An Old Dog Can Teach New Tricks

person cleaning a cat litter box
Photo by chatchawarn loetsupan on

It’s nearing that time of year again, time to bring the pets in and let them in except for potty breaks and short walks.  It’s a reprieve having but one well behaved, old dog and one kitty.  Last winter we had 2 old dogs.  One was exceptionally rambunctious (even for his age of 12 years) and a literal cat killer. They stayed in the basement.  The 4 kitties were shut up in the garage.  What a task!  Two different directions everyday.  Many days I felt like all I did was tend to pets.  Sometimes the kitties would venture away from their confines and not return right away to my calls.  That made letting the cat killer out especially tricky.  We always had him leashed but still, the thought of him tearing after a cat had me on my toes.  I wasn’t new to being physically drug around the yard by him and I didn’t relish the idea of having it done again.

This winter finds us tending Foxy and Jags.  What I forgot about and find myself highly repulsed by all over again is the kitty litter box.  I thought I’d stomach it better being that it’s minus 3 kitties this year but I still find it to be a dreaded chore.  Even more so now that the 2 different species share the same space and the same food.  Dog food doesn’t agree with Jags’ delicate system but he’s inclined to continue to feast upon it.  I can’t see putting it up when Foxy is a grazer.  Besides, is there anything that can be withheld from a curious cat?

Thankfully, something wonderful and spontaneous happened, something I hoped against hope was transpiring.  When I let Foxy out, Jags also went to the door.  To coax him, I tucked my foot under his belly and scooped him out.  This morning, Foxy went her way to do her business and Jags went his way, dug a hole, and did his.  Bob said it was the same when he took them out yesterday.  In the great big pet scheme of things, this is huge.  Our old dog taught our cat a new trick.  Can’t say he’ll be so willing when snow comes up to his belly, but hey, I consider this to be a major success.

monochrome photo of border collie barking
Photo by Immortal shots on

We are embarking 🙂 on a New Year.  Wow.  2020.  Who’d a thought?  It’s crazy to think how many movies played out so many portrayals of what the 21st century would be and here we are–20 years deep.  Did any movie producer see an old dog teaching a cat a new trick?

It’s not too late for you, ya know.  Neither is it too late for me.  Sometimes we think it.  We look at the years stacking up behind us like so many bricks in a wall and wonder where it all went.  Then we look ahead and sigh.  We sigh because we look back and feel the weight of perceived failures, or worse, nothingness, which doesn’t even speak of attempts, let alone accomplishments.  Sometimes new years don’t hold the hope of promise, they carry the weight of dread.  We’ve probably all been there and done that at one point and time.

This time, this New Year, I’m presenting a new picture, a picture of hope no matter our age or stage in life.  God has already given us all that we need.  Join me in asking Him to teach us how to cooperate with Him and reveal His plan to us as He sees fit.  Remember Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol?  Let’s learn a lesson from him.  Until the final breath is drawn, it’s never too late to start living a good life for and with God.

Choose.  Live.

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.  Isaiah 43:19  KJV


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My husband and I married over 20 years ago on a chilly, rainy, spring day. One year later caught me in a whirlwind as I was celebrating my first wedding anniversary, my first Mother's Day, and my first publication as a freelance writer. The birth of our third child followed a couple months after we celebrated our twins' 3rd birthday. Though a pen has been one of my constant companions, I have not pursued writing professionally due to the monumental task of homemaking and the raising of children. A shout out to my Robert who has been our sole provider while I have had the pleasure and privilege of remaining home with our children to homeschool them. Now, thanks to him, I have the liberty to once again pursue my passion to write and encourage others in written word as we journey with God through life experiences.

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