Happy New Year! I can’t speak for you, but I’m glad we’re moving out of 2022. Highest inflation in over 40 years, fuel prices double from when Donald Trump was President, interest rates climbing, a border that is easier to get through than a wet paper towel, and a lazy and irresponsible media that lies to you every day and pretends they are telling you the truth.
But one thing that has been a wonderful part of 2022 is that my wife and I started the year with 2 wonderful new puppies. We actually got them the week between Christmas and New Year’s.
Gumbo is a Cavalier King Charles/Bichon mix and Bandit is a Shi-Tzu/Bichon mix. They aren’t blood brothers, but don’t tell them that. They are virtually inseparable. The love to wrestle, chase each other, and sometimes make big messes. But these boys have brought a lot of joy to our lives in a year that otherwise would have been at times rather depressing.
I often say “I wouldn’t live in a world without dogs,” and I really mean it. During the past year, these 2 guys have taken more of my time than I had, caused me to do a lot of cleaning up behind them, replacing things they chewed up, and trying to figure out what they’re barking at. But through it all, they have given a level of loyalty I sure never experienced in politics, and a steadfast love that is a true taste of God’s unfailing love for us.
You may wonder why I’d start my 2023 newsletter talking about my dogs. And the honest answer is, “Because I could!”
But there’s method to the madness. I’m convinced that dogs bring people together. It’s hard to frown when looking into the eyes of a puppy. It’s hard to think about harsh divisions in our nation and world when holding a puppy in your lap. So I just think a lot of our problems would be solved if people got a dog. Maybe Democrats and Republicans would still disagree, but not be hateful about it. And dogs can teach us a lot about being patient as well as grateful for even the smallest thing, like a tiny treat.
I don’t mean to imply that all of 2022 has been unpleasant. Our daughter got elected Governor of Arkansas and will sit in the old seat I sat in. She will be sworn in in less than 2 weeks and start her own journey of leading our state. We’re proud of all three of our children, but they have their own lives and careers. We do as much baby-sitting of our 7 grandchildren as we are allowed, but when they aren’t there, having the dogs fills the house with activity, love, and of course noise. Lots of noise.
Some of our friends thought we were crazy to get two dogs at the same time, but it just doubled our delight to watch them grow, play, and show us their unconditional love. So, we’re starting 2023 with hope and anticipation and year-old puppies that got us through this past year. From Janet and me and Gumbo and Bandit, Happy New Year, and may God give you a great year, and maybe a puppy of your own!