Why I don’t own a dog

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Because a dog will own me? Perhaps. I love them. But, they are “high maintenance”.
Judy and I have enjoyed serving three dachshunds during our married life. Sparky. Sam. And then there was Blue. A long haired, black brindle, dapple, something color, doxie. —he was the last dog I’ll ever “own.”

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Blue boy was a mellow, loving monster. In charge. But, so darn cute. This little yappy guardian of the gate kept all evil intruders at bay if they even dare walk on the sidewalk in front of his post; and too bad for mean people disguised as friends who dared come to our front door. But, after establishing their credentials as friendly, he was very friendly. Very. Ladies, be sure to keep your purses zipped up or Blue will root through them until he has found and gobbled up a tasty tissue, the more used the better.

My heart broke, and I cried, as I had to leave him with our son and his wife when we went to Guam for nineteen months. To comfort us in our grief while in Guam, Judy got a gold fish, Lucy. Pathetic. Somehow, we made it through and we’re reunited; even though Blue remembered us, and licked us when we came back, he put us on probation for awhile; just to let us know we’d better not do that again. Eventually, we settled back into the routines of being blessed with such an amazing companion. A home without a dog is like a person without a heartbeat.

But, it wasn’t always so. Even though we grew up with dogs, I determined never to have a dog, or any pet, when I left home. That conviction was set when I read in some Christian book that Christians spend far more for their pets than they gave to their missionaries. I was outraged by this inversion of priorities. I vowed I would not be so materialistic. Not me. Any dog money I might have would go to missions instead. And for years it did…until….

Until we had enough money to first tithe and then pamper a dachshund that someone gave us as a pup. That did it. My legalism was demolished and our home had a heartbeat, and a poopy back yard. Oh well. Sparky was worth it all. And so was Sam; those two little red shorthaired wieners were part of our family. But, Blue boy was the best. I loved him and love him still, and miss him. When I had to put him down twenty three months ago, I felt guilty that I could have done more to save him, but just didn’t have the money for tests and surgery. It’s awful to put your pet down, isn’t it? But, Blue’s departure was the worst. I held him in my arms, close to my face, as the vet injected him. Just before the syringe was pushed, Blue looked up to me with those trusting eyes, and licked my nose goodbye. Then, he was gone. And that’s why I don’t own a dog; I can’t afford it, economically, and especially emotionally.

But, my heart and home now misses a beat when an intruder comes to the door and there is no Blue dog bark…only silence.

For His glory,
Pastor Mike