This is Miss Crystal. Miss Nancy sent me an email this morning and asked me to post for you. She’s had a hard week—her foot surgery HURTS. Today though, her heart hurts a little more, I think. She asked me to tell you why, and the only way I can think of to do that is to tell you a little story.
See that picture on the banner? That’s Miss Nancy and her two dogs, Guinness and Geneveve. I took that picture the very first time I went to Miss Nancy’s house. And it was kind of a big deal. Here’s why…
When I was about eleven years old, I delivered newspapers around my very small town. I’d walk for an hour after school, dragging my wagon of papers behind me. At one house, a big old dog knocked me down because he was so excited. When I wasn’t as excited as he was, he bit me on the arm.
I’ve been afraid of dogs, especially big ones, ever since.
When I first met Miss Nancy, she invited me to her home. I really, really wanted to go—but the only problem is she had those two big dogs. So I prayed and asked God to help me. I watched a television show about dogs and learned they would respond to me, so if I was nervous they’d be nervous, and if I could stay calm they would stay calm. I begged God to keep me calm.
Miss Nancy understood, so she had both dogs in doggy-daycare the day I arrived. Later we went and picked them up, and oh my goodness! These two G I G A N T I C dogs jumped in the car, and I thought we were having an earthquake. They slobbered everywhere. They stuck their heads in between the front seats so they could kiss Miss Nancy. Guinness (he’s the white one) licked my ear.
I started to think I’d made a really big mistake. And God helped me stay calm.
Geneveve (she’s the more brown dog) would flop over and beg me to rub my foot on her belly. Guinness though, he’d come up beside me and practically knock me over. God reminded me what the dog trainer said—that the dogs would be calm if I was calm.
You know what? It kind of worked. Every day, Miss Nancy would give the dogs a big old bone. They sucked on it and slobbered over it and crunched on it and then … then they wanted to share it. Guinness especially. He’d bring it over, staring at me with his big brown eyes. It’s like he wanted me to take the bone, but then he wouldn’t let go.
There was this one time when I reached over to it and held on. My hand was practically inside Guinness’ mouth. He wouldn’t let go. I slowly moved my head closer to him and touched my nose to his. God reminded me to stay calm. Miss Nancy laughed and said, “Not bad for a girl who’s afraid of dogs.”
It seemed like Guinness and I were getting along. Last year as I stood looking out over Miss Nancy’s lake, Guinness stood beside me, and then he reached over and placed his head against my knee. I reached down and petted him, amazed at how we had become friends. Pretty cool, huh?
This past week, while Miss Nancy was recovering from her surgery, Guinness became sick. I could hear the concern in her voice when I spoke to her on the phone yesterday. Guinness had to stay in the animal hospital. It was serious.
Last night, the dog who helped me not be afraid of dogs, died.
Some of you know what that’s like because you’ve had to say goodbye to pets too. As you can imagine, Miss Nancy is very sad and that’s why she asked me to post. I know you understand.
Miss Nancy will be back with you next week. In the meantime, I know she appreciates your prayers.