Episode 44. November 27, 2016. First off I want to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving Holiday. Even though Thanksgiving is not celebrated in the Philippines, we were still able to make it a special day. LaDawn and I are so grateful for our family and for each other. I also want to mention that on Wednesday, November 30th, my dad, Leonard Robert Kunz would have been 99 years old. I am sp grateful for everything that he taught me. Today, however, I want to talk about lessons that I learned from our yellow labrador, Sadie.
We bought Sadie for $40 dollars in 1998. We were looking for a puppy and went to a man’s home to see about buying one. The puppies were cute, but we fell in love with 18 month old Sadie. She was from a previous litter and if I remember right had been sold but the person
buying her just couldn’t handle her energy, so he brought her back. We thought for $40 dollars, she would be a bargain, and since we had a couple of acres for her to run on, we weren’t all that concerned about her energy level. I mean after all, she was a lab, and everyone knows that labs have a lot of energy, especially when they are young.
We quickly learned just how much Sadie loved people. I mean to the point of almost being obnoxious. Whenever a member of the family went outside she was right there walking about as close to you as she could get. If you sat down, she would come and sit down next to you, making sure she was touching you the whole time. We were beginning to see why someone brought her back. She needed a lot of attention!
As Sadie grew older she mellowed a bit, but still wanted to be around people. She was horribly afraid of fire crackers and thunder and her goal was to get in the house and hide on the 4th of July, New Years Eve and of course every time there was a thunderstorm. More than once we found in upstairs with one of the kids in their bed during a storm.
Not long after getting Sadie, we got a second dog, named Jessie. Jessie was a German Shepherd mix that we picked up from the Conroe Animal Shelter. She was a lot more temperamental and she didn’t particularly like Sadie, especially when Sadie would eat her own food and then try to eat Jessie’s. We broke up more than one fight between them.
Sadie was pretty good about staying home, but Jessie thought the entire development was her playground. We put in an invisible fence and Sadie was afraid of being shocked so stayed within the boundaries, but Jessie didn’t seem to care. Eventually we had to tie Jessie up on a tie line that stretched from the barn over to a tree on the other side of the yard. Jessie was an obnoxious barker, especially at night when deer roamed freely in our yard. More than once we had a call from the neighbor asking us to do something about the noise. Sadie on the other hand rarely barked, and when she did, there was generally something going on that needed attention.
For example, one afternoon, we heard Sadie barking incessantly right outside the back door. When we went out to see what was going on, she was barking at a copperhead snake that had found it’s way between the deck and the above ground pool. Jessie stood there alongside of her, but didn’t make a sound. It was as though Sadie knew there was danger there and wanted to alert us so that no one would get hurt. We managed to remove the snake, grateful for the warning.
One night, about 15 years ago during the winter months, Sadie came to our bedroom window and started barking and would not stop. During the winter months, we liked to open our window and put a fan in it to blow in the cold air. Somehow Sadie knew that this is where we were and so she barked and barked until LaDawn got up to see what was going on. She went to the back door and called her, but she wouldn’t come, she then went to the front door and called her and she came but started running towards the road. Finally LaDawn was able to coax her back into the front door and she took her through the house and put her out the back door. Immediately, she ran back around the side yard, through the invisible fence and back out to the front. At that point LaDawn came and got me and said something is wrong. While I was getting up and getting dressed, LaDawn went back out to the back and realized Jessie was gone. By then we were both trying to figure out what was going on, sleep now completely gone from our minds. As we opened the front door Sadie saw us and immediately bolted across the road into the 3 acre lot opposite our home, which was uninhabited and thickly wooded. We could hear her barking and it seemed she had stopped running and was now stationary. So we grabbed a flashlight and setout in the middle of a very dark night to venture into the woods to find out what Sadie was making such a fuss about. As we approached the sound of her barking, we could see that Jessie was now with her. As we got closer, we could see that Jessie was completely stuck. She had broken the clasp on the cable connecting it to the tie line and had drug the 20 foot cable with her into the woods where she got the cable stuck on a tree and then wrapped it even more securely in her effort to get loose. Sadie, somehow aware of Jessie’s predicament, came to wake us and bring us over to free Jessie. Sounds sort of a like a “Lassie” story, don’t you think?
Well, we managed to get Jessie untangled and took her back to the house. I don’t remember how we tied her up for the rest of the night, but we managed to do so and then find our way back to bed where eventually sleep returned.
So why am I telling you this story? Because I think there are some interesting gospel lessons here. I have identified 5 that I want to share with you.
- We should be more like Sadie, in that we should desire to have companionship. For her it was the human touch she desired. For us, it should be the master’s touch. Here is a scripture to reinforce the power of the Master’s touch. It is found in Mark, chapter 5: “And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
- We should be more like Sadie, in that we should always be on the lookout for danger, and we see something that could hurt someone we love we should sound a warning cry and not stop until the danger is past. And a scripture to reinforce the concept. It is found in the first section of the Doctrine & Covenants: “And the voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen in these last days.”
- We should be more like Sadie, in that we should seek shelter from the loud noises that portend danger. Whether it is the storms of the last days or deafening distractions of the media, the internet or those who call evil, good or good, evil. We must flee danger and make sure our homes are a safe haven. In the October 2015 General Conference, Elder Quentin L. Cook said this: “Brothers and sisters, if we faithfully have family prayer, scripture study, family home evening, priesthood blessings, and Sabbath day observance, our children will know what time it is at home. They will be prepared for an eternal home in heaven, regardless of what befalls them in a difficult world. It is vitally important that our children know they are loved and safe at home.”
- We should be more like Sadie, in that we need to know whom to go to when we need help. We need to know where to find that help. We need to know our Savior and recognize the still small voice of the spirit. We need to heed the words of the prophets and apostles and know that we can always trust their counsel. The first verse of the Old Testament Seminary song titled “Trust in the Lord” says it well:
“So many sounds and so many voices
Thund`ring in my ears calling me to stray.
Through the prophets wordsI can judge their meaning
I can know the truth and safely find the way.”
- We should be more like Sadie, in that regardless of the differences we may have had with others in the past; we have to be willing to come to their rescue when they need our help. We need to recognize when they are stuck. We must not be satisfied with being safe ourselves, we have to be willing to get outside of our comfort zones and go the extra mile to bring others in from the cold. In President Monson’s 2001 talk titled “To the Rescue” he gave this prophetic counsel: “Amidst the storms of life, danger lurks; and men, like boats, find themselves stranded and facing destruction. Who will man the lifeboats, leaving behind the comforts of home and family, and go to the rescue?” Let’s all be ready to leave our own comforts, jump in the lifeboat and go to the rescue.
In summary, there are 5 takeways from today’s znukcast. 1) Seek the master’s touch, 2) Watch for and then warn of danger those we love, 3) Make our homes a safe haven for our families, 4) Follow the brethren and 5) Go to the rescue. May we all be actively engaged in a good cause.