Friday, March 28, 2014

What a Puppy Taught Me about Compassion

This is Bucco.  Today is his first birthday.

Bucco came to live with me ten months ago, and no I do not have a cool rescue story.  He is a West Highland White Terrier, and not many of that breed are surrendered, so I could not find one to rescue.  I have always loved dogs, but I have very bad allergies and only recently discovered that I am not allergic to terriers.  However, I like big dogs.  My dog when I was a teenager was a very sweet Saint Bernard, so yeah . . . I like big dogs.

Because my niece has a Westie, I learned that Westies act more like big dogs than small ones, that they are very intelligent and very loyal.  So I found a Westie.  I paid much less than one would normally pay for a pure bred, so because of that and his one droopy ear, I call him my discount Westie.

But he is worth so much.

One of the first things that struck me about him was his acceptance of and reliance on me.  He immediately loved being with me and playing with me even though he didn't know me.  It reminded me of the children I met on the Compassion Sponsor Tour to Peru.  When we entered a project, the children were really excited to see us and loved us without even knowing us.  They all called me "Madrina," even though I don't sponsor any of the children in the projects we visited.  

Bucco loves the beach and has no fear of jumping into the ocean.  When I first started taking him, he kept stopping on the way to investigate other interesting things.  I kept telling him there was something even better waiting over the dunes.  Now he knows what's on the other side of the dunes and eagerly heads toward the ocean without stopping as soon as I say the word "beach."  I thought of the many times in our walks with Jesus that we think we have found something good, but He's really trying to lead us over the dunes to something even better.  

Those of you who are pet owners understand how important a dog can be.  Since I am alone, except for Bucco, mine is pretty much all I have.  I will sacrifice for my dog because I want what's best for him. Bucco often makes me think of my Compassion children and how important they are to me, but even more so, how important I am to them.  I remember that I need to sacrifice my time and energy to write to them and let them know they are loved by me, but more importantly, by Jesus.

I have the best dog in the Universe.  God has used him to enrich my life beyond what I ever expected.  What a lesson there is in that!