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October 2019


Some of you know that Anne and I have had a number of rescue dogs. The first was Jake a Rhodesian ridgeback who adopted us! He loved to sit on Anne's lap as she was trying to watch T.V. (all 5 stone of him). After he died we had Scooby a Springer, who was a friend of everyone, so laid back he was horizontal! He started licking his paw raw while we were out. We decided to get a dog to keep him company, we did so through "Many Tears" a society that rescues breeding dogs who are no longer wanted for breeding and are to be put down.

We found Elly, a King Charles Spaniel, 5 years old and never been housetrained. She cowered in her cage, refusing to come out, Anne laid down and tried to coax her with her food, giving it to her by hand, and eventually after a day or two she dared to come out, but shivered with fright in the big new world. It was a case of letting her adapt at her own pace, Scooby was there to give the assurance she needed, gently licking her. She is now 10 years old, a very devoted old girl who still loves walks but stays close to me for assurance.

When we go into a strange place, we all need a little encouragement. A church for many people is a threatening place, but how much better it is if we know someone in the congregation, who will show us the ropes, what books to use and how to follow the service. We all need assurance and encouragement especially in these days: God said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Dogs can teach us so much about loyalty and devotion, of love and caring. How much more should we as Christians be showing the same care and devotion to everyone in our community?

Gerald Epps