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12 Days of Christmas Perspective- Day 4/ Ellie & Emma

                           I have never taken for granted the blessing that our 2 small dogs are.  However, the thought of never seeing them again made me fall even harder for their wet noses and female beards.  Ellie is now just over 3 years old.  She is a miniature schnauzer who we adopted from Kodak, TN when she was 6 weeks old.  She is definitely the smarter of the two dogs.  She loves to get the paper in the morning and does many tricks.  She can wave, lay down, roll over, take a bow, sit, high five, and play dead.  Many people have said that she is the smartest dog that they have ever seen.  My wife says that Ellie is just food and treat motivated.  She often growls when she does tricks now…as if to say, “can we just skip this part and you give me the food!?”  Emma is a schnoodle (schauzer/poodle mix).  We rescued her from an animal shelter on Kingston Pike 1 year ago.  We don’t know exactly how old she is.  We are speculating that she is now about 2 years old.  She is a joy!  She bounces around with a lot of happiness and joy all over our house.  It was so amazing to experience Emma  coming back to life.  When we adopted her she was in rough shape.  She was underweight, had not been taken  care of, and had not been groomed for a long time.  Slowly but surely the weight came on, her silver coat began to glisten in the sunlight, and her personality began to come out for the world to see.  She has become a snuggle dog for sure.  If you sit down, prepare to have 2 salt and pepper doggies curled up in your lap, on your computer, and under your blanket! 

                    I was at a church conference in Kansas City, Missouri a couple of years ago & I attended a break out session with the mega-church’s (United Methodist Church of the Resurrection) middle school pastor.  She talked about a 4 week preaching series she did on DOGS!  At first I thought, “what?!”  But the more I thought about it the ideas and the principles began to flow very quickly.  Dogs provide some of the greatest examples of unconditional love that you will ever find.  A couple of years ago I was chipping in the backyard with my 56 degree sandwedge.  Ellie was sniffing and playing on the other side of the yard and somehow she snuck behind me when I wasn’t watching and i hit her with the golf club.  I was terrified…she fell to the ground and had a gash on her head.  I drove a hundred miles an hour in the car to our vet.  And I can’t tell a lie, I WAS SOBBING!  On the drive to the vet Ellie seemed to wake up a little bit from her jolt to the head (she was still bleeding), she perked up and began wanting to look outside, and then she began licking my face.  I’ll never forget that moment.  It was as if Ellie instantly forgave me.  I’m not sure if I’d be licking on someone’s face after they hit me in the head with a golf club…but Ellie (and most dogs) do! 

               When I have a bad day their reaction NEVER changes when I come in the front door.  They are bouncing off the walls, they want me to pet them, and they want me to sit down so they can jump all over me and smell all the places I’ve been.  Becca typically leaves the house before me in the morning…and everytime that she leaves the dogs go by the garage door and they begin to whimper…as if to say, “MOM, COME BACK!”  Growing up we couldn’t have dogs or animals because of allergies in the family.  I was so excited when Becca and I bought our first house and then began talking about getting our first dog.  I never thought we would have two, but now it is hard to imagine our world without those little balls of fur!  The love that they have to offer is genuine and unconditional.  They are constantly making us laugh and smile…and they are always ready to curl up with you to provide you comfort and warmth.  My perspectives on a lot of things continues to change this month.  And although I have never taken for granted my little 10 pound dogs I have hugged them a little tighter since returning home from Thanksgiving.  Yesterday we put on them some CUSTOM Christmas collars that we bought for them online.  They are ready for Christmas now…and trust me, we are ABSOLUTELY ready to share it with them.  So, Ellie and Emma, I know you can’t read…but Thanks for how you love on Becca and I.  You guys are wonderful…and life without you would be really sad.  I’ll be home in a couple of hours to let you out…I know you’ll be waiting with your little nubby tails wagging like crazy!  See you then!


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