Puppy Love

IMG_2225Five weeks ago, I brought home my new puppy girl after a whirlwind 30-hour adventure to Reno and back. My new collie companion is named Ayrabelle (Air-uh-bell), which in Scottish—the home country of collies—means “prayerful . . . beautiful . . . loving.” What a fitting name for this spunky yet gentle pup! Two hours after I met her in the Reno airport, Ayrabelle crossed her paws and fell asleep on my lap during the turbulent flight to Seattle. Doesn’t she look “prayerful”? (Shhh . . . don’t tell any airline folks that I took her out of her soft-sided carrier.) IMG_2109

So much prayer went into my finding Ayrabelle and I am beyond grateful for your prayers after my agonizing loss of Logan. I can hardly believe that he passed six months ago! I plan to train Ayrabelle for puppy therapy to visit hospitals, care facilities, schools, etc. More and more I am sensing the need to give back to others and my community. I know I will have more stories to tell in the months and years ahead.

In the meantime, I want to share a few darn cute photos of Ayrabelle, also affectionately known as Piranha Puppy. Her baby teeth are razor sharp and I feel like my recent vocabulary has reduced to two words that I bark out repeatedly: “No chew.”

IMG_2170Here’s to believing that good things DO come to those who wait. In this process of waiting and searching for the right-fit dog for me, I’ve found greater respect for the lamenting and honesty in the Psalms. David and the other psalmists remind us that it’s okay to grieve and long for better times. Waiting is interwoven in resiliency. “Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord, hear my voice . . . I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope” (Psalm 130:1-2, 5).

If you are in an in-between time of waiting for answers to your prayers, take heart in knowing that Ayrabelle, my prayerful pup, is ready to cross her paws for you. Me too.

IMG_2269Brave and Resilient Tip #135: Good things DO come to those who wait!

Hmmm…look who has mud on her lips. Someone was digging in the backyard raised flowerbed where Logan loved to dig.

You Are an Original

IMG_0407 - Version 2A number of years ago, my sheltie MacKinzey faced what we humans encounter daily: comparisons. Kinzey and I were with friends for a lakeside picnic and one Labrador retriever in our group began diving in the lake to retrieve sticks thrown by her owners. “Ready, girl? Go fetch!” Everyone cheered and clapped as the Lab paddled and snatched mini logs with such graceful ease.

On the other paw, Kinzey, with his severe arthritis and hip dysplasia, slowly sauntered on leash next to me. When I saw the water-splashing Lab and heard the applause around us, I tried to at least get Kinzey to dip one paw in the water. Nothing doing. He froze. He resisted. He sat down . . . on the muddy shore. Sigh.

But both Kinzey and I perked up when my friend Kathy patted my sheltie boy on the head and reassured him, “It’s okay, Kinz, chasing sticks in the water is not your greatest skill set.” I still fondly remember that wise counsel. Not everything can be our greatest skill set, even if we are remarkably talented and/or high achievers. Each of us is an original.

The intro to a new year tends to shift focus on honing our skill sets and succeeding at self-improvement. Just like that Labrador retriever at the lake, many of us attune our ears at the applause of others. “You did something with your hair.” “You’ve lost weight.” “Look at your toned biceps.” “Your grades are terrific.” “The boss bragged on you at the meeting.” Taking care of ourselves and doing our best is important, but we also need to be realistic that not everything we attempt is our greatest skill set.

Do you confidently know your greatest strengths? Do you know where you need a nudge or two of improvement without diving into the deep end of the lake? Do you, like Kinzey, know your limits and when to respect the kudos that others receive?

Let’s encourage each other this year in celebrating what we truly love to do and do well at. And, let’s applaud and appreciate the varied skill sets that we all possess. “Ready, girl? Go fetch!”

 “. . . we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.” Galatians 5:26 (The Message)

Brave and Resilient Tip #92: We are originals. Not everything we attempt is our greatest skill set.