Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Yellow Lab

8" X 8" oil on linen panel

I thought we were doing a good thing...choosing that cute playful bundle to bring into our family.  But wow – did she make this 60-ish year old empty-nester get up on her feet!  It was as if we suddenly “owned” a toddler!

About a year after our golden passed, we began to think about getting a new family pet.  If you know me at all, you've heard my frequent verbal expression of displeasure in Gabe’s overly abundant shedding, as well as the  house rule:  “Do not wear black to the Murrays! “  

So, in choosing our next family member, our thought processes went something like this:  Golden Retriever vs. Labrador Retriever – same sweet, laid-back just-fold-in kind of temperament, short fur (as in less).   You see the logic, right?  Please say yes.  I know – you’d think two grown adults would have more sense than that.  Maybe it’s just that we believed what we wanted to believe because it was the one and only breed we could remotely agree on.

Well, suffice it to say – I love, love, love this dog.  But, Gabe she is NOT.  In no way are their personalities the same – well, to give her the benefit of the doubt – not yet, anyway.  I know I exaggerate a bit – ahem – but that little 5 pound piece of abundant energy with not one ounce of innate sense of right and wrong totally has totally consumed my life for her first year and a half.   (I can still hear my grandson in his little sing-song mimicking tone, thinking I wouldn’t hear him..…..”Maizey, Maizey, Maizey.”  Don't you love it!)

Feeling as if there were no hope and out of necessity to maintain my sanity, family relationships, and physical health, I took her to obedience training.   We immediately bonded when she began to respond to my commands.  And with each subsequent act of obedience came a treat.  Fast forward a year or so - I stand amazed at her response to positive training, and how it transformed her unmanageable and self-destructive spirit into one that willingly submits to her  “master” and loves living her life of obedience. 

There are so many parallels to our walk with Jesus that I find demonstrated in my  “Walk with Maizey.”  (So glad God “dumbs things down” for me!)  It begins with submitting our untamed, unsaved lives to His Authority, therein allowing Him to change us into His likeness, guiding us daily, and assuring our eternity.  When we align our hearts with His, we place ourselves into a position to be blessed  - the “treat” that results from obedience.

Oh and the rule about not wearing black to our home – sorry to say – still stands!

"....choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve...."
Joshua 24: 15

          1.  Why do you believe what you believe? 
          2.  Who/What have you submitted yourself to – Who is your master??
          3.  How’s that workin for you?


  1. Debi, I love both of your postings about your dogs. I lost one of my precious girls in March and life is not the same without her. Her sister is depressed and lays in her favorite spot all day long out in the yard. It's so sad. Like you we took obedience training and I was definitely the master they looked up to. I do often think of how God is pleased when we obey Him. Thanks so much for writing this. Lea

    1. Thank you for your response, Lea! I am so sorry to hear you lost one of yours - they are truly family members :)