By Curtis K. Shelburne: Columnist
Did you hear about the fellow who was walking down the street one day when he saw a hand-lettered sign in a yard that said: “Talking Dog: Five Dollars”?
Quite curious, the man walked up to the front door of the house and knocked. When an ordinary-looking fellow answered, the guy standing on the porch said, “Pardon me, sir, but I saw your sign. Are you kidding? You’ve got a TALKING dog? A dog you want to sell for five dollars!?”
“Yes,” the answer came back, “I do have a talking dog that I’d sell cheap. In fact, he’s out in his dog house now. If you’d like, feel free to go on back and talk to him.”
So the fellow went out to the back yard, found the dog in the dog house, and rather sheepishly bent down and asked, “So . . . so you’re a talking dog?”
“That’s right,” came back the quick answer. “Yep, started talking when I was just a pup. Been talking ever since.”
“Wow, that’s something!” said the amazed man. “You must have had quite a life!”
“Oh, yes,” replied the dog in excellent, even cultured, English. “Yes, indeed. You see, when people discovered that I could talk, they made over me a great deal. In fact, at one point, years ago now, I spent several years as a CIA field operative. You can imagine what a great tool a talking dog would be in the spy game. Why, a talking dog who knows when to keep his mouth shut is better than the best electronic bug money could buy! Hard hours, though, and a tough element to work with. I actually was on assignment for so long one time that I ended up losing my wife. She nuzzled up to a Basset hound and ran off with him while I was gone.”
After closing a really interesting conversation, the man walked back to the porch and the dog’s owner.
“I can hardly believe my ears. You’re right! He talks! That’s mystery enough, but why in the world would you be willing to part with a talking dog for just five dollars? Are you crazy!? You’d really sell that dog for five bucks?”
“Yeah, he talks,” the answer came back, “but I’d sell him. Why, you can’t believe half of what that dog says!”
Sometimes we expect too much and fail to be properly grateful for what we already have.
Always desiring for us what is better, God completely loves, forgives, and accepts us just as we are. His grace gives us hope. But if we fashion ourselves into little and far less loving gods, so hard to please that nothing is ever good enough, we will breed in our families, coworkers, and associates (I don’t say friends because we won’t have any real ones) not hope but despair.
When you hear a dog talking to you, you don’t waste time criticizing his grammar or running a background check to make sure he has his facts straight.