This post marks my 100th. That sounds climactic until you consider my first post on this blog is dated October 8th, 2009. Ok, before somebody nominates me for the “Lame, Apathetic Blogger Award”, I should mention that I largely ignored this blog until about eight months ago. Even now, it’s not unusual for me to go a week or more between posts, so the numbers are slow to accumulate, and recent occurrences relating to my health will likely necessitate that I cool my tortoise pace even further.
Still, I wanted to do something special to commemorate this epochal occasion. One of my all-time most popular posts was created six months ago – the account of the acquisition of Minnie the pug – my wife’s birthday present last year. My blog receives several hits a week from people googling “pug birthday”. I daresay that, thanks to that post, Minnie’s adorable face has become one of the more oft-viewed pug mugs in the country.
Before embarking on my secret mission to obtain the black pug we’ve come to know as Minnie, I pushed myself through the troubling knowledge that I was exercising a monumental error in judgement. That being the case, I was not surprised in the least when Ms. Christmas and I spent the better part of the first months with Minnie in a weary fog of regret. She was a horrible puppy. Mind you, she was cute. Still is. She may be one of the cutest little dogs any canine lover has ever laid eyes upon. Oh, but she is stubborn. House breaking this one was a chore akin to convincing Richard Dawkins of the existence of God.
I gave up, surrendered my home to become Minnie’s personal latrine. In my current, perpetual state of worry, I simply had no room to lament pug-to-carpet urination. And as one of the nation’s pre-eminent pet urine decontamination experts, the cleanup was, for me, less headache than the effort of convincing a little dog with stouter wits than I to plod through our swampy backyard and pee like a normal canine. Thank the Maker, little Minnie met her match in Ms. Christmas. If that dog’s stubborn streak runs a mile, then my wife’s must be long enough to circle the earth a dozen times, because Minnie is now effectively house broken. Hours, stretched over weeks and months, standing in bone-chilling drizzle, muttering the same mind-numbing three words over and over – “Go potty, Minnie” – all this time invested has resulted in a saner, cleaner, less odorous home.
Despite the steadfast dedication of Ms. Christmas with the potty training, as well as her attentiveness in every other category pertaining to pet care, I remain Minnie’s clear choice of favorite human. It’s almost like the dog credits me with rescuing her from a colorless existence in the scanty town of Stevenson, Washington. Evidently, she considers herself a big city…er…suburban pug, and I am the knight in shining Toyota Highlander who whisked her away to a life of romance and adventure in the swamplands of northern Tacoma. Ms. Christmas refers to her as my girlfriend, because Minnie saves all her kisses for me.
Well, Luke I sense you asking, Was it worth it? Would you do it again, if you knew then how hectic life would become? Who knows. I can tell you that I thought it was a stupid move at the time, and my opinion hasn’t changed. There was no sane reason for me to add a dog to our house at this stage in our lives. So what do you do with that? Should I try to undo it? Should I invite some additional peace to our home and sell this cute little furball to the highest bidder? Crap, no. I’d miss her the first time I came home from work, hopelessly dejected, and she wasn’t there, rushing to the door to greet me, crying because she missed me so terribly. I’d miss her over-the-top spunk – the way she climbs onto my lap, stares me down, and swats me in the face when she thinks I don’t expect it.
This whole thing – the story of Minnie the female black pug – it makes me think a lot about God and how He involves Himself so intimately in our lives. We make mistakes so often – painful, even unmentionable mistakes. And you know what I’m starting to think? I think God isn’t too worried about our screw ups. On August 1st, 2012, when I scheduled a fated visit to Stevenson to see a man about a pug puppy, knowing I was doing it mostly to inspire the writing of an amusing story, I believe God saw me, and He laughed. He laughed, not in mocking, but because He knew Minnie was a funny little dog who would make us all smile, and He knew, even though I was making an irresponsible decision, He knew He had me. He knew He’d be able to make it all work out.
He had me then, and He still does.
“Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress.”
If that describes you, as it often has me these recent months, know that He has you, too.