Monthly Archives: August 2019

A Non-Tail of Two Corgis

This is Piper, our first corgi. A lot of you mention Molly in your comments, so I thought I’d tell you a little bit about her and about Piper.

Molly was abandoned with no collar or chip when she was about 1 1/2 years old. Although we don’t know anything about her first year and a half, she must have been reasonably well-cared for. She’s bouncy and happy and healthy. She loves to chase her special spikey ball and she spins and weaves through my legs on command. She’s even learned to walk nicely on a leash! She’s been a great pal these last 4 years.

 

 

 

 

 

Piper, was also a tri-color female, and probably about 2 years old when we got her, but there the resemblance ends.

Piper had spent her first 2 years in a puppy mill having puppies, and she’d never been socialized or well-cared for. When we rescued Piper, she limped. At the first vet visit x-rays showed the limp was due to an old break that had never had proper care. The bones “healed” on their own to some extent, but not correctly. However, our vet didn’t recommend trying to fix it because there was already a lot of arthritis.

We had never had an unsocialized dog so we weren’t prepared for one that had no interest in people. But we worked with her and used lots of treats to reward her for staying around us. After much work, Piper eventually learned to sit and lie down on command. And she loved walks! She had probably never been on walks to see other sights and smell doggy smells!

One strange thing about Piper is that she never barked. And that is strange indeed for a corgi–it’s part of how they herd.

Instead one time when we came into the house both Amber, our golden retriever, and Piper came to meet us. Because Amber danced and barked, Piper had to wait a little until we could wade through a golden’s exuberant joy. But suddenly we heard a strange vocalization coming from around our feet.  We looked down to see Piper with her nose raised, singing. It sounded like a doggy version of a flute. She didn’t sing for us often, but when she did, we knew Piper was happy.

Because Piper had had such a hard life we only got to love and care for her for a couple years, and we were heartbroken when we had to have her put to sleep. But we learned a lot from her and I wrote the following to family and friends at the time: 

    We’ve been thinking a lot about Piper this week. Losing her has left a corgi-shaped hole in our hearts, but we’ve also been appreciating all that she taught us.

Rescuing Piper took us way out into the Oklahoma countryside. We bumped over narrow, country roads to find her, but that was nothing compared to how much God loves each of us, and the amazing lengths to which He goes to find and save each of His children!

Caring for Piper, we saw her come out of her shell and come a long ways in learning to love us back. She never became a golden retriever like Amber, but she always came and lay near us wherever we were and often came out to greet us when we came home–especially if it was near dinnertime!

This reminded us of how God continues to lovingly work with each of us, growing and sanctifying us. He never gives up on us even though He knows we’re not going to love or obey Him perfectly in this life–often only coming to Him when we need something.

Loving Piper, we often felt bad that she had not had a good start in life. In consequence she had physical and mental problems which we couldn’t completely fix. As she got older we put a ramp out back so she could get up the step. We scoured thrift stores to find an older carriage that was long enough for her so she could still enjoy some walks.  But we had to just watch and cringe as she stumbled more, even on flat surfaces.

It sure reminded us that because of the Fall we all have physical and mental limitations and difficulties that won’t be completely healed in this life. It must be even harder for God who loves us even more than we loved Piper, to see us stumble over and over again

Now that we have a healthy corgi and can see how active and loving they are, we are reminded that someday when we are with God, He will heal us completely and we will be perfectly healthy and whole, able to be and do all God meant for us!!

We learned some great lessons from Piper! She was a good dog!

 

A Stormy Year Along the Front Range

Along the Front Range of the Rockies, it’s been a year of storms. A blizzard in March  broke records and stranded thousands in their cars for hours. The National Guard had to come to their rescue.

In May one of the latest snowfalls on record brought heavy snow to already leaved-out trees, snapping large branches and whole trees. Clean up crews had work for weeks.

Summer finally arrived and we planted a rock garden in our back yard (see my recent post about rock gardens). Everything was growing well and even blooming more than I would expect for a first year.

Then the thunderstorms began. They follow a usual pattern—morning starts out sunny, soon a few puffy clouds peep up behind Pike’s Peak. These grow and multiply and seem to march across the sky in rank after ever bigger rank. Other times they produce streamers that seem to pull bigger clouds along behind them.

Soon we wrap Molly in her thundershirt and bring potted plants under cover.

By 1 or 2PM thunder rumbles closer, rain begins and lightning flashes. Hail pounds on the roof and punches holes in leaves. Bigger hail recently stripped the leaves right off plants. Water pours off the hill behind us and into the street where it deepens and finally swirls into the big storm drains.

The marshy retention area below us has stayed filled and ducks and Canada geese paddle around an area that is often dry by now.

 

 

 

 

There’s been so much water this year that some pipes in our neighborhood couldn’t handle it. Lots of head-scratching men arrived and eventually brought in tons of heavy equipment to put in new pipes.

Not an unusual summer pattern for the Front Range, and good for reservoirs and fewer fires, but like everything else weatherwise this year it’s gone on longer than usual, and  bushes look bedraggled and sad.

Here are before and after pictures of the butterfly bush.

I wondered if they could possibly recover before frosts that are just a couple months away.

Then my husband urged me to take a closer look at the butterfly bush. And right next to broken branches and leaves covered with holes, I saw new growth! I’m so excited and encouraged.

Storms come into all our lives at various times and often we just see the dark clouds and listen only to the threatening thunder. The rain and the hail seem to take over and blot out all else. But even in the midst of such storms, our heavenly Father is there to love us, encourage us, and grow us in ways that we only see when we look closely.

When difficult times come, do you, like me with my butterfly bush, just see the destruction and fail to look closely to see how God encourages and grows us through those times?