Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thursday Thanks - God Hears Our Barks

Now how could you say no to a face like that? This is our Lhasa Apso/Shih Tzu mix, Jake. He’s our third son. We love him to death even though he really isn’t what you’d call a dog’s dog.

If he actually does catch a glimpse of a cat roaming our backyard, (most times a cat can walk through our backyard completely secure in the knowledge that he’ll go completely unnoticed) he’ll take a couple of bunny hops towards it, get distracted and go lay down; same thing with chasing a toy. He might bring it back to you a couple of times, but after that he’s just bored.

We actually had to teach him how to bark. I read once that there’s something in the genes of Shih Tzus especially that keeps them from being natural barkers. So soon after we got him when he was a couple of years old, my husband embarked (ar ar) on teaching Jake how to bark.

My husband would get a little dog treat and tell Jake to ask for it. Poor thing. He’d open his mouth, kind of hop a little, but nothing would come out. So (picture this), my husband would say, “ask,” then he’d bark, showing Jake how to make the sound. It would take Jake a few tries to warm up the ol’ vocal cords.

The first few times nothing but air would come out, then a little grunt, then finally, a bark. Yay, and there was much rejoicing! And then Jake would get the treat. This took several practice lessons before he got it down, although even then he really didn’t bark all that often. He’d usually only do it if he wanted a treat and then only if you told him to ask. Or when he wants to come inside. He’s extremely insistent about that.

So the other day, I was sitting here at my desk working when all of sudden, right next to me, I heard a very loud bark. I look down to see this:

Now, knowing Jake’s aversion to barking, I knew something was up. Plus, I looked down at that furry, little snaggle-toothed face and my heart just melted. So I got up from my chair, knelt down, gave him a big hug, and asked him what he wanted.

Now, Jake usually only wants two things: food or to go outside. I had just fed him so I didn’t think that was it. So I started walking to the door, knowing that if that’s what he wanted he’d chase after me. And he did.

And here’s what popped into my head: if my love for a little dog would compel me to immediately listen to his cry and do whatever I could to find out what he needed and help him, how much more does the Heavenly Father hear the cries of His beloved children and do whatever is within His good and perfect will to answer those prayers?

But for some reason, either we forget or we become insecure about the incredible amount of love that our Lord has for us, and we question whether or not He is hearing us.

Know that He hears you.

When we call He is right there with open arms and a heart full of love. And He will answer those prayers in the very best way and in His perfect timing.

So this week, a week where I have especially felt the attacks of the enemy, I am thankful for the reminder that my God loves me immensely and that He has heard every one of my cries and that He is working on answering them, even if I don’t see it right now.

How are you thankful this week?


  1. I need to get out more often! I happen to believe their is a place for pets in eternity. Can't prove it but it's just a hunch I have.

    Our dog is Daisy. An overweight terrier mix who doesn't eat all that much! She is my companion and is a fixture by my side wherever I happen to be.

    She constantly is licking the floor after a person eats... even if there's no crumbs. If I kiss or hug my wife she barks as if she's jealous! Daisy means the world to me.

    I seek to attend to all of her needs as I am so fond of her. I like how you compare God's concern for us to our concerns for our pets. How easily we forget when in the midst of a trial that God cares for us, so much so we will never comprehend it.

    You have a cute pooch! Allan

  2. Thanks, Allan. I've had dogs all my life and they've always been very special to me. They're so loyal and forgiving. What more could you want in a friend? Jake usually lays behind my chair while I'm working. I have to be careful not to back up too fast so I don't run over him! I'm so thankful God gave us pets!

  3. Wait, why did you say you need to get out more often??

  4. I'm thankful that God knows our needs even before a bark is uttered from our lips. We are a mixed family--one cat, one dog, and a visiting pooch. It's true--the dogs think we're gods, the cat thinks she's one!

  5. Dorci, Daisy has been stepped on accidentally by myself many times as she is always so close to me when I don't realize she is there. At times dogs are better friends than people!

    Getting out more.... I am a very single minded person and don't multi task well at all. When I'm on the computer I am usually working on my blog, searching for information to post, or writing articles. Besides that I still go to Phoenix Preacher which is sort of home to me and I will check Facebook.

    The result is I don't visit a lot of blogs as much as I would like. And many times when I do visit them I scan them very quickly without posting. My way of saying "I'm sorry" for not participating here more than I do.

  6. Oh I know, I can't tell you how many times we've accidentally kicked our poor dogs in the head. They're so small and they literally walk right under, between, through, and just in front of our feet. We feel terrible when that happens, but they always come right over to us with a smile and a wagging tail. :o)

    Hi Didi!

  7. My dog sleeps with me and one night he rolled over in his sleep and fell off the bed. As he got up off the floor and back on to the bed he gave me such a dirty look. As if to say "why did you push me?" They he gave a big "harumph" and settled back to sleep. I felt soooo bad. Even though I hadn't done anything to harm him, he believed I had and that made me feel awful. What's worse is there was no way to explain myself to him. So I just cuddled him and prayed for his understanding and forgiveness.
    Allan, I am certain that all of our beloved pets as well as all other animals will be in heaven with us. After all, they are all Gods creations. And as I see over and over the true emotions of all creatures on earth through amazing videos and documentaries I believe God is connected intimately with each and every one of them. I fully expect to see each of my beloved pets, past and present, in heaven. And when we are there we will speak spirit to spirit and there will be no misunderstandings (like how you fell off the bed LOL)

    One of my favourite documentaries can be found on you tube. It's about a lion cub that Macy's put up for sale as a gimmick one Christmas. 2 very heart filled guys decided to adopt it keep it out of the hands of someone who may do it harm. They didn't think it through too well though. After all they were in the middle of a big city in America and the little lion cub wouldn't stay a cub forever. After a long time of bonding with the lion they finally had to come to terms with the fact that it was indeed a wild animal and they turned it over to a nature preserve in Africa. After a year to establish it's place in the pride ( It became the alpha male) they decided to visit it.I dare anyone to watch that reunion and not get choked up. The lion sees his old friend and appears to be saying, "Is it?... is it really? it..." and then he finally make the connection and begins to run towards his old friend. There is a second when you are unsure of the lions intent, and then....he connects with his friend. The LOVE that out pours is amazing. The lion, hugs, cuddles, rubs and genuinely shows love, affection and deep rooted emotions for his friend. It is Sooo touching. I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it. There is no denying the true connection. The lion then shows off his female and the parting of the friends from that point is that of thankfulness for both of them. Truly touching. Look it up. It's a long documentary - several parts to it but well worth it to see the whole thing.

    I guess what I'm saying is...God doesn't just give animals instincts. He gives them true emotions. That we ARE capable of connecting with. Why then would he not give them a place in heaven along with us?

  8. I've seen that video of those two guys going back into the wild to find their lion a number of times and I tear up every, single time. So amazing and sweet.

    I know there will at least be horses in heaven, it says so in Revelation. :o) And if there's any animal I'd want there to be with me for eternity, it's a horse.

    Seriously, though, as long as my Lord is there, that's all I need.

  9. Judy, Revelation says we come back on horses with Jesus! During the 1,000 year reign we read that the wolf will lie down with the lamb. We also see how God used an a** to get somebody's attention!

    Animals as they are now is not what God intended but is a result of the fall. I'm holding out that there will be a special place in eternity for animals. I also had a friend that said if cats are in Heaven then it just ain't Heaven!

    I saw the video you alluded to. It's quite moving. My mother's dog has been her saving grace in her retirement years with my father now in Heaven. She brings her such joy. God bless!


Thanks for sharing!