We're not dog people! That's what I thought until yesterday when a hurt dog came crawling out of our front yard bushes while Liv was mowing and I was edging. Yes, I had to make it clear that I was doing something while Liv was mowing the front yard.
Liv turned to me and said there was a hurt dog in our bushes. I looked over to her and saw it was the same little white and black dog that was in our front yard that morning when I sent Emma outside to get the Sunday paper. He was obviously limping and trying hard not to put any weight on his left rear leg. I didn't know what to do. Well, I did, but I didn't want to say it out loud. We would have to take this dog in if we can't find its owner. We sent the kids next door to see if they knew who the dog belonged to. The rationale was that dog owners seem to know other dog owners and their dogs. It made sense at the time.
When our next door neighbors didn't know, we called on Joshua and Jessica who live a few doors down and across the street. They're like the neighborhood animal rescue family. Joshua and Jessica came to the rescue calling friends, family, and various shelters to see if the dog had been reported missing. His front paws were shaking from muscle failure having to hold himself up all day. The couple eventually took him to a veterinarian hospital nearby for help, and found out that (1) he didn't have a chip implanted to identify him as belonging to anyone, and (2) he had a dislocated hip that needed to be reset. The dislocated hip was due to focused blunt trauma. He would also need a place to live for at least a little while, and our family knew instantly that we would need to take him in. He came to us of all the homes in the neighborhood. Even before Joshua and Jessica took him to the hospital, he found comfort in being close to our children and to me. We fell in love with him instantly.
Here's the God-story in this.
Our pastor gave a sermon yesterday about how God created each of us with special gifts and talents to be able to reach out to the world and introduce people to Jesus Christ. The challenge for the week was to ask God to place us in front of someone we needed to invite to attend church with us this Easter Weekend. My mind was a blank.
We're not dog people, but we know people on our street who are and we reached out to them for help. While we waited for Jessica to make her final calls and get her truck keys to take the dog to the hospital, Joshua stayed with us. Out of the blue, he asked us what church we attend, and we told him Bay Area Fellowship. Joshua perked up, and then said that was on their list of churches to try out. He was new to the bible and wanted to understand it better, and he felt that attending a good non-denominational church would help with that.
Our next door neighbors were still with us, and they also said they'd like to try a church, so we extended an invitation to them, too. I looked down at the hurt dog who was looking up at me with his puppy dog eyes, and I looked at our neighbors who we just invited to church thinking about that sermon at that moment. I could only smile say to myself, "God sure knows what he's doing." He didn't really use our gifts to bring people to Christ, he used their gifts to bring them to us.
So, What About the Dog?
Our kids were excited that we would be taking in a dog, especially Jacob who always wanted a dog instead of a cat. Poor kid gets out-voted every time. They even began thinking of names for him. Jacob first thought of "Buttercup" like the unicorn from Toy Story 3, then Emma said "Bob" because she liked the name. Jacob rebutted with "Jacob, Jr.", then Emma said we would have to get another cat so we could name it "Emma, Jr.". I left the room, and within minutes I heard them shouting to each other in agreement that he would be named "Oreo". I think it's the only thing they have ever agreed on in their entire lives.