I have several ideas cogitating in my brain right now, but none of them are ready to be produced. This is why I was looking forward to today with a mixture of one part irritation and two parts feeling stumped. You see, Thursday is the day I have set for myself to produce something new, something to inspire my less-than-vast readership. (Thanks to all of you who do read my musings!) But today, to quote a wise man I know, “I got nothin’.”
Enter Dad to the rescue. He called me up Tuesday night and said, “Hey, you know that picture of you and Lily on the bed?” “Yeah,” I replied. “You still have that, right?” Dad asked. “Oh, yeah,” I assured him. “Oh, good. Don’t ever get rid of that one. You should write a blog post about little Lilly.” And so I shall.
That strange creature up there in the orange-creamsicle-colored scarf is me six years ago and the clever little dog “reading” a book is Lily. She is a Shetland sheep dog and the most polite animal I have ever met. Never one to force her existence on anyone, she nevertheless loves attention. Unlike the other Shetland sheep dog my parents own (Annie), Lily does not dream of jumping exuberantly around or darting her wet nose in my face when I come home for a visit. She always hangs around the sidelines until Annie gets her fill of attention and then ‘sidles up beside me to gaze lovingly in my face. After I pet her for a few minutes, she trots along as if to say, “Thank you for noticing me. And now I will take myself away, lest I overstay my welcome.”
And now for a slight rabbit trail. I’ve heard people say that dogs don’t have personalities, emotions, or memories. And to that I say, “Hogwash!” To say that animals don’t have characteristics about them that make them unique to all other animals or feelings and emotions just because you have a Biblical worldview is silly. (Case in point: Balaam’s donkey. Stick that in your theological pipe and smoke it!) Am I an animal rights activist? No. Am I a vegetarian? No. (Though, the thought has crossed my mind once or twice for a lot of reasons.) Do I think animal life is equal in value to human life? No. Do I abhor cruelty to animals? Yes. I find it absolutely disgusting, precisely because animals lack the intelligence and the resources to protect themselves from human cruelty. (As do children and babies in the womb, by the way.) Animals and all of creation suffer because of human sin, and because of the Fall, eating meat is permitted in the Scriptures for nourishment just as war is permitted for self-defense. But it wasn’t supposed to be that way, and it doesn’t mean I have to like it either. Which is why I cannot wait until God puts things to rights again, just as they were before the Fall, when the lion will lay down with the lamb and no one will be hurt or afraid.
Anyway, you could not get a more clear example of the differences between extrovert and introvert than watching my parents’ funny little dogs, Annie and Lily. Annie would be the extrovert–boisterous, jubilantly happy anytime there are people around to interact with, a flurry of excited fur and paws invading private space anytime someone comes back home. Lily would be the introvert–just as excited to see her people but far more reserved and cautious in her approach. As soon as I sit down on the couch, Annie jumps up with me and flops down on my lap. Lily, after circling the room several times to scope the situation out will very carefully jump up on the couch at the opposite end of where I’m sitting and politely sit down and look over at me until I notice her. Then and only then, will she permit herself to come close and get petted.
If I remember the day this picture was taken correctly, (though, even if I didn’t it wouldn’t matter since the following situation repeated itself countless times) Lily had come wandering up to my room in her quiet little way, nosed the door open and stood waiting on the floor until I noticed her staring up at me. “Hi, Lily,” I said, smiling. “Do you want to come up here?” Lily averted her eyes as if to say, “Well, I don’t want to be a bother or anything.” After much persuasion, Lily finally jumped up on the bed and laid down close by but not too close. I told you, she is a very polite little dog. About that time, Justin came upstairs and I got the idea for a picture. We put another open book under her paws. Click went the camera. And the result of all that is that I now have a very pleasant memory.
Thanks for reading…