Her pedigree name is Brown Eyed Susan the Golden Scout but mostly we just call Bad Girl! So far today she has pooped in the neighbor's yard and chased a walker. So my husband chased her making this morning a no good, very bad morning. Lucky for her the pound isn't open this early.
Our first golden retriever was a puppy for 18 months. Our second for 3 years. At six months, Scout has at least twelve to twenty-four months of puppy left in her, which means we do too. 720 more mornings like this one? We are deep in the work of establishing who is going to be master of her universe. Every day she wakes up in a body that is bigger, faster, stronger with a bark deeper and louder than the day before. She takes this new self out for a test run and all our work on come, sit, stay is meaningless, the sound of her master's voice forgotten.
I asked Carl if he was still mad at her. "No," he said, "I just hate her." She looks penitent but mostly I think she's exhausted from the drama. Overgrown puppies like her really have only one saving grace ~ that cuddly soft cuteness to which some part of our human self is irresistibly drawn.* Scout has another, pedigree. We know what kind of adult dog she will be; obedient, submissive, gentle, controlled, loyal, helpful, patient, and loving. But only if we do our part every day for a few hundred more days.
Raising puppies to dogs is faster and easier than raising children to adults. Raising children to adults is faster and easier than raising believers to disciples. Eighty years may not be enough to master Christ’s example of self-control, submission, selflessness, discipline, obedience, humility, fearlessness, faithfulness, and joy. Always joy.
Were it not for the saving grace of our Master’s compassion, where would we be? Left to ourselves to make a life, what sort of life would we make? Big messes and terrorizing the neighbors for a start. Heaven only knows what else.
I pray the day began better for you. If not, may you find the lesson in it. ~ peace & prayers, pastor annette
*Not every human. See previous husband comment.