Friday, July 16, 2010

Alligators and Puppies


Lucky is on a hunger strike and a 9 foot alligator was found Wednesday in the surf of Coligny Beach, the beach we head to on Saturday for our family vacation. These two seemingly disparate events are connected, I just know it.

I will tackle it like an essay- compare and contrast these two events and summarize. In this manner, I hope to stumble upon a revelation that will lighten the burden of life, expose the deep meanings of God's mysteries, and if not, at least practice proper punctuation. ( I am nototious for not using CAPITAL letters because it involves extra work to hit the shift button, but as my son Anders tells me, "Mom, punctuation is there for a reason.")

Both the hunger strike and the alligator involve animals with teeth. One chooses to use his teeth NOT to eat, the other to eat small children and inflatable rafts. Both animals were busy doing something they were not supposed to be doing- one by abstaining from what he was supposed to do, and the other by doing what he was not supposed to do. Dogs are supposed to eat, and alligators are supposed to contain their reign of terror in fresh water only.

In both cases, there is an evident design by the hand of God that has been distorted. The result is the same.... they are both conspiring to ruin my beach vacation. All Lucky's vet work two days ago revealed a healthy dog, so I think his hunger strike is psychological which I will go into momentarily. The alligator swimming where only sharks used to lurk makes it HIGHLY likely I will not go in the water higher than my toes, and if I let my kids go in, will have to stand on shore chewing my nails and holding the sand digging pick should I see thrashing and blood. I will of course research whether it is best to stab the alligator in the eye, or in the nose before we go.

The authorities did catch the 9 foot alligator,and are not sure what he was doing there, though they suspect he was sick or confused. His presence on my beach certainly made me sick and confused. Or, they theorized, there were too many people in the fresh water area he was from, and so he was looking for some peace and quiet in the deep blue sea. Meanwhile, the authorities tell me Lucky is healthy and fine. But as day 5 of almost no food came and went, I began to suspect the hunger strike, which coincided suspiciously close to the advent of the puppy may have an obvious cause. I think he, like the alligator, was overwhelmed by the presence of too many creatures in his once empty home. Adding Honeybun, who had initially tried to kill him, was bad enough. But now this puppy that never lets him sit or lie down without being pounced upon and nibbled was the final push and I think Lucky has landed in full blown depression.

The authorities in Hilton Head caught the alligator and took him to a remote, distant swamp. I snapped the leash on Lucky and jiggled my car keys. His ears perked slightly, though he remained listlessly on his bed, head down.
"Lucky," I called, "Want to go for a ride?"
Lucky shot up. All his languor of the past 5 days shed away when he realized not a single other dog was being invited..... just him. I shoved the other two dogs back, threw Asherel a bucket of lysol and rags and instructions to follow the puppy's ever productive bottom, and took the now prancing Lucky to the car.

I let him sit in the coveted front seat, where the dogs are not allowed. I knew if we crashed, the air bag might kill him, but drastic measures were clearly called for. As he settled happily in the front seat, I offered him a treat. He gobbled it up. Then we headed to the Greenway, the shady mecca of trails full of scents and wide open stretches of NO PUPPIES.

Lucky was the perkiest and happiest I have seen him in a week. When we got home, I offered him his dinner. He ate it all.

I think God was telling me something. There are times when too much of a good thing is too much. There are environments we are well suited for and when they become overwhelming, we do things we would not ordinarily do, often to our detriment. We have only one day left with Zach, and then he returns to HCF to be placed on the adoption list, and I know someone is going to have a really wonderful dog. He is playful, and smart, lovable and energetic, and is nearly potty trained after just a week. On the other hand, we will keep Lucky who is quirky, irritable, cranky, and temperamental, if not outright psychotic at times. Go figure.

The alligator is back in fresh water and Coligny Beach is now populated only by native monsters like jellyfish and hammerhead sharks. Lucky is back to almost normal, which is as close as he gets, and the pup goes to HCF, and I hope adoptive parents soon. We survived, the pup survived, the alligator survived. All will soon be on their way to the place where they belong, where they can find a peaceful and permanent home....which is what God is nudging me towards as well. But it is not here on Earth and it is to my detriment to think this is where I was meant to settle.

Genesis 32:17
'To whom do you belong, and where are you going, and who owns all these animals in front of you?'

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