A Dog And His Girl

Growing up, I desperately wanted a dog.

I didn’t care what it looked like. If it had a pedigree. I wanted a dog I could love.

Mom, in her gracious way, put her foot down. Said no. When Dad tried to gift us with a beagle puppy one Christmas, she lasted a couple of months. She was more rambunctious than us kids, so we ended up giving her to some friends of Dad’s who owned a farm.

I understand what it’s like to want something desperately. To be disappointed when that desire goes unmet.

Sydney, at twelve, is me. She’s the animal whisperer–she had a knack for calming most any animal she’s around. (She’s managed to pick up pigeons in the park, much to her mother’s chagrin.) She’s wanted a dog for years. The family has made several attempts to own one. None have worked.

This summer, committed to convincing her dad she could take care of a dog, she saved all her money from babysitting to buy a Labrador puppy.

His name is Aspen.

It might as well be Tigger because he’s bouncy, flouncy and fun.

Aspen is a friendly, happy little guy. He reminds me a lot of Ryken, who’s almost three. Ryken is playful and fun. He’s got a lot of opinions on what he should and shouldn’t do. If he’s told to do something he’s not interested in doing, he takes off.

Aspen’s at the age where curiosity competes with listening.

They’ve gotten him doggie training treats. The plan is for Sydney to take him to obedience classes so he can learn to behave.

Training treats for Ryken. There’s a thought.

(Ask him what he thinks about potty training.)

I romanticized owning a dog when I was a kid. Having a pet who would love me and be with me when I was feeling lonely was very appealing. Playing together and seeing unconditional love in the eyes of a dog were huge draws.

But puppies, like children, have to grow and learn. Aspen is in a chewing stage that puts every pair of sandals at risk in their home. He doesn’t have total control over his needs so he occasionally pees in the house. His energy level is that of the Energizer Bunny on steroids–batteries fully on or fully off.

But he loves Sydney. He gets excited and even bouncier when she comes downstairs in the morning. He’s waited for her in his kennel and can barely contain himself when he knows she’s there. He enjoys the whole family, but he’s attached to Sydney.

Some of the things we want most in this life don’t turn out like we’d hoped. Most things that appear desirable have  a downside we’re often unwilling to see.

It’s why Jesus told us to store our treasures in heaven. Make time to know Him and care for people. Grow in His truth.

Much of what we choose to invest in here will disappoint. There are limited returns on anything that’s finite.

Taking the time to get to know Jesus, who He is and how He loves us, has eternal value.

No training treats required.



4 responses to “A Dog And His Girl”

  1. Alice Fredricks Avatar
    Alice Fredricks

    So fun! Dayle, I still hope YOU get to have a dog yourself again some day! If not here on earth, I wonder if there will be pets in heaven?! ❤️


    1. I like to think animals in heaven will be like Narnia animals–not owned but very interactive. Thanks, Allie.


  2. Barb Whitehouse Avatar
    Barb Whitehouse

    So glad Sydney got a dog! Thanks for sharing


    1. You, my friend, know all about the benefits of having a canine in the home. Love you–and miss you.


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