Abraham The Newfie Howe

Abraham The Newfie Howe

Having no clear direction yet on when I might have my next Saturday vivid color marathon session with Dawn, the woman I call my mad scientist haircolor genius, I reached for my go-to Bad Hair Day Hat this week.

It’s decorated with buttons and various pins, including my son’s honor pin, my high school mascot Bulldog with googley-eyes, a pink Eric Clapton guitar pin and my favorite: A pawprint stamped next to the words D.O.G.

I love dogs. I’ve seldom been without one in my life, from age 18 months when I followed Spot the Beagle off into a bean field while Dad was supposed to be watching me, graduating to ever larger canine friends over the span of the next 58 years.

I’m not picky about the breed. Lucky the Collie/Shepard mix, Pig the mutt, Petey the Toy Fox Terrier, Fritz the German Shepard, Woofer the pit bull/Shepard mix, Zeppa the border collie, Rudy the Great Dane/pit bull/Black Lab mix and Max the Rotweiller/Mastiff mix have all been the best dog ever in their lifetime.

And then came Abraham (also known as Abey-Dabey, Bubba, Gorgeous George) the Newfoundland Howe. He came to our home a month after my first cancer surgery, as a 12-week-old fuzz ball.

In his first few weeks home alone when I returned to work, he accidentally called the newspaper office as he used the phone for a teething ring.

He has turned my house upside-down. Drool and fur and dog dander everywhere. He’s bossy. And so smart. And handsome.

But mainly, he is what every other one of my dogs has been. He’s been a non-judgmental companion, always glad to see me, adorable, sleeping on the floor at foot of my bed and planting himself under the kitchen table at meal time (we had to buy a taller table so he could fit under it).

He’s guarding me now, at the foot of my chair as I write.

He has a birthday May 5, turning 8, which is old in big dog years. He’s got a little silver mustache and goatee on his muzzle, and his eyelashes are turning zebra-striped white and black, which makes him look even more distinguished.

During my work-at-home schedule during this COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve spent a lot more time with him. It’s calming. He’s one guy I’ll miss having as a constant companion, when our “new normal” sends me back to the office.

I’ve come to depend on him to “woof” to alert me that it’s time to stop writing and find a biscuit for him. Or time to open the door and go stand outside and enjoy spring sprouting up outside. Or woof and run to the door when a doorbell sounds on television. Or pin my husband up against the door and demand big pats when he comes home from work.

I know my years with him are growing shorter, because of the life expectation of his breed. It’s part of the relationship. I know I can’t keep him forever. I will enjoy every bit of the years I have left with him.

That pin I mentioned?

Yes, I love dogs.

But the D.O.G. pin has nothing to do with my favorite canine companion.

It stands for “Depend On God.”

And I definitely do! God has a plan for us all, and it’s all for our good. Nothing is a surprise to Him. He works for our good!

Romans 8:28 — And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.


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