Faithful Living: The teachings of a chihuahua

“Where’s Bear Wells?” my husband hollered as he hopped out of his truck. “If we don’t watch him, he’s gonna end up eagle food!”

I hurried out of the garage with Bear in my arms as my husband described a perfect “nature in action” moment when a mature eagle swooped down onto a pair of wild mallards who have graced us with their presence this spring. Paired by an instinct that intensifies in spring, they have chosen our small pond to raise their young.

Bear Wells. Sir Buffness. Nobody in our family could have predicted the great love we have developed for this Chihuahua. We have always been about big, outside dogs. Bear defies it all by weighing 7 pounds and preferring human laps and cars where he can put on his serious car face and plaster his tiny wet noise against the car windows for a closer look at Oak Harbor.

But we’ve got a problem: there are bunnies to chase, and Bear has begun to believe our proclamations that he is big and buff. He wants to explore outside, run into the bushes and visit the neighbors. But there are dangers outside. They fly like eagles and prowl like coyotes. No doubt about it, he’s a tasty morsel for the predators that lurk.

Rather than confine him to the indoors, we have made a vow to supervise his outings and keep him from wandering too far so we can quickly grab him if necessary. It’s the interruption that sometimes frustrate me. I sometimes don’t want to stop and take Bear outside. He likes to dilly-dally and I’ve got things to do. Yet I cannot be inconsistent: Bear needs to be protected. I must be on call to oversee his activities or risk a devastating result.

God has used this situation to remind me this week of His nature and His desire. His nature? He is a consistent God. He never sleeps. The Bible says God is like a shepherd and we are like sheep. Defenseless, the sheep are dependent on a smart, diligent shepherd to select the safest trails and check out the pastures to remove dangerous plants and obstacles from the terrain. To guard and protect us. His desire? To demonstrate His eternal love no matter what our circumstances. He seems unwilling to remove our own freedom and therefore He allows us to struggle and live with danger. He lives to see us grow in strength and inspiration for others. Yet He continually brings us a new day and new seasons when He can work through events to love on us.

And because God is on call, to shepherd us, hold our tears and stay steadfast even though life is never the same from one day to the next, so can I practice this same shepherding attitude by taking care of Bear to the best of my ability. Besides, I’m rather used to smudgy car windows and his greeting at the door. I don’t want a day without him.

Reach columnist Joan Bay Klope at



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