Monday, February 4, 2013


So, the other day it was Spa Day for Marty.

Truth be told, there isn't too much spa treatment involved.

A beagle does not need to be groomed, trimmed, or styled.

He just needs to be cleaned.

But, we like to call it Spa Day because…well, because it makes Marty feel special.

Many dogs – (most dogs??) – are terrified of the vet.  The dog that I grew up with, Bo, a dachshund, started shaking the minute he got into the car.

Not Marty.

He LOVES the vet.

Which is surprising to me, considering the experiences he's had there.  When he was just two months old, before he was ours, he spent about 10 days there battling the deadly Parvo disease.  That involved all sorts of *sick*, and lots of needles and IV treatments.  Then, shortly after that, he was back for treatment for parasites.

Then, of course, there was that whole neutering escapade.

You'd think that THAT would have made him never want to go to the vet's office again…not EVER.  But no, not so.  Marty still loves going to the vet's because…

…well, because he's Marty.

One of the friendliest, sweetest, most gregarious animals I have ever known in my life.

Marty is a people person.

And the vet's office has lots of people lots of people that know and love him.

It's pretty funny.  I've had to take him to Spa Day a few times myself.  The vet's office is about 10 minutes away from where my son lives.  At first, Marty is just pretty excited about going on a car ride.

But as we begin to approach the parking lot for the vet's office, Marty becomes more and more concentrated on our surroundings.  He often sits up in the passenger seat.  And, as soon as I get into the left-hand turn lane, he KNOWS where we are.

And he can hardly contain himself.

The moment I put my car into "park," that dog is beside himself with glee.  (Maybe it's more accurate to say he's beside ME with glee…like in my lap).

Once inside, he pulls on his leash, he jumps up to say hello, he sniffs and chuffles every square inch of the waiting room.  Occasionally, though we have thoughtfully pre-peed him in the bushes outside, he does a little *marking* on the desk or floor.

Hey, he's a dog, and it's always fun to let other dogs know you've...ahem...
"been there."


With barely a nod to my presence, scarcely a sniff good-bye, Marty is off. Around the corner – see ya later!

So, after a long day, the time comes to go pick him up.

I love this part.

I pay the bill, and they go get him.  I can hear him coming long before I see him.  No, he isn't barking or anything – remember, Marty is a "silent" beagle.  He's only barked like 10 times in his life…

But, I can hear his newly-trimmed toenails (and fingernails) clicking on the tiles.  And then, the best moment of all, Marty appears around the corner.

He rushes over to greet me.

Marty might not be too good at good-bye, but he's a superstar champ at HELLO!

Boy, does he smell good.  And his little beagle hair is all fluffy.  Well, perhaps fuzzy is a better way to describe it.

But the best thing of all?

Marty is wearing a bandanna.

Sometime last year, the vet's office started giving their dogs bandannas after their baths (this last Spa Day, Marty's was red).  I think it's an adorable idea.

I'm sure that Marty knows he's got that thing on.  And he's proud of it.  He has a certain bounce in his step, a certain joy in his trot that he didn't have when he first came in.

Yup, Marty knows he's special – and he knows he's clean.

I'm thinking about this tonight.

Marty teaches me a great many things about God, and this is no exception.

What does it feel like to be clean?

I think sometimes I take for granted the great work, the impossible work that Jesus did for me on the cross.  He took every single filthy thing I've ever done, or that I ever will do, and He crucified it.  He washed it clean.

The dirt and grime and stain of sin – the blot that I could not remove – He bore it all.

And washed me clean.

Honestly, I think that should change how I live every single day.  It should give me a certain bounce in my step, a certain joy in my trot.

It should make me feel beside myself – I should be barely able to contain my glee.

I know I. AM. CLEAN.

Once and for all clean.  Eternally clean.  Deep down where it counts clean.  

You know, maybe today I'll wear my red bandanna – and I'll wear it proud.

Because yes, indeed, I am special to the Master of the Universe!

"Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin." (Psalm 51:2, NLT)

"For on this day shall atonement be made for you to cleanse you. You shall be clean before the LORD from all your sins."  (Leviticus 16:30, ESV)

"Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." (Psalm 51:7, NIV)

"I will cleanse them of their sins against me and forgive all their sins of rebellion." (Jeremiah 33:8, NLT)

"I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses..." (Ezekiel 36:25, ESV)

"When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, 'Lord, are you going to wash my feet?'  Jesus replied, 'You don't understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.'  'No,' Peter protested, 'you will never ever wash my feet!'  Jesus replied, 'Unless I wash you, you won't belong to me.' Simon Peter exclaimed, 'Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!'" (John 13:6-9, NLT)

Are We There Yet??? 

I Am Special 

What does it feel like to you to be *deep-down Jesus* clean?

Linked today with:


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. HI Sharon,

    Love the story about your doggie, think our Yorkie barks his share as well then, he is always barking, so are the other dogs round here, takes a bit of getting used too. Like this morning when I am feeling a bit of colour, went back to bed but couldn't sleep due to the barking and other noises going on. I like, as always your spiritual message, too, you certainly have a way of putting things over.

    God Bless - Nita

  2. Oh I'm SURE that Marty knows just how good he looks in his bandana. My dogs get bandanas when they visit the groomer too. They strut around in those things like little princes. They love their "pretty"s so much we'll occasionally cut them triangles of scrap-fabric to wear in between visits. You should see how excited they get!

  3. Marty looks so cute in his bandana; love the analogy too about how we have been washed and cleaned by Jesus' blood!

    Koda loves the vet's too despite his multiple visits for his chemo etc. It is always because there is food involved. He knows where they keep the cookies and he goes and stands right there until someone gives him one :)


  4. Ohhh Sharon, I love seeing photos especially of the famous Marty!!! I did not read what you wrote yet but just had to come and see Marty in his bandana banner! After all, His Banner over us is LOVE, even Marty!!! Love you ... I'll be back to read later (I hope)... Peggy YEAH!!! Marty!!!

  5. Cute photos! "The dirt and grime and stain of sin – the blot that I could not remove – He bore it all." Amen...

  6. Awwwwwwww, marty is so cute. Enjoyed seeing the pictures. Put on your red bandanna sis, you are washed in the precious blood, you are snow white clean, and smelling like a beautiful princess. I love you.

  7. Hi Sharon, thanks for emailing me via Encourage 24/7, but you never left an email for me to reply to, lol. My email is (as it stands :) ) It is a play on my initials. I look forward to hearing from you.
    God bless

  8. May I say that Marty and Disco are complete opposites - so what does that mean about Disco? Marty sounds wonderful. sandie

  9. loved this... you are quite the story teller... sure brightened my day! yep! you are clean ...just like Marty! that SHOULD put a bit of joy in your trot! :-) you make me smile...must be that hat you wear!

    hugs, Patrina <")>><

  10. There is nothing like it! I am thinking of that song Evie used to sing many years ago... 'clean before my Lord I stand and in me not one blemish does He see'. There is NOTHING better. Now I'll always think of the red bandana, how perfect!

    I've missed you and your wise words... so glad to
    see' you again on this blog that I love so much! :)

  11. Well first, he is absolutely adorable. Rachel and Whit have a beagle, and this dog grouch will grudging admit that I love that little guy. Ca-yute.

    As to being clean, I love the lesson you gleaned from his spa day. Isn't it amazing to think that in Christ, every day is spiritual spa day for us?

  12. Great story, Sharon! I must be a real "sap" because it made me emotional when Marty came to greet you after his spa treatment! lol But the message in your story is loud and clear! We need to celebrate the spa treatment that God has given us! What a blessing it is to be washed clean by Him! I'm going to celebrate today, too!

  13. Love to hear about Marty's adventures!!! Thank God for His spa treatment! Every single day His grace washes away my sins- what a blessing! Great post, friend!

  14. Marty reminds me so much of Buster, he loved the vet too. And he loved to take a bath. If Bugsy needed a bath, there would sit Buster next to the tub...hoping. Ridiculous. And I love the pictures...yippee!
    On a more serious note...I am so thankful that my sins are forgotten...I am washed as white as snow. What a burden lifted,what joy I can feel in today!

  15. Yes, do wear that red bandana! What a great reminder.

  16. Hi Sharon,
    I absolutely loved reading what you wrote here today. I think I will let it sink in today that I have been cleansed by Jesus. Wow, ain't that wonderful.

  17. he looks beautiful, and i love how you wove in th scripture.

  18. Oh, I love Marty stories! And what a lesson learned here.


  19. Darling story. We have two small dogs and groom them ourselves, calling their shampoo and haircut days as going to the "garage beauty parlor.". They don't mind!

  20. I loved, loved, loved your post today! I came over from Bonnie's blog. I just took my dog, Lonnie, to the vet's yesterday so I could completely relate to your story about Marty! He is a handsome (fuzzy) guy:)
    Isn't it great to be CLEAN???? PTL!

  21. Great post, Sharon, and I love the photos of your sweet dog...We have a miniature schnauzer who likes going to get his hair cut and have a bath, but likes coming home more!
    I like what Marty is teaching you about God too.....Thanks for coming by my blog and always leaving such encouraging comments. God bless!

  22. No KIDDING ! Marty is really and truly special. So are you! :)

  23. I love the lessons God teaches us through our animal friends!

  24. I love it! :) Wonderful dog analogy...which you know I am fond of. :) One thing I love, too, is how Marty is never afraid to go back. Sometimes I know I hedge and hem and haw with my uncleanness, hesitating to approach the Lord - either ashamed I got dirty AGAIN or afraid of what He may want to clean. Thanks for the sweet lesson from Marty. Being clean is such a joy, and I need to approach the Lord with JOY, even for the cleaning process. :)


  25. FUN FUN FUN. I love dog stories, because I love my very special four-legged companion, Winston. He's the source of inspiration for many of my posts as well. I'd love to share "My Dog Praises the Lord" on Hungry for God if you have a moment. I think it will make you smile like your post made me :) blessings to you, from one doggie lover to another.

  26. I hope others can tell I feel special--that I know I'm clean. What an awesome story.

  27. Hi Sharon! Well - Marty is a trip and a half! What a cutie - reminds me of my golden, Libby - gone now some years. She loved the car and new adventures. Not crazy about baths, though, but she always got a cute scarf when she went, too. Loved the Bible life lesson drawn here, too - I am enriched with the meditation. Thank for living your life - even in the simple things - to the glory of God and encouragement of the brethern!


"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!

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