Ponderings with Doug – May 6, 2016



Doug De Graffenried – First United Methodist Church, Natchitoches, Louisiana

Dora is a theological dog. Actually she is a designer canine. She is a dash of this and a bit of that. She could be some form of Terrier she might have some Feist in her. She is a mutt of the highest order. This is the fourth anniversary of Dora joining our canine corps.

Dora and her siblings were rescued by my bride on her drive home from Gibsland. There was no evidence of a mother dog. They were on the side of the road outside of Castor, which is to say, “in the middle of nowhere.” My wife called the night before and said, “There are four cute puppies wandering on the side of the road. I can’t find their mother. If they are still here tomorrow night I’m going to bring them home.” I said, “Sure.”

The next night we had four new puppies, three males and a female.

It was evident that the female was not in very good shape. She had sores on her abdomen and appeared to be unsure on her feet. As weak and as frail as she was, the first night she walked the perimeter of the backyard. She earned her name, “Dora, the Explorer.” The next morning I piled those four puppies up in a shoe box and took them to Dr. Kieffer. She said they were about five weeks old and tried to identify their canine breed. The males very healthy but Dr. Becky just shook her head about Dora. She gave Dora some medicine but wasn’t hopeful of her survival.

Each night we put them to bed we wondered how we would find Dora the next morning. She stopped eating and drinking. She would stand up, but would be unable to move. We weren’t certain that she could see or hear. Her siblings were picking on her harshly. A couple of more trips to the vet, an IV or two and Dora started to show signs of being a dog. She still had issues with mobility but at least she started eating and drinking. I think that is when we started spoiling her, because we felt she might be a short timer. We wanted her little life to be happy. We were willing to do anything we could and spend the money we needed to so that Dora would have a chance.

Today Dora runs the pack. She has been around long enough to garner her nickname, “Baby-Deaux.” Our two Labs don’t know how to handle her Terrier behavior. We are not certain either, but if you come to the house, Dora will let you know that she’s the barking boss. The lawn man is afraid of her. The mailman is afraid of her. The air conditioner man is afraid of her. Yet, she is very docile and gentle with us.

She is a very strong little dog, who has dispatched seven moles thus far. She can outrun the Labs without breaking a doggie sweat. I have no alarm clock because at 5:30 a.m. Dora jumps into the bed, finds my nose and will lick it until I am fully awake. There is no snooze button on this silly dog. She has trained me in her wanting to be fed, wanting the back gate opened so she can run in the field, and wanting a doggie treat signals. They are all different, but she worked with me until I knew them.

Why does any of this matter?

Jesus said, “If you humans know how to give good gifts imagine how your Father in heaven can give better gifts.”

Dora was likely abandoned with her siblings. She was a throw-away dog. She didn’t matter. She was wandering on the side of a dangerous road, lost! Had she not been seen by my observant wife on her drive home, she likely would have died from her infection or been run over. This throw away outcast found herself adopted by the most dog crazy people imaginable. She went from abandoned to spoiled rotten. She is loved and her story is celebrated by our family each year at this time. She is our “May-Day” dog.

If we humans love our pets and care for them and we are imperfect, can you imagine how great perfect love is? I think God gave us Dora, so we could understand His love a little bit better. As I mentioned, she is a theological dog.