Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Greater love hath no dog

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. John 15:13-14
This is my command: Love each other. John 15:17

When I was five, my parents adopted a miniature poodle from the Humane Society shelter. We named her Gypsy. She was gunmetal gray, with soft, wavy hair—not curly, like a poodle. Sometimes, her hair grew out all shaggy, as you see in the photo.

Although only about 25 pounds, Gypsy was a giant in spirit. She knew about 70 phrases and commands, learned with graham cracker treats. She came along on every vacation between Phoenix and northern Minnesota, where my grandparents lived. Gypsy would stick her head out the window and her pink tongue would fly in the Rambler’s slipstream. When we arrived at the lake cabin in Minnesota, Gypsy snuffled around the lake shore while we frolicked in the water.

My teenage cousin Debbie had a similar hairstyle and coloring to my mom. When Debbie flew by the dock on water skis and released the tow rope, Gypsy thought Debbie was Mom, and Mom seemed to be drowning. Gypsy, at full tilt, launched herself from the dock and paddled to Debbie to save her life. When Debbie turned around to swim back in, Gypsy discovered her mistake, gave up on the rescue, and headed back to shore, but her long fur dragged her down in the water. My dad ended up rescuing the struggling dog. Thirty years later, we still laugh at the memory.

Another time, my family was playing on a hand-pulled mono-rail car, crossing the Verde River in Arizona. My younger brother shouted with laughter, and that was enough for the mighty poodle to launch from our elderly friend’s care, diving into the swift river to save us. Again, Gypsy had to be rescued from her heroic mission.

God gave us domestic animals for love, companionship, to assist us in many ways, and to teach us lessons about our relationship with and obedience to our Master. The prophet Nathan used a pet ewe to teach David about his sin (2 Samuel 12). Many faithful animals love their masters more than their own lives, and their obedience is legendary.

Praise God for His wisdom and His gift of pets to brighten our lives and teach us about love, tenderness, obedience, and loyalty.


  1. Sunny Lockwood said:
    This was a wonderful tribute to Gypsy, Christy! What a great spirit that darling poodle had! And I loved sharing in her/your adventures! Thank you for cheering up my evening!

  2. Pamela Tarango said:
    Christy, I liked your blog about Gypsy. You must know already that I love dogs. I also had a chance to scroll down and look at some of your other entries. You are such an inspiration. I especially liked what you wrote about your experiences of the last year. I admire your ability to maintain a positive outlook, in spite of all the adversity you've suffered. Thank you for being willing to share all that. You really touched me.

  3. Thank you, Sunny and Pamela, for the affirmation.


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