FIRST OF ALL, I MISSPELLED THE NAME OF THE RESCUE DOG. News reporters—I was educated and experienced as one—are supposed to get the names right.
I spelled her name “Maisie.” But my wife wanted “Maisy,” as in Daisy.
We were good to go with that until we saw her name tag.
Maisie isn’t Maisy anymore, for she has always been Maizey.
The hardest spelling of all.
Black lab mixed with a hunter’s blood
Maizey is a four-year-old mix. She’s a black lab. But she’s also partly a hunting dog with a nose in the shape of a Prius.
She should have died last Friday morning. Over previous months, she had grown anxious when left home alone, in the house of two schoolteachers. She tore things to pieces. And she shook at the sound of passing trucks and anything else as loud as a Harley or a 57 Chevy.
Thursday night, a few hours before she was to die, my daughter told us her story. The two teachers were her neighbors.
Two dogs and one wife
Now we have two rescue dogs: Old Buddy and Energetic Maizey. Buddy is her Therapy Dog—and a calming influence.
Maizey lives in the best of both worlds at the moment. She stays with us and she visits the dad who raised her and who gets wet and red in the eyes when she jumps out of our car and runs to him.
Maizey visited him for several hours today. They went for a walk, a drive, and a stroll through a pet store. She’ll spend Sunday morning with him, too, while we’re in church.
Her first dad and I have been exchanging emails a lot, as we coordinate the visits.
I’ve taken to joking a bit—yesterday, a little at the expense of his wife, who doesn’t seem to be quite as much of a dog lover as her husband is. He sent me a message about how petrified Maizey got when a truck drove by during her last visit with him.
STEVE: That’s helpful toward a solution. To get her back into your daily life, it looks like you need to move into a quiet place and trade your wife for a second dog. We’re happy to take care of the little lady until then.
DAD ONE: Will you please help me break the news?
STEVE: Just send her a text.
DAD ONE: I’m trying to decide what font to use.
STEVE: There’s a font I like that is called Permanent Marker.
Dad One says I’m “The Dad” now. I’ll be happy either way, whether I’m “Dad Now and Forever” or just “Dad for Now.” I don’t think Dad One is feeling like he’ll ever be able to take Maizey back home for good.
But maybe it doesn’t matter. Maizey is happy to visit. And she’s happy in our house. Since the grandkids have been able to talk, we’ve told them this is the Happy House.
They might come from a tense morning with Mom and Dad grappling with everyday problems. But when they walk inside our house, it’s Happy as much as we’re able to make it.
For children and for dogs.
Happy even when it hurts
I’m not pretending there’s no heartache. I’ve lost my two younger brothers. Mom is fragile. There was a family funeral today for a more distant relative.
We honor the dead and the dying. But we can celebrate the living as well.
Every day I look at Maizey I think about how lucky she is and how lucky we are as well.
She was tagged for death. But now she lives. There’s theology in that and it’s preachable. But I’m not a preacher.
There’s more than happiness at knowing we gave her life. There’s smiling jubilance and chuckles out loud when she comes kissing. Partly because she drinks from the toilet and we’re still learning to close the seats. If you can’t chuckle then, you don’t live in a Happy House.
A favor I humbly ask
This has nothing to do with anything else you’ve just read.
It’s a Google problem. The links raise our cred value in Google’s eyes. It will help us show up better in search engines.
The problem developed when we updated the website this year. The structure is so different that we lost a lot of cred and the history with Google we had built up over the years.
It’s almost as though we’re starting over in an effort to show Google we’re for real.
It’s kinda like we were married to Google, but she got hit in the head with a Bocce ball and forget about our loving relationship. Now she won’t kiss us anymore.
If you have a website that’s related to church, the Bible, or faith, would you consider adding a link to one of the pages of the CasualEnglishBible.com? We’ll be happy to link you back if you like. Relevant links help your site, too.
We’re doing other things to help get back to where we were with Google—an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) audit for one. That will identify areas we can repair or improve.
I hate to ask for this because it feels exactly like asking someone to write an endorsement for the back cover a book I’ve written. In years past, I’ve been ghosted by my own pastor with requests like that. Pretty humbling.
And so it is that I humbly ask those of you with site relevant to the Casual .
For the first story about Maizey, read Our Born-Again Dog.