He was a scruffy dog that we had given to my sister’s children as a puppy. Part Jack Russell, part wire hair terrier and part tramp, Fred was an awesome dog. He loved his life on the small holding in Summerhills of Kwazulu Natal.
Days were spent hunting in the sunshine or chasing the ducks swimming on the little natural dam. Mom of course had a great love for Fred. Early mornings were spent with Mom sitting in a camping chair outside her kitchen door reading in the sun. Fred was always at her feet. He was mostly found lying on his back in the grass and feeling the warm rays of sunshine on his tummy. With Mom turning a rosy pink in the early morning sun she would retire to the coolness of her home leaving Fred free to roam the property. He could be located at any time by his wagging tail just standing a little taller than the long grass. Seeing him like this always reminded me of a bush pig in the wild. Those were glorious days for Fred. He could sniff a bit, chase a lot and generally do what dogs are meant to do.
And , with the passing of time, things change and the small holding needed to be sold. I could see how Mom was stressing over finding a proper home for Fred. He was such an easy dog to love and I could sense that he was very special to her. So I plucked up my courage and asked Dave if we could have another dog.
After much deliberation, we agreed that Fred could come live with us in our townhouse with a postage stamp garden. Our other two dogs, CD & Pixie would need to adapt to Fred. Dave cracked the nod and I went to fetch Fred.
Mom had Fred and his possessions ready for collection. My new dog reminded me of a little old man. But he was a proud puppy who owned a blanket, a brush, two tins of dog food and one packet of Bakers Blue Label Marie Biscuits. Of course he was thrilled with the pampering and getting ready to go on his big adventure. He showed no distress when it came time to climb in the car with me and hung out the window as we drove off – watching mom growing smaller as we headed up the bumpy road. He came in from the window to lie on my lap while I drove him to his new house.
Fred was in seventh heaven when he got to his new home. Provided he remained clean and flea free, he could not only have free access to the inside of the house but he could lie on the furniture too. And, the tins of dog food were shelved – the babies (previously known as dogs) only eat proper meat for dinner. If life on the small holding had been fun, our home was going to be glorious.
Fred was with us always. He loved sleeping on the bed with me – at the bottom in front of the air conditioner in summer and cuddled up next to my body during winter. And, Fred could win the championship for sleeping! He was excellent at it. Everybody who met Fred, fell in love with him. He was such a lovely boy with the most amicable nature.
Then the great flood of November 2011 came and swept through our townhouse complex leaving devastation in its wake. Fred understood mud and spent endless hours trotting muddy paws through the house. As fast as our Nana was cleaning the floors, Fred and CD were displaying their migratory patterns on the white floor tiles. A most frustrating affair. But, that too, came to pass and the council decided to restructure the bridge, passage of river flow and road around our houses to prevent the flooding from re-occurring. This was a project of great magnitude and work began a couple of months ago.
If we thought the flood was devastating, we had no idea how the graders would destroy our driveways and lifestyle. The huge machinery working outside our home caused both my dogs a lot of distress and Fred took to staying with my wonderful neighbour, Magz. CD would visit all the housewives and read the puppy news within the complex, chase a couple of crabs in the river, bark a couple of workers and chase a cat or two. She would at the appropriate time retire to our home to wait for us to come home from work. Fred on the other hand, started spending extended periods with Magz even after the graders had finished the section by our home. It became impossible to keep Fred at home – as soon as he woke up in the morning, he would trot off to Magz. At night, we would have to go fetch him – sometimes up to 3 times in one night. It was most annoying and embarrassing the way he had adopted Magz and her family
Eventually, I have decided to leave him be – I cannot force him to want to be with us. I cannot force him to love me. He must just do what it is that he must do. If Magz wants the dog, then he must go and live with her. I was very upset by this decision but made it because I loved Fred so much.
Then I got to thinking… Fred is like humanity being lost in the world, dirty and riddled with fleas but happy without the knowledge of a better life. Then God comes and takes us to His home. He cleans us up and gives us the best of everything. No more dog food in a can – proper meat is served. We have privileges of being in a spotless house and lie in the lap of luxury. All we need to do is Love God and obey his commands. But yet we fight Him and spend our lives running away and hiding from Him. We want to be doing what we did before – it is in our nature to be out in the open and running wild. And God, in all his Grace and Mercy, comes to look for us when night starts to fall. Why? Because He loves us. He scoops us up in his arms and takes us back home where he loves us and gives us fine things. He comforts us when we are hurting. He wants to spoil us.
Imagine if God said it was fine to let us go and do whatever it is that we must do – go to another master. He is done with us! How devastating. Through Fred, I came to realise how Great our God actually is. In spite of humanity rejecting Him and only seeking Him when they are needy, He continues to look for us and offer us His protection and comfort and Love.
My Fred can remain my boy forever. I will continue seeking him and bringing him home. Because, today, I learned a valuable lesson from him. When I look into his face from now on, I will remember God’s grace and mercy and eternal love for us.
Author: Jenny Potgieter
GOD bless you Jenny for allowing us to share this awesome message with others. I do believe many will be encouraged by this message.
COOL with us.
Gavin B Ferrier
COOL Ministries International