IT’S NOT CHRISTIAN to say this. It’s more Hindu, actually. But I’ll say it anyhow.
I’m getting what I deserve.
I don’t think it’s because of something wrong that I did in a previous life, as some Hindus and Buddhists might suggest. I’m thinking that it’s more likely because of a mistake I made in this life.
I broke a promise to my two kids.
When they were young, I told them they could have a puppy if… But now I can’t remember what the “if” was.
Whatever it was, I didn’t think they would get the “if” done.
As far as they were concerned, I bought the “if.” Now it was time for me to pay up.
With a pup.
I do remember explaining to them why we could not have an animal in the house.
- Everyone in the house had allergies or asthma, and I didn’t think a critter would help.
- Dogs are expensive. Over the long haul, it may have been like having to pay for a third college education.
Grown and out of college, Brad was the first one to get a puppy.
He found Mosby online, born on his birthday. He took that as a sign.
Brad was still living with us. He stayed for a year, saving money for the down payment on his first home.
In the dog house
For the first time in my life, a dog was inside the house in which I was living.
At first, Mosby left her DNA everywhere.
Once, I sat in it. Just a little of it. But enough.
I didn’t realize it until my son and I were walking into the pet store to buy some supplies. Brad noticed the brown discoloration smeared on the back of my pants.
“I thought I smelled something,” I said.
I went in the store anyhow. I figured the people inside owned pets, too, and had probably sat in similar DNA at one time or another.
Then came Buddy.
My wife, Linda, a nurse, was driving to work when she witnessed two cars accidentally hit a dog in the road. The dog went down. Linda pulled over. The dog ended up in an animal hospital, unbroken, unclaimed, and unnamed as far as we knew.
Linda called him Buddy. She showed me the picture she took of him after work, when she drove by the animal hospital on her way home.
The other three dogs came later, all within the past few months.
How is this karma? Or as the Bible would put it:
“You will get what you deserve” (Proverbs 1:31).
- In my family, I am the only one who did not want dogs.
- Today, working out of a home office, I am the sole soul in the family who spends more time with dogs than anyone else does.
- Also, I spend more time with dogs than with humans.
I am almost never without a dog.
Some might say I’ve died and gone to Dog Hell.
They might say that a righteous God sentenced me, a lying dog-hater, to spend most of the rest of my life in a small room with dogs.
They might say that. But they would be wrong.
That is not like God at all.
Here’s what God is like:
“All the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies” (Colossians 1:20).
I like dogs.
They get excited when I come home. They lick my face. They pee on my son-in-law.
What’s not to like?
In a way, I didn’t just get what I deserved for going back on my promise to the kids.
I got what I didn’t deserve: Puppy love.
Note to son-in-law. I love you, guy, but when Mosby peed on you the first time Rebecca introduced you to us, it was funny. I did not take it as a bad sign. I figured Mosby was simply marking her man. A good sign.
Stephen M. Miller
So, my daughter just called me. She read this post.
She said the “if” promise I made was that if she stopped sucking her thumb I would get her a purebred Labrador Retriever.
She said she still has the signed contract I gave her.