Okay...I know this is a little sad. But the reality is that so far in the grandchild derby the two married sons (out of three) have yet to spawn. Unmarried Brett has been ruled ineligible to compete in this event. Joni and I have been content (for the time being) to enjoy our grand dogs and await the first grandchild with diminishing patience.
Middle son Scott was the first to present us with a grand dog. This is Sadie smiling sweetly for the camera.
Regular readers of this blog know that ineligible grandchild contributor Brett was second to add a grand dog to the family with the addition of Trigger. He is pictured here with our own disinterested dog Hannah.
Trigger’s improbable story was told in a post entitled They Call it Puppy Love.
This week we are proud to announce the newest grand dog to the family. Eldest son Matt and bride Holly announced the arrival of Bailey, a five month old Golden Retriever.
Our future family reunions could look like the scene from A Christmas Story when the Bumpus hounds race through the old man’s house. Hopefully there will be less colorful language from this old man if that does happen. In a classic line from that movie narrator Jean Shepherd noted that, “In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan.” As far as I know no such tapestry is hanging over Lake Ray Hubbard near our home.
We are unabashed dog lovers in the Burchett family – at least in the Texas/Tennessee divisions.
I was reminded of how much we can learn from our canine companions once again while Joni was undergoing round 3 of chemotherapy this week. I came across a list of “Things you can learn from a dog” in an article and some of them are really applicable to our season of life.
- Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
- When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.
- Take naps and always stretch before rising.
- Run, romp, and play daily.
- Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
- Be loyal.
- Never pretend to be something you're not.
- Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
- Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
- Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
- On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
- When you are happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
- No matter how often you are criticized, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout. Run right back and make friends.
I saved four of my favorites for last.
- Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.
If I had it all to do over I would work less and go for more joy rides with my sons and bride. The anchors on ESPN’s SportsCenter often joke that “an injured athlete is day to day, but then again, aren’t we all?” The reality is we are all day to day. Even moment to moment. Life can change in a heartbeat. When the opportunity for a joy ride comes along make it a habit to jump on board.
- When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
One thing I can count on when I come in the door is that Hannah will be there vibrating with excitement. Wouldn’t it be nice to greet your loved one with that enthusiasm? Be sure to bring smelling salts the first time.
- When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
I love this one. People often don’t know how to react to friends going through a trial like Joni. I wrote an earlier post about being a good cancer buddy that is being published in Crosswalk.com: The Magazine this month. We have found that the mere caring presence of friends has been healing. We don’t need answers. We really don’t need handy Bible verses. We just need a little emotional nuzzling.
- If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
This really resonates with where I am right now. I want to be a authentic follower of Jesus. And at times the way to do that seems buried in a sea of bad experiences, bad decisions, and bad Christians. But I intend to keep digging. I want to dig into His Word more completely and into fellowship with God more authentically. I want to dig into my shortcomings more honestly and allow the Spirit of God to reveal and repair those more completely. I am believing in the promise of James 1:5.
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. NIV
I definitely qualify for His generous distribution. Watch this space for future results.