Newsletter for February

Dear Trinity Family and Friends,

  As I was working at my computer tonight, I happened to look up at the picture of my dogs, now gone, that hangs above my desk and I realized how much I still miss them. They were a pair!  Fred was a terrier/dachshund mixed with whatever had been in the neighborhood at the time. Augie was a registered red dachshund (I didn’t register him; his former owners did). Fred, the younger, was a charming little mischievous thief; Augie was laid back and often appeared thoughtful.  Fred adopted Augie, who had been collateral damage in a divorce, and ‘brought him home” after meeting him at a kennel where they were both staying, and from that time on they were inseparable.

  Many years ago my family had a cabin on a lake in northern MN. Fred and Augie always went with me when I travelled to the cabin; they loved it because they could run free, chase chipmunks, and go for boat rides.

 Now it happened that one spring week, my brother and his wife and I were there, opening the cabin for the summer.  We were outside painting the sections of dock, picking up branches and twigs and raking up leaves that had fallen after we closed up the previous fall.  Fred and Augie had been playing when all of a sudden I heard Augie barking as he circled around our neighbor’s cabin, stopping periodically to sniff under the cabin.   My first fear of course was that he had cornered a rabbit, a raccoon or a skunk, but his cries were less those of the excitement of the hunt, and more the barking of a frantic dog in distress.  Then I realized Fred was no where to be seen!

  You need to understand that our neighbor’s cabin did not have a solid foundation; rather it sat on large rocks placed at intervals under the cabin, leaving large open spaces which made it easy for animals to crawl under the cabin.  That is what Freddie had done!

  I got down on my hands and knees to look under the cabin. I could see Fred just standing, semi-trapped by some studs under the cabin.  I called to him. He made no moves.  I was afraid his collar had caught on a stray nail and he could not move, but was anchored by his collar to the old boards.  I also knew that Fred, for some strange reason, did not know how to back up.  He only knew straight ahead.  He would not turn around and he would not back up. He just stood there.  I didn’t know what I was going to do. I knew there was no way I was going to be able to crawl under the cabin.  I don’t know how one calls a neighbor and asks for permission to raise their cabin off of the foundation to rescue a dog.  All the time I was calling Fred, trying to coax him out from under the cabin, Augie continued to circle the cabin, barking frantically. Then it got quiet, and before I knew what had happened, Augie had darted through one of the open spaces in the foundation and was now also under the cabin!

  I really didn’t know what to do except cry and pray (yes, I pray for my pets).  All was quiet for what seemed like an eternity, but was probably only a few minutes. Then I heard that wonderful sound of the tinkling of dog tags. First out was Augie, followed by Fred.  I realized what had happened. Augie had gone under that cabin, and somehow had gotten Fred to follow him out to safety.  I was able to bring both of my beloved dogs home!

  In a simple way Augie had illustrated the gospel message.  Augie risked his own life, to go under that cabin with all of its potential dangers, to lead Fred safely out, to home.  Jesus Christ came into a very dangerous world, to bring humankind, who had gotten themselves into a precarious situation safely back to God, and finally safely home forever.  I don’t know how Augie did what he did. Jesus did it by way of the cross.  I assume Augie did what he did out of animal instinct.  I know why Jesus did what He did. It is called Love, Divine Love. 

  Frankly both stories thrill my soul. I thanked God that day for my dogs’ safety.  I thank God daily for my safety in Jesus Christ.  I hope you do too!


In Christ’s Service,


Pastor Penny



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