God has been showing our family, over the past twenty months, we live in such a dog eat dog, throwaway society. A couple Christmas’ ago my son began the proverbial longing for man’s best friend, yes- a dog. Not just any dog- a boxer dog. Our trusty dog book said boxers could grow to be 90+ pounds and have extreme amounts of energy, which translates= they could have more energy than all three of our kiddos, combined. Still, we decided we were going to make our little boy’s dreams come true.
The morning came, December 25th, 2014. The first scavenger hunt clue was given, three little bodies scurried all over the house deciphering each clue with giggles and delight to figure out the surprise at the end of the last clue. It ended in our dining room with our bright-eyed boy in tears over the bundle of wrinkles and cuteness waiting for him. I will never forget the look on his face as he rounded the corner to find the adorable six-week old boxer pup snuggled up in my arms. Seth held him and thanked us over and over again. We all will never forget that happy morning, one of the best Christmas mornings, yet… Then, reality struck. The actual taking care of this growing, ornery bundle of cuteness was overwhelming for our nine-year old son. Of course we helped some, but tried to put a brunt of the responsibility on Seth’s shoulders.
God knows what we need and He was trying to teach Seth, and our family, love isn’t easy most of the time… it is hard work. Months passed and Thunder grew in strength and energy, to the point of dragging Seth on the asphalt pavement, while leash training him. I tried to stay steady and encourage Seth to be patient to see his reward. The potty-training wasn’t too bad, but the “flip out mode” that switched on when company came over and his deliberate defiance was almost too much for all of us to handle. Seth began losing interest in him. 1.) He wasn’t the picture perfect dog in the dog book… 2.) Seth was tired, Thunder was more work than he thought he was going to be.
My husband looked at me on multiple occasions and said, “Are you done yet?”. My answer was, “No! my goodness… he is just a puppy… where are we going to take him if we did give him away? He is sweet… he will calm down.” Months passed and he wasn’t calming down, and our lives were getting even more crazy with summer coming and the thought of Thunder being in a kennel for hours on end made me think about “being done”, until one night he got loose and had a big time in mud puddles throughout the neighborhood. Seth finally got him leashed and in the kennel to eat supper. Not thinking the situation through, Seth gave him a bath without letting him out to use the potty first. You can probably guess what happened next! Yep, he went potty on the carpet right in front of all of us, including my hubby. I have known my hubby for 21+ years and I have rarely seen him so mad. That’s when I thought it best we find our sweet Thunder a new home. The look on everyone’s face warranted the reaction, "something has to change."
We went through a few weeks of asking around for prospective homes, and nothing seemed right. Thoughts of Jesus’ sacrifice and love for people overwhelmed us. Thoughts of how we give up so easily on people, marriages, jobs, churches, and even pets without even really praying and surrendering to Christ. What would that teach Seth? After prayer and situations pointing us to keep Thunder, he is now a true part of our family. Three months have passed since we almost gave him away and he is calming down. Seth has a new lease on his role as, what he likes to say, “Thunder’s Dad” … slightly weird, but he loves him and is spending more time with him.
We are not “dog people”. We feed him scraps from our table, let him on our furniture, and the only tricks we have taught him is sit and lay down, and when I say, “we” I mean, Seth, with lunchmeat turkey- as bribery. When things get tough we are learning to press in to Christ… take to heart Walter Bradford Cannon’s theory on the Fight or Flight Response. Or, how the Word of God describes it so much better… to FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT (I Timothy 6:12). When things get tough, FIGHT!!
Fight for our families, fight for our kids, fight for our churches, our communities, and our country! So many times we want to flee and give up so easy. Fight on our knees and the outcome will be better than what we ever thought possible. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” Ephesians 6:18
I am not categorizing pets with marriages or people, but you get my point… FIGHT! FIGHT, God’s way! It will be worth it in the end.
Katie Jo Hook grew up in a ministry, where she saw the grace of Jesus change lives. Her passion is to address our sinful nature, but FOCUS on JESUS and HIS saving GRACE.