Tuesday, September 28, 2010


It’s Marty time again…!!

When my youngest son was thinking about buying a dog, he did a lot of research. That’s just his way. He doesn’t do much without weighing all the pro’s and con’s – googling information like the “internet ferret” that he is – and then making a decision that comes from his “head”based on an intelligent evaluation of the facts.

So, he had decided that he was going to get a beagle. (The research had supported this decision). He had even found a “no-kill” animal sanctuary that specialized in beagles. Now, well-thought-out decision made, it was just a matter of timing.

Except once in a while, his heart takes over.

Yup, we wandered into a pet store “just for fun” – and there was Marty.

Oh no…

We had vowed we would “never” get a dog from a pet store. We’d heard too many horror stories about “puppy mills” and disease and a host of other reasons why this would NOT be a good decision

But…there was Marty.

We petted him…we let him lick us…we took him to the “play area”…we took him for a short walk. (Not a good ideafeelings were starting to bubble up…)

My son and I went outside to “discuss” our options. We finally decided to put a down payment on “Brown-Headed Beagle, Male, 4 months old” – a NON-REFUNDABLE down payment, of course.

And that’s when they let us look at his records…


Born in Texas, somehow transported to California when he wasn’t quite two months old. Two days later, in the hospital with parvo (a terrible dog disease that is usually fatal) – on an IV and medicine for 10 days – back to the pet store – where two weeks later, he promptly got an intestinal parasite – more medicine, and into quarantine. When we saw him that day, he had just been returned to his regular cage.

My heart sank…

We didn’t want to buy a sickly dog. I saw $$$ piling up in exorbitant vet fees. My son looked at me, I looked at him – I said, “Well, that down payment gives us 24 hours to decide.”

We went over to see Marty (who wasn’t Marty yet, if you know what I mean - but he was, if you know what I mean!). As soon as we got there, the other puppy in the cage went after him, biting him (NOT puppy “bites”not “nice” - not "playful") – Marty started yelping – he was getting hurt!

Well, I swept down faster than an avenging eagle rescuing her baby from the jaws of a predator.

Marty was in my arms faster than you can say “boo.” A lady said to me, “Oh, that poor little thing!” I looked at her and said, “Well, it won’t happen anymore. This is our dog!”

And just that quickly, the decision was made.

Marty came home with us.

Unfortunately, he still had some health problems, and we had more doctor visits, and medicine, and $$$. We had 10 days to decide “officially” if we were going to keep him. It was a lot for my son to handle.

So one day I asked him, “What was the FIRST thing you thought to yourself this morning when you got up?”

Without a moment’s hesitation, he said, “Keep him...because I love him.”

The rest is history.

Marty is a healthy, happy, delightful, funny, precious member of our family.

What did this rather inauspicious beginning with Marty teach me about God?

God came to our world. He looked at us, imprisoned in a cage of sin – dirty, sick, infected with unrighteousness – for all intents and purposes,
a “throw-away.”

There wasn’t anything in our records that made us worth “purchasing.”

He could have walked away…

But instead, God listened to His heart, which was moved with compassion and love, and He reached out, and snatched us away from death – He saved us.

God looked past ALL the reasons that we weren’t worth “buying” – He let His heart speak…

…and took us home!


“When we were utterly helplessGod showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:6, 8)

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Oh what a great post! I have to admit I didn't get through it without crying a little bit. You're so right!

    So many people struggle with the idea of that unconditional love that God has for us - the love that values us based on NOTHING that anyone else would consider valuable. And yet, we are so precious to him.

    It made me want to go hug my dogs. So instead I'm going to go to my room and thank my GOD!

    Praise him!!!

  2. so true, Sharon. It amazes me that Jesus decided to die for my sins (and everyone's sins) before we decided we needed saving. Truly an amazing God he is! what a sad story about Marty's beginnings. We had our own "horror" story about a pet store puppy (not Koda). Glad Marty is thriving and healthy and happy now!


  3. Our little Bugsy is a puppy mill survivor. There is something about the way he runs down the hall, down the stairs and over to his toy basket each morning that warms the herat. Your post has made me think, maybe that is how I should start my day, thanking my Savior who has rescued me. Give Marty a hug from me please!

  4. Oh Paula - Thank you so much! Sometimes our view of God can be tarnished by the people that reject us - I sometimes don't understand WHY God loves me, I'm just SO GRATEFUL that He does! Unconditional love - when I realize that God loves me like THAT - glorious!! (It's OK - go hug your dogs, too!! :)

    Yes, Betty - What a wonderfully unselfish Lord we have. We had NO redeeming qualities, and yet He gave EVERYTHING to rescue us, even at the cost of His own LIFE...AMAZING grace, indeed. Yes, Marty is our precious boy - a joy for all of us. I know you understand how that feels...

    Oh, Anita - You GET it! Dogs who get their "start" in such a sad state really touch your heart in a special way, don't they? Bugsy is such a cutie - I'm glad he's a part of my life (it really feels that way, Anita - maybe a little weird, but that's just how I feel about it :)
    Yeah, Marty definitely teaches me about how I should start my day - overjoyed at the presence of my Master! (I'll give him a hug, too!)

    Thanks to our Precious Lord - the One who loves us unconditionally, the One who has chosen us, the One who is bringing us home...


  5. This one made me cry, and that's big thing. I'm not a dog person. (I always hate to admit that, but I'm not. I'm scared of them.)

    I teared up because I'm a Marty, and I'm so glad for the One who scooped me up.

    You write such great things.

  6. Debbie - Marty could change your mind...he's VERY sweet!! :)
    YOUR comment made me tear up - because I'm a Marty, too. And that God picked ME - ME! - to love! Totally awesome.

    Thanks for your kind compliment!
    GOD BLESS, buddy!

  7. Hi Sharon -

    Oh Sharon!

    This last Marty story brought tears to my eyes!
    I loved the Marty series but this is my hands down favorite!

    The love is so evident in this piece. GOD had you to take charge and decide on this precious animal soul (I believe that animals do have souls - am I right, I don't know). Your son
    decided, as well...I love what he expressed, that he loved him. You both loved him and decided to bring him home...!

    And then when you related how this pertains to us and GOD, it was great how you brought it all together.

    I vote for a re-post on this, Sharon!!


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)