My sweet Lizzy is nearly done with her pregnancy. In about 10 days the squirm and squeal of puppies will fill our ears, our home and our time. Lizzy is new at this whole mothering thing. Canine gestation is only about 60 days give or take. She has had little time to grow used to the idea that she will soon be feeding, cleaning and cuddling somewhere between 8 and 12 pups. For the moment, she grows fatter and fatter every day, her middle rounding ever greater. She can’t get comfortable, and when she thinks she might, one of the littles wiggles inside her and she is left to stretch even further to make more room for the life growing in her.
Lizzy girl is in for a huge change.
She has the perfect temperament, this 110 pound German Shepherd of mine. She is sweet as honey, loving and kind. She has not one aggressive bone in her body, and yet is utterly attentive to her surroundings. She is gentle of heart and gentle of action.
I heard once that GSD don’t have the ability to love, that they run only on instinct. After raising them for 26 years, I can definitively say they do indeed love. Lizzy, with her sweet eyes and gentle manner, is one of the most loving girls I have ever known. Care for you? Oh yes. She will. She will also fetch a ball or a stick until you get tired, then she will say, “Just one more time please?”
Still, Lizzy girl is in for a huge change.
She will think differently. Her priorities will change. Her need for nourishment will increase greatly. Her attention will be focused. Her desire to protect will skyrocket. She will care about cleanliness; and she will pay attention to and respond to every sound those little lives make. She will be committed to something totally new. And she will never once think of doing anything else.
This change will mature her. It will deepen her understanding of life. It will make her more confident and it will make her focus on what matters.
Life. That is what matters.
I watched that big belly rolling around and wondered how she will know so clearly what to do. She will rise to the new things coming to her and she will not whine or complain. It will simply be what she must do to nurture life.
Knowing it would not be many days now, I set up her whelping box and put her blankets in it. It’s in a quiet dim spot so she can rest uninterrupted while we both wait. I sat there with her, rubbing the skin on her stretching belly and telling her she is a good girl and we will have great fun with the new ways of her life. She raised her tired-of-being-pregnant muzzle to my face and in doggie language, told me she knows.
Change. So much of it in the world right now.
I left her to her nap and went to my kitchen. With my ever present coffee cup in hand I stood at my large windows and looked out at the sequestered world in which I now live. I wondered how many people are accepting that for a time, things have had to change.
Change, for people, is much harder than change for my Lizzy.
I sipped my coffee and let my eyelids fall as I spoke the One who created both Lizzy and me.
“Lord, how do we bring life in the midst of all this change?”
That gentle voice who knows us both whispered in my ear.
“Do it like Lizzy does.”
I smiled a little. God is not always hard to understand. Sometimes his answers come in whelping boxes with soon to be mamas.
Accept that things are not the same. Change your life. Change your desire. Change your priorities. Be protective. Be sure you are caring for those who are yours. Focus on what matters. Keep your space and yourself clean. Do what you must. Work without complaining. Do not whine. Get understanding. Let this thing mature you.
And most of all, deepen your love for life.
That is what Lizzy is doing
Pretty good example I say.