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Lessons from a Toy Poodle

Friends of ours are on vacation and we have the great joy of dog-sitting. She is a toy poodle and responds to the name Gretta. Also known as Gretzky! This morning I was up early and so was the great one. Without my knowledge we decided to participate in a game called ‘I don’t want to sit here, I want to go and wake everyone up’. This is her very favorite morning game. I can only imagine her frustration as no one is interested in playing that game (other than me) on a day off!!

After a couple of hours I decided to go and sit in the living room and just think about what God would want to teach me through his creation. So here are my God lessons learned by observing the most incredible little dog over the course of the last 2 weeks!

  1. It doesn’t matter how long I have been gone. If I walk out the door and come back in – Gretzky is equally as excited to see me:). Why? Because I am home and we get to be together.

Lesson learned: life is always better together – don’t EVER take it for granted.

  1. We have four children. We have become pretty good at not hucking our food on the floor for no apparent reason (not something we were able to do just a few short years ago). However, if anything hits the floor that looks anything like food – Gretta will eat it! Filled with anticipation at every possibility of eating from the ‘kings’ table. It doesn’t matter what it is – IF it is ‘man food’ it is good food.

Lesson learned: I need to always be filled with anticipation for anything that my king would want to give me or reveal to me. Even one crumb from God is way better than dog food!

  1. Last night we had company over. All the children were fully entertained with each others presence except the youngest. 2 years old and no one to play with. WAIT!!! Have no fear – Gretta can spot someone alone, someone with a snotty nose, someone who wants to play. The two of them spent literally 5 hours playing together. Tug-of-war, fetch, chasing, talking, running, laughing, etc. It was amazing! And it gave the parents time to talk

Lesson learned: Always look for someone who needs a friend and be the friend. I often observe people in our church chatting with people they know and love – and then they see someone alone – and they leave their comfort zone – to go and love. God is like that! Left the 99 to find the one.

  1. When Gretta needs to go to the bathroom. She quietly walks over to the door and literally touches a bell hanging from the door knob. If you are not tuned in to the sound of the bell – you will miss this gentle reminder that she needs to poop. But its ok, if you don’t hear her – she will wait and quietly touch it a few minutes later – again and again and again – and eventually she may walk over and look at you with her beautiful eyes as if to tell you that she loves you with her whole heart. You bend down to say hello – and she eludes the advance – moving just out of reach but just a little closer to the door. Upon view of the door – she scampers over and touches the bell.

Lesson learned: Don’t lose your poop on everyone just because they didn’t hear you, respond how you wanted, understand what you were trying to communicate. When in doubt come up with a new way to communicate your need. There is a whole lot less mess to clean up if you don’t become a turd every time something doesn’t go your way. Be patient. There is a time and place to have a poop and be a poop – this should always be done alone, behind closed doors – with the fan on.

  1. As I am sitting on the couch this morning and writing this blog – I am wearing my housecoat, sitting under a yellow blanket – with Getta sleeping on the blanket between my legs. She has left the spot 3 times since I started. Once to see if anyone upstairs was awake, once to see if anyone downstairs was awake and once to see if anyone upstairs may have woken up :). Each time she came back. There is something beautiful about just being together with someone familiar, feeling each others soft movements. Helps me to know we are both alive and at peace.

Lesson learned: I have the joy of going on many adventures. And the adventures are a lot of fun. But I have learned that there is nothing like coming home to the familiar, to the safe, to the ones that you love the most. This is the place to rejuvenate and be refreshed. A place to be filled back up. I have learned that we should never neglect those closest to us. Just to be in the same house together is a great joy!

  1. Gretta is an explorer. In our back room we have many plants – several of which are Aloe Vera plants. The other day I was in the back room – and I looked over and Gretta was looking at the plants. Something came over her – the plants looked so beautiful – and she took a byte. I quickly told her no – she immediately stopped and went to the other room.

Lesson learned: Take risks! Give things a whirl. Go for it. Try new things. Eat new foods. Now if someone says to you “please don’t eat food off my plate” – be polite and stop eating food off their plate. If someone says “you can’t do that” then don’t do that. But I think a lot of us don’t take any risks for fear of ….. So take a risk. Talk to someone at the bus stop – just because no one does that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. Help someone with their yard work – yes its their yard but sometimes we like the help. Order something off the menu that you haven’t before. The worst case is you don’t like it – the best case is you find a new favorite food. TAKE SOME RISKS.

  1. Each school day Gretta walks our girls to the bus stop with Kendra. It doesn’t matter what temperature it is outside, it doesn’t matter how much snow has fallen – when the door opens – it is time to PARTY!!! She always has a great attitude!

Lesson learned: Enjoy life!! Live the adventure, find good in everything!

“Whatever is good, lovely, admirable and praiseworthy – think about such things – and the God of peace will be with you.”

A reminder that this verse should likely read “as you are going about your day – look around you and observe the things that are good, lovely, admirable and praiseworthy – and the God of peace will be with you.”

Today’s post has 7 things I learned from a dog :). I am assuming that if we keep our eyes open – we will see many more amazing things!

On occasion: Lift your eyes off your phone, get your eyes off your work, observe people around you – see God at work!

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