My grandfather kept the company of a good dog. He needed one to help him bring his cows into the barn for milking and to turn them out again until when milking was done. His dogs served him faithfully. I only remember two of them. Pete, a collie, we loved dearly. My first memories of him were of a well-trained dog, patient in affliction, holding still for the attention of his master's grandchildren, seven of us rolling out of a station wagon in varying degrees of disorder. We thought he was there for our play but he was still serving, this time herding children.
After Pete's passing, there was Frosty, coming to my grandfather as an eager pup. When I first saw him in the farm house kitchen was beside herself with joy at the sight of children! Under Grandpa's tutelage he became a much loved, happy cow herder and happy herder of children. Oh, Frosty, he tore my very first pair of nylons greeting me as I climbed out of the station wagon. Sigh. I loved him still. It was clear Grandpa loved him, even though he never would have considered him a pet. He was a working dog!
I want to be a working dog, content in my Master's service, a dog in the company of a good Master. I want to respond at the sound of His voice. I want to feel His hand of approval on my head.
This picture hangs in my house. The collie dog is alerting her master to his lost sheep. Please be the collie calling out to the Shepherd in prayer when I wander away. I'll try to be the collie praying for you.
John 10: 14-18
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”