PARABLES FOR THE YOUNG AT HEART: Jake’s Big Birthday Surprise! (Part 3)

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”  (Prov. 17:22)

I believe she was the most beautiful dog that I had ever seen in my life. She was about my height and solid black from the tip of her nose to the tip of her tail. Her coat was shiny and smooth, not too long and not too short. She was perfect.

“Jasmine,” Rambo said. “These are my good friends. There was a time when I wasn’t very nice to them, but they forgave me and saved my life.”

“This is Marvin the possum, Spots the calf, Chester the goat, and my special friend Jake. Everybody, this is Jasmine. She’s the little dog that showed up just this morning to live in the yard next to mine.”

“Hi everybody,” Jasmine said in a sweet little voice. “Hello Jake,” she barked in a special bark.

All I could do was sit there and stare and wag my tail. I wagged it so hard; that I thought it was going to wag off.

When I didn’t answer back, she bowed with her front legs and head down to the ground, wagging her tail. Then she rolled over and lay on her side, wagging her tail and looking at me through the fence.

“What’s the matter, Jake?” she giggled, “Cat got your tongue?”

“He…He…Hello Jasmine,” I stuttered and barked in our special bark. I took one of the carrots in my front teeth and gently stuck it through the fence so that she could take it.

We all finished eating our carrots and then we took turns throwing the ball back and forth to each other over the fence. I took my socks that Marvin had given me and pushed them through the fence so that Jasmine and I could play tug.

We laughed and barked so loud, you would have thought that we had been friends forever.

It seemed like they hadn’t been there anytime at all when Rambo said, “I guess we had better get back before people start to miss us and think that we have run away. Goodbye everybody, it was a great party. Thanks for inviting us.”

“Goodbye Rambo. Goodbye Jasmine. It was nice to meet you,” we all said as they began to walk away across the field.

I couldn’t stop looking at Jasmine as she walked with Rambo past the field and disappeared through the line of trees. She barked one last time at me. I was beginning to miss her already.

When I got back into the house, I just moped around the rest of the day. I didn’t even eat the rest of my dog treats that were left over from my Birthday Party. All I could think about was Jasmine.

“What’s wrong with Jake?” Mama asked. “He’s not eating or playing with his new toys. I hope that he’s not sick.”

“He probably just got too excited today, or maybe just ate too much,” said Dad. “I’m sure that he’ll be alright tomorrow.”

But I wasn’t alright. Not the next day or the next.

I just couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I still loved my family and I still had my friends, but something felt different inside me. It was kind of a lonely feeling, almost the way that I felt when I was lost and alone under the cedar tree before Mama and Daddy found me.

And I couldn’t stop thinking about Jasmine. When I thought about her, it was as if I had butterflies all in my stomach.

Mama called the Vet, and Dr. Ann told Mama how to check my ears to see if I was running a fever and to check my tummy to see if it was swollen, but everything was alright.

Even my friends noticed the way that I was acting.

They said that I didn’t bounce anymore when I ran. They couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to race with Spots up and down the fence line or play tug with Marvin. All I wanted to do was lie around inside the house or on the front porch.

And think about the fun that I had with Jasmine.

Then a few days later, Dad got up and told Mom “I think I know what is wrong with Jake.” He took my leash and harness, got in the truck, and left.

Now this was most unusual. Daddy never went anywhere by himself. Mama said that Daddy needed help to get around, and that’s why he would walk on a cane or use a walker. But this time he went by himself, and he took my leash and harness. My family would only get those out if we were going for a walk or to the vet.

As I sat on the front porch and watched Dad leave, I couldn’t help but wonder what was going on.

I lay on the porch, waiting for Dad to come back, and it wasn’t long before I saw our big black truck coming down the road. Dad pulled into the driveway, got out, and walked over to the other side of the truck. He opened the door, reached inside, and…

Out jumped Jasmine, wearing my harness and leash!

I couldn’t help myself! I started hopping around like a bunny rabbit, yelping and making all kinds of funny noises. I was so happy! I didn’t think that I would ever see Jasmine again and here she was, walking through my gate and into my yard!

Mama stepped out onto the front porch and said, “Raymond, what have you done?”

Dad said, “Well, I’ve been praying and asking the Lord to show me what was wrong with Jake. I just couldn’t stand to see him so sad.”

“This morning I saw an ad in the paper with an address just one street over. The ad was placed by a family that had taken in a shelter dog but was now unable to keep her. They were offering to give her to someone that would provide her a good home.”

“I felt like the Lord showed me that this was the answer to my prayer. Jake wasn’t sick, he was just lonely. He needed someone of his own kind to play and be friends with. Her name is Jasmine.”

“Well,” Mama said. “I believe you must be right. Just look how Jake is acting. I don’t think that I have ever seen him so happy. It’s almost like they already knew each other instead of meeting for the first time.”

If Mama only knew. Jasmine and I were already chasing one another, rubbing our noses together, rolling and playing in the grass. This had to be the best birthday present of all.

What a wonderful life I had been given since being rescued. I had a loving family and wonderful friends. Marvin and I had great adventures together and had saved Spots, Chester, and Rambo. And now I had met Jasmine and she had come to be a part of my family.

It is truly amazing how the Creator knows what we need before we even ask.

God must really love us all, no matter what we look like or how different we may be. Even a little black dog with brown spots over his eyes and a white furry bottom. Even if he grunts like a pig.



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