Yup, another Marty story.
I love my grandbeagle – he is such a delight. Yes, a bit of a scamp – (especially when I show up!) – but just adorable.
One of my favorite things about Marty is he's very affectionate. He loves his *people*. You cannot move an inch without him opening his eyes and following you wherever you go, or getting up and following you wherever you go. I can hear him saying, "Where you going? Can I go, too? When you gonna be back? Are you getting food??"
The other thing I love about Marty is that he loves to cuddle.
He's rather particular about his cuddling though. He's got rules:
1. If he comes to sit by you on the recliner, and he wants to sit next to you, it has to be on your LEFT side. No exceptions.
2. If he decides that he wants to sit between your legs, you better move to accommodate him. He will not accept sitting NEXT to your legs – it must be in between.
3. If he comes to sit next to you on the recliner and you don't move into the proper position, he will stare you down.
4. If he comes to sit next to you on the couch, he will always throw one of his arms across your legs or your arm or your lap. (Picture someone sidling up to a bar)
5. This arm-throwing maneuver is also used on the recliner when using the in-between-the-legs position, or if he cuddles up particularly closely to your face…on the left side.
6. Sometimes the cuddling involves what we call *tenting* – Marty often loves to get UNDER blankets or cushions when he curls up next to you.
7. If you do not "help" in this tenting behavior, Marty will use a very insistent (and very cold) nose to prod his way into getting the proper assistance.
8. If you choose to sleep with Marty – all bets are off. You may find some variation of these *positions* during the night:
- a dog draped across your legs (or stomach or chest)
- a dog face up by your head, only to be replaced at some point during the
night by a dog's…ahem…"other end" in your face
- a dog flat on his back
- a dog pushing into you like a sausage (with arms and legs) looking for
- a *tented* lump somewhere in your vicinity
Ah yes, the joys of cuddling with Marty.
But, there's also one particular hazard involved when you choose to cuddle with a beagle…
It's interesting. I figured a short-haired dog wouldn't shed that much. HA! Evidently, beagles are known for shedding.
"And lastly, beagles shed a lot. This is how all short-haired dogs maintain their coat length. If you have allergies or consider yourself a "neat freak", beware!"
One of the things I do when I go visit my son is sweep up the hair from the wooden floors in his apartment. I often joke that we could make another dog out of what I collect. And also, this strikes me as weird – though Marty is black, and brown, and white – the pile of hair always has this non-descript grayish color to it. Odd.
Oh, another odd thing. Some of Marty's hair actually is two-tone. One hair can have black, and then white, and then black again. Or it's a mix of brown and white. I'm fascinated by the DNA that's responsible for this *checkered* look!
But I digress.
So, a trip to Marty's house always involves some *follicle-shed shrapnel* when I get home:
- A layer of gray, non-descript hair plastered to the bottom of my socks
- Hair in my hair
- Hair that shows up in unexpected, and sometimes unexplainable places
(like clothing underneath my clothing, if you get what I mean)
- Hair on my shoes, which I always leave outside the front door – a mystery
- Hair that appears magically on clothes I have not worn while visiting Marty –
(this is properly called "transfer hair" – because it transfers
from Marty to clothes to car seat to new outfit)
Most often Marty's hair removal is only a minor inconvenience.
Sometimes it involves war.
Like the time that I mistakenly took a warm, fleece blanket down to visit. Turns out that fleece is not good material for *tenting* purposes. The hair doesn't end up laying on the surface – it gets embedded in the very fiber of the blanket!
"The Hub" was very helpful. We shook the blanket, and smacked it against the house. We tried using a brush. We tried using those sticky remover gizmos. We tried a hair dryer. We tried using a Dustbuster.
Helpful, but not completely successful.
You know what "The Hub" finally used? Our Power-Vac! Yup, sucked those little things right up.
But evidently not all of them.
Even after washing, Marty's legacy lives on. Right this very second, as I type this post, I am using this blanket. And, I see random Marty hairs on the sweatshirt that I am wearing – ("transfer hair").
Wanna know a secret?
Those little hairs make me smile. Somehow they make me feel closer to my little cuddler down the hill.
So, where's the God lesson?
Well, it's about all those things that are just *me* – the things that no matter how much I try, I just can't seem to get rid of.
My worry-wart nature. My oversensitivity. My ability to make mountains out of molehills. My negative bent. My propensity to getting depressed. My tendency to ask people a million questions (needling, nagging?) – (it's true, ask "The Hub"). My need to be overly-involved in everything – (it's true, ask my sons). My perfectionism – (OK, I'm still calling it my "eye for detail").
This list could go on and on, but then I'd self-implode with shame…
Yup, these things seem to be imbedded in the very fiber of my being.
I have tried to get rid of these things in many ways. Sweeping them away, shaking them out, dust-busting them.
They just keep coming back – or, more accurately, they just never really go completely away in the first place.
Sometimes these things are only a minor inconvenience.
Sometimes they involve war.
This is where I cannot fight alone. My paltry power is no match for the sin-filled nature that still lurks within me. I need help.
That is why I am so very grateful for the gift of the Holy Spirit. The miracle of the indwelling is amazing. Every moment of every day, I am empowered to withstand temptation, endure trials, persevere through testing – I am empowered to be something I'm not…
Because of the Someone who lives within me.
You know, I don't think it's an accident that I am curled up in this particular fleece blanket as I write this post.
You see, it's red and white.
Kinda like me.
Red for the blood of Jesus washed over me. White for the righteousness that He has imparted to me.
Sure, there's some dog hairs still embedded – just like my embedded *stuff* still lingers…
But this blanket is clean…
…and so am I!
I'm sorry - Dog Hair Happens
How does the Holy Spirit help you with the "dog hair" in your life?
Linked today with:
Pamela at A SHELTERING TREE
Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"