Lord have MERCY !!!

My daughter, Jena, moved three hours away a few months ago to take a job at Roper Hospital in Charleston.  I miss her, but she is twenty five, and stayed in our nest longer that most chicks (didn’t think I’d pass that one up, did you?)

I find traces of her around the house daily. That black skirt of mine she swore  never to have worn? I guess a kleptomaniac monster was camping out in her closet and forgot to return it.  Apparently, it treated itself to a mani/pedi; I  found pink stained, cotton balls stuck to the floor along with a half used bottle of baby blue polish. I believe she wore that hideous color just to annoy me.

My daughter has so many admirable virtues, but cleanliness probably won’t be the one that brings her closest to godliness.

Of all these things however, it’s the menagerie of animals residing on the farm that screams….JENA WAS HERE!

When she moved, she took only Darcy, the six years old, Yorkshire Terrier. Jensi would have loaded her Equinox with the whole barnyard, because, like me, she loves animals.  But, she had problems.  #1…Scott is allergic to animals and part of his weekly salary goes to the ZYRTEC company..#2 There’s a $300.00 PER pet fee in that fancy apartment she calls home! Darcy barely made it in!

After Darcy, came Bindi Sue, a Lassie look alike Jena rescued from an abandoned house.  Her daddy had mentioned a few times that he might enjoy owning a border collie, so she figured a rough coat collie was a reasonable substitute.  Bindi Sue was named in honor of The Crocodile Hunter’s, daughter.  My Chipper really does loves her a lot.

Next, in line is Desmond.  Bindi outgrew Darcy and the house, so Jen wanted another playmate for Darcy.  I wasn’t excited about having two inside dogs, but, being an animal junkie, I agreed..with two explicitly clear stipulations. I’m not keen on short haired dogs, especially chihuahuas, it’s those big ears on a tiny head..no chihuahua. Number 2, girl dogs successfully use wee pads, boy dogs hike their leg and shoot, no boy.  To further emphasize, a boy dog will like our girl dog..and we know where that leads.

I went to Florida for surgery (not plastic surgery!) and on our way back to Ga. a week later, Jena called her dad’s phone. I surmised that she bought the playmate. What kind? I asked the second time and the third.  Chipper said, I’ll let you tell her that. You got a stinkin’ boy chihuahua?”  Before you chihuahua owners get miffed..Desmond, that stinkin’ boy chihuahua, is curled up in my lap as I write.  It’s downright embarrassing, but I’ve been heard saying;  Desmond George Morgan! You’re about to get a spanking, son! My Chipper clarifies that he’s never nor will he ever…sire a dog.  : D

Bristol…  Jena’s co-worker bred champion German Shepherds and sold the puppies for, like a million and one dollars. A Husky jumped the fence and we know where that leads. She re-homed all but a runt.  She sent a picture and just look at her!  Chipper said no, but, Jen and I went into female hysteria and we know where that leads. Bristol Palin was in the news and the name fit.

We moved from 2 acres in Savannah to 53 acres in Hickory Grove, with a barn and seven paddocks. That’s where the boxer comes into the picture. Remember, I’m not a short haired dog fan and Boxers were one of my least favorite breeds;  they slobber, shed, they get green goobers in their eyes and they’re too aggressive.  That’s how I felt until I met Cassie, who was dumped in my son’s yard.  Joshua, like his father, doesn’t dislike animals, but, he’s not Dr. Doolittle, either.  He called Animal Control, but, she was  starving so they fed her and we know where that leads.  He and Nikki got attached. They took her to the vet, got her a bed, expensive food and six months worth of Frontline.  After she gained her strength back, they realized Cassie needed a fence. 

Joshua called my phone and asked if we could keep her on the farm until they put up a fence.  Six months later; Cassie’s still here.  I never allowed big dogs in the house until Cassie I wipe her slobber and clean her eye goobers. I’ve seen her fend off strangers who approached the house and she chases coyotes and bobcats out of the yard.  I’m in no hurry for the kids to get a fence at all.

Remember my post about cats?  We gained another. Jena and Tammy came upon what is undoubtedly, the scrawniest, ugliest feline that I’ve ever seen! Roberta was wandering on the road by her smushed up mom. I feed her tuna, eggs, bacon, cream but she won’t gain an ounce!  She’s black which makes her look even skinnier! Taking Bertie to a humane society would be anything but humane! Nobody would ever choose this pathetic cat!

The week prior to Jen moving, she called from work.  She was too cheerful. Honey, we can’t take another dog…but, I gave permission to bring it home if she put it on Craigslist. As our chat ended, my Chipper walked in. When he asked what PENZU wanted, I stuck to basics and told him she was just calling to check in. Sidenote:  When she was a toddler, her pronunciation of daddy’s princess was daddy’s penzu.  😀

If you could have seen my Chipper’s face when Jena came in with a dog in her arms… I was tempted to roll over and play dead, but, she ratted me out as she walked in the door.  “I called Mommy. She said it was okay. ”  I assured him the dog would be gone in a few days…unlike a stray, this one was fed and groomed which indicated that she belonged to someone.  As we sought to calm his nerves, Tammy asked ,  “What are we going to name her?”  My Chipper’s eyes widened.  “We’re NOT NAMING that dog!” 

Jena posted the ad on Craigslist.  Your dog’s fine but wants to come home.  Call to describe.  Lots of folks called to describe, but no description fit Dawg.

After a month, it was obvious nobody was going to claim Dawg, so I told Chip to take her to the shelter.  I didn’t think much of it the first time or two he left without Dawg, but I began to suspect that he was forgetting her on purpose.

A few days later, he was taking the trash to the dump so I reminded him the shelter was on the same road.  When he got ready to leave, I yelled again, “Take DAWG with you!”  He stood at the barn and hollered back.”You’ll have to put the leash on, she’s scared of me.” I trotted to the barn, took the leash, huffing. “Geez, how hard is it to put a leash around the dog’s neck, Chipper?”

My Chipper didn’t bite back…he watched.  As I approached, poor Dawg was shivering behind the gate.  The closer I got to her, the more she cowered.  At that moment, I understood why Chipper hadn’t taken her.  She looked at me, panting wildly as if to say, “Can’t I stay with you? I don’t eat much and I’m not causing trouble. I don’t have anywhere to go.  Please don’t make me leave.”

I knew firsthand what it felt like to be homeless and at the mercy of someone else, and I couldn’t bring myself to put the leash around her neck.

My Chipper could’ve made me feel like a dawg, but, no matter what you hear, he’s not that kind of man.  He usually chooses his words carefully and rarely says anything he’ll later regret.  “She IS a pretty dog.” He said to  me softly.

I picked her ears up and tugged them. “Lord, have Mercy!”  I yelped. Her tail wagged faster.  “Lord have MERCY?”  I glanced over at my Chipper. “Dog says Mercy… is a fine name.”

Got me to thinkin….

Mercy is defined as the kind and compassionate treatment of a person under one’s power.  A disposition to be kind and forgiving.  An alleviation of distress that offers relief to another.

One of my favorite quotes is from The Merchant of Venice:  The quality of mercy is not strain’d; it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath.  It is twice blest; It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

One of the parables that molded my character is found in Matthew 18:21-35

21At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?”22Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.  23-25“The kingdom of God is like a king who decided to square accounts with his servants. As he got under way, one servant was brought before him who had run up a debt of a hundred thousand dollars. He couldn’t pay up, so the king ordered the man, along with his wife, children, and goods, to be auctioned off at the slave market.  26-27“The poor wretch threw himself at the king’s feet and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ Touched by his plea, the king let him off, erasing the debt.  28“The servant was no sooner out of the room when he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him ten dollars. He seized him by the throat and demanded, ‘Pay up. Now!’  29-31“The poor wretch threw himself down and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ But he wouldn’t do it. He had him arrested and put in jail until the debt was paid. When the other servants saw this going on, they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the king.  32-35“The king summoned the man and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn’t you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?’ The king was furious and put the screws to the man until he paid back his entire debt. And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy.”

If you didn’t read the text, I’ll paraphrase.  A man begs his master for mercy and after he receives it, goes out and demands from another what he’s owed.

The moral of MY story.  When dog came to our house, it happened because my sweet Jena has a huge heart and did something she didn’t have to do.  She picked that dog up and with her actions said, I’ll see that you’re safe.

Each day that we’re blessed to live here on this beautiful farm, I’m thankful for the unmerited  favor given to us by the owners. We were strangers when we moved in but, their hearts and our trial…turned us into friends.

Greater still, I see the HAND of OUR FATHER, though we have done nothing worthy enough to obtain it, HE never grows weary of extending HIS MERCY!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jena
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 15:26:13

    this one might be my favorite so far…and not just because I’m the star!
    🙂 i love you and I am SO proud of you!


  2. sandra kelly
    Nov 14, 2010 @ 21:05:44

    Such a touching post. Oh my goodness, I’m just like that. I love animals so much but can’t convince Larry we need chickens so we can gather our own eggs . Our, excuse me, my little Sparky has found a home here with me. He happened upon the place several months back. Larry says he’s the ugliest dog he’s ever seen and true he wouldn’t win any beauty pagents, but he sure has stolen my heart and needed lots of tender love and care. I sort of think the good Lord sent him to my backyard. He knew we needed each other. As for the rest of your post, I surely hate that all of you had to experience so much grief, but God has proven to be so amazing and is still working for your good I’m sure. It wouldn’t surprise me if he didn’t just give you the place for ministry to homeless animals and homeless children. Now, that’s a thought.
    Keep writing ~~ I’m reading.



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