the dog next door.

There is a tiny dog next door that I am not fond of.

Actually there are three of them. But they all look the same – and worst of all, they all yap the same.

YAP YAP YAP YAP YAP YAP YAP YAP YAP

At 3am. 9am. Half past eleven. four fifteen. During dinners on the porch. As I’m trying to sleep. You name it, they yap.

I’m trying to find the fine line between wanting to be a polite neighbor, and wanting the dogs to find a new home.

A few weeks ago, I was running late to a Bible study and Phil was napping. I had had “one of those days”, and was already flustered. As I opened the front door to throw myself into the car and drive as fast as was legally possible to the the study, I was confronted by something small.

Small and yappy.

Small. Yappy. And on my property.

One of the yapping offenders had somehow escaped his fenced in yard, and was sitting at the end of my front porch. Yapping at me.

The nerve.

I stared at the dog, wondering if I should throw myself in my car and pretend I never saw it. Or if I should be the kind of person who returns yappy dogs to their neighbors.

I figured if I showed up at Bible Study late AND had to explain that I’d let someone’s beloved pet run wild and free, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. Or enjoy the desserts that are usually at Bible Study.

So I erred on the side of running terribly late, and sat down in the grass to get to know the dog. Who turns out, is sort of nice, in a yappy dog way.

We got to know each other a little, and then I asked him to follow me back to his house. Which he did. Except his owners wouldn’t answer the door (maybe they didn’t want their yappy dog either?).

But I guess throughout all this, Mr. Yappy McYapperson decided that we’d bonded. After his family wouldn’t answer the door, I decided I’d made a impressive effort at returning the pooch, and after getting to know him, I’d determined he was too geriatric to run too far. So I tried to say “Ciao” and head on my way, but he wouldn’t leave my side. It’s hard to drive away with a dog attached to your ankles.

Unless of course you want to bring him to Bible Study. Which I didn’t.

Eventually he ran off and slipped through a hole in the fence, that I guess he keeps under wraps in case he ever needs to make a Houdini escape. And I ran off to Bible Study.

I’ve told the story a few times over the last few weeks, because I do a good yappy dog impersonation.

But as I was thinking about the dog yesterday as he was yapping, something struck me: I’ve been the Lord’s yappy next door neighbor.

Barking at Him at all hours.

Sneaking out to be near Him.

Showing up on His doorstep.

Refusing to leave His side.

Slipping away when He was just trying to help.

And yapping yapping yapping yapping. At times when silence would be more appropriate. When listening would be more beneficial.

“But you Lord are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15

Praise God that He is compassionate and gracious despite my yapping. That He is patient with me, even when I am maddening. That His love overflows, and that He is faithful. Forever and ever amen.

Lots of love,

katie

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