Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Welcome to California!

7:21 p.m. Today's project was to help our foreign student Faris settle in. He arrived yesterday about lunch time, and after a long rest from his flight, he came down to dinner--spicy, crispy chicken tacos--and good conversation about our families. The reason students choose a Homestay option is that they don't tend to learn as much English in a dorm or International Village setting like University of California Riverside offers. The reason? International students, like any of us, tend to gravitate toward those who speak their home language, and then speak it during all of their leisure time.

We have had some funny incidents already. After being shown a couple of times that the lock on our door was set up wrong, Faris managed to lock himself out of the house while I was having dinner with Steve at Raincross. I couldn't get him to go around back and see if the door to the garage was left unlocked. Because the silly puppy was on a very long lead near the front gate, he wouldn't go past her because they are  pretty nervous about dogs where he is from: Saudi Arabia. Finally my nearby daughter came and let him in. We were laughing later because he ran full speed in his flip flops back to the house when I told him by phone to get home quick.  He was safely entrenched on the couch when I got back home.

The dogs have provided enough aggravation for a lifetime, just today, with the puppy Jazzlyn busting through a weak, dry slat this morning to go into the neighbors' backyard to meet two other German shepherds. Wasn't it only last week that full, tall cedar boards were built to replace 3 sections of fence? So Labrador Retriever Jada's jumping has been eliminated. Therefore, Jazzlyn had to sniff and poke and worry another section of the fence until she found a slat she could break. Thankfully Jada is too muscular and wide to have followed her friend. I drove around the block to load--rather, lift--non-jumping  Jazzlyn into my Jeep. I've really been spoiled with Jada--she'll just gracefully jump right into the Jeep, even if she doesn't originally want to get in.

The way that Faris is concerned in this craziness is that because he wasn't raised with dogs, I can't just let them become house dogs until the section of fence is replaced. So I crate Jada and put Jazzlyn on a long lead, a very physically painful task of "bringing her along" by the collar because she's not very obedient. On the other hand, for coming when she's called, I did reward Jada with some "Mommy time" this evening.

Just to get out of the house without traveling too far, I took my portable wi-fi device to the local Verizon store to get its battery replaced. As I was in the parking lot, I thought about my dog, and Pavel and Heidi's dog, whether I am doing well by them, or they are learning and improving by being here. Are they loved and well cared for, getting enough attention? Is it scriptural to even have housepets? Here are some references:

a.  In Nathan's rebuke of David in II Samuel 12, he tells of a man with a pet lamb, treated as a member of the family.

b.  We are exhorted in Proverbs 12:10,

A righteous man regards the life of his beast. 

 c. In Mark 7:25-30 (NLT)), Jesus spoke to the Syrophenician woman who implored him to heal her demon-possessed daughter, saying that He was come to the Jews first, because

It isn't right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs."

And showing that dogs were indeed kept as housepets, the woman replied,

"That's true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are allowed to eat the scraps from the childrens' plates."
"Good answer," He said. "Now go home, for the demon has left your daughter."

As with any other hobby or interest, petkeeping should take its rightful place after human family concerns. Since God created dogs as sentient creatures, we can enjoy and love them, and they in return give us unconditional love and entertainment,  and perform tasks for us as well. I've had a dog ince I was three, and a cat for a while in college. I believe Jesus has put enough room in my heart to love Him first, then people, then the animals God has given me dominion over! (Genesis 1:26)

Tomorrow will be fence mending day!!

1 comment:

  1. Love this humorous post. Good insight on pets from Scripture.

    Lots of questions. Is your house guest a Muslim? Are dogs a prohibition for him like cows (eating beef) are in I think in some countries? Do you get income from having him live there? Do you feed him or does he have kitchen privileges?

    Hugs and prayers,