M r wells, p.1

M. R. Wells, page 1

 

M. R. Wells
 


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M. R. Wells


  Great Dog

  Stories

  HARVEST HOUSE PUBLISHERS

  EUGENE, OREGON

  All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

  Verses marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, IL 60189 USA. All rights reserved.

  Verses marked NASB are taken from the New American Standard Bible®, © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org)

  Verses marked MSG are taken from The Message. Copyright © by Eugene H. Peterson 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

  Verses marked NKJV are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

  Scripture quotations marked (NIRV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Reader’s Version ®. NIV ®. Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

  Cover by Left Coast Design, Portland, Oregon

  Cover photo © Eric Isselée / Shutterstock

  Published in association with the literary agency of Mark Sweeney & Associates, Bonita Springs, FL 34135.

  The information shared by the authors is from their personal experience and should not be considered professional advice. Readers should consult their own dog care professionals regarding issues related to the health, safety, grooming, and training of their pets.

  In some cases, names and minor details of stories may have been changed to protect privacy.

  GREAT DOG STORIES

  Copyright © 2012 by M.R. Wells, Kris Young, and Connie Fleishauer

  Published by Harvest House Publishers

  Eugene, Oregon 97402

  www.harvesthousepublishers.com

  Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

  Wells, M. R. (Marion R.), 1948-

  Great dog stories / M.R. Wells, Kris Young, and Connie Fleishauer.

  p. cm.

  ISBN 978-0-7369-2882-3 (pbk.)

  ISBN 978-0-7369-4239-3 (eBook)

  1. Dog owners—Prayers and devotions. I. Young, Kris, 1953- II. Fleishauer, Connie. III. Title. BV4596.A54W452 2012

  242—dc23

  2011016828

  All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopy, recording, or any other—except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.

  Printed in the United States of America

  12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 / VP-SK / 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

  We joyfully dedicate this book

  to the great dogs and people in our lives,

  and to our infinitely greater God,

  who made us all.

  It Takes a “Pack” to Write a Book

  How fitting that the dogs we love are pack animals. We are too. This book would never have been birthed otherwise. Thanks to all who lent a paw by sharing their stories or praying for us. Thanks to our agents, Mark and Janet Sweeney, who shared our vision and helped make it come true. Special thanks to Nicole Overbey, DVM, for giving our manuscript a top-notch veterinary checkup. And huge gratitude to our amazing team at Harvest House Publishers! You win best in show, and we are so blessed to have you!

  Most of all, we are eternally grateful to our awesome God, who gave us dogs and stories and invites us into His!

  Contents

  It Takes a “Pack” to Write a Book

  Foreword: The Dog Who Amazes

  Meet the Authors’ Pups

  Part I

  Tales to Tug Your Heart

  The Dog Who Wouldn’t Fight

  Choose Love

  The Gift of Life

  Love Makes Sacrifices

  Freeing Shadow

  Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

  The Saga of Walter Brennan

  Love Doesn’t Count the Cost

  Squitchey Love

  Being There Says You Care

  Jazzmin’s “Ian Watch”

  Who Do You Long For?

  Hopelessly Devoted to You

  Love Is Faithful

  A Crate and a Manger

  When We Fail, God’s Love Doesn’t

  Diablo, or Not?

  Love Can Conquer Our Devils

  A Different Kind of Leash

  God’s Love Shows Restraint

  Stuart’s Heart Vision Goggles

  It’s What’s Inside That Counts

  Anything but His Toes

  God Cares About Our Fears

  The Dog That Stuck Closer Than a Brother

  Love the Extra Mile

  Part II

  Tales to Stretch Your Faith

  The Dog Not Chosen

  God Works in Miraculous Ways

  The Beagle and the Bus

  Come to God as Little Children

  All Her Children

  Trust Takes Time

  Driving on Faith

  What It Takes to Find the One

  Trust and Be on TV

  God Has a Role for You

  Life Preserver with Paws

  Will You Be God’s Instrument?

  Dream Dog Guarantee

  Take God at His Word

  Papillon Heaven Can Wait

  God’s Timing Is Perfect

  The Appointed Time

  Our Lives Are in God’s Hands

  Scary Larry

  Fear Makes Monsters

  A Time to Wean

  God Grows His Children

  Now You See Her, Now You Don’t

  Believing Is Seeing

  And the Dog Came Back

  Surrender Your Wish List

  I Am the Tailgate

  Enter In

  His Master’s Keeper

  Let God Protect You

  Part III

  Tales to Light Your Path

  Gentledog Stuart

  Care and Share

  If the Dog Says “I Do”

  Seek God’s Guidance

  Skunk Wars

  Learn and Live

  No Other Dogs Before Me

  Some Things Can’t Be Shared

  Spitfire Spit and Polished

  Train Today, Gain Tomorrow

  Hook, Line, and Milk Jug

  Look Before You Leap

  The Making of a Champion

  Mentors Matter

  Playpen Theology

  God Wants Our Hearts

  Vengeance Is Mine, Sayeth the Dog

  Let God Repay

  To Stray or Not to Stray

  Stay Home with God

  Squirrels and Girls

  Beware of Life’s Temptations

  Don’t Pick at It or It Won’t Get Well

  Receive God’s Forgiveness

  Gone with the Wyndy

  Don’t Be Deceived

  The Dog Who Played with Fire

  To Quench or Not to Quench?

  Why Wally Bloomed

  Talents Need Nurture

  Chasing Buggies

  What Do You Pursue?

  Part IV

  Tales to Lift Your Spirits

  The Pup That Wouldn’t Give Up

  Persistence Pays

  The Facebook Bark

  Communication Counts

  Paper Dog Delight

  Joy Is Contagious

  Marley and Goliath

  The Small Can Be Mighty

  Sh
ort, But Not Shortchanged

  God Sized Us for a Purpose

  The Gospel According to Munchie

  The Price Must Be Right

  The Best Gift Ever

  Receive and Rejoice

  God’s Plum Jam

  Mix Some Sweet with the Bitter

  Dog of Good Cheer

  God Comforts Us

  Munchie Gets a Leg Up

  Answer God’s Help Wanted Ad

  Tag, You’re It

  How Does God Speak to You?

  Puppy in a Haystack

  God Restores

  Dog Tails…er, Tales, by Author

  Meet the Authors

  More Books by the Authors

  About the Publisher

  The Dog Who Amazes

  There is a certain instinctive fellowship among dog lovers. It’s like proud parents getting together. We grab our cell phones and click through our photos to share their latest mug shots. We trade stories about the endearing and often amazing things they’ve done. We marvel at their loyalty and love.

  A lucky few, like this book’s authors, have the privilege of going one “paw” further. We are blessed to collect their antics into books. And in the midst of being blown away by our beloved canine friends, we are even more blown away by the God who made them.

  Dogs aren’t just an accident of nature. They are a grand design and a gift from our loving Lord. He knew what dogs and humans could give to each other. He knew we needed their furry comfort in our frenetic twenty-first-century world. And in a society where dogs are far more common than sheep, He knew He could use them as pointers and pictures to draw us closer to Him.

  Without “pulling you by the tale,” we hope the stories in this book will not only entertain and amuse you, but offer some spiritual kibble to gnaw on. We hope they’ll give you new insights—some we didn’t even catch ourselves. And we hope they will spur you to look with new eyes at the dogs in your life for the messages God may be sending through them to your heart.

  Meet the Authors’ Pups

  Becca Wells is a gorgeous reddish-tan and white Pomeranian princess. She has a huge heart in her petite little body. When I’m hurting, she leaps into my lap and lavishes me with doggie kisses.

  Marley Wells is a handsome white-and-sable papillon mix. With his markings, this six-pounder makes me think of a tiny paint horse. He loves snuggling and cuddling with me, pulling his doggie sister’s tail, and trying to convince my other four-foots he’s “top dog.”

  Morgan Wells was part Sheltie, part “potluck,” and all personality. He grabbed my heart when I got him as a two-year-old rescue, and held it in his gentle paws ever after.

  Munchie Wells is a stunning tricolored papillon mix. This lover dog is mellow most of the time. But every now and then, he’ll push past his doggie and kitty siblings, squeeze close to me or climb into my lap, and paw at me as if to say, “You’re mine!”

  McPherson Fleishauer was a beautiful and loving shepherd mix. He was our first pup as a young married couple, and we all learned a lot together. He matured into a fine working farm dog and served as a canine nanny to all three of our children when they were little. Even in old age, he never relinquished his role as our family’s friend and protector.

  Stuart Fleishauer is a handsome tan and white Welsh corgi. He is strong and active, but acts like a gentleman—um, “gentledog”—with his canine sister, Squitchey. He loves being with us—protecting, cuddling, and licking our ears.

  Squitchey Fleishauer is a “bad hair day” Yorkie mix with a sweet and silly personality. She spends a lot of her energy protecting her home and family and then rests on her loved ones’ laps. She is small in stature but has a huge heart, and is always quick to make us smile.

  Gracie Young was Kris’s beloved corgi-shepherd mix. She helped inspire our pet lovers’ devotional series. Though she doesn’t have a story in this book, we celebrate her great heart and spirit and honor her memory.

  Part I

  Tales to Tug Your Heart

  Champagne

  The Dog Who Wouldn’t Fight

  Choose Love

  Choices are the hinges of destiny.

  PYTHAGORAS

  When my friend Sue came home from work one summer evening in 2002, the last thing she dreamed of finding on her doorstep was a puppy. She loved dogs and had two of her own, but she was cautious. She could tell this pup was a pit bull, and the dog was emaciated. But as she carefully drew nearer, the four-footed stranger smiled and wagged its tail. When Sue sat beside the pup, it climbed on her lap, smothered her with kisses, and wrapped its paws lovingly around her neck.

  Since Sue could not remember seeing this pup in the neighborhood, she decided to keep it overnight and check for lost dog flyers in the morning. She felt it prudent not to put the newcomer in the house with her own dogs. After feeding and watering the hungry foundling, Sue made a bed of blankets on her garage floor. The pup immediately curled up and went to sleep.

  Later that evening a teenage boy knocked on Sue’s door. He was looking for a missing pooch. Since his description fit the puppy perfectly, Sue returned the dog and thought that would be the end of the story.

  It was just the beginning! Next evening, the female pit bull puppy was back. The poor thing looked literally “hang-dog,” as if she’d done something wrong and expected to be beaten. Once again, the young pit bull showered Sue with kisses. Sensing the dog was in trouble, Sue called local animal control for advice. After confirming Sue’s address, they told her there had been reports of people in a nearby house raising pit bulls to fight. The next day arrests were made in the case, and Sue was allowed to keep the loving puppy she named Champagne. “Champ” made instant friends with Sue’s other dogs and has grown into a gentle giant who cuddles under the covers at night and is one of the sweetest canines Sue has ever met.

  How Champ knew to flee that fighting environment is a mystery. Why she sought refuge on Sue’s porch is as well. But one thing is clear: this pit bull puppy chose love—just as Sue did by taking her in. Those choices blessed them with each other and changed both their lives forever.

  My friends Ruett and Rhonda also chose love. They did so in the face of wrenching tragedy. One night when their sons were small, Rhonda and the boys were at a local park where seven-year-old Evan played in sports leagues. Rhonda was about to drive off with Evan and ten-month-old Alec when gunfire erupted around their car. They were caught in the middle of gang violence. Both boys were hit. Alec suffered loss of vision from metal fragments that penetrated his eye. Evan was fatally shot. Rhonda got in the back with Evan until the paramedics beckoned her to come with them.

  There are no words I could ever write that would adequately describe the excruciating pain Evan’s parents suffered…and still suffer. It is searing to lose a child under any circumstances. This was a sudden, traumatic, utterly senseless loss. Nevertheless, in the midst of their pain Rhonda and Ruett made an amazing choice. They knew Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord. They knew that unthinkable as it might be in their human strength, God was calling them to forgiveness and reconciliation. They chose love over hate, forgave those involved in their son’s death, and formed the nonprofit Evan Leigh Foster Foundation. Its mission is to reach out to gang members with the message of God’s love and redemption. They have shared that message personally, one on one. They hope and pray that by bringing gang members to faith in the God who can heal and transform them, gang violence will lessen and other children’s lives will be spared. Their choice to love has changed their own and others’ lives eternally and made them a living illustration of Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

  A first-century martyr named Stephen would have understood their choice. He also chose to love those who caused him pain. He was seized and accused of blasphemy because he proclaimed that Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God. Stephen chose to affirm his faith and defend it biblic
ally. His accusers responded by stoning him. As he was on the brink of death, he prayed for his executioners. Acts 7:60 tells us that he “fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he fell asleep.”

  Champ the dog chose to flee fight training and live out her life loving both dogs and people. Rhonda and Ruett chose to reach out in love and forgive. Stephen chose to pray for those who were martyring him, even as their stones were crushing him to death. Though they all suffered, they did not let pain twist and embitter them. They chose love, and became a blessing to others. Their choices mattered, and so do ours. If we love and obey the Lord and let His love and forgiveness flow through us, even in our toughest times, who knows what difference we might make?

  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

  Consider This:

  Have you ever chosen to love in difficult circumstances? How did it affect you and others? Are you struggling with such a choice right now? If so, is there someone you might ask to support you in prayer?

  The Gift of Life

  Love Makes Sacrifices

  The only gift is a portion of thyself.

  RALPH WALDO EMERSON

  Baby was a beautiful little boxer who lived with two larger dogs in Rodger and Margy’s backyard. Their house was vacant for the moment. Rodger and Margy were getting settled in a new city, and had left their dogs and kids behind temporarily. The children, Quentin and Dylan, were staying with grandparents who lived near their old house. The boys went back home every day to feed the dogs and play with them.

  One day the bigger dogs got out of hand and treated Baby badly. When Quentin came to check on the dogs he found that Baby had been seriously injured and needed medical attention. He called his grandma, Darlene, who hurried to his side. Darlene fought back the tears as they gently wrapped Baby in a blanket and rushed her to the veterinarian’s office.

 
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