Friday, May 21, 2010

Tiny dogs

Our neighbors just got a dog from the humane society that is smaller than many flowers. For a few seconds after meeting her, Lucky forgot to strain at his leash and growl his typical socially retarded greeting because he didn't realize she was a dog. He thought she was a squirrel on a leash. She is the sweetest creature and I suspect wasn't snatched up sooner from Humane Society Lookyloos because they thought she was a speck of dust.

She has other unusual attributes besides having been clearly shrunk in the wash. We have not heard a single sound out of her. Most little dogs are yippy, and bitey, and hyper. Little Piper (so aptly named since as far as we can tell, she doesn't pipe or bark or growl or possess any vocal apparatus at all) must have been removed from her mother before she could be taught canine sounds. Her mother also did not have time to teach her typical annoying little dog habits. So Piper is gentle and quiet, and calm. We are helping the neighbors out this week, walking her midday while they are at work. She rolls over in the sunny grass, which is much taller than she is, and quietly implores us to rub her belly. The neighbors not only have this sweet peaceful little creature that barely takes up 2 molecules of space, but have an immaculate house. When I walked in with Asherel to pet and help with the little dog (we each got one molecule of dog), I stopped in the portico and sniffed.
"What's that smell?" I asked.
"I know," said Asherel, "I have never smelled it before either."
I glanced around at spotless white carpets, shining counters, gleaming honey wood floors, white walls without a single hand print on them.
"I suspect it has to do with the condition of this home. I think it is a clean house smell."
"Oh," agreed Asherel, "That is probably why we couldn't place it..."

A tiny seed of jealousy the size of Piper began to nibble at my soul. How do people do this? How do some people manage to get peaceful gentle dogs that don't bark and homes from the Planet where filth and clutter don't exist? I have a nagging suspicion it isn't luck.

So I won't go over there much. This is Asherel's job anyway and walking in that house and breathing that fresh clean air is just too convicting of my shortcomings. Unlike that tiny dog that will forever be tiny, my discontent never stays tiny. I am forever running into circumstances that make me long for anything but what I have. This is stupid. I don't use that word often, but I think shock therapy may be my only hope. Contentment in little things is perhaps the greatest key to satisfaction in life. Funny how that tiny little dog named for an attribute she doesn't possess reminds me to reach for magnanimity of spirit that makes me content despite what I don't possess.

Because of course, what I do possess is bigger than the universe.

1 Timothy 6:6-7
But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.

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