Through the Eyes of a Puppy

The call of a blue jay, the buzz of a cicada, the bark of a distant dog, the roar of a passing truck. These are among the sounds that will bring our puppy Summer to a standstill.  She’ll cock her head and gaze in the direction of these unfamiliar sounds.

The flight of a white cabbage butterfly, a clover flower swaying in the breeze, a cricket hopping through the grass. These are among the sights that cause her to stop and watch.  At twelve weeks of age the world is still filled with many new things, and our small Labrador is keen to take it all in.  Seeing it through her eyes makes me pause and look at these familiar things anew. 

These moments with Summer take me back to Adi’s puppyhood. I still remember her first measurable snow.  Adi was about ten weeks old at the time.  Tentatively she walked across the cold ice crystals, snuffing the fluffy white coldness with her nose, and tasting it with her tongue.  As large flakes landed on her head, she gazed towards the sky intrigued.  We only got an inch or so of snow that morning, but I’ll never forget the beauty of the landscape as I looked at it through the eyes of a Labrador puppy.

These moments remind me of Jesus’ words,

“He called a little child and had him stand among them.  And He said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 18: 2-4

As I get older, I realize that I have more of a tendency to overlook the significance and importance of things in both God’s creation and Word that have become overly familiar. These puppy moments remind me that I need to read the Bible afresh marveling at the wonders that are written. I need to gaze anew at the Lord’s handiwork and wonders in nature.  I need to have the eyes of a child coupled with the humility of a child’s faith that says, “Lord, I believe in you.  I believe you created all that surrounds me, and it is good. I believe you wrote the words of the Bible, and they are true. Give me fresh eyes to see and fresh ears to hear.”

Ears to hear and eyes to see— both are gifts from the LORD.

Proverbs 20:12, NLT

© 2019-2021, Lessons from a Lab, Beth Alisan.  All Rights Reserved.

27 thoughts on “Through the Eyes of a Puppy

  1. scribelady

    Beth,
    I used to have a cat, Babe. I taught her to walk on a leash. As long as I went where she wanted to go, we had no arguments! 🙂 I could take her for walks days in a row, on the same ground, and she always acted as though she was seeing things for the first time. She never got bored. She taught me a lesson on those walks–to always look at things as though I’m seeing them for the first time, and to always appreciate things.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing what you learned from Babe! My youngest daughter is our avid cat lover and would love if her cat Reeses would walk on a leash. She’s tried but hasn’t had much success. Instead she carries her outside each evening for a short “walk” around the back yard.

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  2. Summer is a darling puppy! 🙂 Wonderful post! God has gifted us with so many blessings in this life, and it is up to us to pay attention. Little children and puppies don’t miss the wonder in the ordinary world. We shouldn’t either!

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  3. Amen to this! What’s sweeeeeetie dogs. Two dogs ago, I had a border collie that adopted me while I was living in AZ. I will never forget the look on her face when I returned home and she saw grass for the first time. She wasn’t impressed and maintained a lifelong fear of crickets!

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    1. Wow, I never would have thought about how a dog raised in the desert would respond to crickets or grass. You probably have a few lessons from a Border Collie you could write. Give Miles some love from us.

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  4. Summer is growing into a beautiful dog. A wonderful new member of the family. Yes, they teach us to see things with new eyes, as we watch our beloved pets romp through the summer grass and play in the winter snow. They keep us young at heart.

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    1. Thank you Sandra. She has a dash of Weimaraner mixed into her Labrador and we love seeing how that is playing out in the color of her eyes and her more slender build. I am hoping that she will keep Adi young at heart as well as us.

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  5. Thank you for this, Beth. I love watching puppies frolic with excited energy. Makes me feel young again, much like watching children at play. We can glean so many metaphors of God’s delight in us just by seeing puppies and children, in action or contentedly asleep. I love it!

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    1. Thank you so much Tierney! With a puppy in the house once again, I’ve packed away all my sewing, knitting, and crocheting things. I’ll be be crafting vicariously through your posts for this season of puppyhood.

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    1. Thank you! I’m so glad you stopped by, read, and commented. I find great comfort in knowing there is an endless depth of treasure to be found in the Word and that when I’m seeking the Lord with all my heart the Holy Spirit is right there to point out what my human eyes miss.

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  6. This is so beautiful, Beth. Like reading poetry. Your words and the sweet style in which you write are captivating. Although I raised two Jack Russel terriers, I know that Labs are one of the most loving dogs our God has created. I remember Butch…a puppy just 6 weeks old. He stood like Summer, standing in puppy-awe, drinking in a world of new and strange things. How soon they learn. I believe God created dogs strictly for us. Their company and their love are next to human.

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    1. Oh my Mary, thank you for such a generous comment. Your words mean a lot. I love that seeing Summer brought back sweet memories of Butch. We had a neighbor with three Jack Russell terriers. I always thought that Adi and I gave them great exercise as they raced across their lawn “chasing” us along the fence as we were out each morning walking. Adi always looked for them and missed them when the family moved. I agree that one of God’s many blessings comes in the form of a dog. Their loyalty and companionship are without compare

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  7. I was just thinking of you, your family and pooches last night. And praise God here you are with yet anoter great doggy devotional, or is it poochy praise? Summer is certainly growing fast, I can imagine Adi rolling his eyes at the young pup lol. You express the need to be chldlike in wonder at our God’s works so well Beth. When I read scripture and something new hits me I am always gobsmacked, “why did I not see this before?” I ask. Let us always look and listen anew as He leads us daily. God bless you and your family Beth.

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    1. Oh I like that Alan- “Poochy Praise.” Yes, Summer is growing like a weed and gaining ground on Adi in size. She has become Adi’s shadow and is quickly learning the best Adi has to teach her, but that is a lesson for a future post. I love when I’m digging into the Word and the Holy Spirit “gobsmacks” me with a nugget of truth. The other day when reading Psalm 87, I was completely arrested by the closing line- “All my fountains are in you.” I remember thinking, “Hold on where did that come from.” Even though I had read it before I really hadn’t “read” it. Oh, it was a lovely line to sit and chew on for a while. So, I thought of you today as I came across the word “consecration” twice – 1st in a devotional written in the early 1900’s and 2nd in the Phillips translation of Romans. I thought now there is another of those words you don’t hear often today. I wonder if Alan will choose it for a future post.

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      1. I can guess there is a post or few in watching Summer and Adi, watching dogs at play and interacting is a beautiful thing indeed. As you mention consecration it reminds me of a favourite hymn https://youtu.be/lQ93HVuYd5Y
        I can see a future post in it for sure along with one on Atonement. I smiled at your encounter with Psalm 87, it is like my encounter with Isaiah 53 recently. Our God is such a generous Father in all things, especially in His Word.

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  8. Seeing the same things often is like using “white noise” dulling the senses all to often. Every once in awhile I need to re-ponder john 3:16, romans 12:1-2 and Hebrews 12:1-2. These truths are deep beyond our understanding. Great insights Beth

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    1. So very true Gary! For myself, I’ve realized that using the same translation for most my life has contributed to the “white noise” effect, especially as it’s the one I’ve used for scripture memorization. Rather than reflecting on what I read I find my brain flips into recitation mode. So, I’ve begun using unfamiliar translations to help wake up my brain to interact with the text as I read. Right now, I’m reading the NT from the Phillips translation. I looked up the familiar verses you listed in that translation and found myself sitting with Romans 12:1-2 for a bit. It read, “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God remold your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves toward the goal of true maturity.” (Phillips)

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  9. Beth, I concur with your, “As I get older” thought. So many of the amazing things God does in creation and says in His Word are like an old hat to me now. I need to experience these wonders with fresh eyes–like Summer and Adi did. Every day God is at work all around us. Do we see His handiwork? Thank you for the reminder, Beth!

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    1. You’re welcome David! In Lamentations, Jeremiah wrote “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (3:22-23 ) His words are a good reminder of my need to throw away my “old hat” perspective and look at all the newness the Lord lovingly gives each day to be received and appreciated. Have a lovely Sunday.

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