A Right Smart Dog

My grandfather, Richard Monroe Walker, or “Munro” (accent on the first syllable) was visiting our house one day and since he was up in years he wasn’t all that active. As he sat in the green stuffed chair in front of the big picture window I could see he was studying the family pet, a little Chihuahua named Rocky Marciano Walker (yeah, my family gave our pet the name of a great boxing champ). The little Chihuahua was also no spring chicken and as time slipped by Rocky had developed a hump in his spine that made him appear even smaller than he already was. As Rocky traipsed along the oval rug in the living room he crossed back and forth in front of Munro. Each time he did my grandfather seemed to be carefully studying Rocky. I could see it building up. Munro didn’t say much so when I could see that he was fixin to let forth I perked up. Finally the pearl of wisdom dropped from grandpa’s lips, “If you got that hump out of his back that there’d be right smart dog.” Munro’s wisdom became a quote for the ages in our family. For years when we had anything with a bit of a glitch in it we’d look at each other and say, “You get the hump out of that thing and it’d be a right smart dog.”

Over the years I’ve had many opportunities to ponder that statement and I’ve found applications far beyond the minor imperfections of a little Chihuahua dog with a big name of Rocky.

As a pastor I’ve met a lot of people who lived with the notion that if they could just get past some failure, some weakness, or shortcoming everything would be OK.

Truth is, Rocky was a great little dog who was loved (though sometimes mistreated – maybe that’s where the hump came from) and missed long after he was found lying peacefully in the back yard, when his last breath slipped away.

If that’s true for Rocky, how much more is it true of you? God doesn’t look at you and accentuate your flaws. He looks at you and loves you without reservation. He enfolds you in His arms and says “let’s go get ‘em champ.”