a Jedi and grace

It’s eight A.M. I’ve already cleaned up three messes and I’m considering re-naming our dog Mr. Peebody or Mr. Weesburger. I’ve never had a puppy before, obviously, and I’m sure I don’t have enough of my imported Lysol wipes to make  it  three more days at this rate.

It’s been a little over a week since we scooped up a sick little puppy from the street and brought him into our family. And I’d love to say it’s been a wonderful experience, but sleep-depravation and constant clean-up make that a bit difficult at the moment. Still, the kids have loved having Kenobi in our family and friends with dogs say it will get better, six months from now, that is. Sigh.

Kenobi, that’s his name. Last week we watched all six Star Wars movies, hence we now have our own little Jedi. A doggie Jedi who decided to jump from our 2nd floor terrace (1st floor outside the US) on Sunday while we were gone and lived to tell the tale. Boy-tears were shed as we searched the empty terrace and neighborhood. Thankfully, he was found at the other end of the street by a neighbor and our landlord’s maid happened to see him and told us otherwise I have no idea how we would have found him.

Jack and Kenobi

So I have made it through an entire week of whining, cleaning, going to the vet every day (not me, but the Hubs) and getting to know this little creature. It’s hard to say if he is laid back because he’s still on a few medications. But so far our little Kenobi allows the kids to tote him around like a baby and smother him with love. Well, mostly love.

Just catching a ride.

I’m still not sure if I’m a dog person, but I suppose it’s too late to turn back now. He’s been adopted into our family and he’s ours. Mess, whining and all.

And it seems a deeper illustration can be drawn from all this. Something my mind keeps going back to when I’m reaching for the Lysol, plastic gloves and paper towels for the 100th time.

There’s something about the way he was a helpless, dying and frail little thing. Then, miraculously he was given life, abundance, hope even though he did nothing to deserve any of it. Then two days later, he jumped from the terrace in search of freedom, not realizing that if left on his own in his present state he would surely die.

This dog is always trying to run, escape his crate or whatever confines we’ve given him for his own good. Kenobi and I are a bit similar I think.

Something about this last week with our new pup reminds me of grace, sacrifice, and Jesus’ love for me. 

And perhaps it’s not so strange that God would use a dog, of all things, to remind me of his faithfulness during a time of soul dryness and physical exhaustion and frustration that I never seem have it all together and I just want to roll over and play dead.

With everything else going on in our lives, including the pup, I’ve felt a little undone lately and it’s all I can do to stay afloat (you could say I’m doggy paddling, perhaps? Sorry, I had to do it).

Look at those eyes!

So there he is (cute, right?), my little reminder that I’m a work in progress. That we all are and even people who look like they have it all together probably don’t. That sometimes we hit the puppy pad and sometimes we don’t, but even still there is someone who loves us regardless of what we do or don’t do as the case may be (Kenobi is about 1 in 4 with hitting the puppy pad, if you were wondering). Grace abounds.

*this is my 100th post. If I wasn’t in India I’d do some sort of nifty drawing and give away some dal or chai. Too bad I’m scared of the post office here.


the problem with never and evidence of my insanity

When we moved here I said “I’ll never…” many times. Too many times. I’ll never ride that, let my kids do that, eat that; the list goes on and on. And as a result many things on my “I’ll never” list have come back to bite me in the, well, you know what.

One such thing has happened and it’s a pretty big NEVER. If you know me you know that I am not an animal person. I don’t like animals, mostly because I’m terrified of them. And they smell and make a mess, and I like things pretty clean. I’ve only had one pet that I was sad to lose, Fluffy my gray cat that lived outside who died when I was a teenager. And unfortunately now I hate cats because I developed an allergy to them and can’t be anywhere near them without sneezing and breaking out into hives. No more Fluffy, ever.

And dogs. Don’t get me started about dogs. I’m terrified of dogs, I always have been. Last summer we were at a friend’s house and the dog started running around frantically and barking (at me I thought) and guess who ended up on the dinning room table clutching my three-year-old so we could escape? You guessed it. My husband still cringes at the memory.

Imagine my horror when we decided to move to India and what do they have an overabundance of? Dogs. Yes, lovely street dogs who sometimes turn nasty and bite people, but mostly just poop everywhere and take baths in the drains. Lovely, lovely, street dogs.

But India has changed me in many ways, it does that to people whether you like it or not. When we arrived one of the things I lamented was that our children could never have a pet. I would never, NEVER, have a pet in India. It’s too complicated with us traveling for long periods of time and there was no way I would ever want to walk a dog here (you have to carry a large stick to keep the other dogs away). The street needed to stay on the street– which included the dogs on it.

A few weeks ago a very pregnant dog showed up at our church (do you see where this is going?) and had a litter of puppies. They were so cute, but I never wanted my kids to touch them for fear of every possible disease being passed along. There was one dog in particular that had blue eyes that my 2nd born loved, animal lover that he is, but sorry kid, because we’re not having a dog. In India. Never ever.

The little guy looking for a shady spot.

The little guy looking for a shady spot.

Yesterday my husband had gone to a meeting at our church. The little dog that had been so cute and full of life no longer had any energy and had lost weight. He looked like he was dying. I cried when the Hubs told me. Death on the street happens every day to dogs here, why was this one any different? I couldn’t explain it, but my heart felt heavy.

Maybe I’m just tired of all the suffering around me that I can’t change. Maybe it’s the heat. Maybe I’ve finally gone crazy or soft or both. Heaven knows I don’t need one. more. thing. to look after, right?

The Hubs trying to get medicine into him.

The Hubs trying to get medicine into him.

We decided to go for it and take him from the street and try to help him (totally my call). One I couldn’t believe I made because I’m not an animal person, I have no idea what we’re going to do with a dog or if this dog will even make it. He’s very sick. While his brothers and sisters were bouncing around, he lay dying from various infections, malnutrition and dehydration.

Sugar Baby's tub has a new owner.

Sugar Baby’s tub has a new owner.

It’s been a long day, maybe an even longer night. The Hubs has been to the vet three times and has to go back in the morning. The dog can’t stay outside and I don’t particularly want him inside (he still smells quite bad and has other issues I’ll not mention here), but he’s a baby and he cries when we leave him.

This is not going to be easy.

So tired.

So tired and missing his mom and siblings.

Our first pet and it’s not what I would have imagined or chosen, exactly. We don’t even know what to name him. But here we are, doing what we can for a little guy who would be dead tomorrow if we did nothing. This is so not me, not my normal, but maybe normal is changing and that’s not a bad thing.

Gratefulness and Air-conditioning

cherriesAs I wrestle with the words that want to be written and wonder if I’ll ever be able to really say all that I want and need to say, I thought I might share something that came to mind today after reading something I read on FB (vague enough for you?).

It was a status update that unintentionally reminded that I need to be more grateful. Really grateful. Not just a little bit because I feel guilty, which is so easy to do here. But truly grateful because it’s the posture that gives me the best chance for finding joy in the mundane and beauty in the ordinary. Or what some might call, “My Life.”

So, until I can get some of the other stuff out that’s been brewing around in my head for months now, I thought I’d give you a little glimpse into a summer in Delhi and the things I’m most grateful for today.

This is exciting stuff, so don’t miss this.

Okay. Well, first of all I’m VERY grateful for air-conditioning. It’s averaging at about 109 degrees every day. When the power goes out, we melt or just sit very still under the fans as they blow hot air on our sweaty heads. We get snappy and frustrated at each other and hate people who are going to the beach and swimming in blue pools back home. But when there is power we like people back home again and are a little less snappy because our apartment is sort of cool. And hey, we at least have AC in every room which is more than most people in this city have during these long months when it’s just dry, dusty and of course, blazin’ hot.

Second, I’m grateful for health. I know, as soon as I write this we’re going to be hit with the plague, or typhoid or an amoeba or something they don’t even have a cure for. But for today, we are all healthy, albeit a little tired from the aforementioned heat.

Thirdly, I’m grateful for a time to slow down, sleep in, eat summer fruits and not have to go to the bus stop. I hate the bus stop. It’s on a main street and I still get the “best” looks from people passing by. Thankfully I’ve mastered a somewhat blank look that tries not to make eye-contact but is fully aware of all the attention I’m getting because I’m not from around these parts. No bus stop = no mid-day stressful cultural interactions. Yay!

Finally, I’m grateful that I’m beginning to dream again and that maybe the fog is lifting and I won’t be scared of my keyboard anymore. I’ve been terrified of it as of late for reasons that would make sense only to me and it’s time to get back to doing what used to be life-giving. I’m easing back in slowly, but I’m finally moving in the right direction.

So gratefulness. It’s good stuff and something we need more of around this place as week four out of seven of summer break is in full  swing around here and the natives are getting restless and we may or may not have watched three movies during the course of the day.

You do what you have to do to survive, right?