All who know me also know that my dog, Teddie, consisting of 97% poodle and 3% foxhound, is a perfect dog. This unique hybrid is sometimes called a Foxhoodle (better than PooHound I guess). They are affectionate, gentle and loving at home. They are also brave and intense warriors in the hunt and are known to take off after interesting scents if presented with the opportunity. Also known for their elegance, brains and energy, they have superior agility and hunting instincts (this last item I did not expect). Teddie’s abilities also include not only surviving a tenuous start in life, but in the doing, helped me heal through a difficult part of my life – each rescuing the other.
There was the time he inspired a five-year old selective mute to speak again; and of course going from being the neighborhood greeter to being the Mayor is old news. But, today I want to share a new aspect of this most perfect creature. Yes, this Teddie:
As the primary duty of his mayoral job in our neighborhood, Teddie must not only greet but to also allow everyone to pet and adore him. His most amazing skill is his ability to influence most people in about five seconds on proper mayoral etiquette. Today, I allowed him out of the gate long enough for him to greet the neighbor for five seconds, remember, I didn’t know about his intense 3% hunting gene.
Just as Kay was bending down to perform her proper mayoral acknowledgement, a rabbit ran through her soon-to-be fenced backyard. In that instance Teddie ran in pursuit of this creature he had longed observed from within his fenced yard or from the end of his lease.
I called him to come back, but he abandoned his mayoral duties, succumbing to his God given instincts with the absolute knowing that he must follow this creature. Teddie became nothing more than a white fluffy streak as he ran across the yard, down the dirt path leading to a dense thicket of pine trees, honeysuckle vines and blackberry bushes. When he entered the thicket, I, dressed in shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops ran after him, entering the same thicket with no thought of danger, only of Teddie’s safety.
I pursued him, calling in all the pack-leader voices I possess – sweet, cajoling, firm, mean, frightened – and still he ran. In sync with my glimpses of just a bit of the white fluff that was Teddie, my voice grew louder, echoing back from the hills surrounding this peaceful community. I ran harder, assuming that Teddie had indeed lost his hearing. He continued his pursuit of the rabbit and I continued my pursuit of Teddie, knowing that the deeper we ran, the thicker the undergrowth would become and the greater likelihood I would lose sight of him as he runs much faster than I can.
Finally, as he descended the bank toward the creek, he stopped suddenly and hunkered down. I will never know the reason he stopped, perhaps a snake or a coyote; best I don’t know. I scooped him up and knew we needed to get out of there. It was this ‘getting out of there’ that presented a new problem. In my rush to keep sight of him, I had been oblivious to the bold tree branches, the briars of the blackberry bushes and the rocky surface of the ground. Plus now I had this squirming twelve pound animal in my arms who continued to look back over my shoulder, straining and hoping for another chance at the rabbit.
My quiet community had gathered, hearing my screams, confident that I was in mortal danger. As Teddie and I emerged from the pine thicket, cheers went up and Kay punched the end button on her 911 call. The cheers stopped as we grew closer – my face, arms and legs were scratched and bloody. Teddie had bright red spots of blood on his white fur and I was grateful to discover that it was mine. This story has a happy ending, but it is also a reminder of how life can change in a second and that each of us must make our seconds count by doing what we were created to do, just as Teddie did in spite of the danger of the unknown.
“Teddie, Teddie, Teddie,” I whispered, holding him tight. “My love, my heart, my gift from God.” This story demonstrates the importance of being thankful and of doing good things with and for the gifts God gives us. I kissed the top of Teddie’s tiny head, giving God all the glory for his safety.
But the worst thing about this story?
This Teddie wasn’t even sorry!
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variables, neither shadow of turning.” —James 1:17