Pop Pop Epistle #7 – About Our Goldens

PP5Dear Grandkids,

Have I ever told you about our pups?

Your Nona and I had 2 dogs while your parents were growing up. Both Golden Retrievers. Cassidy and Molly. They were great dogs and family members and we loved them dearly. We got Cassidy when we were living in Massachusetts while I was in seminary. We were in our 2nd year of marriage and she was our first “child.” In a lot of ways she helped us learn how to parent. She was with us until just a few weeks before Tucker was born. We were already living in Durham when we got Molly and she gave us 13 great years.

It’s been 10 years now since we had dogs living in our house but I still remember some of the things I learned from them. For example…

1) They were willing to learn and wanted to obey – That is the nature of goldens. They want to please their master. I taught our dogs to do some “tricks” that most other dogs would have given me a look that said, “You’re kidding me right?” I used to take my finger and “shoot” Cassidy and she would fall over “dead”. Just because I told her to. I taught her to fetch the newspaper so I didn’t have to walk down the driveway to get it. This is the kind of attitude I need before the Lord. A willingness to do what He says just because He tells me to.

2) They were never short on enthusiasm – It just seemed that they loved life. I always had the impression that they thought whoever came over to our house had come specifically to see them and play with them. They were always so excited to see people and showed their enthusiasm not just by wagging their tail but by wagging their entire body. They genuinely felt that it was their job to make other people feel better about life. This is what I want: I want other people to feel better about life because they have been in my presence.

3) They always seemed to be smiling – I still think this every time that I see a golden. There just always seemed to be a contentment that found its way to their face. No matter what the circumstances they never allowed things to keep them from experiencing joy… and smiling. My Pastor friend in Haiti, Leon Dorleans, always reminds our teams that go there that even if we can’t communicate in Creole we can still smile. That smiling is a universal language. I have found this to be true. A smile can go a long way to building bridges with people. And even when I don’t feel like smiling, a smile will often remind me how much I have to be grateful for.

One day you will have to get your parents to tell you some of their Cassidy and Molly stories. They were wonderful dogs who helped us learn how to enjoy life.

Never ever forget that you are very loved!

Pop Pop


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