Bob The Dog
Last Wednesday at our Testimony Meeting, we had readings and people shared on the theme of “All God’s Creatures.” One of the passages that stood out to me was, “All of God’s creatures, moving in the harmony of Science, are harmless, useful, indestructible.” Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy 514:28.
That reminded me of an animal story that happened last summer. A friend whose daughter rescues dogs had one dog that really needed a home. Bob, the dog, wasn’t getting along with the other dogs, would often jump the fence, was a risk to young children and was generally a loose canon. The daughter looked for other homes but to no avail. My friend said that if they didn’t find a home by the next day they would need to put him down.
My friend asked if my husband and I were interested in adopting Bob. Of course we wanted to adopt Bob, but we were in transition- without a place to live. Even though I knew we couldn’t take the dog my heart went out to him. I wanted to help. I told my friend that I would pray for this dog as I would my own.
I mentioned the situation to my husband and I know we both prayed a lot that night. I plugged in Bob’s name into the above mentioned quote from Science and Health. I knew that Bob was one of God’s creatures. It was right for him to move in harmony, whether that was in the back yard or across the country. His life wasn’t stagnant and he wasn’t a loose canon or at risk. His home was established as a spiritual idea. He was a blessing and he was inherently blessed as God’s expression/creation. It took all the courage in the world not to “be the answer” but to trust that prayer was bringing light to the situation.
Also in the quote from Mary Baker Eddy, it talks about God’s creatures being indestructible. That means that every idea of God is needed. I knew that we exist as ideas not as human beings or four-legged friends. An idea can’t be destroyed or put down. I really stood firm on this prayer and didn’t waffle.
I heard from my friend the next day. She said that she and her husband had been doing their own praying and talking. They’d finally come to the decision to become Bob’s new owners. Though they hadn’t planned to be dog owners, they saw too much good in Bob to let him go. And so like any blessing- it get’s better!
My friend’s husband jumped in the car and drove 2,000 miles, round trip, to pick up Bob so that he wouldn’t have to come to his new house by an airplane. Now Bob is settled with his new family. My husband and I love hanging out with Bob. Sometimes he comes to the office with me or spends the weekend at our house when his family is out of town. He isn’t a menace to our pet birds, instead he keeps a good watch. He’s such a good dog.
This healing or revealing about how to help Bob, reminds me of two Bible stories. In this experience, I took heart in the example of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30). It’s so easy to pass by and say, “Not my problem!”- especially when the problem has no solution. With Bob, I learned that keeping my thought focused on Truth, praying about the purposefulness of God’s creation, and letting God bring an answer was the most helpful thing I could do. Even if we play a small part, we can’t pass by.
I also think of the story about the four guys in Mark 2:3. They brought the palsied man through the crowd, onto the roof, broke through the roof and lowered the sick man on his bed down to Jesus. I’m amazed by the persistence of these by-standers who went the “extra mile!” In the case of Bob, my friend’s husband went the extra 2,000 miles to let Bob know that he was welcomed and loved as their new family member. As a result, Bob has transitioned smoothly to his new home and life. He recently received his Canine Good Citizen certificate after completing a 10-step test, showing that he’s a reliable dog.
I’m committed to on-going prayer for God’s creatures. It seems that if we can’t see God expressed in the intelligence, beauty, ability to adapt, and joy of the natural world, when will we see God? It was humbling not to “be the answer” in this situation, but to watch God work was infinitely more effective. Finally, I challenge us all to go the extra mile- to engage with one another in loving and supportive ways and to look beyond the limitations we face daily- to relish the divine adventure that awaits us!