If you know anything about Jesus, you know he tells us to forgive. In fact the words forgive, forgiven and forgiveness appear in the bible 134 times. His message is plain as day. But I’m having trouble.
I’m struggling to forgive a certain someone in my life and I’m not sure what to do. I just don’t know if I can get over what he’s done.
Here’s the guy I’m talking about:
Guilty as charged!
Why am I having trouble? Because last night this 80-lb Lab mix ate over 2 dozen oatmeal cookies. Likely closer to 3 dozen. It’s not the first time.
From the day we met him Mason he has been sneaky. We adopted him 4 years ago from a pet fair at our local mall. I wasn’t even looking for a dog. But there he was, all cute, all calm, all smiles.
Mason at the pet fair, before we adopted him.
And of course he had this wonderfully sad background story; he was a stray, likely abused. The pound picked him up and then he got really sick and almost died. But a local veterinarian donated her services and performed surgery on him to save his life. Now he was up for adoption. My daughters and I couldn’t let this sweet little fellow go. And he got along so well with our sweet Sadie dog.
Abby with Mason and Sadie the day we brought him home.
So we brought him home and he was a complete angel for about three days. Then the next night, at about 2:00 am, he ran upstairs and jumped in our bed, scaring the daylights out of Steve and me. Then he began jumping up on the counters and eating our butter. Then he began eating anything we left out: bread, pizza, brownies, Easter candy, cookies, hedgehog food, anything he could find.
Next he ate the couch. Lucky for him it was a couch that already needed replacing, otherwise we’d have been finding him a new home.
At first we chalked it up to his background. When we got him he was a mere 40 lbs, about 25 pounds underweight. And despite his voracious appetite, he had some redeeming qualities. He and our other dog got along quite well. He was a great playmate for our kids. Best of all he was already house trained. So we made sure to put the food away and enjoyed our new pooch.
Mason’s first camping trip. Mason’s first pedicure.
Sadie & Mason; his first Christmas with us
Mason and Abby at the playground. Tuckered out after a day of play.
And he got better. He eventually quit getting into everything. And we got complacent about putting things up. Occasionally he would get into the butter, but for the most part he was good.
But now. Now Sadie has passed away and for whatever reason, ever since then Mason has turned into well, a total pest.
When we’re home he’s a complete angel, follows me around the house, quietly resting at my feet wherever I go. But when we leave he scavenges. He gets into the trash, eats any food he can find, chews on the furniture. When he wet the carpet (a first), I’d had enough.
We got a crate and whenever we leave the house, he’s in it. It was good for us as he couldn’t destroy anything. It’s good for him as it’s allowed him to remain in his happy home.
Last night, my daughter, the last one to leave the house, fed Mason and then locked him in the crate. Except she only locked the top latch of the crate, accidentally leaving the bottom one unhooked. And that’s when sneaky Mason pushed his way out of his crate and feasted on our cookies.
So now I’m left mad and sad and frustrated.
How could he do this to me? After all we’ve done for him? How could he take for us granted like that? Will this never end?
Frankly I can hardly look at him. Apparently he feels badly; as he can’t look at me either.
Don’t tell me dogs don’t have emotions.
So this morning, we are at a standstill. Should I forgive again or am I just setting myself up for future agony? As I write this, Mason lies snoring my feet.
Who am I kidding? It’s useless. No matter how hard I try to stay mad, my heart weakens. I know the good in Mason. I know it’s likely the things he has gone through in his life that make him imperfect, cause him to screw up again and again and again.
Who am I to cast the first stone? I too, am a sinner and I too, have been forgiven. Many, many times.
All I can say it’s a good thing for Mason that I am a woman of faith, and, that I’m a sucker for a sweet face with a sad background story.