"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cherokee's Memory Book, Chapter 1

     I don't remember my first home. But when I was six months old I ran away and got lost. I ended up in a big cage at the pound.
     When people came through the pound looking for a dog to adopt, all the other puppies jumped up against the cage and made a lot of noise, saying, "Take me! Take me!" I just stayed on my all-fours and said, "Take me!" quietly with my eyes.
     One day a man and a woman came into the pound. They looked at all the other dogs and then stopped at my cage. I could tell they liked me. "This one is so pretty!" said the woman. "And she is so quiet and well-behaved!"
     When the woman squatted down and reached through the cage to touch me I licked her hand. "She's really friendly for a chow!" she exclaimed. "I want her." I found out her name was Grandma Jessica and her husband's name was Grandpa Rick. The pound would let me be adopted in three days.
     I was so excited when that day came!!! Grandma Jessica was, too. She was afraid someone else might want me too so she might not get me, but no one else did. If no one wanted me at all, I would have been put to sleep but Grandma Jessica and Grandpa Rick wanted me! So the pound keeper attached a rope to my collar and handed it to Grandma Jessica.
     Oh my! I was so happy to be out of that cage I forgot all about being quiet and well-behaved! There were so many wonderful sights and sounds and smells to check out, I took off running. I nearly pulled Grandma Jessica over! She could barely keep up with me! When we got to her car she helped me scramble up into the back seat.
     A car ride! That was exciting too. When the car started moving, I raced back and forth from window to window. I wanted to see everything. While driving, Grandma Jessica turned around to be sure I was all right. She was startled. She couldn't see me anywhere. Then she looked up above the back seat and there I was, right in the window! People in the cars we passed laughed and pointed at me because I was so cute! They thought I must be a stuffed animal.

     When we got to Grandma and Grandpa's house, Grandma let me out of the car. I ran into the house, tearing through every room looking out the windows, trying to see everything at once. Suddenly I had to go potty. I hadn't gone potty before I left the pound and I had to go NOW. By the time Grandma caught up with me, I had made a big puddle on the living room carpet. I mean, BIG. Grandma had to mop it all up with lots of towels.
     But she didn't scold me. So I didn't care. I kept exploring. I found a pet door I could use to go out into the back yard where there were lots of bushes and grass. That's where I should have gone potty. Oops!

     I ran back inside and found Grandpa Rick resting on the living room floor. I was so glad to see him I jumped on top of him and he played with me. I wanted to check out the upstairs but Grandma and Grandpa said no. They had a cat who was scared of me. When I moved in she ran upstairs and never came down. I was NOT allowed to chase our cat but sometimes I did when no one was watching.
     That first night I felt so safe and comfortable I slept in my favorite position, on my back. I liked being at the foot of the stairs. If anyone walked past, came in the front door, or went up or downstairs I would know about it and could protect my new family. That's what a good watch dog does, even if she's upside down.

Today I am thankful for castles.

--HEROES: Prayer for Naoyoshi Sato
--PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: Mopping up after Niigata tsunami, 1964

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