Tag Archives: dogs

When Failure Leads To Success

Our family loves dogs and over the years we have had a few

 but one will always be extra special in my heart.

Savanna  was a beautiful, black labrador- trained to be a show dog,

but her sensitive personality made it difficult for her to perform before crowds.

That failure led to our adopting her as our family pet and

 oh what a precious dog she was for many years.

Her place was usually at my feet whether I was upstairs or downstairs. Right at my feet.

She played with my daughters and they dressed her with doll clothes and

 gave her a part in every activity.

Savanna rode with us in the car and loved the wind blowing on her face

when she put her head out the window.

She lived to the ripe old age of 15 and it was with great sadness that she was laid to rest

 but the lessons I learned from her live on in my heart today.

Fancy tricks are wonderful for a show dog but loving your family is a higher calling.

She truly loved each member of our family in a special way.

Her sensitivity became a marvelous strength in her role as a family dog.

She taught me the importance of being with me.

While many spend their lives doing, doing, and doing more, Savannah gently pressed her wet nose against my leg, curled up contentedly and enjoyed being in my presence.

Lord, help me to learn the value of spending time in your Presence contented to be with you.

Teach me the value of loving one person at a time rather than hungering for the applause of the crowd.

Let me see that what might appear as weakness to some is the greatest strength in the right place.

Help me to be patient with myself and give myself grace.

Yes, so many lessons she taught me and in my heart she lives on.

Thank you, Savanna. You will always be precious to me.

Shining Moments

In the middle of the night I creep down the stairs

to listen to my lab’s deep breathing.

Thank you, Lord, I whisper as I quietly tiptoe back upstairs.

All is well.

At almost 15 years old I count every day with her a gift.

She’s been sick lately and I’ve been nursing.

Lots of TLC, smaller meals fixed carefully, pills,

more walks outside.

Each time I rub her ears I look deeply into her eyes.

You can do it, I encourage. You can keep on…

a little while longer.

But it tugs at my heart, this recent illness.

She’s old and I don’t know how long she will be able to fight.

Upstairs I look in at my youngest and listen to the soft sound of her breathing.

Thank you, Lord, I whisper again

and then turn towards the bed of my oldest.

Sounds of her sleeping greet my ears

and I smile again.

All is well.

As I go back to my room I listen to the deep breathing of our little cocker spaniel

sound asleep.

All is quiet.

All is calm.

All is peace.

Surrounded by these gifts of precious life

I know that I am blessed.

Yes, quiet evening walks have a way of reminding you of that.

Tomorrow will take care of itself

But for now, I can rest,

knowing that all is well,

and that we are held in His Hands.

Teach us to number our days, the psalmist said. (Psalm 90:12)

So in the midst of the rushing pace of our demanding world

I like to take these nightly walks

counting my blessings

one by one.

Shining moments that brighten my days and nights.

My heart praising the Giver of all Life.



Shining Moments

I can’t imagine my life without her.

For 13 years now she has been with me.

No, I’m not talking about my girls….my black lab, Savanna Molly Star Brani.

I got her when she was about 1 and brought her home for a trial visit.

At that time my oldest was 5 and I needed a child friendly dog.

Up until then I had had cocker spaniels.

“Get a real dog.” a friend of mine suggested. So I went looking.

Found a breeder who had this lab that just didn’t make it as a show dog.

Would I like to see her?

Sure, I thought. Wouldn’t hurt to look.

It was a bright day in April that my daughter and I drove to the farm

    and met Savanna for the first time.

She was big….

         and very black…..

    but I thought she might work. So we took her for overnight

      just to see.

She was anxious and easily got startled at every little sound.

Taking a dish out of the cupboard caused her to jump with fright.

I just didn’t know.

She refused to jump into the backseat of the car.

“Savanna, please” I begged pushing her from the rear.

My light weight was no match for her solid 55 pounds.

But after pulling from the front and pushing from behind

    we got her in the backseat and home.

But nighttime came.

She refused to do the steps. No way was anyone going to make her go up those steps.

I looked at her and decided we would all sleep downstairs that night.

Pull out the sleeper sofa. Lights turned out.

I tried to sleep but was so uneasy with this big black dog that refused to settle down.

Morning took forever to come

   and by the  time it did I had decided

      she was going back. I just knew it wouldn’t work.

God must have smiled at me.

“Try hotdogs.”

Hotdogs? So I cut up a hotdog carefully placing one piece on each step

    and waited to see what she would do.

All of a sudden she galloped up the stairs being careful to eat each piece of hot dog.

My heart lifted.

Could it be that she would work? Somehow?

Maybe so…maybe something good could come from this big black lab.

Well the years have passed and Savanna is now 14.

She can’t run as fast or dive into the lake as carefree as she used to.

But she still climbs the stairs wanting to stay by my side all of the time.

Whenever I sit here at my computer to work

     Savanna is right at my feet.



       and patient with everyone

this precious dog has found a place in my heart like none other.

God knew we needed her

    Yes, He knew I needed her

    to challenge my biases

    to stretch me out of my comfort zone.

Doesn’t He often do that?

Loving Teacher that He is we can trust Him in every situation

    to give us what we need

    not what we say we want.

All of life serves to teach us lessons

   and this dog

     that was once rejected

       is a prize we almost missed.

Thank you, dear sweet Savanna.