Why Molly Shakes

20 02 2012

It’s so strange, this thing about our dog Molly.

She is a beautiful yellow Lab; small for her breed and very smart.  She will lie at our feet for hours on end and make no demands of us; but mention the word “walk” and she will jump like a jack-rabbit as high as your head. And it is surprising how brave this little docile dog can be. She will chase a bear up the hill if it gets too close. She will endure the agony of a rattlesnake bite just to get out in the woods again.  She will square off against a snarling Doberman if it gets close to her people.

And given the go-ahead, her energy knows no end! She will chase a ball until she is exhausted yet never know when to stop. She will retrieve whatever you throw into the water time and time again, farther and farther into the waves. If you even think about going outdoors with her along, she will read your mind and begin wagging her tail ferociously.

If anyone comes to our door and knocks or rings the bell she will bark like a maniac one minute and be their best friend the next.

She looks so well adjusted, but it only takes one little, almost imperceptible thing and Molly will shake from nose to tail, uncontrollably; every time it happens I think she is just going to drop dead from a heart-attack.

What scares the fur off her? A little noise.

Whenever I see her shaking, I have to think, “Was there a noise?” because it is usually so subtle.  I try to figure out the source and I realize, “Oh, it was on TV” or “Oh, somewhere downstairs” or “Oh, across the street.” It is a certain noise pitch that could last for a millisecond yet she practically has a seizure over it.

Today she had an episode and I just put my hand on her head, consoled her, and realized, looking into her fear-filled brown eyes, that she and I have more in common than I like to admit.

There is a “noise” that works on me too and it might be almost imperceptible to others, but it just drains all the courage out of me, all the passion, all the creativity, all the joy for a little while. It ‘s never something I see coming because it happens in random situations, but just like Molly it makes me all shaky and wimpy and ridiculous. Where moments before I felt like I could race up a mountain, in those shaky moments I just want to take a nap; a long nap.

I was reading Mark 8 today and the Pharisees are at it again, making noise. In this case, they come at Jesus with their noisy misguided, cynicism.

Jesus’ first reaction? Verse 12: “He sighed deeply in his spirit.” Isn’t that a picture? What meaning in those six words! To actually affect Jesus so, enough for Mark to write it down! It was a drain on Jesus to hear those words that day, in that way. Jesus was on mission, with the short time He had, to be Good News to the world and then He has a run-in with these self-serving, arrogant, posturing leaders trying to trip Him up at every corner. What did they want? Were they there for the honest-before-God good of the people? Were they just looking for clarity before signing up to carry the cross He later mentions? No. They were first class connivers wearing the cloak of religion. There was nothing righteous about it; it was a front. It made Jesus sigh.

(As an aside, I really don’t want to be one who makes Jesus sigh like that).

Here is where the noise would have gotten to me. I know this, because time and time again it does. I can be eye-ball to eye-ball with something noisy and a good response catches in my throat.  Noise can be so disorienting, it makes me wordy and apologetic and unnerved. Noise makes me “wish I had” instead of bitten my nails over why I didn’t.

But Jesus? He responds; right then and there. It isn’t a “Captain America” response (chest out, deep voice, “ta-da” kind of statement); at least that isn’t how it sounds to me. When I read it I think it is said in a pretty normal tone of voice, with everything left-over being said in His eyes.

You don’t have to be loud when you’re right.

Jesus says it, simply; straight-forward; and then He moves on. He leaves those Pharisees where they were and crosses over the lake to where His friends are and warns them about the noise; warns them about the ones who are just in it for themselves. Be wary: if it sounds like a Pharisee, and acts like a Pharisee, and looks like a Pharisee…it’s a Pharisee.

Ah, teach me your ways Jesus.

I am looking at Molly as I write this. She is napping. I am wondering why that certain noise trips her up every time. She must think she is no match for the noise:

  • even though she has legs to run, and has run for miles and miles without anything catching her (including me);
  • even though she has fantastically sharp canine’s and can strip the bark off trees (or vinyl off hot-tub covers);
  • even though she is an excellent judge of character and can whiff out trouble (and chipmunks).

Even though; she thinks a little noise can get her.

Is that what I think? That I am no match for it?

Sometimes I do.

Thanks for listening, Molly. Thanks for the nuzzle, and the lick on the hand. What do you think…walk?

— Teresa Klassen




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: