Archive for November, 2008

Maybe it was because our previous dog was so near perfect. Maybe our expectations were just too high. But there are times our current dog just drives me nuts. And then there are other times I am filled with real love for this little guy.

The dog we had previous to this one was a blue heeler / border collie mix that we named Freckles. She didn’t live with us long, only 2 years, until unexpectedly she lost use of 75% of her kidneys and we had to put her to sleep. I took her death very hard, it was like losing a kid. She was by far one of the best dogs I’ve ever known. I was sure I’d never want another dog again.

So imagine my own surprise when I started working on my wife to get a dog just 2 years later. We had moved to a new town and had settled in some and I knew the kids would love a dog (and I would too!). Once I convinced my wife though, the question was, what kind of dog to get?

Well, I am allergic to various animals and some dogs can set me off (surprisingly Freckles never did). So we started looking for a hypo-allergenic dog and came across a lady selling Schnoodles. This is a mixture of a Schnauser and a Poodle.

We ended up picking out a little black male and took the kids with us to get him. Since I am a big Star Trek fan, we named the little guy Kirk.

Kirk is an extremely loving puppy. He seems to adore every member of the family and enjoys playing, cuddling and hanging out with each of us. At times he seems extremely intelligent too. He picked up the “Sit”, “Stay”, “Drop It”, “Down” comands very quickly.

But one thing we noticed fairly quickly is that he can almost be too needy. We think he might have some type of seperation anxiety which may be because during the work day he is home alone.

We have always kenneled him in the house because he adjusted well to it and our vet actually said to keep doing it now because his personality seems to indicate he would be destructive if left out of the kennel while we are at work or school. Fortunately we only have to kennel him 3 days a week, because I work from home one day and my kids go to a private school 4 days a week – with Friday off (my wife works there too).

The seperation anxiety seems to get really bad if anyone leaves the house – and I mean anyone. If someone comes to visit, when they leave, Kirk gets upset. If I take the trash out, he gets upset. For the most part if we are all outside, we take him with, but if one of us goes outside without him, the rest suffer in the house because he gets upset. This is shown in whining, barking, etc. He’ll usually calm down if the person leaves and actually left the area (gone to a store, etc) but if he can hear you outside, then all bets are off for the person who is inside with him.

Even when he is outside, he tends to spend a lot of the time barking at stuff. We have worked with him some on this and the barking/whining in the house and he seems to be getting better, but there are some days you just wonder what possessed you to get a dog!

And there are days like today. I came home, and he ran over to greet me. We’ve been working on making sure he doesn’t jump on you and he did very well with that, and then I greeted him and he was happy and went his merry way.

I then came downstairs to check some stuff on my computer and he came down with me. Normally he jumps into a chair beside me and goes to sleep. Today, he jumped into my lap, put his head on my arm and arm rest and went right to sleep almost as if he was saying, “This is where I wanted to be all day, I’m happy now.”

It’s times like that, that I remember how much I love the little guy. There is something wonderful about seeing that much affection coming out of a little furball like that. It kind of makes up for some of the things he does to drive me crazy.

NOTE: This was originally published by myself on my old HubPages account on 11/24/2008.

Is It Too Soon To Pay Tribute?

Posted by Doug White under Political

I recently read an article about a town in New York that has decided to rename its elementary school in honor of Barack Obama. (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,456348,00.html)

I will admit right up front, I am not a Barack Obama supporter. I am a Republican with many conservative beliefs that do not tie into what our newly elected President supports. I disagree with him on many social policies, his economic plans for our future, as well as his position on environment issues.

But I truly understand the significance of what happened when we elected him. Our first African-American President is a huge step for this country, a country with many wonderful qualities but one that has had a sad history of racism. So even though I am not thrilled with the person chosen, I am glad I was alive to see this happen. If only it had been an African-American Republican, but I digress…

Anyways, even though this is a monumental time in our nations history, is it really time to start naming things after President-elect Obama? Is the school being renamed simply because of the fact that we elected our first African-American President? Is that a good enough qualification for renaming a school?

What if he’s a bad President? I’m not saying bad as in bad for Republican ideals, but just bad overall? There are a lot of high hopes for Barack Obama, but what if he doesn’t come through? It just sure seems odd to me that we are paying tribute to him before he even becomes President.

It was nearly 15 years after Martin Luther King Jr died before a holiday was created in his honor and even then it was nearly 40 years after he died before all 50 states observed this holiday. That’s sad in itself on a whole different level, but I use this as an example that this renaming of buildings in our newly elected Presidents honor seems just a little rushed.

NOTE: This was originally published by myself on my old HubPages account on 11/21/2008.

Seeking the Kingdom of God

Posted by Doug White under Spiritual

A request was asked on the hubpages website as to what people’s favorite bible verses are and why. I would have to say the one that sticks in my heart the most at this point is Matthew 6:33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” This verse holds significance for me because of something that happened over the last few years.

About 3 years ago we moved to the town we currently live in. We owned a mobile home where we had lived previously and had been unable to sell it by the time we moved and thus were still making payments on it. Additionally, we had to of course pay our rent where we currently were so financially things were tight. On top of that, our overall financial situation was not the best due to some bad choices I made as a young adult.

I became extremely – almost obsessively – worked up about this situation with our mobile home. One night at a church we were considering joining, I heard a man speak on the fact that he had just lost his adult son in a traffic accident and it hit me really hard how ridiculous I had been acting. I have a phenomenal wife, wonderful kids, a good job, and I was getting upset about something so silly as this mobile home? After services, I went and asked the Pastor of this church if I could talk with him.

I explained my situation to him and what I was feeling and at the age of 36, I was giving an assignment by this Pastor (who I now think of as a wonderful friend). He told me to memorize Matthew 6:33, but not just to say it when he asked again, but to truly understand what it meant. That when we seek the things of God and spend our time trying to reach those things, God always manages to provide for us what we need here.

Well, I Iearned that verse and our family spent more and more time at this church and eventually joined it. I started spending more time involved with this church and its people and its ministries and I started feeling myself grow spiritually and I felt closer to God than I ever had before (despite the fact that I’ve been saved for close to 15 years).

That following February, after nearly six months, our mobile home was sold – kind of. A lady bought the home contract for deed which meant she would make payments for 3 years and then buy it outright. I was amazed that happened and it only reaffirmed to me the power of this verse, because God provided in this manner – in the dead of winter when it should have been very difficult to get the house sold!

As wonderful as that was, God had more to teach me. Almost 2 years years later, the lady who bought the house, abandoned it. Not only did she abandon it, she did nearly $6000 in damage to it.

Now, some may say that would be proof that God didn’t provide for us, but I learned otherwise. Although I will admit, it was not always easy for me – in fact most of the time it was very hard – God came through in big ways:

  • I had two fantastic friends in that town that got people together and helped me get that home cleaned up and painted. We spent many weekends doing this. One of those friends spent many hours showing the home for me.
  • One day my wife had gone to do some work on this home and on her way back home, she hit a deer and did hundreds of dollars of damage to the car (not to mention the deer!). The damage was more than our insurance normally covers, but the insurance company and the auto shop worked it out so we didn’t pay a dime. In addition, before we found out we wouldn’t have to pay anything, a friend of my wife’s had offered to give us money to cover what it would have cost if we would have had to pay.
  • One morning at church, I came back to my pew, opened my bible to see five $20 bills in it. I have no idea who put them in there.

These are just some of the things that happened during this time that showed me God’s blessings.

Some of these issues (maybe most of them) sound like I am grateful for the monetary things we received here, but that’s not really it. I am grateful that God continued to show us in ways both big and small that He was there for us. It was a tough time for us, it was the dead of winter again and getting that house ready was not easy by any means, but finally we sold it. We sold it for much less than we owed, but we sold it.

During this last difficulty I faltered many times. I struggled with my faith. But in other times during this, I felt closer and closer to Him. Everytime I put my eyes upward and focused on Him, He seemed to find ways, both big and small to show me He was there and is my eternal Caretaker. We may have to deal with the monetary aspect of this for a few more years, but I believe with all my heart that in the long run, seeking God’s kingdom has gained me so much more than I ever lost during this time.

NOTE: This was originally published by myself on my old HubPages account on 11/21/2008.