IT’S JUST ME AND 3 DOGS as I write this.
Out of my family of one wife and two kids, I’m the only one who didn’t want a dog in the house.
But I’m the only one left with the dogs now.
My son and his wife own two of the dogs. They get home from a trip overseas in a few hours. My wife and daughter are in Denver for a wedding. They’ll be gone for a few days.
So for the moment, it’s me and a canine trinity.
My son’s two dogs – Mosby the black lab and Juneau the Siberian Husky – are sleeping on the office floor behind me, as rain pelts the window. Our dog, Buddy the black lab, is sleeping by the front door downstairs. I keep the inside door open so he can see what’s going on through the top-to-bottom storm door window.
My son just texted me. He and his wife have landed in LA. He wanted to know how his dogs did.
“Wonderfully,” I told him. “After Mosby got groomed, she rolled in white bird poop.”
Then Buddy did it.
Both dogs wore their white streaks like cousins to a skunk.
Didn’t bother me. I just told the dogs not to expect any hugs from me.
Yesterday I mowed my son’s lawn for him so the cranky Homeowner’s Association Lady won’t send him a letter after measuring the height of his grass.
That means I had to leave the dogs home alone. I’ve done it before with no problem.
This time when I got home I noticed a chewed up book lying on the living room floor.
It was the first edition of my twofer: a bestseller and an award winner (best nonfiction book of the year). Who’s Who & Where’s Where in the Bible. Actually, it was a tie for first place. With a book by another up-and-comer: Billy Graham. I’ll take that tie.
That book was the first copy I ever got of that first edition – the editor sent it to me with a letter of congratulations. The book is the one I always referred to when I wanted to look up a person or place in the Bible.
Of all the books in my office, it’s the last one I would have wanted a dog to chew.
I wasn’t there to see the chew. But I know who chewed.
She’s the only dog in the family who chews on words.
I know this is boring. But I’m writing about it because my reaction surprised me.
I didn’t say anything like, “Bad dog!” “Go to the kennel!” Or “Holy fill in the blank!”
I didn’t say anything.
Honest to goodness, my first thought was, “Good taste.”
As I picked up the book, realizing I could mend it with some tape, my second thought was, “I’ll think of Juneau every time I use the book.” And not for worse.
In the same way I think of Dad whenever I drink from his ugly, blue and white polka dot coffee cup. That’s the cup with a chip in it that dates back to before he died in 2001.
It’s ugly, but I think happy when I drink from it.
When the kids were still little and making messes and breaking stuff, I decided then to try to start thinking differently about things that would otherwise get me mad.
- Living room disaster with toys everywhere when I came home from work at the end of the day. Think: This is my messy moment in life. The room will be clean when the kids are gone. But it will be empty.
- Little daughter experiments on her hair, with scissors, and comes away looking like she barely survived a machete attack. Think: Well, now I’ve got my own Picasso.
It doesn’t always work. Sometimes I get mad. See “Christian vs. a flat tire.”
But other times it does work. We actually seem to have the power to change the way we think, and at least to some degree to change our very nature…if our nature is a reflection of how we behave. As I suspect it is.
For anyone who wonders if they can change, I think I’ve got the book that proves it.
Random book winners this week
I’m doubling up and picking two winners this week.
- Vicki Russell
- Tim Parsons
I give away free books every Friday to randomly selected subscribers to my free blog and quarterly newsletter.
Vicki and Tim are random this week.