One little dog
In 2006, my parents moved up here from Georgia. It was a major lifestyle change and move for them. Rarely do "southerners" move north (especially at the age of 86)! Plus, they sold practically everything they owned, moved in with us and gave up most of their independence. With them came the cutest little black toy poodle named Chipper. It seems that on a January morning 1.5 years earlier, my mother said: "I want a puppy." Within days, daddy presented mother with her puppy. The fact that my daddy lived to please my mother is a blog for another day.
During my parent's packing and preparation to move up to PA, it became obvious that something was going on with my mother. Because she had grown more and more fragile during her 80's we wondered if the move wasn't just too much for her. It was much more than that. Within a week of their arrival, we had mother in the hospital where she was diagnosed with brain cancer. We brought her home and were able to keep her here until the angels came for her three months later.
In Georgia, Chipper he had been an "only child." At first in PA, he seemed to enjoy his new home and new "sibling." But, as mother got worse, he grew more anxious. He hated the wheelchair the moment it arrived and would yip and bite the wheels. Eventually, we'd have to kick him out of the room or bathroom because he would pitch such fits. I'm pretty certain this is when Chipper started to dislike me. It was at this point that Chipper's goal in life and the full-time job became protecting my parents from ME. I would walk in the room and he would growl. Every chance he would get he'd charge me. Let me tell you....little 6.5 dogs have a LOT sharp teeth. After mother died, he got even more protective of my daddy. Now, if Chipper hears me move in the house he gets testy. If I approach my father, he charges. If I attempt to enter daddy's "space" - forget about it. Chipper goes ballistic. He hates me. His daily dose of Prozac helps a little. But, his behavioralist said he'd rather die than submit to me. Because my daddy is legally blind, I do a lot of things for him and so have to interact with him often during the day. Each time, it's a battle with Chipper.
So, what's my point? One little dog has been used by God to show me that I am not at all the person I thought I was.
But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (James 1:22-27)