Today’s Challenges: Secondhand dogs (and choices)


You may or may not have read the article I wrote about our family rescuing an older dog from the local animal shelter. Some might call her a “Second Hand Dog,” but that’s OK, we love things that have seen a little wear and tear, maybe has some of the ‘new’ rubbed off.

We did adopt her and she is fitting in just fine with just minor adjustments as she figures out this new home and strange people in her life.

We had to take her to the veterinarian this week as she had developed a cough. They warned us at the shelter this might happen; I guess kennel cough is a common problem where there are large groups of dogs. She is on antibiotics and has almost stopped coughing completely now.

The vet said something that made an impression on me during the exam. As many of us do when we go to the doctor we experience what they call “white coat” anxiety. Our heart rate goes up; our blood pressure goes up, etc. After examining her, the vet said, “I can see that she has chosen you for her family?” I was confused by that statement, but the vet continued: “When I began the exam her, heart rate was high, she was afraid. You came over and began to pet her and talk to her and as I listened her heart rate dropped. I knew she had chosen to trust you and accept you.”

I don’t know about you, but I think that is such a cool thing to be trusted and accepted as someone’s protector (even if it is a dog). It’s great to be chosen as a protector, but what about the ones who choose to protect and love us. We have come to love that little furry one, protect her and provide for her. She gives us back something which is without price, her love.

Isn’t that just like our God and our relationship? He chooses us doesn’t he? Paul writes in Colossians 3:12, “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” How do we respond to our God who has chosen us? The apostle Peter adds in 1 Peter 1:5, “But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.”

I pray that you may be granted the peace, comfort and trust that our little dog finds in us in your relationship with our God.

By Russ Lawson

Today’s Challenges

Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is semi-retired and an elder at the Mid-County Church of Christ. He can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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