Last weekend our dog, Jack (who I’m pretty sure is a few light bulbs short of a pack), escaped our yard. I learned a long time ago that I can’t take my eyes off him when he’s outside.
I’ve lived with Jack a lot longer than hubby Kim. He has held out hope that Jack is akin to the collie mix he used to own. Devoted, watchful. . .smart. Yeah, well, like I indicated, Jack’s intelligence is up for debate. It’s hard to tell whether he’s dumb or just out for himself like so many small dogs. And I suspect his “devotion” (read: dogging our footsteps in the house and staring at us incessantly) is more from insecurity and a need to be adored than from being a watchful family guardian.
So last weekend Kim was working outside and took Jack with him so they could have some time together. That was Kim’s first mistake—thinking Jack wanted to be outside so they could be together. Instead, when Kim wasn’t looking, Jack followed his nose out of the open gate. When I heard Kim yelling for Jack, I knew what had happened.
Unfortunately, Jack wasn't wearing his collar. He has a collapsing trachea, so we don’t like to keep anything around his neck inside the house for fear he’ll get caught on something and choke to death. Our bad. He does have a chip under his skin with our information on it, but that entails someone having a chip reader.
So the search was on. I drove up and down the road, talked to a couple of men. Hubby searched the trees behind our property and then took his truck to go looking further. I called a friend to pray. My biggest concern, besides my little dog being killed, was the potential guilt my dear husband would live with the rest of his life if something happened to the dog on his watch.
This story has a happy ending. Hubby made another drive down the street and woman came out of her house and asked him if he was looking for a little tan dog. She said a friend of hers across 32 (a very busy road) had found a little dog. Sure enough, it was Jack. When Hubby got there, Jack was shut inside a car to protect him from their big dog (who wanted a piece of Jack).
Jack was obviously glad to be home. I was so relieved. The thought of the little guy lost outside, alone, and afraid, really bothered me—even though he did it to himself.
I was reminded of the parable of the Good Shepherd.
Matthew 18: 12-14: What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
When Jack left our yard, he was no longer under our protection. He was in the world, threatened by traffic, other dogs, and who knows what. He could have ended up in the pound or worse, smashed on the road. But we searched until we found him, then brought him home to warmth and safety.
Isn’t that like us when we move out from under the Lord’s protection by sinful action or thought? Sometimes we don’t know how to find our way home. Worse, we’re trapped and the enemy of our souls is snapping at us, threatening our safety. But Good Shepherd comes to find us. He picks us up and carries us back home. What a beautiful picture.
(And we’ll be buying a harness to replace Jack’s collar. I’ve decided he’ll have to wear it all the time.)