Monday, 07 May 2012
My dog is amazing. We adopted him from a shelter last July. He's about four years old now, but he is still very much a puppy. When we adopted him, his name was Omega. My wife and I decided that Omega was a great name, so we kept it. Omega is a husky. He sheds a lot and has very pretty eyes. Altogether, he is just a beautiful dog. It doesn't take much for me to think about him in all circumstances. I can't leave the house for two hours without looking at my wife to say, "I miss Omega." I'm just so happy to have a dog that is just so awesome.
Omega and me, taking a nap
He's a good boy. When we first adopted him, he was, for all intents and purposes, fairly wild. He couldn't make eye contact, he had no personality, he couldn't listen, he was all scruffy and dirty, and he definitely wasn't house trained. When I first went to meet Omega, he peed on my leg. I knew, from that moment on, I was his. He claimed me. It happened again a week later, when I went to pick him up from the shelter to bring him home.
He's come a long way since then, even in a matter of the first few months I've had him. He's now a typical pet. He makes eye contact, he lets his personality show, he listens, he's clean (seriously, he doesn't even smell like a dog!), and he's house trained. He's a completely different dog, now that he has owners who love him.
Omega must have had a traumatic life before he was taken to the pound. I know he was an outside dog. That always bothers me. I don't see the point in having a pet, if you just keep it locked up all day, but i digress. He and his sister were both owned by the same master (And yes, his sister's name was Alpha). From what I've heard, she was a pure white husky. We were told by the people in the shelter that they were found abandoned in a vacant house. Their owners just picked up and left, leaving them behind to suffer. Luckily, someone had found them and brought them to the animal shelter.
Alpha was the first to be adopted, weeks before my wife and I adopted Omega. We imagine that Omega suffers from separation anxiety. He's lost his previous owners, he's lost his sister, and he's lost the other dogs and the people who took care of him at the pound. It's probably been pretty stressful for him. He's gotten a lot better with his anxiety, but he's still not perfect.
Omega's "Room", our closet
Like a lot of dogs, Omega is afraid of storms. Yesterday, my wife and I left for about an hour to go look at some apartments. It was thundering just a little, and it was sprinkling. In no way, would I say it was storming. But no one was home and Omega was scared from the thunder. Normally, he would hide in our bedroom closet, or in the bathroom trying to fit behind the toilet, or in the living room behind our rocking chair. He loves tight spaces. But it wasn't like that yesterday. We had left the windows open in the house so it wouldn't be too hot. While we were gone, one of the neighbors went out to her mailbox to get the mail. She heard some noises coming from the house. She looked and saw Omega trying to jump out the window. She came up to the house and rang the doorbell, to try to get someone's attention. But when she rang the door bell, a loud crack of thunder spooked Omega, and out the window he went, breaking the screen, falling into the bushes, and finally, running down the street full speed.
When Tesia and I got home yesterday, we walked up to our front porch and I looked to my left and saw that the screen had been knocked out of the window. "Oh no!" I said. Tesia replied, "What?" and I pointed to the window. We immediately began looking for him. We searched all over the neighborhood for about a half an hour. I didn't know what we were going to do. Finally, Tesia saw a dog crossing the street, not far from our house. "Is that him?" she asked. "Yes, that's him!" I exclaimed. We drove up slowly to him. He was worn out. He looked scruffy and dirty once again, just like he was when we adopted him. He was scared, head down and tail between his legs. I came up to him and said, "Come here Omega." He didn't want to trust me. He wanted to take off again, but he knew he was too tired. With hesitancy, he came towards me and I grabbed his collar. He pulled away slightly, but he realized that trying to play games at that moment was futile. He was too tired and too sore and too scared. But he knew that once we got him in the car, he was in safe hands. He knew he'd be taken care of.
Taking care of Omega is identical to how God takes care of his people. God rescues us from the crap we deal with in our lives. He cleans us up and sets us straight, as we become disciplined so we can live a better life with a bigger purpose. We feel God. We know God's there. We get comfortable with our new life in Christ. And then, when we least expect it, storms come in our lives, even the small ones, and we don't know where God is. We get scared that, perhaps, God isn't coming back. All the while, God is still thinking of us, remembering us, loving us, and wanting to be with us. When we feel like God isn't there for us, we run and look for other vices that we feel will keep us safe and secure, and hide us from our storm, but it leaves us lost, tired, disheveled, and even more scared. But God is always looking for us. God is trying to pull us towards him, even if we aren't sure that we want to trust him. We finally come into God's will though, and when we do, there is no place we'd rather be. We know where we belong.
So take heart, brothers and sisters in Christ. We cannot be separated from the love of God. We cannot run from His grace. God wants us. God does not want to see you in your storm, and if you are scared and you are running, God will find you. Trust God.
Have you ever had a dog? What has your experience with your dog taught you about God? What storms are you facing in your life right now, and how can you be strong and courageous?