Hey, Babe


She's supposed to be an outside watchdog.
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Clearly, she's not outside and... does this face scare you?
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If the burglars would be so kind as to wear bird suits and pretend to fly, she'd be a force to contend with. Otherwise, she's about as useful as a parka in Tahiti.
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Knowing that our multi-purpose mutt, Spunky, was near permanent retirement, we got Babe to replace him outside. Spunky has been a 15-year barking machine and no criminal with half a brain would challenge his backyard. Living in the country, we feel safer with a barking dog outside at night. Preferably one who could tell the difference between a criminal and a squirrel. But Babe...well, let's just say that intelligence isn't everything. And courage is overrated.
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She gets lonely at night. She's scared of the dark. And anyone approaching the yard might be a potential friend, so she'd hate to offend.
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She slinks around with a guilty look on her face and if we so much as raise our voices in laughter, she rushes to confess her crime. She obviously has emotional issues dating back to puppyhood, with which we were in no way involved. She was 3 years old when we got her, so any neurosis is NOT our fault.
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Things don't always turn out like we plan.
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Spunky is still kicking. Babe lives in the house and only barks to be let in. She worships our two boys with a passion almost eerie, and every stranger is greeted with slobbering devotion. The shedding which I'd carefully avoided with my Maltese is now a regular part of life and we still don't have a replacement watchdog.
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Sometimes we do things for one reason and the result is nothing like we expected. We roll with the punches, make lemonade, or whatever cliche you choose to use. The best part is God's promise that He will make everything turn out for the good, if we love Him. The darkest night, the deepest sorrow, the biggest hurdle---it doesn't matter. When it is God's, He can twist ugly twine into a beautiful bow.
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"What would we do without Babe?" my youngest son asked as he wrapped his arms around her patient neck.
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Before I could start my list, he hugged her tight. "One look at that face, Mom, and you can't stay mad at her no matter what she did."
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I swept more red hair off the floor and watched them, boy and dog, lying together on the floor, content just being side by side. We don't have a watchdog, but my son has a friend. A responsibility. A practice in patience for parenthood some day.
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He's right. What would we do without Babe? And what would we do without all those unexpected twists and turns life hands us? Those valleys that end in mountaintops. Those detours that take us past undiscovered beauty. All those opportunities for God to take our snarled balls of twine and make bows out of them.
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What's the Babe in your world? That situation that didn't turn out like you thought it would. The decision. The detour. The upside-down, out-of-the-blue shock?
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Let God have it. One day you will look back on it and find yourself saying, "What would I do without it?"
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