I threatened Marilyn that the day I retired I would get a golden retriever (pictured in the pool with me and grandson Isaac).  

It was a hollow threat because neither one of us wanted the dog hair in the house.  But today, I still want a golden. 

Recently I met a golden owner at Holland State Park.  Her puppy cost about $2500. Gulp!

But the Lord was gracious to me.  Mike & Barbara, neighbors, let me take Mitchell for a walk.  So I still got my golden vitamin.    

One day Mitchell was at our house and we invited him into our kiddy pool.  He jumped right in, all 85 pounds of him.  Mitchell has always been a delight to us.  In fact, many times I have thought, “If I could be like Mitchell, I would be under the control of the Holy Spirit all the time.” 

 God has created some breeds of dogs to be grumpy, but He has created goldens to be the kings and queens of the dog world. When you see a dog on TV, most of the time it is a Golden.  They are cheerful and happy to see you. They are unfailingly affectionate and out-going.   Some will lick my ears (Mitchell wouldn’t).  While some are clean freaks, I like the full touch a good lick.  Parents brought their children to Jesus Christ for a full touch (Matthew 19:13).   

Going for a walk with Mitchell was an adventure in exploration. Things had to be smelled, examined, explored and some-times circled. But even more than that, he pranced along, king of the neighborhood. Happy to see and be seen. He took three steps for my one as he towed me along, eager to see the next thing, smiling at everyone who was walking the other way. Wagging his tail enthusiastically.  Oh Mitchell.  

 God has designed this breed of dog to be an example to us.  Positive, uncomplaining. Cheerful. Loves people. Welcoming. Mitchell is a positive role model, leaving me with a desire to be what Mitchell thinks I am.