Excerpt from Devotions for Dog Lovers: Paws-ing for Time with God.
by: Gayle M. Irwin                                                                                    View Dog Devotion Book_Cover_Final.jpg in slide show

Willie dashes through the shrubbery and rocks, pursuing a bunny along the wooded trail. My friends’ min-pin/dachshund mix is just doing what his ancestors did: chasing, and in some cases capturing, the rats and other intruders on the farm.

Willie’s family knows this behavior is normal for his breed. They live in a big city, so they take Willie and their other dachshund on runs through wooded park areas each weekend, allowing their dogs the opportunity to be … dogs!

Willie and his canine companion weave through grasses and brush, zip along dirt trails, and sprint across rocky inclines, doing their “doxie doggie dash” as they search for rabbits and sniff for songbirds. And, each family member gets exercise in the process!

Willie knows these outings are special, and after a bunny chase or a short run through the woodland, he returns to his human family, looks up and wags his tail, as if thanking them for the opportunity to get outdoors, run, play, pursue, and be … himself! After a “good boy, Willie!” the little short-legged doxie dashes off again, sniffing and running like the dog he’s meant to be.

Back in the car, Willie lays his cheek against his people’s cheeks, again as if saying “thank you.” It doesn’t take much to make Willie happy, nor most other dogs for that matter: a warm shelter, a loving family, playtime, good food – all things we humans sometimes take for granted, things many people around the world do not have. Consider these facts:

If you have a house or apartment (a warm, dry place to live and sleep), a car in your driveway, and clean clothes in your closet, you have more material goods than most people in the world. If you make more than $10 a day, you have more money than nearly 80% of the people in the world. If you have food on your table and in your fridge, you’re already eating better than almost one billion people in the world. If you can turn on the tap and get clean drinking water, you have much more than nearly two billion people in the world. (All statistics based on organizations’ research, including World Hunger Education Service and the United Nations).

How thankful are we for blessings, including the small ones? Do we, like Willie, run back to our Master and thank Him? Or do we go through life taking things like food, clothing, and water for granted, grumbling about what we don’t have and constantly asking for more? Let’s be thankful, even for the little things!

“Father God, thank you for the multitude of blessings you bestow. Thank you for those things I take for granted: food, clothing, water, family, friends. Forgive me for my ungrateful heart and help me to remember that all good gifts come from you, even those that are small and seem insignificant. Help me to no longer take any good thing for granted. In Jesus’ Name – Amen.”

Gayle M. Irwin, WW, Inc., administrative assistant, has been a writer for more than 20 years. She served as editor and reporter for the West Yellowstone News for nearly three years and was also the first education director for the community’s Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center where she developed on- and off-site programs in addition to assisting with the Center’s marketing. She is the author of several inspiring dog books for children and adults, including Sage’s Big Adventure and Walking in Trust: Lessons Learned with My Blind Dog. Her newest work is a Kindle and paperback book titled Devotions for Dog Lovers: Paws-ing for Time with God. She weaves positive life lessons into her writing to encourage readers. She is also a contributing writer to four editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul and writes for Our Town Casper magazine and the Casper Journal.

Learn more at Gayle’s website:


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