21 September 2010


While “house-squatting,” we have been tasked with taking care of their animals. There are two: a calico cat named Sally and a golden…mutt named Gracie. I want to call her a lab, but I know she’s really not. Gracie wandered in just after the earthquake, and they took her in. She’s mixed up in a lot of ways, and it’s not just her breed…

She doesn’t bark at strangers…she barks at us.
She tries to bite kids.
She intentionally lies down when you tell her to go out.
She likes to chase the cat and eat her food.
She jumps up on you (even when you remind her not to with a whack to the head).
She will only chase one toy…and it’s inevitably the one we threw on the roof.
She’s afraid of thunderstorms.
She digs in the yard under the windows.
She won’t eat unless both her bowls are full.

She’s not really a good dog.

The night we arrived in Port-au-Prince, we accidentally left the gate open, and she took off. We looked and looked, and that’s when I realized…Gracie looked like every other dog in Haiti: “yellow, medium-sized, no distinctive marks.” For three very long days, we waited and prayed. “She’ll come back when she gets hungry,” Y assured me. I wasn’t so sure.

But after three days, a very penitent, tail-wagging Gracie showed up outside the gate. We were extremely careful to keep the gate closed after that…until last week. From then until now, something’s happened to this dog…at some point, we both developed nicknames for her (“Gracers” from David and “Gracie-bell” from me). David taught her to shake hands and not to lick him when he comes home. It has become a routine part of our day to throw the rope for her when we finish our evening walk. She likes to sniff my basil. I know the kind of sound she makes when she’s got fire ants in her food and wants me to get rid of them. She let me give her a bath (possibly the first one of her life). She’ll sometimes go out when I tell her to.

And last week, I left the gate open. As I gasped and whipped around to chase her, there she sat, in the open gate, her long tail thumping the concrete.

She’s not really a good dog…but someday, she might be. Oh, for the wisdom to have a heart that would rather stick close to God than to go it alone.

Housing update: Found a great one…talked them down to $4,000. Still too much. Found an apartment with possible earthquake damage in our price range…with the tiniest kitchen I’ve ever seen. Please keep praying!
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1 comment:

  1. I am praying that God will find a nice place for you to live where you can walk in the door, put up your feet and feel truly at home.