They warn our family every time an ambulance or police car is approaching by howling in stereo at different octaves in our backyard. When a frisbee is thrown, they fetch it by bringing it back like Siamese Twins, as both of their mouths hold on for dear life. They love going for a ride in the back seat of my 20-year old Honda including pit stops at McDonalds for their individual vanilla ice-cream cones. Their favorite toy is a “ChuckIt” and man can they haul it, chasing that ball which can be thrown over 300 feet with the extended arm-like device. Who are they? Our Labrador Retrievers, Bentley & Sadie.
Like a Ying and a Yang they are a union of opposites. Bentley, (the black male) is the most vocal who will not let you sit in the backyard unless you can multitask by throwing his ball for hours on end. Sadie, (the yellow female) just wants to be loved and petted. She is the most jealous, because if you rub Bentley’s head, she’s right at your feet not letting you go anywhere until you show her some lovin’ too. Sadie loves to sit up in one of our adirondack chairs, but not Mr. Bentley.
It is impossible to frown around a Labrador Retriever! I swear they come at you with a smile on their face ready for some action as their long, strong tail wags, directing the way. Dogs have long been a boost for our well-being.
From his book Stay, television sports director Dave Burchett writes about his many labs like “Hannah”: “I have often called her “furry Prozac” for her ability to soothe and calm my anxieties. I wasn’t surprised to learn that a few minutes alone with a pet dog or cat might do more to help people’s stress than talking about their troubles with their best friend or spouse.”
When an elderly friend of mine lost her husband, she told me that one day a cat showed up in her yard. I remember her telling me “God put that cat in my path. He knew I needed that little creature to get me through my journey of grief.” Dave Burchett continues talking about his lab-Hannah from Stay: “Hannah only sees what is good about me, and she welcomes me with unconditional love. God forgets my sin and sees only what is good about me, and on those days when my attitude is less than heavenly, He still sees the redeeming face of Jesus. There is no condemnation in Him. If we can experience a taste of that on this planet, how sweet it will be to finally make it home.”
The only thing about dogs is they do not live long as portrayed in the movie A Dog’s Purpose. We have lost two dogs so far. Feeling a twinge of loneliness on the course you are on? Have you tasted the unconditional love offered only from the God who is eternal?
pictures courtesy of “Nelson & His Nikon”.