photo source // rick golt
Do not. I repeat. Do not feed your dog grapes. Or gum. Or avocados. Make sure your cat stays away from Easter lilies (you may want to re-gift those beauties).
A little known fact resides in the last half of March each year. No, I’m not talking about Daylight Savings Time or Easter (those are big, people). It’s the National Pet Poison Prevention Week. And, if you’re like me – this majestic fact has passed you by over the years. It could be due to the fact that there is a day, week, or month for absolutely every cause under the sun. But never mind that, let’s get back to the point. It’s not that I don’t care about preventing pet poisonings, it’s just that I haven’t expended precious brain power over that fact in recent history. There was a time, but I’ll get to that later.
As the mother of a Great Dane (who thinks she’s a Border Collie) and a Border Collie (who thinks she’s an invisible ball-chasing fairy), I seriously contemplate their diets and safety. However, let’s be honest.
We live on a farm.
Given the chance, both dogs will chow down on chicken litter, nose through cow pies, and try and sneak Mr. Farmer’s lunch when he’s not looking. Don’t worry, the poisonous material that does reside on the farm is farm from their little sniffling noses. Unless you’re talking about grapes – they’re in the bottom drawer of the fridge.
There was a time that Poison Control crossed my mind and the emergency vet was on my fingertips. It all started when we brought home an eight week old Great Dane puppy. So sweet. So cute. So destructible. There was the time with the UPS man and the cell phone. The Christmas tree. The [multiple] wreaths off the wall. The groceries on the counter. The list could go on and on. It’ll end with this: the visiting construction worker and the pack of Marlboro Reds.
Poor Tom was just trying to help us get a building up on the farm. He knew nothing of the resident destructive Great Dane – goes by code name: Chirp. He carelessly left a new, unwrapped pack of tobaccos finest on his tailgate. Bad move. Underage and adventurous are a deadly combination.
Before we could say “lung cancer,” Tom was looking for his ciggs. No one knew where they were. No one else at the site smoked. A mystery brewed at the farm.
It didn’t take long to add 2 and 2 to make the proverbial 4. A flash of black and white with oversized paws went by at the speed of light. And again. And again. And yet again. Chirp tore around the yard like a bat on fire. Faster, actually.
And less than an hour later she was passed out, snoring louder than…well, let’s just say it was loud (I wouldn’t want to name any names).
This run-in with poison and National Pet Poison Prevention Week got me thinking: how often do we knowingly [or unknowingly] ingest poison into our souls? If we want to fully live a life for Him, we seek to avoid the known and the unknown. But how do we avoid the unknown, you say?
Once you fully surrender to Him, he will cause reservation to enter your heart when faced with unknown poison. Our duty at that time is to listen and obey. Turn away from the poison. Do an about-face. Run away. Whatever it takes to restore right. Oswald Chambers put it this way:
“When you have a right-standing relationship with God, you have a life of freedom, liberty, and delight; you are God’s will. And all of your commonsense decisions are actually His will for you, unless you sense a feeling of restraint brought on by a check in your spirit…if your decisions are wrong, He will lovingly produce that sense of restraint. Once He does, you must stop immediately.”
So whether we face the known poisons or the grapes in our life, we can live brave with the knowledge that an all-powerful God will give us strength to avoid and redirect. He loves us that much. It’s just up to us to pay attention.
Thankfully, Chirp woke the next morning with the equivalent of a hangover. Little sluggish, not much food, and more shut-eye. And, you’ll be happy to know – she hasn’t touched nicotine since.
Inspired by Jesus’s prayer for all believers in John 17:20-23 and Oswald Chambers “My utmost for His highest.”
written by contributing writer Lauren Arbogast
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