If you’ve been reading these columns, you’re familiar with my dog, Buddy. Buddy came into our lives 11 years ago, a sick and skinny rescue dog picked up off the streets. When we met him at Corgi Rescue, we could feel the bones in his hips, and he was suffering from “kennel cough.” But 15 minutes with Buddy won us over. We left committed to adopt him.

It took six weeks for him to get over his kennel cough, put on weight and get all his shots from the veterinarian. I drove back to Corgi Rescue to pick him up and, in a matter of minutes, we were Buddy’s proud and nervous owners. He was nervous, too. It took a couple of weeks to adjust. Eleven years later, the vet says he’s a “healthy geriatric.” So, am I.

It was a mystery to me how a tri-color corgi as intelligent, well-mannered and affectionate as Buddy could become a stray on the streets. Then, one day on one of our neighborhood walks, Buddy told me his story. I wrote it down, “just as Buddy told it to me.” It became a children’s book published on Amazon Kindle, ”Buddy the Floppy Ear Corgi.”

I printed out a copy for our next-door neighbor whose daughter was in the third grade. He read it to his daughter, and she took it to school. The teacher read it to her third-grade class. “One boy cried,” she said.

Apparently, Buddy had this problem when he was young, a floppy ear that proved to be an embarrassment. All the other respectable corgis had ears that stood up straight and alert, except for Buddy. So, he ran away and became lost on the streets where “Barney the Bloodhound” befriended him and taught him how to survive. That is, until they were picked up by the dog police.

Along the way, Buddy learned to love himself and others just the way God made them. It’s a good lesson for all of us to learn. He also learned the importance of being rescued. Sometimes we all need to be rescued by someone. Sometimes we all need to rescue someone else, just like the Good Samaritan story in Luke 10.

This year, Buddy wants to make his book available for free as a Christmas gift to all of our readers. Just go to Amazon and search for ”Buddy the Floppy Ear Corgi” and download it as a free eBook through Sunday.

Buddy is now 13 years old, a little slower and a little fatter. Our walks are shorter, basically to the mailbox and back. He never meets a stranger. It’s something I think he learned from Barney. His ear doesn’t flop anymore, but he still has a small scar on his nose, a reminder of his “lost days” on the streets in the city.

Buddy and I hope you have a very merry and safe Christmas.

Bill Tinsley reflects on current events and life experience from a faith perspective. Visit www.tinsleycenter.com. Email bill@tinsleycenter.com.

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