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Knowledge, inspiration, and encouragement from a Christian perspective is my goal. I post a weekly commentary, which could be about world events or the events of my week. Other days I might share stories, recipes, homemaking tips, book reviews, political talk, biblical truth, or other blogs and websites I like. This blog is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

Friday, December 10, 2010

FOR THE LOVE OF DOGS

I always said I'm not a pet person.  Not that I don't love animals and think they're amazing creatures, I just never wanted one in my house.  But that was before our dog, Jazz.  Jazz is special.  He's white with a band of black at the base of his tail and a patch of black/ brown around one eye.  My favorite marking on him is a black spot that looks as if someone dipped one finger in black paint and tapped the top of his head.

We believe Jazz came to us through prayer.  My daughter wanted a dog for a long time and I kept saying, No.  Eventually I softened after months of begging.  I told her to start praying for the perfect dog.  And I remembered something Pastor John Hagee shared about his family's pet.

Hagee's daughter also was begging for a dog, so he told her that if someone offered her the exact dog she wanted for free, then she could keep it.  Well she kept praying, and one day a neighbor who was moving to a place that didn't allow pets offered her the exact kind of dog she wanted at no cost. Mr. Hagee was amazed.  And so were we when we got a phone call from my mother telling us about a Jack Russel terrier mix for sale in Duncannon.  We didn't expect to get the dog for free, but we did pray that God would lead us to the right dog.  He did that through my mom.

Jazz has the cutest habits.  You can't help but love him.  When there's no water in his bowl, he flips his water dish.  I sometimes hear the clang of metal on the wooden floor early in the morning. I'm a light sleeper so I answer his request.  He'll look up at me, then look at his turned over dish, as if to say, "Sorry to wake you, but I need a drink." Once we almost bought him a water bowl that set inside a heavy wooden base.  When we realized he wouldn't be able to flip the bowl, we decided against it.  I don't mind getting out of bed for a request that cute.  To me, his cutest habit is the way he wedges himself between my ankles when I'm standing at the sink washing dishes.  And I love the way he lays in that little patch of sunshine that comes through our glass front door.

One of his funniest habits is he'll bark if a doorbell rings on TV.  He's a good little watchdog.  He gives the UPS guy a warning when he comes and the mail lady.  He considers it his job to protect us.  Sometimes he even barks at the wind.  He's on top of things that way.  We also get a kick out of the way he eats.  If he doesn't like a certain morsel of dog food, he'll carefully set it outside his dish.  Eventually he has a collection of these morsels, all the same size and color.  If he eats something he really likes, he'll walk around the house smacking his lips quite loudly.  The noise is actually from his tongue slapping all around the outside of his mouth searching for stray pieces.

Jazz got his name during his first ride home.  My daughter noticed that when the radio dial was set to Jazz music, her new dog settled down and fell asleep.  I thought it was a great name.  I call him Jazzy.  Jazzy has favorite spots to lay throughout the house.  He loves to sleep on the footrest of my husband's recliner while he watches TV.  At night, he sleeps on my daughter's bed, which I don't like.  After seeing him eat droppings from our cat (his most disgusting habit) I worry about bacteria, not to mention fleas and ticks.  But she doesn't worry about any of that stuff.  One morning I walked into her bedroom and saw my daughter sleeping with her mouth open.  Directly in front of her on the pillow was Jazz asleep with his paw on her mouth.  We've made some trips to the doctor for strep throat.  No one but me seems to think it has anything to do with Jazz.  He's still on her bed every night no matter how much I harp.

A few months ago Jazz went outside to do his business and got more than he expected.  He was nailed in the face by a skunk.  My husband was irate at first, but then took pity on him and washed him in a downstairs sink.  His little eyes were dripping tears from the strong odor all around him.  He looked so pitiful and scared.  I thought he would stink up the whole house if we brought him inside and I was ready to sleep at my mom's.  But to my surprise the house didn't smell and my husband got Jazz cleaned up to where we could barely smell the skunk odor.  I had a recipe in my file cabinet for skunk wash, just in case we ever needed it.  Most people think tomato juice does the trick, but you actually need something alkaline to combat skunk odor.  Tomato is acid PH.

Jazz has become a beloved part of our family and now I understand how people become attached to animals.  He even has eyebrows, we discovered.  That's what makes his facial expressions so expressive.  He tilts his head every time we talk to him as if he's trying to understand.  And he has the softest ears.  I love to pull his floppy ears through my fingers.  So I guess now I am officially a pet person, thanks to the little dog we prayed for.  God works all things together for good and he cares about every detail of our lives, even what kind of pet we bring home.  So if you're thinking about a pet, start praying and see what comes along.  And if that pet happens to encounter a skunk, here's the recipe for skunk wash.

SKUNK WASH HOME REMEDY

1 quart hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup baking soda
1 tsp liquid dish washing detergent
Let pet soak for 5 min then rinse and repeat as necessary.
Be careful hydrogen peroxide can bleach your pets hair, fur, and coat.

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