"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Reverend Batt and the Demon Dog

You may remember a couple months ago, I wrote about playing golf with one of our new Ministers, Reverend Batt (remember he didn't want his real name used), and I think at the time I mentioned an encounter I had with his dog, affectionately called the 'demon dog'. This name came from the time when Rev. Batt and his lovely wife Epiphany (yep, name changed) asked me to dog sit for their 'precious fur child' (as in the cockapoo in the picture) while they were out of town for the weekend. Don't let that peaceful pose fool you.

"Oh you won't have any problems," they assured me, "he's such a friendly puppy and loves everyone. He'll come running to greet you when you come in the house and will easily go outside for awhile, then come back in when he is ready. It will be an easy few visits." Hmmm, yeah. I went by that first night to let Precious out and had to go hunting him down where I finally found him on the bed, teeth bared, hair up, snarling like a wildebeest or worst. The more I tried to be unthreatening, the worse it got. Finally, I went to the kitchen and tried the old Hansel & Gretel trick of leaving a trail of treats from the bedroom to the kitchen. It sorta worked (he followed the trail), but once he rounded that kitchen corner and saw me, he reverted back to the beast of medieval times. I opened the back door, stood behind it on a barrel and hoped he would not notice me. He left, I hid, he came back in, I tossed a handful of more treats in the living room and ran for my life. The other trips that weekend did not fare much better. Thus, the demon dog name was born.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago...Batt and Epiphany were once again going on an overnight trip and asked me to demon sit. Batt told me he had had a long talk with Demon and that he understood I was good and was not going to hurt him. He said that Demon understood and would be on his best behavior. So, I reluctantly agreed to try again and tried to make a mental note to make out my last Will and Testament before the weekend.

Surprise of surprises awaited me. I cautiously opened the garage door into the house, stun gun in hand (j/k), and to my eyes appearing the most docile, tail-wagging, "excited to see ya" dog anyone could imagine. Demon bounded over to me, sniffing and licking my hand and jeans and when we got outside, all he wanted to do was to play fetch and be chased. Back in the house, I plopped on the sofa while Demon played with some strange duck-like toy (which he carries by the hind-end...but that's another story), and would bring his baby to me to play with, too.

Not trying to belittle Batt and Epiphany's chat with Demon, but something changed his behavior. Possibly the doggie conversation did have some effect, perhaps it didn't, but there was definitely some type of transformation.

When the routine of my day and life gets out of whack, I get grumpy and irritable toward most anyone who further disrupts the routine. If they catch me just right, I am probably snarling and greeting them much like Demon met me on that first occasion because I was not a part of his daily routine. He wasn't prepared for me or the change. Often, well most, well all of the time, it takes a talk with my Father to get myself straightened out and reminded that a change in routine is sometimes for my own good. It is in those changes that I learn new things and grow in some needed area of my life. My Father knows what is best for me and does not hinder changes to come my way so that I can grow.

Batt and Epiphany knew that Demon needed some assistance over the days they were gone and I was the one available. It just took awhile for the change in routine to help the pooch grow and understand it was for his best to have fresh food and water, to go outside and have some human contact and kindness.

Do you hear the still small voice of God when changes come? Or, like me, does it usually take a baseball upside the head to catch on to what He is trying to bring to your attention? Let's all work to be as easily adaptable as Demon (now to be known by his real name, Kenton) when changes come into our world.

And for today my friends, this is the gospel according to Jimmy.


At 2:23 PM, Blogger Nancy said...


He looks so docile in the picture! I can just see you, a grown man hiding behind the door and bolting for safety! What a transformation, I too need to be hit over the head with a baseball bat to catch on! Change is not my favorite thing.


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