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Pre-dinner Routine
by Rachel Rossano
09/14/04
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A large dark-brown dog nose nudges my book. I am comfortably curled up on the end of our living room couch, reading. Interruptions are not welcome. The book moves again as a broad Labrador head appears between the book and my lap. I raise the book with a sigh and look down into a pair of dark puppy eyes. I say, “no.” Looking at the clock, I see that it is only six-thirty. “You have another half hour,” I tell Pascal, the chocolate Labrador that is laying his head in my lap. He doesn’t lift it away. Instead he raises his ears and gives me his I-am-too-cute-to-say-no-to look. I frown dramatically to let him know it isn’t working.

Then comes a whine. I look up and there standing on the other side of the coffee table with a pleading look is Calvin, my greyhound. He is usually much too reserved to beg, but tonight seems to be the exception. Pascal looks quickly at his ‘brother’ and then back at me with his ears raised hopefully. “See,” he seems to say, “I am not the only one.”

“I don’t care,” I tell them. “I will feed you at seven and not before.” Resettling my book, I turn my attention back the story. Pascal has other ideas. The cold, wet nose is back.

“But mommy…” he protests with a whine.

I shake my head and then pointedly ignore him. If I let them they would eat all day. It is only a second or two before a smaller nose appears. Calvin sniffs my page leaving a damp streak behind him. I look up into his aloof pleading eyes and shake my head again. “No.” He gives up and delicately picks his way past his ‘brother’ to his bed in the kitchen.

Pascal is not so easily persuaded that I am unrelenting. With a deep short ‘Rrff’ he bounces once on his front paws. I ignore him. With a longer and louder ‘Grruff’ he does it again. I look at him over the top of my book. Seeing he has my attention, he whines and walks backward wagging his tail. “Go fetch your bone,” I tell him. He looks confused at the change in topic. “Fetch bone,” I say again pointing to the nylon bone lying on the floor on the other side of the room. He still looks at me confused. I give up and return to my book. A moment later there is a noise at my feet. I look down to find Pascal calmly gnawing away at his bone. I sigh, so much for communication.

I am so thankful that God is patient with us when we make requests. I know I am sometimes like my dogs. I ask and ask convinced that it is what I want and I am positive it is time that I receive my blessing. I must remind myself that God is a better parent than even me. I might hold off feeding my dogs, although they are hungry now, because I know it is good for them. Surely my Heavenly Father, who is infinitely wiser than I, has a good reason for saying ‘no’ or ‘not yet’ to me when I ask for something. I need to remember that when I am making my requests unto Him.


If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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