Love Lessons from My Dog

Black Labs and Free Will

I was thinking this morning about our Black Lab that we rescued last year.  God was just showing me how much my relationship with her mimics his with me, in so many amazing ways.

When we decided to get another dog after the loss of our yellow lab I was hesitant.  With four kiddos at home I didn’t want to go through the housebreaking and obedience training again.  We decided if we were to get a dog we wanted another Lab, a female, we wanted it potty trained, obedience trained, and it had to be good with kids and our other dog.  Honestly, I never thought we would find a dog like that. We even let the kids decide what name they wanted to name the new dog and they chose, Marley.

About two days in of looking at shelter sites I found a Black Lab, whose name was Marley, seriously right. She was 7 IMG_7058

years old, obedience trained and potty trained.  I thought surely this must be a God thing.  We traveled as a family to the shelter to meet her with our other dog.  I remember when they first lead her in, she was so sad looking, she had her tail between her legs, she was missing huge patches of hair from a flea infestation her old owner never cared for and she was grosley underweight and dirty.  But I could see she was a sweet soul. She tentatively came and sniffed each of all.  The kids tried to get her to play with toys but the vet tech said she didn’t like to play.  We took her outside to meet our other dog and they got along well.

Since we only came to look we left, 15 minutes down the road Jason and I looked at each other and we knew, we had to turn back, we had to take her home.  We both new she was ours. We went back and took her home on a trial basis for 3 days, still skeptical that she could be so amazing. We took her home, gave her a bath, brushed her, fed her, bought her a bed to sleep on and lavished her with love and affection. When we took her back to officially adopt her after the three days the shelter didn’t even recognize her, she was a totally different dog.

The first week we had her we would come home several times and find her in our garage, we couldn’t figure out how she got out through not one but two doors.  After this happened several times I remembered what the shelter had told me about her past home.  She was in a home with several animals, she was obviously neglected and uncared for by her condition when she was found.  The owner thought that the landlord kept letting the dog out of her apartment, but I knew in that moment she was letting herself out.  The owner had come to claim her but couldn’t or didn’t want to pay the $40 claim fee.

As the weeks went on our sweet Marley began to heal emotionally and physically, she began change and grow under our love and care.  She became a dog who loved to play, imagine that, so much so she now carries her toy with her where ever she goes.  She greets me each morning with her toy, and more recently kisses.  She began to smile a lot, and life came back into her eyes.  Eventually she stopped letting herself into the garage as she realized that we were there to care for her and love her, she was finally trusting us and she had finally chosen us as we had her in the very beginning.

God was just showing me that like Marley he found me neglected, unloved, and abandon.  He rescued me and through his love and tender care brought forth my true personality. The one he saw under all the dirt and grim. He washed me cleaned, cared for my needs and lavished his unconditional love on me. I learned that I was safe, that I could trust him, that he was for me.  Under his care I learned how to love and receive love. True love isn’t about force it’s about loving someone enough that you can give them the choice to choose you, knowing that they may not.   I am forever thankful for the beautiful black lab who has touched my heart and has chosen me.  Just as Daddy is forever thankful that his love and pursuit of me caused me to see the truth of who he was, a good father, so much so that I choose him.  You see he choose me in the very beginning but it was his unconditional love that allowed me to choose him. Love without force is the only True Love.

No matter where you are on your journey with him weather you are still letting yourself into the garage to escape or you are waiting with your toy eager to play he continues to persuade and pursue us with his unending love and affection.IMG_7738

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