Riley is our second golden retriever. We’ve fallen in love with this breed. Their sweet, playful nature makes them a pleasure to be near. Riley is no exception.

Although Riley and I are good friends, there’s no one he loves more than my husband. Randy will get down on the floor and wrestle with him evoking such response from Riley that he actually sounds like he is talking in some ancient, guttural human/dog language. Randy will typically respond with “I know!”

Recently, we purchased a motorhome so we could include Riley on our getaways. Every trip, he eagerly bounds up the steep steps and takes his place between the two front seats as we prepare to head out on another adventure. Making himself at home in the rig, he has also claimed the couch as his doggy bed. From that perch, he can look out the window and watch the happenings in each campground.

Earlier this month, we joined my brother-in-law’s family and some friends out in the desert near California City. We were basically in the middle of nowhere, camped in a circle of rigs resembling the wagon train camps of the old west. A multitude of dogs of all sizes and shapes romped in the inner circle while we visited or sat around the fire.

Riley had a blast! He played so hard in the dirt that eventually his paws began to bleed. So Randy cleaned them and quarantined him to the rig until some liquid bandage could arrive with another friend en route.

This was a devastating turn of events to our big pal. He simply could not reconcile himself to being contained inside. Crying, pacing, jumping on and off the couch repeatedly, he wore me down with his complaints. Suffice it to say he was driving me crazy. Whenever Randy was inside with us, he’d calm down. But every time “Papa” went back outside, the drama began again.

Finally, it was time for Riley and I to have a little talk.

For those of you who view your dogs as family members, you’ll understand this conversation. The rest of you… well, you may be scratching your heads.

Me: Riley, look at me.

He stopped in his tracks and fixed his gaze in my direction.

Me: How do you think it makes me feel when you act like this?

Riley cocks his head and raises his eyebrows. Hmmm… where’s she going with this?

Me: Every time you jump up on that couch and see Papa out there, you cry like it’s the end of the world. But here I am, right here inside with you.  Don’t I count for anything?

Riley’s head lowered, and he looked sorrowfully up at me with those big brown eyes.

I sank down onto the couch, trying to put on my most pitiful expression of rejection.

He studied me intently. Silently. Frozen in thought.

Then it happened. With one quick leap, a big lump of fur nestled beside me, head on my lap in repentance.

The crying and pacing stopped completely. No more drama. Just a pup fast asleep by his second to best friend.

You know, they really do understand a whole lot more than they let on.

  * * * * *

I wonder how often I create drama in my own life ~ crying, pacing, fretting, and complaining because of something I want or think I need. All the while, God is there with me, just waiting for me to draw close and find my peace in Him. He has blessed me abundantly with far more than I could ever deserve or expect.  Hopefully, next time I’m feeling agitation replacing joy, I’ll snuggle up to my heavenly Father and rest in the gift of His presence.

Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you. ~ Hebrews 13:5

He Himself is our peace. ~ Ephesians 2:14