Saturday, March 19, 2011

corbin and claire (lessons from loved ones).

My friend posted this story on her blog yesterday, and it is so sweet and adorable that I just had to re-post it (with her permission, of course! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!)

The Dog Park: a seemingly uncivilized place where, if it weren't for four-legged (though I have seen three-legged), barking, slobbery, unconditional love-filled creatures, most humans wouldn't set foot. Some are purebred, some mutts, others have an uncanny resemblance to their owners. I spend hours at the dog park every week with my Corbin Dallas (a gorgeous Australian Shepherd/Border Collie). The people are friendly and everyone expects to get jumped on, peed on (it happens - last week, actually) and occasionally caught in the cross-fire of a stampede (oftentimes fueled by Corbin's herding instinct - low to the ground, intense border collie "eye," thrilled with himself for getting 15 dogs to run for their lives...).

Corbin is picky with his playmates - if ever a dog had an opinion, it is him. There have been times when we leave the park because he deems no one a worthy - he gets in play stance (bowing down, butt in the air) and begins barking profusely at me to leave. And so we do.

It was last fall when we were about to leave the dog park (at Corbin's request) that we met Claire, a pretty Border Collie/Black Lab with a pleasant temperament and fast enough to keep Corbin interested in the chase. It was love at first flight. Claire took off running and Corbin gave chase. The pair would return to me and Lauren (Claire's mom) time and time again and Corbin would parade for Claire, rolling in the dirt, barking and whining for her to run again. She'd pounce on him with licks and take off like a bullet. I've really never seen anything like it.

Since then, Claire is the first thing Corbin looks for when we get to the dog park (sometimes he spots Lauren first and wiggles his whole body knowing that Claire isn't far away). Once they find each other, an immediate game of chase ensues - dust and polo sized grass clods flying everywhere.

Months prior to meeting Claire at the dog park, Corbin's regular Doggie Daycare (Camp Bow Wow Nashville) was closed for about a month for repairs after Nashville experienced horrific flooding. Frantic for a place to send him during the days that I am busy trying to rule the world/write hit songs, I found another daycare to accommodate his super-high energy and separation anxiety.

I dreaded taking him to a new place; much like the mother of a human child taking their kid to a new school mid-year (or so I imagine). But Corbin, being the dog he is and seemingly excited about having a new place to pee and me, having no other choice, got dropped off.

At the end of the day, I went to pick him up. He ran to the gate to greet me, jumping up in the air and barking. I asked the daycare owner how he had been for them. They told me he fit right in. He even met a dog that he seemed to bond with immediately and followed around all day (I imagined this dog "introducing" him to everyone - like the cool kid on campus). They gave me a picture of Corbin and his new friend standing on top of a doggy play-set and I put it in my notebook of sheet music - then I put the notebook in my trunk and closed it.

This morning (10 months after the photo was taken), I re-discovered the notebook with the picture of Corbin and his friend from the once-visited doggy daycare inside. I did a double take when I recognized the other dog in the picture this time. It was Claire. No doubt. Pink collar, white chest, speckled feet - the look of love on both of their faces.

I guess they've always loved each other. I don't know why, but it makes me tear-up; the provision of love and friendship even in my dog's life. It makes me consider the implications of the never ending love that the Lord has for us - to send what we need, just when we need it. A friend to show you the ropes, a love to heal the brokenness - a playmate when none other are worthy.

Today I'm thankful for the little provisions and so thankful for a God that teaches me things on my level and uses my dog to show them to me. He knows I speak animal.


Bunny Butler

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