The first night I brought her home I slept with her. I mean how could I not. She had the sweetest brown eyes and the softest skin. She was perfection. I remember laying next to her thinking about how complete she made me feel and how lucky I was to have her.
That first morning I awoke to her licking my earlobe and biting my fingers. A smile spread across my face as I saw her in the early morning light. He big soft floppy ears and otter like tail wagging in the sun. She was full of energy and full of life.
It was over 8 years ago that my lovely half golden retriever half yellow lab came into my life. Brandy has grown over the years to be one of the best dogs I’ve ever owned. She is as friendly as the day is long, used to be a faithful running companion (until age got the best of her knee), and has killed more snakes than St. Patrick drove out of Ireland.
In the evening, I will often spent a few moments with her sitting on the floor petting her graying yellow fur. During these quiet moments, I will look into her eyes and see a glimpse of what unconditional love looks like.
Yet as with all loving relationships, there are a few things she does that drives me nuts.
First of all, she ignores my call to come in from going outside. Preferring to spend a few extra moments near the garden or rolling down the back hill instead of listening to my command to return home.
She also has a sixth sense for finding roadkill on walks and in true Brandy fashion decides to roll around in the decaying roadkill to camouflage her scent. There have been a few late fall walks where Brandy ends up getting a freezing cold bath outside to rid herself of the scent of roadkill.
But it is her habit of laying right were you need to walk that drives me the craziest. Over the years she has decided the best place to lay in the house is smack dab in the middle of the action. Typically, this is the middle of kitchen floor or the middle of the living room. When you tell her to move all she does is raise her head slightly, give you the go around me look, and lay her head back down.
During one particularly hectic evening in the Undem house, I bumped into Brandy laying in the middle of the kitchen floor. It was right then, while I was holding a plate full of food, I realized something about my faith. Like my dog loves me, I too try and love God as unconditionally as possible and just like my dog I do things that I’m sure God would wish I didn’t.
There are the times where I slip into sinful behavior. Were, like my dog, I simply decide to lie down in God’s path and make Him go around me. I refuse to move despite God telling me to.
I need to work on getting better at moving when God tells me to. Learn how to listen to what He tells me to do. To take advantage of the sacraments to rid myself of the stench of sin. To learn how to love God as unconditionally as Brandy loves me and one day when He calls me home, I will go instead of rolling down a hill on my back.