I spotted them about a quarter of a mile ahead of me just off to the right in the residential area that uses speed bumps that are more like speed Mount Everest’s to keep traffic at a safe speed. They were strolling the park in the comfortable morning air and weren’t in a hurry, it didn’t appear to be as much of an exercise walk as it was an enjoyable saunter for the two middle-aged women and their dog.
The women didn’t catch my eye so much as the furry “man’s best friend”, or “women’s best friend” as it were. I knew right away even at some distance the dog was a good dog. The women didn’t have him on a leash, this was the veteran type of dog that didn’t need a lot in the way of a micro manager/master. This was the type of dog that could teach my dogs a thing or two.
The pooch had a distinct gait – I picked it up from a ways out, in fact, his gait was the very first thing to command my attention. It’s been a while since I’d seen it, “No, that’s a regular gait,” I convinced myself as I slowed to navigate the mountain of pavement in the middle of the road that stretched conveniently from gutter to gutter.
I lost sight of the Saturday morning strollers behind parked cars ahead as I proceeded slowly. A sort of dread came over me, “I don’t want to see reality if it’s bad news,” I spoke to myself, but it was the type of dread that forces you to watch like an approaching train wreck.
As soon as my sightline cleared the parked cars, I got a close-up view of all of them, “Bummer…” I thought to myself as I watched the furry four legged park lover. He or she was having a good time – that dog loved the park like little kids love the park, maybe even more?
The title of “Four Legged Friend” didn’t fit the medium sized shepherd anymore… somewhere along the way Fido lost his right rear leg. The dog didn’t have a problem with his lot in life, but I did. I furrowed my brow as I watched the dog make his way the best way he could and wondered about my perspective.
Why would I dread seeing a three-legged dog? I’ve seen it more times than I can recall. The reality that we live in a fallen world is inescapable. It doesn’t take a close study of anything or anyone to figure that out. The three legged dog was my reminder of how often we hide from that hard reality in our world.
One thing leads to another; if we have to look upon anything that is less than perfect, it leads us to the next imperfection and eventually comes full circle to ourselves. That’s the fact I was trying to avoid that the three-legged dog was reminding me of…
The imperfection in the world and in ourselves isn’t all bad… if the knowledge and wisdom leads us to the Truth… and real Truth brings compassion on the slightest of our Father’s creation… like the three legged dog…