Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dog Lessons

We have two dogs. One, Nini, has all the physical features of a Black Labrador Retriever, and the other, Kalena, is golden in color and has the features of a Heinz 57.

Nini's non-Lab features include longer hair and white markings on her chest and feet.

When we go outside, I carry a throwing toy to give them exercise. The funny thing is that Nini does not have the genetic memory (instinct) of a retriever. Nini has never cared whether I throw the toy, or not, but Kalena will eye it and jump up and down and beg me to throw it. Then, the 57 will become the retriever and find the toy and bring it back and dare me to throw it, again.

Nini's behavior, on the other hand, is bizarre. Nini will run interference once Kalena has the ball, and do all in her power to keep Kalena from getting it to me. She will nip at Kalena's legs, try to trip her, and growl and do everything in her power to keep Kalena from bring me the toy.

Today, it hit me that Nini's hair length and foot markings look like those of a sheepdog we once had. And her behavior with Kalena is similar to Colonel's behavior when he was herding sheep. (Colonel was my son's sheepdog when we raised sheep.)

It saddens me that these unique dogs' traits end here. All their mixed-up ways will never be repeated because the animal shelter required they be neutered before we could adopt them. Neither of them will ever mother a litter of strange and wonderful puppies.

Some people want to do the same thing with humans. The focus of Margaret Sanger (mother of Planned Parenthood) was eugenics, good genetic breeding. (http://bit.ly/nTf5B9) Their goal is to keep the un-productive, un-genetically pure, un-fit, un-loved, and un-perfect from procreating, whether by advance planning (birth prevention) or afterthought (abortion).

The role of a gospel preacher, in contradistinction, is to demonstrate to un-lovely and un-loved people that God loves them and can give them the power to rise above whatever circumstances into which they were born. Our history need not determine our destiny. Our past need not determine our future.

Nobody is so bad that they should not have been born. Everybody is somebody in God's economy, and all can be made perfect through God's power indwelling them through the Spirit of Christ.

Even mixed-up people, like our mixed-up dogs, have their own unique gifts they can share, and all of us benefit from each other's gifts. All of us suffer when some of us aren't given the chance to exist and grow into the potential God can make for them.

The wonderful, mixed-up, joy-giving instincts of Nini and Kalena will die with them, but, in the meantime, I will enjoy their erratic behavior!

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