The cheese on the carpet
My tiny town has a dog with an odor problem. I’m sure someone in town must actually be the owner of the dog, but he seems to be sort of a community dog more than a pet of just one person. Sometimes he will be at the post office, whiling the day away in the sun by the front door.
Sometimes we see him meandering down the road, going from some point A to some other point B.
Of late, he has taken to coming up onto our church property and laying under our huge main porch in the shade.
When I got a whiff of him a few days ago, I was transported back into my childhood days and to the odor of Duke the Dachshund (Weiner Dog, for you Hillbillies like me).
Duke should have weighed in at about 7-10 pounds, like a normal Dachshund. But my grandfather, God rest his soul, did not allow that to happen. Duke sat at the base of his chair during every meal, while my grandfather fed him, quite literally, half of everything that was on his plate.
Within a few years, Duke the Dachshund ballooned up to better than 40 pounds! Can you picture a 40-plus pound Weiner Dog? It really was, in a way, sort of hilarious.
His belly actually dragged the ground. The dog didn’t really walk, he swam on land, using his feet as paddles to push himself forward.
Now, all of that blubber got really sweaty and nasty. Put bluntly, Duke stunk, badly. But his age and weight and raw belly also made him very nasty tempered.
Trying to pick him up to put him into a bathtub was like trying to grab hold of the Tasmanian devil! That pot-bellied pooch could twist like a tornado and chew through steel gloves to rip your hands to shreds! No sir, that was just not an option.
But the dog simply had to be washed from time to time. So we finally hit on a solution that worked, every single time. We would get a baby tub, and fill it with warm soapy water. Then we would take a strip of carpet about six feet long and three feet wide, and lay it in front of the tub.
Then we would put cheese out on the ground, one little piece after another, leading from the back room, down the hallway, into the kitchen, and onto the carpet. Shortly, we would hear fat-boy begin to stir in the back room. Sure enough, here he would come, swimming his fat little self down the hallway, greedily devouring one piece of cheese after the next.
His pursuit of Provolone would take him out onto the middle of the carpet, where my uncle Chip and I would be waiting to pounce. He would grab one side of the carpet, I would grab the other, and we would (at the risk of double hernias) grab both ends of the carpet, hoist the trapped tonnage into the air, and dump him unceremoniously into his bath.
Defeated, he would allow himself to be washed, removing his odor ... for a few days, at which time we would have to go through the same process yet again.
I often wondered why that dog fell for the same trick over and over. Then one day I read this verse in my Bible:
Philippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.
That dog was a slave to his desires; his belly was his god. He was much like mankind today. If a person today wants something, it must be right. If he desires it, it must be good. If he craves it, it cannot possibly be wrong. But desires must be governed! If not, the desires themselves become gods to us, and rule us.
And is a trap that never leads to any good end.
Dr. Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, a widely traveled evangelist, and the author of several books. His books are available at www.wordofhismouth.com. You can email Dr. Wagner at firstname.lastname@example.org