Actually, a puppy.
I’m writing this as I sit outside with him in the dark watching him stretch his legs and sniff out the yard as if it’s the first time he’s ever seen it. We’ve been out here fifteen minutes already waiting for him to… well, you know.
He’s upended my morning routine already, that’s for sure. And my afternoon one.
Yesterday afternoon, I took him on a walk that eventually devolved into a run at his direction. I totally wore the wrong shoes for that. I might have to take my running shoes out of retirement for him. I mean his legs are only going to get longer and his body stronger as he ages.
I’ve never been a pet person, per say… that’s more my husband and sons. We already had pets when we got the puppy too – six backyard chickens, a sweet, elderly dog, and some fish. Lord knows why we added a puppy.
But truth be told, he’s kinda a sweetheart. I can’t believe anyone ever abandoned him in the first place (we adopted him from a shelter at 4 months old).
The twins asked yesterday as they crawled into bed: “Mom, will we have to return Riley soon?” Surprised, I shook my head and explained: “We adopted him, boys. He’s a part of our family now. For better or worse.”
As puppies go, this guy is pretty great. He doesn’t bark much, he already sits on command and is learning a few other tricks. But he is also a rambunctious puppy especially when he misses us during the day.
I think he mostly just wants us to love him.
No matter what.
Isn’t that what we all want? To be loved no matter what? to be told we are someone’s for keeps… never to be returned?
I think that’s what God is trying to tell us all the time, if we only open our ears to listen: “I love you. You are mine for keeps.”
I think it’s what God whispers to all of us when we are anxious, afraid, lonely… God tries to say it in a million little ways, through a million little interactions… like through a rambunctious puppy greeting it’s owner like it was a thousand Christmas mornings rolled into one.
God wants nothing more than for us to believe we are loved exactly as we are and to spread that love to one another… even if it’s a struggle, even if it upends everything.