Monday, March 4, 2013


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 Martyall 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
            more room
- 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!"

Who knew??

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 backor, 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.

Power-Vac 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…

Something better.

Someone better.

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:


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Hi Sharon

    Excellent post, much of which I related to. However I could never put it all together as you do, thank you for all you share.

    God Bless - Nita

  2. Such a wonderful post, love you.

  3. Love , love, love this! By the end of it, I found myself kind of nodding my head with a little smile. As one who has way too many of those Marty hairs that I can't seem to get rid of, I appreciated this post more than you know.

    Or maybe, you do know fully well.

  4. He is so cute - and I see Marty has you trained.

    Good job Marty. Look at them with those big brown eyes and they will do just about anything for you. Like how you have them trained to let you sleep on your lap and that you have them trained in the art of tenting. Humans are really trainable aren't they? And dog hair - I mean what did they expect - goats hair - you're a dog.

    Love, Disco

  5. I enjoyed reading this a lot. Marty is so smart! He knows what he wants and knows how to get it. Cute! I'm a neat freak but i couldn't help not having my Sushi around even if she sheds hair a whole lot everyday.

  6. Who can resist those beagle's eyes. I think Marty and Koda could be "twins" with their behavior and their shedding! I love your analogy Sharon; I too need a Power-Vac a lot of times; thankfully the Holy Spirit is always there indeed!


  7. Great analogy, Sharon. Enjoyed this so much. Mr. Marty sounds so much like my two babies. Especially with the sitting between the legs and not just beside! He is such a cutie!!

  8. Love that Marty. And such a handsome picture of the guy. He and Chip would have a ball together! We'll have to plan a meeting sometime.
    Sharon, I never realized how similar we really are. I know we had that In Real Life encounter and we shared a lot. But every dog hair of your natural self is an identical match to my dog hairs!!!Those traits and quirks and fallen nature I so desire to have vacuumed up and away FOREVER!!! Now I know some of those traits have positive sides, but the down side of them is killing me.
    So how do I see the Holy Spirit Power Vac up my weaknesses? Mostly through prayer, time in the God's Word, and the fellowship of Godly sisters-in-Christ. In the meantime, until the sensitivity and the need to be involved are permanently removed, I still suffer the pain. Waiting on Him, listening to worship music, and trying to keep my thoughts trained on good things.
    Love you, Sharon,

  9. Ha, I knew you'd weave a God story in there but I didn't know how but it all makes sense. And it brings a smile to my face.

  10. Oh Sharon! I love Marty! I love your Marty tales (tails) or hairs (hares) but it looks like "Marty Speaks" should have this one ... and I can't wait. How fun! What an adorable face in that Marty photo? I'd love me some cuddle time with him, even if he's fussy. And I've swept up more than my share of that 'greyish' hair that never seems to be the color of not one of my 4. yet once again, this spiritual connection of 'stuff' embedded in us... wow... as always, appreciate your sharp wit and wonderful way with words.
    Can't wait for all your Marty Speaks (I imagine your transferring these tales there) and I'm looking forward to this new twist... so is this the inspiration for your dog tales to be a book? I know I'd love a copy of all your lessons that this precious, wise and hard to resist beagle speaks to you, your heart and us. Yep, it's a dog's world, where dog and God are so close, by just flipping the word, one can see everything in a new light. Shaking my head at the 'hairs' the Holy Spirit has shown me embedded but not yet vac'ed away, even with His super power, I'm still discovering ones lingering that show up again after I thought they were gone for good. Yep, a real good lesson in this well loved grandbeagle that has the best grandma to cuddle... hugs
    and love, :0)Peggy

  11. Now, the odd thing about this post, Sharon, is that I could have written it about my cats - Emma and Copperfield. The bits about sitting on you - and "tenting" - with legs draped across you - and the HAIR! TWO cats. Yes - my husband is daily at war with the hair everywhere. Being a cat lover and owner all my life, I take cat hair in stride. And, I marvel at the metaphor - God KNOWS each and every one of those hairs - so, too, He knows mine.

    Thanks for your comment - and interesting that you asked about my daughter on the stage - yes - she's been my leading lady for many years now. Currently, she will be playing major role again in my latest script - hot off the press with our first read through tonight - the first production we're doing after a hiatus of two years at our church since we moved into a new facility with major construction all around us. Very excited about this show - I'm directing after a fun co-writing experience with my producer and assistant pastor - Ed's in it, too - and for the first time I am taking an acting role in addition to directing. What's really cool is YOU will be able to watch it online live streaming over the internet on May 30, 31, and June 1 - 7:30pm EST. Will probably be available to view afterward, too. It's called "The Investor's Choice" and is Psalm 23 - in an art gallery. Posting pictures and an update later this week!!


  12. Wow! Awesome post Sharon. In my life,it seems like that old nature just does not want to go away, and new fruit seems to not want to grow. But as I look back and see the growth and the change the Lord has made in my life, it sure is wonderful.
    God bless,

  13. loved your post on Mar-te' today! Made me giggle- and yes, so thankful that the Holy Spirit comes in and washes our sin away daily, when we repent! So grateful too, that God has already forgiven us for past, present and future sin.
    Loved that pic- love you and praying you are having fun (you know where!)

  14. awwww. Marty's adorable. Isn't it great how He made animals to make us happy!!! wishing you a beautiful thursday Sharon...the best.

  15. Grandpuppy. I have an English Mastiff Granddog. Big! Love how you wrote this. These words, "Oh the blood of washes white as snow." started singing in my head while reading it.


"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.)