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Bye Bye, Sweet Lola

The last 24 hours have been rough, to say the least.  Remember little Lola’s gimpy leg?  Well, it turns out that her injuries were much more extensive than anyone, including the vet, had imagined.  Long story short, at some point in the past, her leg was broken, and no one did anything about it.  The bones healed separately from one another with space in between.  The vet called it a non-union and said that she would require surgery that would cost more than the car I’m driving.  His guess was that the previous owner had put her outside, hoping that a coyote would make a “snack” out of her so they didn’t have to deal with the situation.

(Lump in my throat.)

Our choices?  Let her live like that and hope it didn’t hurt her too much or let someone else have her, someone with deeper pockets than ours.  We didn’t have to search for that person.  She offered.  She and her family had been praying about getting a dog and felt the time was right, but they wanted to rescue a dog that needed them and hadn’t found one yet.  They saw Lola’s picture and just had to have her.  Though we know it was the best choice for Lola, it was still a very difficult decision to make. 

I let myself fall in love. 

I bought a doggie purse to carry her around in.  I even stopped in the doggie clothing section at Petsmart, something I swore I would never do again after the Chico incident. (We dressed him like a hot dog for Halloween once.  He was ashamed and hid in the corner.) The only reason I hadn’t bought Lola an outfit yet was because I couldn’t decide which to get, the Smurfette T-shirt that said “adorable” or the red gingham sundress with the bows at the straps.  Goofy, I know.

I must admit, though, this isn’t my first case of the “doggie stupids.”  I was a little bit that way when we got Chico, but when we got him, we had just been emotionally burned by a wayward Chihuahua named Fred, a rescue dog that never appreciated anything we did for him.  He was cute, but he was mean and had it in for Hope.  If anything in the house upset him, he would lunge and bark at her. 

Time and time again, Fred dug out of the back yard and ran away.  Once, he was gone for four days.  We were worried sick.  The kids and I wandered the neighborhood calling his name, tears streaming down our faces.  We finally found him at a neighbor’s house.  Turns out he and his little Scottie dog girlfriend had been shacking up in the home of an elderly deaf man who had no idea they were there.   

By the time Fred ran away for good, I had had it with him.  I didn’t shed a single tear.  I figured that if he didn’t come back, he never really belonged to me.  I had certainly done my part and then some!  Only a week before, Fred had run away when I let him out to do his thing in the back yard.  As if he had been planning it, the moment I opened the door, he immediately beat a path to the gate, wriggled underneath it, and ran into the street. Now, we lived on the corner of E. 58th Street and Sheridan in Tulsa at the time, and Sheridan is one of the busiest streets in Tulsa. 

I panicked. 

I didn’t like Fred a whole lot, but I didn’t want him to die and I sure didn’t want to have to tell the kids that Fred had been squashed.  I didn’t think.  I just reacted.  Barefoot and only wearing one of Todd’s oversized T-shirts as a nightgown, I sprinted after our little prodigal, screaming his name to be heard above the traffic. 


I was easily a quarter of a mile away from our house before I realized that I was running up Sheridan half-dressed with no make-up and a bad case of bed head. I must have looked like a mad woman on a meth trip, but I kept going, squatting as I ran to try and cover the lower part of me that was catching an early morning chill.  I finally caught him at the Quik Trip at the corner of 51st and Sheridan and decided that was the last time I would ever go chasing after that stupid dog.  It was.

Every time I hear people refer to human beings as “the traitor race,” I think of Fred.  I used to find the phrase offensive.  Traitors?  Isn’t that a little harsh?  And, a different race?  Weren’t we made in God’s image? 

We were made in God’s image, yes, but not with God’s nature.  Greedy and disobedient, mankind misused the freedom God gave us, forsaking our relationship with Him in pursuit of our own desires.  Sure, Adam and Eve went first, but if it hadn’t been them, it would have been someone else and then everyone else after that (Romans 5:19).

Fortunately, God loves us.  He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to pay the price for our sin so that we could be redeemed and our relationship to and with Him could be restored (John 3:16).  He rescued us.  As if that weren’t enough, the Bible says He “seeks” the lost (Luke 19:10).  He chases us!  Why?  Not because we’re awesome–that’s for sure–but because He doesn’t want anyone to perish (Matthew 18:14). 

Listen, fellow run-away.  God is a much better Master than I am.  His adoption is permanent.  There’s nothing He can’t fix, and He forgives, no matter how many times you stray.  Are you ready to be caught?   

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