What I Like About Dogs

If I were a dog, I wouldn’t have an arrogant attitude. I wouldn’t drag myself around in self-pity or simmer in self-doubt.

If I were a dog, I’d chase squirrels and scratch behind my ears just like I’m supposed to without a single thought about what the other dogs are thinking.

Dogs don’t puff up with pride and stomp around in self-importance. They rarely think of themselves – unless it’s time for them to leave the house for a bit of “outdoor business”. But even then, they’re thinking of the homeowner and how he feels about his flooring. Right?

Have you ever looked down into those big brown eyes and seen anything but a friend?

At Seek God With Me, I’m sharing about self-importance and how crucial it is to fight against it.

Bringing Up Baby

Paleontologist David Huxley gets a bone he needs for his museum collection. He meets Susan Vance, the zany heiress who is more wild than the leopard named Baby that she must bring up to her Aunt Elizabeth‘s house in Connecticut. As is normal for women in Cary Grant’s movies, she does everything she can to keep him around.

Susan is able to get David to go up to Connecticut with her, but not without problems. While one leopard is quite enough for David to deal with, a second leopard, not tame and escaped from the circus, is loose in the same area. George, the dog who buries David’s bone, adds to the fun.

I found out on imdb.com that when they filmed the leopard roaming free in Susan’s apartment, the camera shot between the bars of a large cage.

Katherine Hepburn, as Susan Vance, delivered smart lines with great comedic timing, even though this was her first comedy. Nissa, as Baby, was petted, pulled, and chased as both a pet leopard and circus escapee. Cary Grant as Dr. David Huxley was impeccable as usual.

Howard Hawks directed this classic screwball comedy which delivers romance with fast-paced hilarity. Who knew you could do so much with a dog, two leopards, and some dinosaur bones?

Even Dogs Honor God

God can use dogs to save lives. He can prove his love for people by using a dog in a miracle rescue. He can also use dogs to bring opportunities to people that wouldn’t exist without that dog.

I read an article about a man who took a dog to church instead of to the pound. The dog had been aggressive at his house, so he gave the dog one last chance by allowing the pastor to pray for the dog. After his church experience, the dog was very well-behaved and continued going to church without getting into trouble. When I read the article, it seemed as though I was reading about a dog who had encountered God and would never forget it.

When a dog is used by God to show people an example of His love, I expect to hear witnesses tell that their faith was strengthened. I also expect the people to honor God whenever they remember that moment.

This month isn’t really about the dog. It’s about how God uses dogs to bring people closer to Him.

Join me on my devotional blog, Seek God With Me, as I discuss honoring God because He is worthy.

Colleen Coble's Midnight Sea

I love stories about dogs who help us. It's the perfect story to share this week. Here's the review:

Midnight Sea is the story of Lani Tagama’s struggle with her past and her fears about the future.

When I read the prologue, set in 1973, I didn’t realize it was a genius way of hiding the identity of the villain and allowing his perspective to come through.

Someone is shot and bullets fly around Lani as she ducks. But a bullet finds her head, and Lani loses her sight.

She finds herself in a new world, feeling her way through her problems. Ben Mahoney brings a seeing-eye dog, Fisher, into her life. At first, she doesn’t think she needs help. With a little patience, the swelling would go down and her vision would come back. But Fisher grows on her and so does Ben.

When her vision doesn’t come back, Lani has to come to grips with the fact that whoever tried to kill her won’t stop until she’s dead.

After more time and more deaths, Ben and Lani survive to overcome the challenges that make their budding romance difficult. And tearing at their hearts is the sadness surrounding a little girl named Meg.

A story of conflict right from the start, this novel continues the story of the Tagama family from Colleen Coble’s Aloha Reef series. I’d already read Annie’s story, so I recognized her name as well as the others.

Midnight Sea was also a Women of Faith book selection.

Dog Heroes

Have you ever been protected by a dog hero?

Animal heroes can be inspiring. I grew up watching Lassie shows on TV, so I expect the dogs I love to be protective and loyal. One of my little dogs actually nipped the ankle of our very nice neighbor lady who came to borrow a cup of sugar. We never figured out why our dog felt the need to protect us from our neighbor.

Dogs can be a little funny sometimes. They can be heroes and heroines, and they can be scrawny little villains. Still, I either want to laugh at them or just hug them. (Except when they run through the woods and get stickers in their hair.)

But one thing a dog can’t protect us from is self-deceit. Join me on my devotional blog, Seek God With Me, as I discuss how we deceive ourselves.

Sharon Mignerey's From the Ashes

From the ashes of her troubled past, rises a heroine who risks losing out on love for the sake of the hero’s safety. Angela London, an animal trainer for Guardian Paws, picks out dogs from animal shelters and trains them to be guide dogs for the blind. But when ex-boyfriend Tommy Manderoll walks back into her life, his demands derail her plans to help football player Brian Ramsey.

Adding another coal to the fire, Andrew Brogg shows up to write a newspaper article designed to bring shame, not fame, to Brian. Andrew finds links to Brian’s drug history and twists the truth to make his own name famous.

Brian’s foundation, The Beanstalk Gang, helps kids find their place in the world. When one of the kids is arrested, Andrew is quick to link Brian’s name to trouble once again.

Angela is sure her drug past will give Andrew more fuel if he thinks she and Brian are dating. Should she back away from Brian to save his name and his foundation?

If only that would work. A very scary Tommy pops up at the most inconvenient times.

The Beanstalk Gang held my interest. I wanted to finish the book to make sure Brian’s kids were safe.

Dogs As Tools

This month, I’m looking at dogs on this blog, and I’m discussing how we honor God on my devotional blog, Seek God With Me.

I know there are a lot of Christian dog-lovers, or should I say God-loving dog owners. So in light of that fact, I’m sure there are people who believe a dog can be a useful tool in the hand of God.

How many people have a dog whose sweet gentleness can bring a smile to the lonely person on your street? How many dog owners can volunteer to wash the dog who lives with the elderly person next door? We can use our dog-opportunities to show love and honor God.

Welcome to 2009!

This is the time to state your goals for the year. Right?

Well, I’m not ready to share any goals for the year, but I do have some goals for the month.

My goal for January is to share stories about dogs. I can’t help but love big, goofy, lovable dogs. My husband grew up with a couple of big dogs in his yard. Most of my dogs were smaller, but tons of fun.

I had a dog and a cat who were great friends. They snuggled together for naps and rarely ever fussed at each other. I’ve had good experiences with my canine friends because most of them were really sweet.

So join me in celebration of those crazy little (and big) dogs.