Our dog pack was down to two. The big labs have gone on to Labrador retriever glory. The two remaining dogs are both rescues. Dora and her siblings were found on the side of the road outside Martin, Louisiana. Great vet work and stubbornness kept Dora alive and now she is fat and sassy. Her three brothers all found good homes. Katie, our black lab was bottle fed from two weeks old and no duck hunter wanted her.
Last Friday I headed off to Gibsland for a little sermon work and relaxation. I usually go straight to the house and start my work. That day I decided to run by the Gibsland Bank and see my bride first. I don’t know why I decided to break my habit.
In the parking lot of the Bank was an older puppy. He was skin over bones. He was licking the pavement of the parking lot. The dog was so emaciated that his abdomen was smaller than his neck. I called him. Most strays are skittish and will run from humans. This dog walked right over and let me pet him. I said, “Come on dog; let’s get you something to eat.”
We walked up the street to the camp. He followed behind me all the way. I sat on the step under the carport while he ate and drank water. While he was doing that, I performed a tickectomy. When he finished eating he placed his head in my lap. I was very gently petting him. I could count all the vertebrae in his back. I discovered that dogs have some ribs and bones I never knew about. I was mad and sad for this poor dog.
I walked back down to the bank to get my abandoned truck and to check in with my bride. The dog followed me back to the bank. I asked my bride to come outside and see what I had found. She walked out and made the same sad noise I did. She petted the dog and said, “I’ve been thinking our next dog should be another rescue.” Complication, thy name is dog!
The dog and I rode back to the house. I let him in and we walked around the inside. The doggy blanket was still on the sofa from last weekend’s adventure. Guess where he went first? He curled up on the doggy blanket and went to sleep. When he woke up, I showed him the doggy door and we had a discussion about going outside. He was baffled by the doggy door but proceeded outside to do his outside business.
My bride finished work, came home and found me and the dog sitting on the sofa. We had that tough conversation, “What are going to do with this dog?” He was obviously lost or discarded. He was comfortable around people. He was still a puppy although an older puppy. As with any tough conversation we decided to talk it over while we ate. We left to meet friends in Arcadia for dinner. I put the dog on the carport. The carport is enclosed on three sides. The dog could stay there or continue his roaming stray status and get me out of this decision bind.
When we returned home the dog was curled up by the back door.
We took him inside for a proper doggy repast. We showed him the doggy door again. At bedtime, we decided to put the dog back out on the carport and in the light of day we would decide what we would do with the dog.
The dog was outside on the carport. He can’t get in the backyard. He can’t get in the house. He can only stay under the carport or wander off. I prayed that night that the Lord would give me some dog clarity.
About three in the morning my bride woke me up and said, “I thought you put the dog on the carport.”
She told me to look on the floor at the foot of the bed. There he was curled up sleeping soundly. How did the dog get into the backyard to gain access to the doggy door? It turns out this emaciated puppy chewed through a couple of cedar fence boards. He was not staying on the carport and he was not leaving!
His name is Lucky.
He’s been to the vet and is on his way to full doggy status in our pack. He’s met his two dog mates. His rituals are already amusing. He has discovered the Natchitoches backyard and the bigger doggy door. We have been adopted.
I never go to the bank first. It was lucky I stopped at the Bank. It was lucky I had dog food for the other dogs at the camp. It was lucky that we installed a doggy door when we remodeled. It was lucky that we found him on a weekend where we could give him care. It was lucky that Lucky was rescued by crazy dog lovers.
I thank God that He rescues strays. Perhaps that explains my fondness for them. I am one.