For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Fred Tails

Several folks have been asking about Fred. It occurred to me that I have not given updates on Fred in months. For those who do not know about our Fred Tails, let me get you up to speed.

Last March, our beloved Gummie died at that age of 14. Gummie was a precious 5-pound toy poodle, and she was a joy to our family. Needless to say, we missed her, so we chose to adopt a dog. I had planned on getting an adult dog, but the children became enthralled with the idea of a puppy. For reasons we are still unable to explain, we went with that. As a result, we adopted three beautiful puppies. Tristan was mine. Ginger belonged to our daughter, and Fred belonged to our son. Tristan would be a pretty good size dog, but Ginger and Fred were Beagle litter-mates, and they would be fairly small, only 15 pounds. It would work out.

Sadly, it didn't. Ten days after we brought them home, we had to make the choice to humanely put down Ginger and Tristan due to distemper. Fred, on the other hand, had a natural immunity, and with a boost from the vet, Fred made it through.

That was last June.

In July we had another Fred Tail scare. Fred began mutilating his tail. There was a strong possibility he would lose his tail, and there was concern that the distemper had affected his brain. Even if we saved his tail, could Fred still be saved? Again, God did wondrous things for Fred. Blessed with good veterinary care, our then 20 pound Fred got to keep his tail, and there is no sign of neuropathy.

When we had him neutered in September, our 30 pound Fred came through it with flying colors. Our vet also gave us some good news. Fred was nearly done growing.

At Christmas, we decided to see how much Fred weighed since we were sure he had grown since September. While we don't have an exact number, we know our daughter weighs over 70 pounds, and Fred weighs more than Anna.

Wondering how our "Beagle" got that big? Well, a Beagle doesn't get that big, but a Jack Russell/Lab mix does.

I won't lie to you. We never intended to have a dog that is closing in on 80 pounds. His head can lie on our kitchen table while all four of his paws are on the floor. Frankly, it has been a hard road. The dog looks full-grown, but he is a puppy. He eats things like a puppy. He destroys things like a puppy. He destroyed my large watering can. He can take a chew toy for a 60-pound dog and destroy it in less than 15 minutes. One day Rob took him to a park with a cement walking track that is approximatly 1/3 mile in length. Rob wore skates and held on to Fred's leash. Fred took off at a hard run. Six laps later, Rob's skates were no longer functional. They had disintegrated. Fred, however, was ready to play fetch.

Does that sound a bit daunting? If you aren't used to big dogs, it probably does.

Granted, we were not prepared for how big Fred has grown, and I'm not sure we were prepared for how big of a blessing he is either. When you look past his size, you find a dog with the sweetest temperament in the world. He loves his family, and he tries to please us. He is magnificent with the children, although he is still learning they are authority and not puppies. He and I have a routine. First thing in the morning, I let him out of his crate, and while I have my quiet time on the couch, he lies beside me with his head on my lap. I scratch behind his ears, read my Bible, and/or pray. We hang out, and it is exactly what I had wanted in a dog, even if this dog takes up 2/3 of the couch. At night, the children go to bed. Rob works on something computer oriented, and Fred and I are back on the couch. He isn't really a lap-dog, but he is a snuggle buddy, and if your toes are cold, you can't find a better heater.

But isn't that like a lot of our blessings? When we quit being bothered that they don't look exactly like we think they should, we have the opportunity to see just how big they are, and Fred is pretty big.

Praying your blessings are big...

1 comment:

  1. I'm so blessed by your love for God's animal creation. I'm exceedingly pleased He chose to place Fred in your home to love on you all.