Alarm Dog

“All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed. For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog.” -Charles M. Schulz

“What is going on?” I come downstairs to our black Goldendoodle, Nala, in full- fledged Cujo mode at the front door. She is giving it her all: the deep growl, followed by the quick bark and the occasional running in circles before starting it all again. It’s really all that her little 26-pound body can muster. Poor thing, she’s not intimidating in the least, but I totally give her an “A” for effort.

I look out the window and I see that the exterminator has come to do his service. Oh, now I get it. Nala is protecting her humans. She is defending what is hers. I mean, the exterminator does look like he’s preparing for some kind of biological warfare with the outfit that he’s got on. It’s a little reminiscent of the scientist in E.T. Gosh, I wonder what kind of bugs I’ve got going on in here with a get up like that.

You know, it’s really satisfying to have Nala around to guard us. I’ve never really been a dog person, because I’ve always found it difficult enough to make sure my own kids are fed and taken care of, let alone, a pet. However, the kids all wanted a dog, so there you have it. But, I love this dog! I mean, I totally get now why people call them fur babies. For those of you who know me, you know I’ve come a long way.

She’s got herself pressed up against the glass by the front door giving her best show for the bug guy. In fact, I’m a little cautious to let him in. She looks like she’s got rabies. However, when I finally open the door, Nala totally disappeared. In fact, I actually thought she might have run outside because I just couldn’t find her.   Until, a few minutes later, I hear a low distant growl coming from upstairs. I look up, and I don’t see anything, but I definitely hear something. As I get a closer look, I see Nala’s black shiny nose from underneath the table on the landing. She is totally hiding. Oh the shame.

Really?? After all the protecting barks, after the Oscar performance of a show; when push comes to shove she hides. A crazed exterminator could totally be attacking me, and my dog wouldn’t even know it. So disappointing.

After he left, Nala slinks out of hiding like she is walking in slow motion. She darts her eyes to the left and right to make sure the bug guy is out of the house. Her tail starts wagging again, and she looks out the window like she had actually done something to be proud of. I walk over to her and say, “Nala, you are no guard dog.” But, my son, Eddie, was standing right next to me, bent down to pet her and said, “Mom, she may be the worst guard dag, but she’s an amazing alarm dog.”

Oh my gosh. He was so right! Nala the alarm dog! But, the more I thought about it, I just loved the way he saw the good in her instead of the disappointing part. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful way to live if we saw the good in one another instead of what we thought was lacking?

Think about how it would change our relationships if we focused on the gifts that everyone had instead of things that we wished they would change. Think about it in the context of your marriage, your children, your closest friends. It would really take a lot of pressure off, wouldn’t it? Pressure that we put on others to fit into our self-created molds. We feel it would make our lives so much easier if people would just be who we wanted them to be.

But, if you think about it, that’s really creepy. Who wants to be around a “yes” person all of the time? Don’t get me wrong, every now and then; I would LOVE it, but not forever. You don’t really get to know someone, the core of who they are, if you are always wishing they were some other way.

God created us. Our gifts and our flaws come in the most beautiful package in the form of our bodies. We are far from perfect, and yet, Jesus loves us anyway. He accepts us with all of our junk. What would life be like if we did that for each other? What would happen if we accepted and loved others just as we are right now…this very moment. You see, people don’t change people…only love does that.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

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