I'm starting to think God created puppies solely to test our patience and perseverance.
God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
We got a puppy about 6 weeks ago. And not just any puppy. The cutest puppy you've ever seen....clearly I'm biased. For this puppy's sake, it is lucky he is so cute because I'm running out of patience with the whole puppy thing. And he's lucky he hasn't destroyed any shoes yet. My love is inversely related to his love for shoes, my shoes in particular. As his love for my shoes goes down, my love for him goes up. At the moment, I have nothing but love for little man. But I warn him daily; that can change at the drop of a dime or one little chew of a shoe.
Let's start with two words: House Training. Either my chocolate lab (who quickly has become the world's most perfect dog in my mind!) was super smart with house training or I have amnesia and have blocked that entire period from my memory because our little puppy is just not getting it (By the way, I'm secretly hoping by writing this, it will motivate him to have a great day house training and prove me wrong. I dare you little man, I dare you. Prove me wrong!)
I don't think house training would be such a big deal if not for one small detail we failed to consider as "potential puppy owners"...we are living on the 3rd floor of an apartment for the next several months. So something as simple as letting the dog out, involves climbing stairs every. single. time. We considered all sorts of things like the fact I'm working from home, we have no major trips planned until next year, we are only in an apartment for a few more months, etc. We just didn't consider our current altitude and the stairs to get to the altitude of a 3rd floor. And we should be ashamed...Chris is a pilot for goodness' sake. He's all about altitude. Needless to say, my legs and butt are firmer than they have been in quite some time...the ONLY bonus from house training.
The other test of patience comes with what the puppy can and cannot eat. For example, his new found favorite place to be is inside the dishwasher so he can eat scraps from our dishes. I'm actually surprised the dishwasher door has not come unhinged because our puppy is hefty. I swear every time he goes down for a nap, he wakes up bigger. (And yes...I have "mandatory nap time" for this little one.) But honestly, licking food off dirty dishes is the least of my concerns when it comes to him eating random things. It gets much worse...
We have a lake in our community and although peaceful to stroll around, this lovely lake attracts frogs. And it's spawning season so we have frogs aplenty. To give you a picture of what this situation looks like, take out your bible and open to Exodus Chapter 8 and read about the Plague of Frogs. They are EVERYWHERE. Don't get me wrong...I'm not afraid of frogs. I mean, if it were lizards, I would be bunkered down somewhere. It's just frogs. However it makes our evening puppy walks MUCH more interesting. Between me trying not to step on the frogs and then trying to keep the puppy from eating them, it's quite a sight to see. Two days ago, cute adorable puppy found a dead frog that had been partially run over by a car. You would have thought he was an olympic runner with how fast he sprinted from me with frog guts literally hanging out of his mouth! No matter the amount of yelling and scolding I did, he wouldn't let go of that dead frog. I know frogs can be poisonous but there was no way on this green earth I was reaching my hand in his mouth to retrieve frog guts. Not. Happening. So I lost that battle but thank goodness after a few chews he dropped it and didn't end up ill. Oh the patience. This requires so much patience. I shouldn't have to tell him to not eat frog guts or get out of the dishwasher. And I shouldn't have to tell him to stop chewing on the electrical cord plugged into the wall...yes, that just happened as I typed this blog. Shouldn't that be puppy common sense?
And yet for every time I tell him "no" for the hundredth time, I'm reminded God experiences the same thing with me. Maybe we are puppies to Him. He looks at us and is so in love with us...proud of us...enamoured with us. However, we take patience. How many times does He have to tell us one simple instruction for us to listen and abide in His word? If I consider His instructions in my own life and my inadequate response rate, it is clear His patience far exceeds my own.
If only I had an ounce of His patience I might survive this puppy stage. In the meantime, I persevere.
And now it's time to take the puppy out...again.
Patience, perseverance, and puppies,
Just a few reflections about everything God is teaching me in this life...a journey deeper into His purpose for my life.