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A Boy and his Dog

“The dog is out of the bag,” so to speak, thus I am not disclosing any secrets when I share that two of my grandchildren are getting a new puppy for Christmas. One of my other children already has a four-legged family member. Now, we are going to have two “grand-dogs” in the Muston clan.

I really can’t remember a time during my childhood when we didn’t have a dog. We never had to worry about buying a pet because of where we lived. Our house was located on the edge of town, headed towards the landfill. People would often drop off unwanted animals that would eventually find their way to our house. The result was lots of feral cats and a wide selection of pups to pick from for our family pet. Some of my greatest boyhood secrets were shared only with my canine best friends. There is a special bond between a boy and his dog!

For most of their growing up days, our children had a dog. We adopted one pooch after my then-secretary’s daughter rescued him from the middle of the street near the University of Memphis. I can still hear my sweet secretary pleading the case that “all children need a pet.” So, “Bubbles” came to dwell at Casa de Muston. She turned out to be a master of escape, who kept us on our toes trying to keep her inside our fence. Because we lived on a busy highway in Mississippi, we developed a pet cemetery in our backyard. My children learned about the heartbreak of death during those years.

With the children out of the house, Sandy and I have settled into a much calmer, quieter stage of life. We enjoy the visits and over-night stays with our seven “grands,” but we also enjoy the peaceful serenity of being a mature couple. No longer do we hear the “pitter-patter” of clawed feet, and we are okay with that fact. One of the few Bible verses that I can find dealing with dogs is found in Ecclesiastes 9:4: “But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.” This verse reminds us that even the lowliest of creatures can find hope in life, and the noblest of creatures cannot escape death. Life is a gift and death is guaranteed. We need to appreciate the living beings God puts in our lives, human and non-human.

Serving in love,

Bro. Jim

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