You knew it would happen.  I know you did, especially those of you who know my wife.  We could not go dog-less forever.  There had to come a time when we would add a new member to our household.  And so, now, let me introduce you to,

Wrigley Banks Hayden.


A girlfriend of one of our sons sent us the picture.  It had reminded her of our dog we had lost last year, Miss Sage.  Wrigley is a Corgi mix, just like Sage.  Wrigley has the same ‘low rider’ body, just like Sage.  Wrigley was found on an animal shelter website, the same animal shelter at which Terri had found Miss Sage 15 years ago.  Wrigley was going to be added to our family.  It just had to be.  And so the journey began:

  • Finding someone to get to the shelter and get Wrigley FIRST;
  • Check our savings to make sure we had the funds to do this (notice which came first…money or Wrigley);
  • Make arrangements to travel to get our new puppy;
  • Get our puppy (as Terri was picking Wrigley up someone sent a post Terri had put on Facebook.  It was one year ago to the day that she had posted Sage’s passing.  One year of grieving.  A miracle of God’s timing.)
  • Figure out how to get the little one home;
  • Buy a travel carrier;
  • Pray the carrier would actually work on the plane;
  • Make appointments with the vets and get initial shots;
  • Start the journey, get our dog, get home;


Wrigley.  We have our newest member.  Take a deep breath.  End of the journey.  Now we can relax.  Our family is whole once again.  Peace.

Really?  You have to be kidding.  Wrigley is a puppy.  The work has just begun….

  • He must become familiar to his new surroundings;
  • He must learn his master’s voices;
  • Training, training, training: “don’t bite,” “drop,” “come,” “fetch,” “sit,”… (watching how Terri works with Wrigley helps me understand why I am now so well behaved…);
  • Up in the morning…but it’s raining.  Out before we go to work.  In the crate, check the crate, open the car windows, “can’t he stay in your office today?”
  • Walk time!!  To the beach?  Around the block?  Somewhere new or just the old routes?

…and we wouldn’t trade it for the world.

I wonder if this is how our Lord feels about us?  According to the Bible, even though we were created in the image of God it is Jesus who is the “only begotten son of God.”  We are adopted, chosen by God to become part of the family.   God saw us and chose us.  God sent Jesus to come and get us.  We are on our journey, with Jesus, HOME.

But, the work has just begun.  We must become familiar with our new surroundings in the household of God; We must learn our master’s voice; We have to learn the commands and learn to obey; We have to learn and grow and become everything that is uniquely us under the shaping and molding hand of God through the Holy Spirit.  Jesus said it this way:

The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep.  The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice.  He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.  John 10:2-4

Gracious God.  Thank You for finding me and choosing me and beginning that journey of bringing me home to You.  Thank You for Jesus the Good Shepherd of my soul and for the work of the Holy Spirit in my life.  Help me to become everything You have designed and desire me to be.  May my heart be willing to be shaped and molded by You.  As people look at my life may they want to come to know You, my Master, and be part of your family as well.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.