I love to hear dog rescue stories. I remember one headline “Weiner dog protects owner, stands up to black bear.” I kid you not. Stories abound. A girl out for a walk with her dog sees an abandoned wheelchair and a woman floating in the river. Frantic, she tells her dog Penny to “Fetch!” Penny obeys, pulling the drowning woman ashore. A boy lost in the mountains is kept from freezing by the warmth of a husky who refuses to leave his side. Or take the stirring tale of Norman, a blind Labrador retriever who was summoned to action by the shrieks of the family’s children caught in the current of a foaming river. “Joey managed to reach the shore, but his sister was struggling, and in great distress. Norman jumped straight in and swam after Lisa. When he reached her, she grabbed his tail, and together they headed for safety.”
One day, I got to looking at my dog Mojo, wondering if she had the right stuff to be a people rescuer. So I decided to fake a heart attack in her presence. With just me and the dog in the living room, I let out an “Uhhhh!” clutched my chest, and collapsed face down onto some thick carpet. I lay motionless, squinting through thin slits. Mojo was perched on the back of the sofa, watching leaves rustle on our willow tree. I counted to fifty before she sat up, turned her head toward me, and cocked it slightly to the left. Aha! This may be working, I thought. She hopped from the sofa and strolled toward me. She pawed my pant leg, then climbed aboard, let out a long sigh, turned around twice, and curled up in the small of my back.
I’m trying hard to think of a life lesson in this, but it’s hard. Don’t buy a little dog? If I were dead, the 911 people would at least find her close to me. The small of my back would be warm. But all of us long to be rescued, don’t we? From the mundane, the predictable, the dark places of life. Maybe I loved rescue stories from the time I was young because I read so many in the Bible. David from the giant. Jonah from the fish. Jesus from the grave. There I read of one who would lead me to safety because He delights in me. I need a reminder today that God Himself has promised to rescue His children from every evil attack and one day bring us safely home.
Three minutes after my experiment went wrong, I had almost fallen asleep thinking of these things. It was quite comfortable there on the carpet. I heard Ramona’s voice: “You okay?” “Never better,” I said. “Never better.”