A Rebel's Story
A Rebel's Story
While I was playing, Adam and the one called “Ron” talked. About an hour later Adam called me and gave me a big hug and told me I was going to live here at “The Ranch”. I said good-bye to Adam and he left. My new home was wonderful. I nosed around and tried to play with my newfound friend, Foster. He was a big dog and was more about protecting everything then playing. Boy, was he going to be a challenge. I love to play. Since Foster didn’t want to play with me, I thought the ducks would like to play. They quacked and headed to the pond with feathers flying all over the place. I like feathers. My new daddy was very busy. He loved his animals but he had so much work to do he really didn’t have much time for us. He looked at me like he did the other animals, he love me, but I was a “dog” to him and could pretty much take care of myself. I could see that he was hurting inside. I learned later that his son left him for what dad called “The world”. Daddy was under a burden. His son had spent so many years in and out of prison that daddy’s heart was very sad. I knew right then what my job was. I had to bring love back into daddy’s heart. He had been hurt so many times in his life he had built up a wall to protect himself from all those hurts.
I tolerated being outside at night for a couple of months. The nights were warm and lovely. I got to chase the rabbits and explore the 4 acres. However, the days began to get shorter and in the high desert, when the sun goes down, it can get cold. One night it got real cold. I was shivering, sitting on the sidewalk, looking towards the door of the home wishing for daddy to come and get me.
In the morning the door opened and out came dad to go to work. He took one look at me shivering and felt so sorry for me, he gathered me up in his arms and said, “That is enough, you will stay in the house from here on out.” I was very happy. Daddy’s heart was beginning to warm.
The home we lived in was a 10x50 trailer. It was so old it had mildew and was rotting. It was falling down and when the 60 to 80 mile-an-hour winds blew, I feared for the trailer. It would rock and roll. Then, when it rained, I had to find cover or I would get wet. Daddy tried fixing the roof many times, but I could see he was getting old and roof climbing just wasn’t good for him.
I was hoping they were having as much fun as I was having. I was truly loved, but dad still did not know how much deeper his love could go. I had more work to do on his heart.
I wanted to help daddy as much as I could. He worked so hard I knew I had to find something I could do. I did notice that he put a lot of paper into a very noisy thing that chewed up the paper. So I knew right then what I could do. I asked daddy if I could chew up paper and boxes that were no longer needed. He said yes! Yippee! Oh, you want to know how I asked dad? I would go over to the trash can under his desk, and I would quietly stand there with my head next to it. Then, he would tip the trash can over a little bit which allowed me to put my head inside. I would nose around until I found just what I was looking for, pull it out, and go chew it up. But I always waited until daddy gave me the Ok.
Then, of course, there was tree climbing. With over 80 trees on the ranch, what fun I had. I went around and inspected every tree to see if it was right for me to climb. When I found the right ones, dad and I had lots of fun. He would say, “Up, up” and I would run and jump up into the tree. Then daddy would throw a ball to me and I would catch it. Such fun.
Daddy said that Jesus sent His Holy Spirit and dictated that book so inmates could find Jesus. From all the letters requesting the book, I think a lot of inmates were finding Jesus. He would sit and read the letters to me. I think daddy loved having me listen so quietly to him work.
I soon learned that daddy had a strange habit. Every four hours or so daddy would have worship. We would walk around the 4 acres and talk to Jesus. I loved walking with him and listening to his prayers. Sometimes we would get in the pool to have prayer. Of course that was only in the summer. Then we would go inside or sit by the pond to read the Bible. I enjoyed this. If we were inside I would hop up on a couch close to daddy and curl up to listen. Sometimes daddy would kneel down at a chair and pray to Jesus. Whenever I heard or saw daddy kneel down, I would run and climb up on the chair and we would put our heads together and pray. I liked praying with daddy.
After the solar panels were put in, we built a new home on the old trailer. We took the old trailer down to the floor and re-built it with real wood. I had so much fun inspecting and making sure they did it just right. Now it didn’t leak, it didn’t rock and roll and it was clean from mildew and rot. I loved it. We built the bedroom up-stairs. I did not know what “up-stairs” meant.
Sometimes daddy said I could not go with him. He said the time away from the Ranch would be too long for me to be in the car. Especially in the summer when temperatures would reach 120*. So daddy would very gently tell me I had to stay here. I would walk away very sad. But I understood that daddy knew what was best for me. Of course I waited for daddy to return. How happy I was when he came back.
I would hurt inside to see daddy under such pressure with all he had to do. He keeps praying that God would send a young man, like He did me, to help daddy. I do my best, but I just don’t have the dexterity to do all that daddy needs done. Daddy says that our lives are never to be about ourselves. We must always serve others. He kept talking about how we are to follow the example of Jesus and live perfect. I decided that is how I wanted to live.
Daddy kept saying how he was praying for a young man who could read, write and speak Spanish. That way, we could translate the book into Spanish. How many more lives we could reach for Jesus.
I learned from daddy about a very special day. It was called the “Sabbath”. On Friday morning, daddy would clean the house. That was fun. He cleaned the kitchen, shook out the rugs, washed the windows and vacuumed the floor. One day while shaking out the rugs, one fell on the ground below the deck. Daddy started to go for it, but he saw me standing by the steps. He asked me if I would like to go and pick it up for him. I was delighted to help daddy. I went down and picked up the rug very carefully and brought it up to daddy.
I loved the Sabbath. Friday afternoon daddy would put down his work early and we would go have our Sabbath bath. Daddy would make sure the water was not to hot and not too cold, but just right for me. It felt so good having daddy spread the liquid soap all over my body. He would make sure that even my paws and in between my toes were clean. I could tell, daddy loved me.
On Sabbath I had more time to be with daddy. We took longer walks or sat by the pond taking to Jesus and reading about Him. Daddy said he built the pond for Jesus. It was a wonderful place to meet with Jesus and listen to Him.
Daddy also liked to talk on the phone with John. John lives in Missouri. He was an ex-inmate who had read the book, “Change Your Life Biblically” and had done just that, changed his life. He was now a Board Member of the ministry. Like me, he loved the ministry and did all he could to support it and help daddy. He loved daddy too. They would talk for hours on the phone each Sabbath. John loved to hear about all that was taking place in the ministry. John brought much joy to daddy’s heart.
Daddy would take my “buddy” and hide it from me. I liked this game. I would search high and low for it. Up stairs, down stairs, under pillows, under the furniture and behind the chairs. It was so much fun. When I found it, I would take it to daddy and say, “See, I found it!” After a few weeks of this, I thought it would be nice if I hid it for daddy. So one evening while he was busy on the computer, I took the “buddy” and hid it, then went to daddy to tell him. At first he did not understand. But soon he did and it was so funny to watch him get on his hands and knees to look for the “buddy”. I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. My tail was going in circles. Finally I could no longer wait for daddy to find it and went to show daddy where it was. We laughed and played tug-a-war. After that, I would hide it a lot and daddy would have so much fun trying to find it.
When daddy and I played tug-o-war, I could easily win. I was strong and daddy was getting old and tired. He would be turning 66 in January! He could hold on for a while as I tugged and tugged and pulled with all my might. But then he would let go and I trotted off with my tail held high. I won. But I soon learned that it was not fun “winning”. I had the buddy, but I was alone and daddy was alone. That was no fun. So I began letting daddy win. We would pull and pull and tug and tug, and then I would let go so daddy would win. When he won, we could continue playing and that was more fun than winning.
Usually, after daddy “won”, he would hold the buddy over the couch and I would jump up for it. But then he would move it to another couch and I would run and jump up for it there. Back and forth we would go. I loved that so much. It was far more fun playing with daddy. I didn’t really want to get the buddy, it was just so much fun running and jumping with daddy.
The home we had was very simple. The furniture was all old and donated. Most of it, I learned, was from daddy’s parents. The rocker was the one his mom rocked him in when he was a child. So I wanted to be very careful and not hurt any of the furniture. If daddy put the buddy some place I was not used to, I would sit and wait until daddy let me know how to get it without hurting the furniture. If daddy threw the buddy and it landed some place I was not sure of, I would sit or lie down and wait for daddy to show me if it was ok to get it and how to get it. I loved our home and wanted to take good care of it.
Teaching Foster to play was very hard. When I first came to the ministry I was only six months old and I looked up to Foster as my teacher and mentor in “doggy” things. Four years later, his possessiveness became aggressive. He would become stupid and would want to fight over something so trivial. All I wanted to do was play. At those times I had to put Foster in his place and let him know that all we were doing was playing. After Foster understood that, I would back down and let Foster be my teacher and mentor again. I loved Foster and he loved me. He just needed to learn how to play and not get all possessive over something. He had some bad traits that needed to be loved out of him.
One thing I learned from daddy, it wasn’t about winning. Winning left a person lonely and in the end, he lost. But to “lose” and give to help others, that was winning. It is more fun to bless others and to be with them than to accumulate things and be alone. I liked that. I didn’t want anything, I didn’t want to “win”, I just wanted to be with Foster and daddy. To play with them, help them and do all I could to bring them joy, happiness and love.
Something else daddy taught me. He said it wasn’t nice to beg and want. He said we had to be content with want we had. I thought that was a good idea. So when daddy was eating, I would not bother him. I would lie down and wait until he was almost done, then I would quietly go sit by him and ask if I could have what was left. Most of the time He shared with me. I let daddy know that he could let me “wash” and all he would have to do is dry.
Daddy would work many long hours in the office. I would lie quietly watching and listening, but soon I realized that he needed someone to remind him when to stop. So when I saw him get frustrated or upset, I would go over to him and place my chine on his leg. That would calm daddy down. He would put his hand on my head and rub it. That soothed him even more. Then I would let daddy know that maybe we should go for a prayer walk. He would agree and off we would go.
I really appreciated how clean and neat daddy kept the office and home. I felt very special living and “working” here at the ministry. Daddy always said that to be clean and neat is to be like Jesus. Not only in our surroundings, but also in our lives. I wanted to help daddy keep it nice. When I had to do my business, I would go to the door and knock. Daddy would then open the door and let me out. When I was done, I would go back and knock again. Then daddy would let me in. He was a very smart daddy.
I noticed that not many came to the ranch. Daddy was all alone. It appeared that people were more interested in “winning” in their theology than loving and caring for others. They judged daddy by what he believed instead of by his heart of love. They wanted daddy to believe in their church or their food and anything else they did. All daddy was doing was teaching the love of Jesus and what Jesus taught, but people seemed to love their church, their theology and their things more than Jesus. I was sad for daddy. When we read the Bible together, I learned that Jesus encountered much the same attitude in His day. The Pharisees were more interested in their church and what they had then in loving and caring for others.
I was very happy that Jesus brought me into daddy’s life. I just wanted to bring him all the joy and happiness possible. I could see that my plan was working. He could not stand being away from me. We were inseparable. I was proud to be a part of the ministry and helped as much as possible. The difference between my last home of fighting and this home of love was so vast, I loved it.
One way daddy said I could help was to write inmates. So many inmates were hurting. He felt it would be good for me to write them. So I started writing inmates. Soon letters were coming back from inmates telling daddy how much they loved my letters. The letters seemed to bring them joy and calm them down.
Daddy’s heart was now fully in beat with mine. Our hearts beat as one. I loved our prayer walks around the property. We would do that about four or five times a day.
Daddy’s heart was now ready for another test. Through the four and a half years I lived with daddy, we read through the Bible many times. I learned that God loves animals and used them many times to help people. One time he used a donkey to set a man straight. I thought that was cool of God. We animals can see what humans can’t.
Another time, God used a whale to help Jonah. I thought that would be a great ride. Seeing how much I liked water, I asked daddy if we could go to the beach together and maybe see a whale. Of course we don’t have the funds to go anywhere. But that is ok, living here at the ministry is a wonderful life.
But now there was a greater test. While I was living, daddy loved me and still didn’t understand the full love he needed to have. So Jesus let me give my life so daddy would understand how we should never take anyone or any animal for granted. I died November 23 at 7:45 in the morning.
Daddy was heart broken. For three days he prayed and pleaded with Jesus to make me well. But God saw I needed to sleep for daddy’s development. At first, daddy wanted to get mad at God. But then he realized that we all must work for Jesus and submit to His plan for our lives. He let me go and placed me in the hands of Jesus.