(continued from: “The LeeRoy Sagas, Episode 4“:
One morning, I called LeeRoy in the early morning as was our growing habit. He did not come out of the woods. I called again, whistled and tapped the feed container against his dish. He came out of the woods rather slowly, but simply sat by the tree line. Usually he came running in the morning for his food. But he looked as though he were not hungry. He came in a little closer to the garden, and then I noticed. He had a mouth full of quills. He had tangled with a porcupine in the night. He was pawing his face and shaking his head. He would lay down and brush at his lower jaw with his paws, but to no avail. I was very concerned.
I called the SPCA and the two women who owned him. I told them that perhaps we should consider them getting a Vet to dart him and take him to the shelter to remove the quills. I mainly worried about infection setting in. They assured me that they would take care of it in the next few days. Well, the next few days passed and no action took place. I wasn’t sure what to do. But I noticed that over those past few days, the quills no longer seemed to be there. He started eating again and when he drew closer, I could see that they had been worn down. After a week or so more, I couldn’t see any at all. So I’m not sure what happened, but he seemed to be his old self again (although I’m not sure what that might be).
I have a habit of going out through the backyard, along the path through the first and second fields to my “tent of meeting”–my prayer closet which consists of a screen tent just inside the tree line at the far end of the second field. On a nice sunny day in early September, I made my way out through the first field. I noticed LeeRoy laying in the garden. He watched me with a careful eye. I continued past the garden and on through the opening between the two fields. I was already getting in the mood for worship and fellowship with the Lord, so I didn’t pay much attention to LeeRoy. I went through the second field, arrived at my tent and unzipped it, then slipped inside and zipped it behind me. I made myself comfortable in my camp chair and just got quiet. I can’t remember if I began my time with a reading or if I was praying, but I thought I heard a sigh. I turned my head to look behind me. There on the ground in the shade of the big pine that looms over my tent, lay LeeRoy. He had followed me to the tent and was laying about 10 feet (his magic number) away. He had his paws crossed and was watching me. I turned back to what I was doing and ignored him hoping to win his confidence that he could be with me without me making him nervous by my attention. I started to sing a praise song. He laid his head down and seemed to listen. I prayed for him out loud. And asked God to heal this dog who had adopted Marcy and me.
Amazing, after seven months of living on our land, he was laying outside my tent of meeting listening to praise, worship, and prayer. Now, when I go to the tent he comes too. He stays far enough back from me to make him comfortable, but this new habit seems promising to me.
In mid-Sept., we went away for two weeks of vacation. I had a friend feed LeeRoy. He fed him on the same schedule that I did, only I told him not to give LeeRoy any treats. They were to come from my hand alone. I want that edge with him. I want him to know that all good things come from the master. That’s an important lesson for all of us . . . Isn’t it?
When we got back from vacation, we noticed that LeeRoy had lost ground . . .
What changes had taken place while on vacation?