On Wednesday, Elizabeth and Katie flew to Cleveland, Ohio to visit with Pops and Dee-Maw and Anne/Nana drove to Nashville, TN, to spend time with friends and family, so it’s just been me, the two cats (Harper and Dylan) and our newest addition to the family–Wally the black lab–hanging out at the house. And let me tell you, Wally is all puppy dog! He’s been quite an adjustment but these few days with Wally (Katie’s birthday gift from Pops and Dee-Maw in June) have been good bonding time. I’ve often become frustrated with the extra responsibilities, time and energy that come along with a new puppy which has led me to resent Wally these past few weeks. But our morning, afternoon and sometimes evening walks together have made me become more fond of the guy. In all honesty (and typical puppy behavior aside) Wally is an excellent dog, above average in how he engages with us and particularly Katie. And I have to admit that I felt proud when the UPS guy who dropped off a package yesterday remarked several times: “You have a beautiful dog” (Wally is handsome like his owner, of course). I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing fetch with him. Wally loves these bright colored tennis balls that Elizabeth bought for him and ever since I filled up the kiddie pool with water for him to splash in while roaming around on a hot 98-100 degree day in our fenced-in back yard…oh boy, he’s been in heaven!
The time I’ve been spending with Wally has made me appreciate not only him as an animal and beautiful creature of God, but it’s also made me aware of the wonder of God’s creation that surrounds us. I look and listen more when I’m walking Wally in our neighborhood. I see sunrises and hear birds and feel cool evening breezes and see light sparkle off the leaves of a tree. I’m not in a hurry, but at peace. I’ve even felt the energy to run just a little during our outings and that is breathing new life into me. And the act of throwing a ball to Wally and watching him jump into the pool before bringing it back to me or nearly knocking me over because he is so excited to be running around and playing is sheer joy and delight. It is recreation and re-creation–holy play on sacred ground that makes me more fully aware of God’s presence in the midst. It is worshipful and sabbath making in every way and I couldn’t be more grateful.