By Doug De Graffenried
For a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon my fate hung in the balance.
Rolo and Chester are the canine occupants of the house. I rescued Chester at the Gibsland exit, moments after he’d been dumped at the exit. He was still cowering beside the road. He has been with us since January. He is just now becoming comfortable with his surroundings. He’s 80% Pit Bull and 20% Boxer. Yes, he’s had the DNA test done. He has this funny boxer mouth that looks like he’s judging you all the time. He’s learned that he’s safe in our home.
Rolo is the offspring of a Pit Bull that I rescued after she was dumped at the same exit. It took me nearly a month to catch the dog we named Maggie. I worked so hard to catch her because I knew she was pregnant. She had nine puppies. Rolo was one of those nine puppies. He had a tough start. Maggie stepped on his head on his first day. We fed him with an eyedropper for the first couple of weeks of his life. He was the runt of the litter. The runt now weighs 80 pounds! Rolo’s DNA indicates he is ½ Beagle and ½ Pit Bull. The two dogs are inseparable.
Now back to my fate hanging in the balance.
I went out on Saturday to move a sprinkler. Since God will not water my yard, I am taking care of it. We have an old house, so I have old fashioned screen doors. I enjoy opening the doors and letting the breeze blow through the screen doors. Sunday, I was allowing the breeze to blow through the screen doors. On Saturday, I had not latched the front screen door.
The dogs escaped out of the front door. They did it twice in a row. The first time they came immediately to the backyard gate and barked for me to let them in. I gladly let them in. I proceeded to inspect the fence. I suspected those two dug under the fence some place. The inspection yielded no results. Then I remembered the trip outside on Saturday to water the front yard. Yes, I had not latched the screen door. Yes, the dogs were gone again.
I knew that if anything happened to Rolo, I was dead man walking. I would not recover from the guilt of allowing the favored dog to escape. Everything I had ever done wrong, paled in comparison to this dog getting out and not coming back. We got in two cars and began searching the metroplex of Gibsland. We drove all over town and nothing. I saw places in Gibsland that I didn’t know existed. I found an apartment complex and a cool shed that had been remodeled into a home.
My guilt and dread were increasing.
The good news is that we found them very close to home. They were together and exhausted. We got them home, fed them, and they slept soundly until Monday morning.
The dogs didn’t know they should not run off. The dogs didn’t know they were in danger. The dogs didn’t know that we were driving all around town looking for them. The dogs didn’t know that prayers were going heavenward on their behalf. The dogs didn’t know we dropped everything to find them. They didn’t know!
Isaiah reminds us, “All we like sheep have gone astray.” We are like sheep. We didn’t know we were lost until we were found.
Sunday reminded me that the Good Shepherd looked for me, until He found me. I thank God that His love was seeking me when I didn’t know!