Friday, February 15, 2013

Puppy Love

"All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all."
~Cecil Alexander

He's slow and chubby now.  He waddles when he walks.  Sometimes his legs don't work too well, and his bladder doesn't always hold.  But he's our pet, and he's part of our family.

Of noble Scottish descent, our McDuff is a West Highland White Terrier, a  Westie. He has been a member of our family for the last 12 years. 

This faithful friend has been fiercely protective of our children, especially our daughter Chloe who was born under his watch. When she went to sleep in her crib, he slept beside her. He insisted on "herding" her as she began to toddle and, much to her annoyance, never left her side when she began navigating the stairs.

One person who especially loves McDuff is my mom. He is her "granddog." She enjoys giving him extra special love like putting  ice cubes in his water dish in the summer, sharing her ice cream with him, and making him his own egg for breakfast. He loves going up to the lake to see Nana and Papa and he wants nothing more than to be with us, his family.

As McDuff has gotten older and slowed down, our kids get impatient with him. "Do we HAVE to bring him, Mom? He takes up so much room and he's kinda stinky!" Funny, I was thinking the same applies to my growing teenage boy!

When we started camping a few years ago, McDuff enjoyed our trips as much as we did. Now my son Trent has to lift him in and out of the camper, crane-style. On a recent, particularly chilly camping trip, McDuff went from his usual white to a sooty grey from hanging out with us around the campfire.  And there was nowhere else he wanted to be.

McDuff isn't as handsome as he was in his prime. He doesn't get around as well as he once did. But what gives me great joy is seeing how my mom still loves him as much as ever. She has patience with him and compassion.  It seems that when she looks at him, she sees the dog he once was. And it occurred to me, that is what family is. We are all moving through the stages of life, some prettier than others. It is our family who can remember us at our best, even when we can't remember.

God's love is like that. God doesn't love us less because we can't read the medicine dosage without finding our glasses first. God doesn't withhold his love when we choose thin mints over a work out at the gym. God loves us for who we are and whose we are, His.

What grace that our God is not concerned with our outward appearance and beauty that fades away. What grace that our God is not a score keeper, keeping a list of our failures.  What grace that when  God looks upon us, he sees only the very best of us.
Genesis 1:26 God said: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.”

Creator of All,
Thank you for the animals who add so much joy to our lives. Help us take our responsibility seriously, so that we may honor your request of us. Amen.

Thoughts for reflection:
* How are you blessed by your pets?
* How have your pets shown you unconditional love? How have you shown the same to them?
* How does the love of your pets remind you of God's love?


  1. What a lovely perspective. Thanks for writing!

  2. I am crying as I read this Lindy, maybe because I see the same traits in Daisy as she is 12 next month.
    What wonderful animals we have in our lives. Westies are such special little creatures, and we are lucky to be owned by them.
    Jayne xxx

  3. Lindy: You are who every dad would be proud of,(I know I am),and what every dad needs to be reminded of once in a while. ie; The little things in life are really the important things, and the things that will be remembered. Thanks for the reminder. I love you, Dad.

  4. Oh Lindy, this is just wonderful!
    Linda B