We had gotten home late when she came into my room with pieces of a gold foil wrapper in her hand.
“I found this on my floor.”
“What is it?”
“It’s what’s left of the chocolate bunny.”
It was the week after Easter, and her stash of candy had been left where one of my two dogs had found it.
When you have more than one, and you know it could be either that have devoured something they shouldn’t, you have to collect evidence before making accusations.
In your wildest dreams, you cannot fathom that one of these two perfect creatures from God has transgressed against you when you feed them and take better care of them than yourself. You wonder where you have failed as a guardian over their well-being.
But before you guilt trip yourself too far, you see images of them eating grass and chewing up tree bark like the wild animals they really are. You have witnessed one licking the bathroom floor for no reason and the other dragging out dirty laundry from a basket and ripping it to shreds.
Who can forget the time you came home to a whole bag of flour pulled from the cupboard? You find that it has been ingested because of the dusty paw prints on the floor, and the two of them are lying down, not moving with a white substance caked on their faces.
And you recall how you got down on your knees and thanked God that one of them hadn’t had their lips forever sealed after they bit into a tube of super glue, puncturing it. You saved the day by wiping off the glistening sheen while they struggled to get away from you, not understanding why you were doing what you are.
This was another one of those moments that the drive to eat something they shouldn’t overruled all else. They don’t hesitate and think, “Hmmm. She probably wouldn’t want us to do this.” Oh, no. For those brief seconds of indulging in a forbidden item, I’m sure they believe they are not under the rule of anyone but themselves and it’s green lights all the way.
Because there were two of them at the time, you don’t want to assume. My daughter had previously put them to the test by leaving out half of a sandwich on a plate with a camera focused on it to determine who would be bold enough to scarf it up.
Watching the footage was like an episode of National Geographic.
It hadn’t taken long before the male species came along and swallowed it down whole with his sister looking on. She acted so guiltily afterward that we would have guessed it was her. We figured out that if anything was left unattended, he was most likely the offender even though she acted the part.
He was the one who could do the unthinkable and not bat an eyelash afterward.
One day after doing so, he looked out the living room window on high alert, making sure no prowlers would break in during broad daylight. This was his way of getting past the event. Avoid eye contact. Take up a post like you are the best defense against the bad guys, and all will be forgiven and forgotten.
I told my daughter how I had found an empty bowl on one of the tray tables that I knew had crackers from the night before. As I said this, I saw him swallow hard like he realized I was calling him out.
“Look at that,” I said. “I think he feels guilty for once.”
He burped super loud.
“That’s not guilt! That’s indigestion!” I said, realizing he wasn’t remorseful one bit.
Knowing his history, we figured we had our man pegged for indulging in a toxic food item. We both started the cross-examination anyway, knowing that this was high on the danger list. So while someone had thoroughly enjoyed their session, we now had to save a life potentially.
It didn’t take long to conclude that he was now on health watch as his fur had chocolate all over it.
He waged his tail and looked me squarely in the eye like usual—nothing to see here.
My daughter felt so responsible that she started looking online for signs of the after-effects so we would know what to do.
“How much does he weigh?” she asked.
“I don’t know. They go to the vet next week for their spring check.”
After reading the percentage of dark chocolate and body weight, she said,
“I have to figure out if the amount he ate will hurt him.”
She picked him up and got on the scale, subtracting her own weight from the total.
“He is about fifteen pounds, so he should be alright.”
She then put her hand over his heart.
“It’s racing,” she said.
“He’s probably scared now that you stood with him on the scale.”
She didn’t hear me as she timed the beats while watching the clock.
“It’s really fast.”
The only thing we could see that was different was he was drinking more water than usual. At midnight, I decided to call an emergency vet for advice.
“If he is acting okay, then I wouldn’t worry. If he starts throwing up, give us a call again.”
We decided to do as she said and go to sleep. Both of them had slept on my bed for years, so I would know right away if anything happened.
I shut off my light and laid down when the sound of all sounds that makes you immediately get up started happening.
It was the beginning of the deep heaving that usually gives you seconds to react so you can get them outside. I went to grab him, but it was too late to stop the first round. I knew I would be running the washing machine like I had done many times before because dogs and small children decided that where I slept was the perfect place to throw up in the middle of the night.
I sent him out before the next. He came back in, immediately laid down on his bed, and went into a deep snore. While he was peacefully resting, she and I sat up until six am with bags forming under our eyes, ensuring he was back to normal. We were exhausted by the time the sun was coming up, but he woke up energetic and wanted his food bowl.
He ran outside like he had found his youth again, and I fell asleep on my feet, waiting for him to come back in.
Until I had children and pets, I never realized the lengths of self-sacrifice a person could go to—all for their survival regardless of your own.
And God does the same for us.
When we wantonly disregard all warning labels and put things in our bodies that could cause harm, we are designed with a clean-up system where everything goes to work on our behalf, striving to keep us alive for one more day while we sleep it off.
When we act impulsively, thinking we are not under the observation of heaven, God reacts as we did; correcting a wrong choice and making it right even if we don’t deserve it.
In Isaiah 55:8-9 it says:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”(NIV)
It’s a promise that we will never be left or forsaken in our trouble. God will be up all night to be sure you are okay.