Category Archives: dogvotional

Life lessons from a Border Collie

This post was originally published at Patheos.com in June 2011.

Scout after an afternoon playing in the sprinkler and rolling in the dirt. (photo © 2011 Joanne Brokaw)

I was sitting on the floor in the lobby of the veterinarian’s office, blowing soap bubbles for my five-year-old Border Collie, Scout, while we waited for our medications after our consultation with a holistic veterinarian.

A woman sitting near us was watching as Scout happily pounced on the bubbles and then stared intently into my eyes as he waited for the next wave of the bubble wand. Chasing soap bubbles is one of Scout’s favorite things to do in life. (In fact, I just typed the word and he must have read it, because he popped up from his nap and he’s staring at me, waiting to see if we’re headed outside.) Continue reading

The Story of Christmas, by Bandit

Bandit, helping Mommy with her column.

Bandit, helping Mommy with her column.

Once upon a time, in a December long ago, I was on a deadline with no idea what I wanted to write when Bandit, my Border Collie, offered to write my column for me. I took him up on the offer. With Christmas just a week away, I thought it might fun to share Bandit’s story of Christmas.

The Story of Christmas
by Bandit*

It is almost Christmas time and pretty soon we will have parties and Santa will come and leave lots of presents.

Do you know why? You don’t? Then I will tell you the story of Christmas!

Once upon a time a man named Joseph and his wife Mary were traveling across the country to a family reunion. On the way, they stopped at a hotel. Mary wasn’t feeling so good. I guess riding on a donkey for eleventeen hundred miles can make you feel pretty barfy.

This was not a hotel like the one me and Mommy stayed at when we went to visit my Grandpa. That time, I got scared when Mommy left me alone in the room and I chewed a big hole in the door. That was a nice hotel with very nice people who did not put me in jail for being a Bad Dog.

Joseph and Mary stopped at hotel with people who were not so nice. It was very busy and everyone was cranky because there were so many people on their way to their own family reunions. So when Joseph and Mary went inside, the check-in guy said, “Sorry, buster. You don’t have a reservation and we don’t have any rooms.”

Joseph said to the check-in guy, “Can’t you see my wife Mary has a really bad belly ache from riding on a donkey for eleventeen hundred miles? Don’t you have any place we can sleep?”

The check-in guy, who it turns out wasn’t so mean after all, said, “Gee, Mister. I am very sorry your wife feels barfy. But I really don’t have any rooms. I guess you could stay out in the barn.” Continue reading

The dangers of letting Border Collies blog

Most of you know that I walk a fine line between sane and crazy, so it was probably not surprise to see that I’ve started to let Scout and Bandit “blog” on the Dogvotional blog.

For those faithful readers who have followed the dogvotionals over the years, you’ll find that being able to get inside the dogs’ heads allows me to let loose a little bit, and add an amusing (I hope) perspective on life and faith. The danger, of course, is that I’m never sure what they’re going to say. So far they haven’t let out any family secrets.

You can read the two latest dogvotional entries, one from Scout and one from Bandit:

You can also follow along with Scout’s adventures in pet therapy:

A message from Scout (before that day’s reading session)
Bandit chimes in (about Scout’s session)

And just to make things interesting, I let Bandit do the chicken update last week on the Chicken Adventure blog:

I know. I need to get out more often.

Working on my dogvotional

Well, I’ve become a minor victim of the flailing economy. I had a small part time job with a publication, and found out yesterday that, at least for December, there isn’t money in the budget for me.

That’s not as bad as it sounds. I love the job and am really grateful for the money I’ve made over the past few months. But it’s also quite possible that God wants me to finish up some other stuff I’m working on and this might be the only way to get me to do it.

So I’m just using that time to work on the dog book instead. I drafted a chapter yesterday and my good friend Phil is keeping me accountable to write one at least every week.

One thing that I found really interesting as I write the dog book: I didn’t journal during the months after Natasha died and we got Scout. Weird. I journaled the day we put her down, and then picked up again sometime in September. Thankfully, I blogged a little, and I took a boatload of pictures, so I can piece together some of the events I wanted to write about.

Just goes to show how important it is to write every day!