Being "mother" to furry babies has its moments just as stressful and/or wonderful as when my children-- now 24, 26, and 38--were growing up! This morning around 6:30, I was thrilled that my husband got up and took the boys out for their morning walk! Yes! I could actually sleep in! Soon, though, Huck had finished his morning contribution, so Roy brought him back in and continued on around the block for a second time with Finn who had not been as quick on the draw. Huck came bounding up the stairs with his tongue hanging out, as is typical with him, and making significant noise as he hit the steps and jarred me from my sleep when he came to a stop on the bed with his front paws planted solidly on my body as if to say "I'm here, mama! Get up, Get up, Get up! Let's play." By the time I made it downstairs, Roy and Finn were back in the house. We each moved to different spots in the house as the boys began their morning ritual of running through the house chasing each other and wrestling each other to the ground. But then things got quiet. As a mother, I hated to hear that sudden total silence in the house when my children were playing in one room, and I was working in another. That lack of noise always signaled the need to go check on Ben and Rachel (only 21 months apart in age and "partners in crime" growing up). As I advanced around the staircase from the kitchen, I caught a glimpse of the front door. Seeing it open about an inch, I knew that Huck and Finn had gone out of the door that my precious husband, who had tried to give me a gift of sleeping in, had inadvertently left unsecured! Roy and I saw that they were missing about the same time, so we both ran out of the door clapping our hands and calling "Huck, Finn, where are you?" As I made it to the right corner of our block, I could see Roy down the street at the opposite corner, and the boys were nowhere to be seen! I imagined the worst! My thought was that they would dart out into one of the streets in front of a car, and I would hear the screech of tires as the life was being snatched out of both of them! Roy later told me that he imagined that someone would pass by and see them and notice how cute they are and steal them away from us! Reflecting upon this later, I remember how when my children were small, I would sometimes in my mind's eye see one of them being hit by a car, or drowning, etc. Later, as they became teenagers and they began to drive, if they were late coming home, I could not help thinking of the negative possibilities. Wow! all of my children are grown, and here I am still worrying! It was, however, with the greatest of joy that I saw two little white bodies joyfully racing around the corner to meet me! They were basking in the sunshine of freedom and had no awareness of the great danger that lurked around that corner! I shouted down the street making Roy aware that I found them and as we all four made it back into our front door, the joy of finding them safe and sound outweighed the concern over how totally foolish we might look and sound running up the street, I still in my pajamas, yelling and pleading! I also had to thank God none of our neighbors were anywhere close (or they would have for sure called the canine social services) when about 8 days before, at the entrance of Yellowstone Park, Finn decided to jump out of the open window of our truck just as Roy was pulling away from the curb where we had stopped to view some elk. I had no time to think this one through as my hand shot out and caught him by the tail. I looked down to see him suspended by his tail in midair with all four legs spread out in different directions each flailing to reach the ground just before I pulled him back into the truck to safety. Whew! This is too much for my aged self! But this morning as I thank God for the safety of our four-legged babies, I realize a couple of things: first, "once a mother, always a mother," and, second, our Heavenly Father must see the foolish decisions that we make going through life with no thought of danger and believing ourselves invincible while darting out of open doors or windows thinking we have it all under control. I imagine Him rolling His eyes and shaking His head from side to side in disbelief as He goes to any length to save us from ourselves! I have to stop and say, "Thank you, dear Father, for watching over our family all of these years and keeping us safe! Amen"