Things have been heavy lately.
Sometimes that's good. Sometimes it makes you think in new, deeper ways and push hard into Jesus. It teaches you to pray. It teaches you the meaning of faith.
A person can get tired though. Worn. Even good things can wear you out. Not-so-good things wear on you all the more.
Perhaps this is why God made dogs. To help rejuvenate the weary soul.
Schubert has been making me laugh lately. Maybe it's just me, but even if these stories aren't funny to anybody else, I'd like to remember.
Recently we obtained a new daybed for our sunporch. It's been a process. We sold the bunk beds, maybe in April, because all our kids are too tall to fit in them lengthwise when they visit now. God provided the sweetest family, with two darling little girls, to take away this memory from my home. Shawn helped the people load up their truck and tie everything down. Just before they drove away, the four-year-old came running back and gave us both hugs and kisses. So that was the last we saw of the bunk beds, and mercy, it helped.
We moved the futon from the sunporch into the room where the bunk beds had been, creating a place where a guest can sleep on a queen sized bed when the futon is folded down. But then we needed seating on the sunporch, so we bought a daybed for our last remaining single mattress, and moved it down.
Schubert thinks this was a capital idea.
The other day I was gone for about six hours. When I returned home, the daybed (which I had left neat and tidy, pillows plumped) was completely disheveled. Schubert thinks it is his, and he roots around on it with wild joy and abandon. Sometimes I try to imagine what it looks like when this tiny dog is home alone, trying to arrange to his satisfaction pillows that are much bigger than he.
Schubert and I had another joyous occasion on Monday. Two packages arrived on our front step. One was a dress I had ordered to try for David's upcoming wedding. The other was from a veterinary medical supply company, some medicine and new toothpaste for Schubert.
"Look Schubert!" I exclaimed, "Our packages have arrived! This is so exciting!" He frolicked about, leaping and sniffing as I retrieved the boxes and carried them to the kitchen table. "Look!" I told him, holding up the small white box that contained his veterinary supplies, "This is for you! You are going to like this so much!"
Of course, he doesn't care much about his minocycline prescription, except that I do put it into a blob of cream cheese to get him to take it. But the minocycline was not the draw. No, the draw was his poultry flavored toothpaste. Schubert has CUPS, or Chronic Ulcerative Paradental Stomatitis, which is a painful condition of his gums stemming from allergies and requiring daily toothbrushing, among other things. We brush his teeth every night, but it's been ages since we had a toothpaste he enjoyed. He has a tube of vanilla mint toothpaste, but vanilla mint does not float his boat. We set that tube aside for awhile when Shawn was able to locate a tube of "beef flavored-mint scented" toothpaste, whatever that meant. It smelled slightly sweet and malty. Schubert tolerated it. It was preferable to the vanilla mint. But that ran out and we were using vanilla mint again, until this package arrived.
"Look, buddy dog! It's your poultry toothpaste! Your favorite!" I sang out as I sliced through packing tape and extracted the small box that held his new tube. Schubert wiggled and hopped and wagged his tail as hard as he could, snuffling eagerly as I squeezed a dollop of paste onto my finger and let him lick it off. It was a satisfying thrill.
Then I unwrapped my new dress and tried it on. I zipped it up and put on a pair of heels to see how I looked. It fit perfectly and was a magnificent color. By a gracious miracle, it was better than I had dared hope it would be.
When I went to take the dress off, I had a problem. The top of the dress was beaded, and the zipper pull was also an elongated bead. Reaching behind myself, with dull, lupus-swollen fingers, I couldn't tell where the zipper was, and I could not unzip the dress. Hence, I was stuck in it.
I texted Shawn--fortunately it was well after 5:00--and asked, "When are you coming home? I need help getting out of this dress before I sweat it up."
Shawn had an HOA meeting and was already on his way, thank goodness, so that crisis was averted.
At bedtime, Schubert remembered that he had delicious new toothpaste. He came running eagerly when I called him for his toothbrushing. Usually he is mildly hesitant and has to warm up a bit by licking the toothbrush before I stick it into his mouth to clean his teeth, but that night he eagerly lunged forward, tongue flapping, licking and slurping and chewing to get every last bit of his favorite poultry toothpaste.
Oh, the little joys that keep us going.