What our dog taught us

Do you remember losing something so dear? What did you feel? Panic. Fear. Worry. Of course you didn’t simply mope around with those feelings. You looked for that precious thing, whatever that is, determined not to leave any stone unturned. When you realized your search was in vain, you finally break down and cry. Most of the women do (but who knows, men have their soft side, too?).

Baby Boogie (New Year’s Eve 2012)
That’s what happened to my mother three nights ago when we lost our dog, Bogart or in English, Boogie. Sometimes, I felt she treats it more as her own baby than as a dog. Baby Boogie is a white shih-Tzu who doesn’t look like one cos Mama keeps on trimming his hair short and who doesn’t have a sense of direction, would run even to any stranger he meets.

Boogie got lost when he escaped from his cage that Sunday afternoon and slipped through the narrow opening under our gate. When my kuya was leaving the house, he forgot to put back the wooden plank intended to block that passage.

Mama and my sister, Valerie, got back from church to find an empty cage, an empty garage. No Boogie in sight. They looked around, asking neighbors along the way but still no Boogie. A few witnesses said another neighbor took Boogie in. Mama went to the house they pointed. The people there denied having seen Boogie. So, with a crushed heart, she went home.

That night, I saw her wiping some tears during her quiet time. I may not have cared about Boogie as much as she did but I felt her sorrow. Still, she clung to the hope that God will touch the heart of the person who got Boogie and return him to us. If not, that those persons will care for him more than she did.
While at work the next day, I received a text from my younger brother, Nikolai. Someone has returned Boogie. Yehey! Mama couldn’t be happier.

At home, while playing with Boogie, it hit me that I am like him. We are like him. Pardon me for the analogy. I know it’s degrading, even insulting, to be compared to a dog. But hear me out, please.

Boogie’s cage is like the restrictions God has put in our lives. Like when you want to pursue a relationship but He says no because it’s simply not the best for you. Or when you wish to be the filthiest rich man on earth but He says no because it will derange your life’s priorities. Sometimes, we feel He is a sadist, strict and kill-joy God who wants us penned in just for the sake of it.

He knows that we are as stubborn, as clueless, and as foolish as Boogie. We want freedom but we ignore what destruction awaits us outside God’s boundaries. We fail to see that the cage and the wooden plank are not to torture us slowly to a death by boredom. We fail to see that it is meant to keep us safe and secure inside the love, provisions and protection of our Master.

But a more profound reminder to me is how GREAT His love is. Remember the Parable of the Lost Sheep? When the man who owns a hundred sheep left the ninety-nine to look for that stray one? When he was happier about finding the lost 1 that about the 99 who stayed?

“In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.”
Matthew 18:14

If you ask, what if you’re so lost and you can’t find your own way back anymore? That’s the point. We can’t. I bet our tendency is to run away farther, either out of rebellion or shame. Guess what,

“I will search the lost and bring back the strays…”
Ezekiel 34:16

God sent someone to come out looking for you.

Even though it’s out of our stubborn will to escape from home, God was more than willing to give His everything to bring us back. He gave His one and only Son, Jesus!

Imagine if that neighbor asks of Mama to giveNikolai, her own son, in exchange for Boogie the dog and she willingly does. Crazy, right? We don’t deserve that but He did it anyway to show how much He loves me and you.

And these are the dougie lessons I learned:

1. Know who your Master is and that He loves you.
2. Remember you’re lost without Him.
3. He wants you to come home and stay with Him. Forever. 


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