By Jane Reeves

My Psychotic Dog


My dog is psychotic. Pepper is a friendly, shy little fellow who has been part of our family for the last 4 years. He's a mutt, a rescue dog that we acquired from the local dog pound. He's great with the kids, good on a leash and lazy- he spends 20 hours of each day sleeping. One of the great passions of Pepper's life, however, is food. He will eat just about anything and if something even remotely edible falls to the floor- kiss it goodbye; it's GONE. As soon as we begin cooking Pepper appears in the kitchen like a four legged vulture to claim any morsel of food that falls to the floor. Of all the foods that Pepper likes to eat, however, peanut butter is his speciality. Having 4 kids, we blow through a lot of peanut butter in a month and Pepper gets the empty jars. It's not uncommon to see him curled up in his bed with an empty peanut butter jar in his paws licking rapturously for hours trying to get at every speck of creamy goodness.

But there's a problem. We have discovered that Pepper's tongue is about a 1/2 inch too short for the average 1lb. peanut butter jar. As much as he might strain, chew and press, he cannot reach the bottom. Just out of reach, this untouched peanut butter torments him without mercy. After several hours of trying Pepper lies in his bed defeated, head on his paws, sulking at the spotlessly clean jar with a thick rim of peanut butter still on the bottom that lays beside him.

For the last year I've been trying to train him to bring me the empty jar. When he brings me the jar I take a pair of kitchen shearers and cut the plastic open so he can get to the bottom. He knows I will do this for him, but getting him to bring me the jar is almost impossible.

"Bring me the jar, Pepper, bring me the jar!" I gently encourage.

Pepper knows exactly what I want. He grabs the jar in his mouth and whines and whimpers, circling within six inches of me, his tail tucked and his eyes sad. Even though he cannot reach the bottom of the jar himself, he doesn't want to give it to me either. When he does, I praise him, cut open the jar and give it back to him- I only want to help him, but he has to trust me enough to give me the jar. Even though I have always been faithful in praising him, opening the jar and giving it back to him, each new peanut butter jar is a struggle. He can just barely find the courage and trust to put it in my hand.

I think all of us have peanut butter jars. God has always been faithful to us, he acts in our best interest and we can trust him. When we place things in his hand we find that things consistently work out for our good and his glory- it isn't always easy, but it is, in the end, best. We know all of this, but it is still so hard to put that next peanut butter jar in his hand. We whine and whimper and lay with our head on our… um… hands in defeat. Each jar is a struggle of courage and trust to discover all over again that God is faithful, he is for us, and his desires for us are good.

What peanut butter jar are you holding onto right now?

Psalm 37:4-5
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this.

Steve Benedict