- Wake up to the whine of a 70 lb. 60 month old puppy at the end of my bed, telling me in the only way he knows that the sun is up, Beve's gone to work, and for Pete's sake what am I still doing lolly-gagging around in bed?
- Stumble into the bathroom, followed by two dogs, who are like velcro to me. I mean, even when I'm in the shower, Kincade sticks his head in, and I'm pretty sure one of these days he's going to jump all the way into the tub with me.
- Walk down the hall to the kitchen, Jamaica on my left side, Kincade on my right. This NEVER varies. It's all a long string of dog-training back to our first lab Jemima, whom I trained to walk on my left side, because I'm left-handed. So when Jackson came along he took his place on my right side. Jamaica then took over Jemima's left-sided place, and Kincade has now taken over the right. They have no idea what has gone on before them, but I know. And there's a pretty clear spiritual message here, but I'm a little too tired for it tonight.
- While my tea water is boiling, I go outside to play with the wild puppy and Maica. He likes sticks. Sticks. And likes tug-of-war. And never quite gets tired of playing. Some days I get NOTHING else done. I mean NOTHING.
- SK, thankfully, takes him for his daily walk up and down the hills around here, so that Maica and I can have a little breather, and he can use up some energy. I throw a tennis ball for her the whole time he's gone, and she's so happy her little stub of a tail is wagging faster than you can see it.
- Just about the time I think he might be winding down, he comes charging down the hall with a shoe or piece of paper or TV remote or whatever he can get his mouth on. We should have named him Robber--because his favorite pastime is stealing our things, and daring us to catch him. It's taking all the discipline I have in my brain to discipline him to out-alpha this alpha male. To show him--over and over and over--who's in charge. To do it firmly, evenly and lovingly...if that makes sense. Twice in the last week I heard someone talking about how putting rocks in an aluminum can and shaking it at a dog will make the dog sit and obey instantly. I tried it today. Both of our dogs stopped what they were doing, then Jamaica skittered to her kennel. Kincade simply bounced away like I'd been playing a musical instrument.
- When he finally wears down, he plops down on hardwood or tile with a thud and is out for the count. It's honestly like a switch gets turned off. I really wish I knew that trick...
- Among the various items he likes to steal are deck cushions. And what he has begun to do with them...well, let's just say he's a male puppy who's growing up. Got it? Thought so.
All this to say, I called the vet this week. And tomorrow, rather than spending my day following around a puppy, I'll be having a quiet day, doing what I've been neglecting all week. And Kincade will come home late in the afternoon wearing what we like to call 'the cone of silence.'
There have been moments lately when I've wondered if I'll survive this gigantic puppy who so happily romps through our home, thinking everything's a game.
The thing is...
I'm so much like him in some ways. We all are, I suppose. We all romp through our lives, assuming everything is ours for the taking, not easily obedient, more willing to do what we must if there's a reward involved rather than simply for its own sake. For the right of it. Wanting to be the Alpha of our lives. Don't we? But we aren't, of course. We have a Master who lovingly guides us, who desires to mold us into what is better for us than we can even understand in our puny human brains. We don't always trust Him anymore than my puppy trusts me yet, but then, His brain to mine is exponentially larger than mine to my dogs.
He is my Master.
The Psalm of my day was 62 (I read one a day, every day, every year).
In it I read "Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him...
Trust in Him at all times, you people, pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge...
One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard:
'Power belongs to you, God and with you, Lord, is unfailing love'..." Psalm 62: 1, 8, 11