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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Melody (08/24/06)

TITLE: They Called Her Melody
By Hope Horner


They called her Melody.

“That sure is a pretty name for an ugly dog!” I used to say to myself.

Melody was found as a puppy, on the side of a busy road, with matted fur and bloody paws. She bared her teeth when my Dad tried to rescue her up on that hot summer day, swerving over to the side of the road and then walking up to her as she hunkered in the bushes. She managed the biggest growl a schnauzer-terrier mix could muster and then let out a little cough as if to say, “That’s all I got mister.” She relented and my Dad placed her in the back of his white VW bug. From that day on she no longer ran the streets, instead, she followed my Dad as he trimmed the rose bushes in the yard and my Mom as she vacuumed, barking at the Hoover as though it were an intruder. When my parents took her on a walk, the neighbors would stare at her, not because she was a “looker” but because she appeared to be nothing more than a gigantic, gray ball of fur on the end of a leash. If God hadn’t given her ears, we would not have been able to tell when end was which. Regardless of her rag-a-muffin looks, my parents loved her.

I was only a baby when Melody was young so I never knew her as a fun-loving pooch - I only heard the stories. By the time I was a twelve, Melody had already entered old age and started to slow down. She didn’t chase the tennis ball when my Dad tossed it in the park. Even when our cat Minnie would run across the lawn, Melody would watch with only vague interest. Her favorite position by far was lying down. If my Dad tried to coax her up to play, she would look at him as if to say, “I finally got my hips in a comfortable position. I ain’t movin’ for nothin’!” It took nothing short of a slab of prime USDA beef to get Melody to move an inch. She was in retirement now and we half expected her to buy an RV and set out for Florida.

By the time I was fourteen, she was in her twilight years. My Dad and Mom would tell me stories about her younger years when she was spry and playful, but I knew her only as the dog with dandruff, death breath, and cloudy eyes. When I least expected it, she would bump into my leg in a blind stupor and leave a line of drool that ran from my knee to my sock. She was covered in hot-spots which my Mom soothed with Sulfadene. She had a tumor that stuck on like a water balloon from her side. I was disgusted and impatient with Melody. I wanted a dog I could wrestle with – a dog I could hug around the neck and it wouldn’t ooze medicine all over me in the process.
But my parents loved her and tended to her until she silently succumbed to cancer in 1984.

To my parents, Melody was a joy and they wept at her passing. To me, Melody was gross. Ugly. Disgusting. And better off in doggy heaven.

Years later, I see her in a different, softer light. Simply put, Melody reminds me to be thankful for the love of God. Just like Melody, I am blind sometimes, wandering into situations that get me into trouble and take me far away from God. I am covered in scars and wounds from these sinful choices. In the same way my parents loved Melody no matter how sickly or decrepit she was - God loves me despite all my scars, wounds, imperfections, and blind bumblings. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross means I am washed as white as snow, wounds healed by the power of His blood.

It'll be easy to find me in heaven. I'll be the one walking the big, gray, faceless ball of fur down the streets of gold.

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This article has been read 629 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Virginia Gorg09/02/06
Just like the parents tended to Melody, God tends to us - soothing our wounds and loving us. Very nice article, well written and good descriptions. :)
Lynda Schultz 09/02/06
I know that dog, except her name is Goldie. Great illustration of a very important biblical truth.
Joanne Sher 09/02/06
Just loved this - warm, funny, and poignant. Several of your sentences are real gems - this is wonderful writing!
Marilyn Schnepp 09/02/06
A lovely story. One suggestion I'd make and that is to let somebody read it before entering...as it has a few little errors that need editing or fixing - but overall an enjoyable read! Nicely done...and loved the ending.