Tag Archives: dogs

Beauty is

17 Feb

Today, I am left without words.

Beauty is having a child run after you because she wants to hold your hand.

Beauty is having a child – a different child from a different home – ask you wonderingly if you would still play with him. Broken beauty, but beauty.

Beauty is an animal who trusts you so completely that she will sigh her frustration into the hollow of your hand, as she lays her head there, and licks you, while the doctor administers painful treatment.

Beauty is knowing that that is what God wants us to be like with him.

Beauty is a train ride through Snowdonia, knowing that my help comes from the Lord who holds the cattle on a thousand hills – and hearing this God remind you in his whispers.

Beauty is telling a friend about a God-encounter and hearing her words echo your thoughts.

Beauty is when someone knows you’re sad when you’re laughing, and no one else knows.

Beauty is the homeless man who will smile at me every time I pass outside the store he frequents. Beauty is when he recognises you and you smile back.

Beauty is when you write a kind email, an email hoping for a coffee one of these days, to someone who has slighted you.

Beauty is letting go of the hurts you’d forgotten you remembered, until God asked you to let them go. Beauty is knowing that an apology might never come, but that you are hearing God’s voice in the situation.

Beauty is pain that nobody else knows you’re holding until suddenly God looks you in the eye and tells you ‘I know it hurts. And I know how much’. Beauty is when you believe that and share the fellowship of his suffering in the smallest measure, that he may grow you into his image in disproportionate recompense.

Beauty is when it draws you closer to the sanctity of the cross and people know you’ve been with Jesus.

Beauty is when someone on a random protest day, in the central square on the shopping street, walks up to you and asks if you are Christian. Then beauty is when you nod and they say they saw it.

Beauty is an old friend’s unexpected call or email.

Beauty is a new friend you haven’t yet made decides to ask you to listen and pray.

Beauty is when God sees the ugliness and decides to use it. Like me.

Today, I am in awe of this beauty. I know His name. And all I can bring myself do is to curl up into him and say one thing. If my words fail, and I choke up inadequately, then I can look at the face I know. And let Him look on as I confess it.

This: Jesus, I am so in love with you.

 

God, Exods 15, Exodus, Bible, beautiful God, awesome God, God is awesome, love God, love of God, Jesus, Christ, Father, Holy Spirit, miracles, wonders, Snowdonia, faith, worship, love, beauty, beautiful



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When you don’t know how to help

16 Feb

It’s just… so hard to feel like you can’t do much. I know, I know some people might say it is only a dog. And might actually bring up the humans versus dogs argument! But I am not making a value judgement – this is a dog I love. And love kinda hurts in times like this. And anyone who doesn’t get that is probably only a dog with a bone… šŸ˜›

She looks at me when I get up to leave as if to say “You’re leaving when I can’t even get up and follow you?” and I feel mean, even though that’s silly šŸ˜€ But I also feel like giving her a huge, big cuddle and getting her to be her cheery self. That’s right – tonight, she’s not that cheerful, not so much.

But I we – Tassi too – have this.

This evening

16 Feb

This post was born in my head yesterday evening and it is early in my work day, so technically my title is right… ;P I think.

They arrived in the car with Tassi who seemed to have survived the day with remarkably upbeat spirits. What can I say, she’s an upbeat dog! Prince was staying over at an aunt’s on what turned out to be a very civilised social call. Prince is our other dachshund, the boy who never grew up šŸ˜‰

Tassi was too excited to see me to let me sit in the backseat. So I carried her off the front seat, got in, and settled her on my lap. I wish I had had my camera with me to capture the looks on the security officers’ faces, when they saw me pull a dog out of the car on the premises!! Security is very tight at our school, considering its management and community. So they check every vehicle every morning, but I don’t think they thought to check for pets šŸ˜‰

At the vets, it was a LONG wait. IĀ could notĀ believe the doctor would make the animals wait that long! PeopleĀ waiting is bad enough, butĀ some ofĀ those dogs in the waiting room needed a drink or a toilet break for two hours straight, I kid you not. But I do still wish I had had a camera again for the characters that were in that lounge! šŸ˜‰

Tassi was very scared and unhappy to be there. She kept wanting to poop, and boy, was she smelly with those raspberries! When the doctor finally arrived, they had to muzzle her because when she hates something she’s pretty vocal. Our poor baby looked at me as if she simply couldn’t understand why I was putting her on that x-ray table when she told me she didn’t want to be there. I have a video of her talking some time ago šŸ˜‰ – haha, I’ll have to upload it some time.

Anyway, we took two x-rays and she rested her head in my palm as they stretched her out for it. And whether it was from frustration or sadness or not knowing what was happening to and around her, she cried and kept looking round the lab technicians at my face. The next x-ray, my mum went and kept her company.

She has what I thought it might beĀ in theĀ morning – intervertebral disc problems. Dachshunds are prone to it. The doctor – and heĀ does seemĀ to beĀ a specialist – said it even comes from climbing up long flights of stairs which the Tass does often. She also jumps on the sofa or on the dining chairs or on our laps. Amazing. And it really does just happen overnight, not incidentally caused or anything like it. Just wear and tear.

I worried that they did not put her in a crate or in plaster. She won’t keep still without. What I read up on seems to suggest it, and so did this new friendĀ when she read the last blog post. Tassi is going to try and drag herself around to bark at people passing, or say hello when someone comes in through a different gate than she can see, or at strays even as are wont to pass by in the neighbourhood. She will do it! And she will give everyone a piece of her mind, good or bad!

I did ask the doctor, but he said it wasn’t necessary. Hhhmmm.

Tassi has two vertebrae that seem lower and out of position from her spine, and the fluid has cause a swelling around it. She does still have her deep pain nerves working.

This was the decision. She is on prescription drugs for two days – which means she gets tablets rolled up in as many sweets as it takes! – and after that, we will go reconvene for ultra-sound or laser therapy.

I think her biggest desire now is to scratch!!

I said yesterday that we are trusting. We still are. And God’s awesome. Always.

This morning

15 Feb

You know the Tass by nowĀ as she’s featured in this blog a couple of times.

We woke this morning to a Tassi who couldn’t walk. She is a dog who is always full of energy, has so much to say and gets pretty feisty about everything in the neighbourhood. This morning, a little after 5, I heard a hurried knocking on my door.

Something was wrong with Tassi.

I stepped out to see her sitting funnily with her hind legs floppily on one side. Eating her normal morning snack. Except, when I tried to urge her to come to me, she didn’t move. Neither did the wet nose and flustered jumping all around a Writeroo not only awake and present, but awake-so-early-yay-let’s-chat routine happen. So I took away part of the beloved snack and held it just a little further from where she was. She didn’t even rush. Then, knowing I wouldn’t give up, she just dragged her whole back on with her two front paws and reached up to the snack.

She seems… suddenly paralysed. And I didn’t know just how sad that would make me. I didn’t know that would make me cry as much as it did.

There is a certain sort of helplessness with dogs, because they cannot articulate for you to find the cause of their illness, if there is such a cause, and vets are simply not as specialised where I currently reside.

At 6, we took her toĀ our usualĀ vet. As soon as we could possibly wake her up. She put her on a steroid and vitamin supplements, and waited until 9, for progress.

At 9, she got a different prescription and a referral. But the surgeon only comes in at 6 pm. We’re waiting and I’ve read up on thisĀ and thisĀ and that.

We areĀ trusting.

Expect love

4 Feb

I write as I learn, and as I hear. Like anybody else, I suppose.

I used to have a dog called Misty. I’ve written about her before. Ah, Misty was a beautiful German Shepherd, with the friendliest grin and mischievous eyes.

She was very loyal to my father, and she bullied me because, of course, I was Little Sister. Her name for me – and this is true! – was ‘Yawooooo’. A sharp yelp-like Ya with a howl, which I have transcribed here ‘wooooo’. Er – best I could do, peeps! But truly, she would stand outside the house and call for me whenever she wanted to go upstairs to play or when she wanted to be let out of her kennel and had been put in, in the first place, by the parents. She knew I’d take her side.

She was lovely, naughty, mean, generous, loyal, amusing and intelligent. All the things a good healthy, growing dog should be – right?

I love dogs. I have had so many in my life so far and they have each been an indispensable part of the family. But I also love them for the lessons I learned from them. God always uses examples. I mean, get a load of all those parables! šŸ˜€ But jokes apart, every time the Lord wanted to teach me something as a child and often now, he would point to something around me and teach me in baby steps. Hey, what can I say, I’m slow!

Misty, although pretty familiar with the house and the sofas too, had a leash and a collar that we tied to the gate on her kennel, as an alternative to shutting her up. We rarely ever did need to shut her up. This only occurred when (annoying-in-my-childhood-world) visitors screamed and ran at the sight of a dog. Yes, where I grew up, dogs weren’t common to most households and some people – er – flipped. Then, or when we needed to keep two or three dogs out of each other’s food bowls so we wouldn’t see any fur fly when they got catty.

When we did tie her to her leash, she wasn’t very miffed about it. She took it like a good dog. Still, what has always stayed with me, more than ten years after Misty went, is the way she reacted to being free.

When one of the family undid the clasp on her leash, Misty would still sit in her kennel. Patient in the area of her captivity. She had this quirk of having to sniff the end of the leash, as it hung from a particular spot on the gate. She knew the circumference of her bondage well. And she would sit there, as if she didn’t know she was free. The thing is no one ever tried to loose her surreptitiously like some prank we were playing on her. I distinctly remember afternoons when I, teasing this creature of habit as dogs are wont to be, would say to her ‘Go, Misty, go! I untied you, go!’ And she’d good-humouredly thump her huge, shaggy tail and sit on the edge of her kennel. Waiting. And look at me as if to say ‘Who’re you kidding, missy?’ She had to sniff the end of her rope every now and then to remind herself that freedom had come. She had to keep going back to the thing that kept her in captivity so she could tell herself she was free.

Like me. Sometimes. I keep having to remind myself that I am free. I forget that God has forgiven me, forgotten my sin. I rehash. Oh, I rehash. Over and over again, as if I have not taken his deliverance seriously. As if I am denying the sacrifice on the cross that gave me life. The sacrifice was sufficient. It has swallowed my sin, my shame. It is gone, it is finished! But I forget so often. I act more righteous than God, I wait to see proof of my deliverance, my redemption, I doubt myself and expect me to fall.

My dog now is called Tassi. Well, one of my dogs now! She is a little Dachshund – see a German pattern emerging here? Yeah, I don’t know what that is about. Our other dogs have been a Dobermann, an Alsatian-Great Dane mix (er, also German and, in fact, sometimes called German Mastiff), several other Dachshunds, and a Pomeranian-Cocker Spaniel mix (phew, we got one half of a different nationality in!) Definitely something there to investigate! The German dog inclinations of the Writeroo family. Although… I have always wanted a Bassett Hound…

But, I digress.

Tassi is short for Pocahontas, which means ‘playful girl’. She is a playful princess, indeed! She was, in many ways, a Writeroo dog. I carried her home, and she slept in my shirt sleeves and lost herself in my laundry and cried under my bed every night, as a puppy. She’ll eat the bread I give her without butter. She’s a spoilt miss though and won’t take unbuttered bread from anyone else. She is very loving, loves pampering, purrs like a cat, keeps imagining she’s preggers and plonks herself on your feet inconveniently. She’ll go to sleep the moment you pick her up in your arms. She sometimes snores.

puppy dog cute cute dog dachshund black dachshund

The thing that broke my heart – in a very good way – about the Tass when she was getting puppy-trained was this…

One afternoon, she bit me pretty hard. We were rolling about on the floor having a romp. She bit my fingers – not too painfully – and ran away, playfully daring me to get her. While I was encouraging her gnawing at the bone I held, and gripping my hand… she knew, by this time, that a hard nip through the skin was not in order. Having suffered this a couple of times, and needing to show the dog what she could and couldn’t do, I gave her a tiny rap with two fingers on her back. It must have hurt. It wasn’t more than what I would do to swat a mosquito away, but I was stern and she knew from my tone that I was not pleased.

Tassi squirmed from the gentle rebuke and came running back to burrow her head with its too-long ears in my waiting lap.

loyalty trust trust trust

Coming up for the cuddle she knows she's gonna get!

She made me cry. I picked her up and held her close and thought about what God wants from us. How do your children react when they are disciplined by you? Do they trust you to come back to you with the problem? That’s exactly what God’s father-heart longs for. For a repentant child to come back expecting grace. Expecting justice, but knowing the love that is constant already.

trust trust faith God is good lessons

Expect forgiveness. Expect redemption. Expect grace. Expect the God you know. Expect love – don’t you know it by now? He is your father.

Know his love. He knows you, he singled you out and loves you crazily. Trust him today. Remember your love for him. Remember your trust.

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