Tuesday, March 1, 2016

When your dog eats three boxes of conversation hearts

One Tuesday night in February, we returned home and found something suspicious in the den.

Mangled pink cardboard was strewn across our chocolate Lab Lucy’s bed.

I studied the scene a moment trying to decipher what had happened.

Then it came to me.

Those pieces of pink cardboard were the remainders of four boxes of conversation hearts. One box had had not been chewed through yet; it only had teeth marks.

Can you say dog with a sugar high?

Somehow, Lucy had gotten the boxes off the kitchen table. I’m not sure, but there might have been a tuxedo cat named Wilbur involved. I can’t verify this, but since the most often spoken phrase in this house is “Stop it, Wilbur,” I can only imagine he had something to do with Lucy’s misadventure.

Then a hilarious thought came to me. What if Lucy became like the dog Martha in a book we read in home school, Martha Speaks. There’s a children’s television program by the same name now. Martha eats alphabet soup and suddenly is able to talk. Nearly drives her family crazy. Alphabet in, alphabet out.

If a similar thing happened to Lucy, she might start speaking in conversation heart.

A cute male German shepherd walks by, she cries, “Ooh La La!”

She’s been left in the house awhile. On our return she commands, “Hug Me!”

Someone drops a chicken finger on the floor. Lucy exclaims, “Be Mine!”

She finishes a yogurt cup, bats her eyes and says, “True Love!”

She wraps a paw around her favorite companion, Wilbur, and declares, “Soul Mate.”

It could happen.

Or not.

We cleaned up the cardboard pieces, and Lucy collapsed on her bed. Probably the sugar crash.

All of this led me to wonder if what we took in came out in phrases like conversation heart words, what would be on them? Would they be words of love or ―something else?

Lent is a season of reflection and introspection―a good time to think about what we’re reading, watching, and listening, and how it affects us. A time to consider the value of the cliché “garbage in, garbage out.”

Luke wrote, “Your true being brims over into true words and deeds” (The Message Luke 6:45).

If God spoke in conversation heart, it might go something like, “I heart YOU.” And because of His great love for us, we want our souls, our true being to be all that God wants, and our words and actions a reflection of that.

I had to go back to the store to buy more conversation hearts, because I’d promised them to a little girl at church. This time I bought twice as many just so I’d have a back-up cause you never know what Lucy might do. Or Wilbur.

But if a brown dog around here starts speaking conversation heart, we’re going to be buying in bulk. Jerry says we'll be going to Hollywood.

As I shared a couple of weeks ago, I have a painting on exhibit in March at the University of North Georgia. The link to the exhibit is HERE. Scroll down to Reciprocal II. A snippet from the painting is on the fourth row, third from the left.

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