Thursday, February 5, 2015


As anyone who knows me can tell you, I adore my dogs. We have two Basset Hounds and custody of our daughter's Cocker Spaniel. My father was staying with us so we decided to take the dogs for a walk down to the wharf. He had the Cocker and I had the two Bassets. Usually I have no trouble walking both Bassets but it wasn't to be on this particular day. Dad had stopped at his truck to get his sunglasses and in that short delay, Duke did something he had never done before: he slipped his collar. Off he ran down the street and into a neighbour's back yard and into the woods.

I quickly ran back into the house to get my husband and the three of us frantically searched for him. All sorts of things ran through my mind. He'd get caught in a trapper's snare or fall into the river or get hit by a car. I remembered reading that once a Basset is off leash and following a scent they can forget how to get home.

I returned home and put the other two dogs into our large fenced in yard where I stood calling to Duke and praying. My father and husband continued searching. I kept trying to pray and have faith he would be found and then the next minute all I could picture was him having to spend the night outdoors in the cold. I was a wreck.

An hour and a half after he first disappeared my husband found him! He was scared and was glad to be home. We didn't scold him but he did get lots of kisses and hugs and many tears on his coat as I held him and cried. I thanked the Lord over and over again. God cares, even about our animals.

Over the next few nights Duke, who usually sleeps on the couch, curled up tight against us in bed. He didn't want to be separated from us any more than we wanted to be apart from him.

So many times we are just like Duke. Sometimes we leave the safety of the Lord's side and we go out into the world and do our own thing. We live by our rules instead of His. We find ourselves alone and scared and nothing seems to be going right. There was a son in the Bible who did the same thing (Luke 15). He left his father's house where there was plenty to go out into the world and live it up. After all his money was gone and his fair-weather friends had left, he found himself hungry and alone. He determined to go back to his father's house where even a servant lived better than he was living now.

As he approached his father's house he could see his father waiting for him. His father ran to him and hugged him. He welcomed him home, not with a scolding but with a new robe and a ring to signify his status in the family. God will do the same for you. If you have wandered away from Him, He will welcome you back. He's watching for you. He won't scold you but will restore you to your rightful place in His kingdom.

When you do come back to Him, let me encourage you to stay close to the Lord. Don't ever leave His side. He will love you, protect you, shelter you, care for you, and provide for you all the days of your life. Just like we will do for Duke. God bless.

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