, Dave and I smelled a terrible odor coming from our master bedroom area. I thought the sewer had backed up. Dave ruled that out but kept sniffing and poking around. It didn’t take long to locate the source. Under our bed, of course. We had to rake out large volumes of shredded fluff from mangled dog toys from the same place. The object under the bed was so big that Dave initially thought it was a gopher, but no, it was a dead toad. The noxious fumes lingered once he got rid of it. When I left, Dave was still spraying Lysol in the room corners.
Lacey tries to bring in sticks wider than the doggie door, which is pretty cute. Unfortunately, the piles of chewed wood I find everywhere are not so cute—on the living area rug, bedroom carpet, and, of course, in the treasure trove of junk under the bed.
We bought her a dog bed for upstairs, but her main interest in it is gnawing and tearing the edges. We give her chew bones, but she much prefers Dave’s moccasins. If our closet door gets left open, items get rearranged. Shoes get dragged down the hall, and tote bags wind up in other places.
Ike, our eleven-year-old dog, gets lots more exercise, keeping up with Lacey. There’s absolutely no rest for the weary in the evenings as Lacey thinks it’s time to play when I sit in the chair. She nudges me with her slobbery dog toy and wants a game of tug of war. When I finally get it away from her, I toss it to Ike, who runs down the hall with it. They tussle around until Lacey steals it, then the game goes to round two—or ten—or fifteen. She wears herself (and everybody else) out and eventually craters in my lap until bedtime. However, our new puppy only likes me in the evenings. She prefers Dave all the rest of the time, and when she had her last round of shots, she didn’t feel good and laid on his chest for hours.
When my alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m., it used to be a gentle reminder. Now, it’s a bona fide wake-up call for Lacey to pester us until we get up and feed her.
In short, she’s like a very small child. Cute as a button but into everything, creating new problems as she goes. But we’re crazy about her and endure all the hassle because she’s worth it, even if some days it seems like all we say is “Laaa—cey!”
We sometimes forget loving people is like that too. If we participate in this life, hurts and hassles will inevitably come our way. But what if we adopted the virtue of love and handed it out freely, openly, and without holding a grudge? That’s what Christ does for us. Scripture says love keeps no record of being wronged. (1Corinthians 13:5, NLT)
My life is a lot better when I choose to love. When I put love first, life becomes much easier despite the hurts that happen.
It’s kind of like living with Lacey. We navigate our way through the challenges of a rambunctious puppy because of the joy she brings to our lives—no reason we can’t do that with people as well.