Archives, Biography, Orlando, Pondering


I just adopted Samwise, a Poodle/Maltese mix puppy in foster care with a Florida Dog Rescue organization. His mama had been rescued just before she gave birth to my very sweet puppy. I couldn’t believe no one else had snapped him up. But this dog was left untouched for six weeks until I saw him on the internet and was drawn to him by pictures and words alone. I was smitten permanently the moment I picked him up and he nuzzled right up against my neck.

But as a three-month old puppy, Samwise has much to learn. I have puppy-proofed the condo, and am reminded of what a being new to the world must quickly learn. “No!” is a critical word, as is “Sit.”

But the most important word in our shared vocabularv is “Come.” Come here Samwise, your food and water are ready. Come here, you need to be brushed. Butmost important, come just because I adore you and want you to sit with me so that you will know that you are loved and cherished: not because you attend to your
business outside, or because you are not chewing on my shoes or on the owner’s furniture. Come, rather, because I love you, my heart has room for you, and is open wide to you, and in this space of love you and I can both be who we really are.

So I stroke Samwise’ soft silky hair and think of my Father in heaven who loves his creation–including me. Not because he adopted me one day and has to make good on that word given in a particular moment– “Oh, alright, I promised to love you.

No, he loves me as me. The closer I am drawn to the Father, the more “me” I become, even occasionally taking on small traces of his traits. True, I must also learn “No” and “Sit”, not because me Father inheaven is arbitrary in his discipline, rather, because He sets commands that set mefree.

Samwise with the Watermans at the beach

Samwise is never more than a foot from my feet, just like his namesake Samwise, Frodo’s loyal companion of Lord of the Rings fame. My Renaissance man teaching partner, Reggie Kidd, tells me “Samwise” is Akkadian slang for “he who does not leave my side.” My dog is already well named.

So I am remembering again what it is to adore a living being. I don’t think God minds. I think, rather, that He loves the creatureliness of this puppy reminding me of the deep, passionate qualities of His love. I, for one, am incredibly grateful.

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