4 Years Ago

Since Chloe turned 4 a week ago today, I’ve been looking at her “puppy” pictures.  These are two that really made me smile.  The first is when she entered the training program, and honestly!  She was hardly big enough for her vest!  In training, the dogs wear “therapy dog” vests for the first part of their training.  As a teenager, she still didn’t look like “my Chloe” yet.  At some point the trainers evaluate whether or not the dogs will “wash” from the program.  I have been told that Chloe was an incorrigible puppy.

At some point, the trainers decided that they were seeing an occasional “spark”.  Something that they look for, something that they know tells them this dog loves to work.  I’m glad they never gave up on Chloe.  She’s so dedicated to her job now, and to me!  Her pictures in her red “working dog” vest look more like the dog I know!

I wonder if the dogs ever really realize they are being trained to help change someone’s life?  I think they get such a kick out of being loved and trained, that they don’t ever realize how important they’ll become to an individual.  Each day probably seemed the same as the one before… honing skills and occasionally learning something new.

It made me remember that we as people forget what kind of difference we are making. Some of us have monotonous jobs perhaps.  Maybe you work a job that you do not feel makes a big difference because you don’t get paid a lot, or get a lot of recognition.  Maybe you are a volunteer for something or serve in some way that gives you great joy, but is rarely acknowleged by anyone else.

I don’t have a job that makes a huge difference in the lives of a great number of people.  I work part-time, and am a full-time wife/mother. I remind myself, however, that I only need to do my best to make a difference in the those who ARE in my life.  It may be a year or two, maybe even four… where hopefully someone will remember “something” that I was able to teach them that will make a difference.

I suppose that is why we must be so careful of each and every day.  We do not know how many days God will grant us.  If we waste one day of living to be a BLESSING, it may have been our last opportunity to do so.  No excuses.  People with disabilities, hardship, sickness and problems can still CHOOSE to be a blessing.

Maybe you feel like you are only going through the motions.  Maybe for now you are in “training”.  It may a year or two before you see what God can do with a trained “you”.  But don’t ever look to far ahead… He uses those puppies in the green vests too.  He can use you even when you are still training.  Besides… I know very few “dogs” who are no longer training for something!

Denise Portis

© 2008 Hearing Loss Journal

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2 thoughts on “4 Years Ago

  1. that tiny little spark of something special in a puppy… how many times I’ve been frustrated with Kenai, then out of the blue he gives me 8 or 10 seconds of magic to keep me trusting him until he’s grown!
    I think that Kenai sometimes realizes there’s a purpose for all the practice and obedience commands we work on. Not always, but the lights go on at times.
    When he sees me fall, he will deliberately go against his own desires to chew the bone or have one more run around the field. Sometimes I think he knows…
    Sometimes I think we know too, in those moments when we see God’s hand in our helpfulness or his kindness in our words. I guess God sees the little spark of something in us, no matter how many training flubs we hand Him.

  2. A great post! I love dogs! Most dogs really do love to work. Our dogs will “play” for hours. I know they would have made good working dogs because we could have turned their “play” into “work” and they wouldn’t have known the difference.

    Yes, we can make a difference. . . one person at a time. And I really do think being a mom is one of the highest callings on earth! You are doing great and can be proud of your accomplishments.

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