July 31st is Mutt’s Day. I am a big fan of the phony baloney holiday. For example, your humble rambler has done the work of researching a special holiday for every day of the first week of August.
August 1st – Your choice. Homemade Pie Day or Respect for Parent’s Day.
August 2nd – National Ice Cream Sandwich Day
August 3rd – I know I should choose International Forgiveness Day but it is far easier to go with National Waffle Day.
August 4th – National Mustard Day
August 5th – I rejected Work Like a Dog Day because I am currently looking at my dog Hannah laying on her back with every leg going in a different direction.
If the holiday was live like my dog lives I would celebrate that instead. So I offer National Failures Day as a way to help you feel better about yourself.
August 6th – Big day. You can choose Friendship Day. If you want to put a real damper on Friendship Day you can celebrate National Gossip Day instead. Or you can default to National Wiggle Your Toes Day.
August 7th – Beach Party Day
There you have it. Seven days of revelry to start your month. This all started when I got the email informing me that July 31st is Mutt’s Day. We have one of those creatures so I thought a little update on our rescued mutt might be timely.
A little background is in order for those who are not regular readers of these humble ramblings. I have written a couple of blogs about dogs. I realized the amazing connections we have with our canine partners after a tongue in cheek piece about the Canine School of Evangelism became one of the most read articles in the brief history of this blog. A follow up dog story about the Touch of the Master was also well received by readers. It reaffirmed what I have been saying for years. I need to combine my dog stories with other Christian best sellers in order to get enough book sales to retire. So I have begun work today on “Your Best Life for Purpose Driven Dogs Who are Left Behind in Jabez.” Finally I will get some shelf space at the local Christian chain store! (Note to spiritual hall monitors: I am joking. I don’t write Christian books to generate income to retire. However, I wouldn’t mind getting enough to pay Baylor University tuition).
The story of our mutt started innocently enough with a phone call from youngest son, Baylor student and dog lover Brett. He had spotted three abandoned puppies along the side of the road and he stopped to try and help them. Two ran off but he managed to round up one of them. Brett called to let me know that he intended to bathe, feed, care for the dog and then take him to the Humane Society on Monday for adoption. I knew I was in trouble when Brett decided to let me know what his rescued puppy looked like. This arrived via cell phone messaging.
I called the lovely Mrs.Burchett. “He is working me,” I told her. “He is falling in love with this dog.” On Sunday I was driving through Waco and I stopped to see Brett and his alleged short term friend. The way this puppy followed Brett around and looked at him was astounding. He appeared to sense that Brett was, for him, the canine version of Amazing Grace. That dog seemed to understand that he once was lost and now was found. Maybe if we remembered our dramatic rescue along the side of the road to destruction we might gaze at our Rescuer more consistently with such a look of adoration.
But now we had a bigger problem. I also started falling in love with this improbable mutt. I laughed with Joni and we concluded that our family dog population had just increased. Brett was scheduled to take “Trigger” to the vet for shots and a checkup on Monday since the Humane Society was no longer on the radar. On Monday another phone call came. Trigger had become violently ill overnight. The scourge of all abandoned puppies seemed to have attacked this sweet little ragamuffin mutt. Trigger had contracted the parvovirus. Brett’s words were heartbreaking in their honesty and love.
“Dad, I don’t think he is going to make it. But at least he knew he was loved for a few days.”
Okay. I cried at Old Yeller. I am a soft touch. But that remark from my youngest touched my heart and made me think that this is a microcosm of ministry. Sometimes it is heartbreaking. The results don’t always match our desires. But if we can love the down and out like Jesus at least they know they have been loved and they will know the source of that love.
For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
“Then these righteous ones will reply, `Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’ And the King will tell them, `I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ (Matt 25, NLT)
The results are not guaranteed when you minister to the least of these. But when we do minister to the least of these we show them the very face of Jesus.
This one had a happy ending. Trigger was in the hospital for 12 days of intravenous feeding and medication. I earned hundreds of miles on my credit card thanks to Trigger. Now Trigger is a rambunctious and deliriously happy young adult.
We are dog sitting him while Brett is off for a summer internship. Trig and I combined to send a little gift to his friend and rescuer.
Trigger is doing great. And he still knows that he is loved.