Spring has come to my part of the Southern Hemisphere and this morning I chose to sit out on the front deck for breakfast. Because this is Australia, the sun is already fierce fourteen days into Spring, even at 9am, and I had to put up the sun umbrella. I had to. It wasn’t at all about pretending to be some kind of fifties movie star lounging under a twenty-four spoke oriental-style sun canopy surrounded by my dogs, who are actually someone else’s dogs.
I have been dog-sitting while a friend has their side fence replaced. The furry friends have coats that are non-shedding, which means they are self-matting. And have I told you that I once trained to be a Registered Nurse so I have this thing about maintaining the cleanliness of any living creature in my jurisdiction? Your bodily hygiene is my bodily hygiene. Remember that, if you ever want to make any comment about personal boundaries to me. Conversely, if I want to get really stinky that is my own business. Try not to mention anything.
Anyways, these cute doggies came to me pre-washed and fluffy but with a couple of winter matts still in their fur and I felt the need to attend to them(see previous paragraph about personal issue).
When I lived in SouthEast Asia I had a white poodle called Mimi. She was an International Exchange Dog of sorts, since she had lived the majority of her life in a Thai-speaking household. After eventually finding herself in a somewhat dilapidated state, Mimi was rescued by a local dog rescue agency and then taken in by me. She adjusted breathtakingly well to my English speaking household for a year before being placed back into the care of a Thai family.
Mimi the International Exchange Dog was irregularly taken to the local Poodle Parlour for a shave and a hair cut. Once home from that journey, she would spend one evening recovering and be back out rolling around in the dust of the partially sealed access road first thing the next day.
Mimi also liked combing over the rubbish dump next to the house, looking for deceased food sources. She was pleased to pick up any seed or burr available and store it on her person for unknown future uses. Mimi the International Exchange Vector. Suffice to say that fur tangles are familiar to me, and I love, no, long to snip them out.
So after my friend’s dogs arrived, it didn’t take me too many hours before I wanted to take the paper scissors to these short-stay companions. They loved it! (Or one of us did.) And this morning after breakfast, I cut out the last, most difficult matt. It had formed up under one the dog’s ears, and was tricky to get at and cut out safely. The dog was a brave soul. He had just experienced the first hot day of Spring and the matt was obviously bothering him and he wanted it out, but he could only cope with a couple of snips at a time before needing to walk off and take a breather. Then he would return and present his ear for further attention.
Once the matt was finally released, I presented it to him like a prize, thinking he would be as impressed as I was, even without the nursing training. He sniffed at it and shook his head. I put in down in the pile of offcuts and picked up my tea. He delicately leaned towards the pile, collected the earwax matt between his incisors, pulled it away from the rest of the pile, slurped it up and gobbled it down.
And as I sat there, rapidly cooling cup of tea in hand, watching a labradoodle chow down on its own hairy clump of earwax, I thought to myself:
A proper Christian blogger would be able to work this up into an analogy of the love of Christ.
Because I am a blogger, and I am a Christian. And I believe nobody in the history of the world shows nor has ever shown deeper respect for our freedom to make our own life choices than God, and I am not about to up the ante nor lower the bar on that one. Even. For. Ear. Wax.
As for what other life messages may be conveyed through the story of a labradoodle eating their own hairy ear canal residue, perhaps any answer is best left to the consumer.