Dog days of summer…{or 13 things I learned from a pooch named Patton}

He came to us from up north. His master heading south for a Smoky Mountain vacation. Dearest Husband, his former dog sitter.

A two year old Golden named Patton. Big, blonde and beautiful with doleful brown eyes. He had me wrapped around his not-so-little paw from Day 2. {After a bath on the evening we picked him up!} And 12 days later, he goes home this afternoon and I am sorry to see him go!! We will miss his gentle goodness, companionship and fun!

So I got to thinking about this handsome boy who proved to be a very polite house guest and what lessons God provided through his visit.

Here’s my dog days of summer list of the things I learned from Patton.

1. Love like there’s no tomorrow. Love unconditionally. Love with wild abandon. Love with lots of kisses and hugs. Love your Master {even your interim master}. And when your loved one comes home, greet them like it’s been years since you last saw them.

2. Fun is good! Play is important, play is VITAL. Taking play breaks throughout the day lifts your spirits and gets your blood circulating {especially for those of us who sit too long in front of screens during the day.} Play like nobody is watching. Play for the sake of play and remember to laugh often while you do. {Patton loved it when I laughed, taking it as his cue to start wrestling with me, forgetting that it was Michael that engaged him in that sport!}

3. Everyone needs a friend so be one. Everyone you meet has the potential of being your friend so welcome him or her as if already a friend. Extend warmth, caring and positivity. Be loyal and devoted.

4. Naps are nice. And needed in our go-go-go world. Short rest periods during a long day rejuvenate and can even alter a grumpy mood {human, not canine!} And when you get up from your nap, remember to stretch, long and slow.

5. When someone is sad or lonely, stay nearby. Sit with them and listen closely to their hearts. Offer to help in the way they need. {Patton — all 70 fur-flying pounds of him — thought he was a lap dog!}

6. When you’re wrong, don’t become defensive. Humbly admit your mistake, seek forgiveness and jump right back into relationship again. Life is all about relationship. With God and others.

7. Share the joy! When you’re happy, show it. Smile! Shake your sillies out. Joy is infectious.

8. Bond with your pack. Your loved ones — your mate or family — are yours and yours alone. Chosen by God for you, with lessons for both parties. Stick close, keep each other warm and always be willing to bear one another’s burdens.

9. Sit! Quit panting and still your heart in silence. Let God speak to your soul. When you stop running in circles chasing your tail you’ll discern God’s voice more easily.

10. Go for a walk. Stretch your legs and see the world through a dog’s eyes — be curious in your surroundings. Chase a butterfly. Soak in the sun. Glory in the great outdoors.

11. If you have a hunch that something is buried, dig until you discover it. Especially true when dreams call to our hearts. Often an indication of our calling and God given purpose.

12. Don’t let jealousy jerk your chain. Rejoice with others and be glad for their blessings. Be happy for them as you count your own blessings. Give more than you receive. Especially true with love, no matter what.

13. Be real. Just be you. The loveable, wonderful, messy, delightful you. The one He created you to be. Being your authentic self, quirks and all, blesses many. You are a gift to this world with something to offer that we all need.

Never forget that obedience is key. When Patton listened to us and followed commands {which was like 99% always!} it made us happy. Obedience to God, who longs for me and you to love and follow Him, blesses His heart.

And pleasing our Master brings blessings counted in doggie years too numerous to fathom…


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7 thoughts on “Dog days of summer…{or 13 things I learned from a pooch named Patton}

  1. I love the way you see life as one big classroom, and you’ve drawn out such wisdom from your time with beautiful Patton. Isn’t it amazing how God works through all of His creation? Dogs like him certainly teach us a lot about simple, forgiving companionship don’t they… Thanks for the blessing of your words once again.

    • You are so welcome, Ali. {I just got finished leaving a post on your site. Must have been reading at about the same time!} Yes, Patton was used by God as a wonderful object lesson and truly, I am so sad to see him go. Not only did he teach and make me laugh, but he was a darling “empty nest” fluffer. 🙂