Monday, July 2, 2012

Rugby Part 2: Velcro

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart

and with all your soul and with all your mind." 

Matthew 22:3

Rugby, 14.  AKA--Velcro
~ Rugby's name should have been Velcro!  From the day we adopted him until the day he died four years later, Rugby followed me wherever I would go.  I knew that after we took him home from the animal shelter that day, his life would never be the same.  I knew that he would no longer be the scared, lonely and abandoned dog we first met, and he wasn't.  My husband and I saw him instantly transform into this loving, sweet, confident, joyful, playful dog.  Maybe it was all the love he received.  Maybe it was all the kisses and hugs we gave him (this seemed to be new to him and he was a little uncomfortable with it at first, but soon he got used to it.) Maybe it was the comfortable spot he had in our bed at night.  Maybe it was the walks and the treats and the belly-rubs and the snuggles on the couch.  Regardless, Rugby's life was different and even though he spent 10 years of it with another family, he quickly embraced his new life as a member of our family.  With our kind of love, I expected to see those changes in Rugby, but I didn't expect that he would take his "job" so seriously.  I didn't expect to see such devotion from a dog who I hadn't known for very long, but Rugby became the most devoted dog I had ever met.
I would practically trip on him because he was always at my feet.  I would go upstairs, to get something, he would come with me.  I forgot what I needed upstairs so I would go back downstairs, he would follow me.  Of course, then I would remember what I needed and go back upstairs to get it, and he'd go right back upstairs with me each and every time.  Even at the end when he was fighting a serious heart condition and had fluid in his lungs, he would faithfully follow me everywhere.  Even when following me meant that he would pass out from climbing the stairs, he would still follow me.  

Sometimes while Rugby was sleeping in his bed (which was strategically placed in a spot in the house where he could watch over me), I would try to give him a "break".  Quickly, I would hurry and run upstairs and run back downstairs before he knew I was gone.  Sometimes it worked, but most of the time, he would jump right up and chase after me even when he appeared to be sound asleep. As Rugby aged, he started to lose his hearing, so sometimes he wouldn't hear me leave the room.  Sure enough, a few minutes later, I would hear his toenails tapping around the house as he was searching everywhere until he found me.  Once he found me, he would have this panicked look on his face as if he was saying, “I’m so sorry!  I was sleeping!  I will never let you down again!” 
It was the most precious thing to see him come in from outside.  His number one goal?  To find me!  He would put his nose to the ground and immediately start tracking me.  He would search every corner of the house until he found me.  Is that devotion or what?
~Imagine what our lives would be like if we followed God so faithfully.  What if no matter what- we would track Him down and seek Him out?  The bible tells us in Psalm 16 verse 8:  "I keep my eyes always on the Lord.  With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken." 
This week, I challenge you to trust that promise and to keep your eyes on Him no matter what life sends your way.  It's so easy to get off track, but stay focused and follow Him everywhere He goes!  Put your nose to the ground and search every corner of your heart until you find your true devotion to God.

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