Saturday, November 10, 2007

Elsi Dodge and Her Lady

What's your dog's name, breed, and age?
Lady is a beagle, about 15 or so (she was a stray, so that's just an estimate).

What is the weirdest/sweetest/most annoying thing they've ever done?
When I'm sick, Lady presses up against me and just lies there, quietly. She models quiet acceptance.

How does their companionship enrich your spiritual life?
My first vague comprehension of God's unconditional love came from my childhood dogs. They loved me no matter what I did. This gave the Lord an opening to share His love for me.

How does their companionship enrich your everyday (or writing) life?
I drive a 30-foot Winnebago, summers. Lady and I walk in the campgrounds, and she opens the way for me to get exercise and speak to strangers. I write about her often; she shows up in many of my published devotionals. My students like to hear about her and see how I've written about her.

Is there something about your dog that you'd like to brag about? Or that we just wouldn't believe?
On a snowy, Christmas Eve night in 1996, a very pregnant young beagle showed up on a stranger's porch, looking for a safe place of refuge. These kind people, living near St. Louis, Missouri, took the poor creature in and called her Baby, because she would lie on her back in their arms, looking helplessly but hopefully into their faces. They kept her till she had and weaned her puppies. Then the people called their neighbor, saying, "Isn't your brother a vet? Could he help us get rid of all these beagles?"

Their neighbor's brother "happened" to be my father's vet. He had been there the day after Christmas when my old beagle died of a liver infection while I was visiting my father. This vet phoned me in Denver, Colorado, to say, "Are you ready for another dog? She's sweet, but her jaw is a bit deformed. She looks a little funny but has a loving heart."

That spring break I drove to St. Louis and collected the dog. Refusing to stand on a sidewalk yelling, "Baby!" I kept the vowels and named her Lady (think "Lady and the Tramp," but also think, "Goodbye, My Lady" by James Street). Lady's jaw is deformed, but I tell her it's a beautiful smile!

Check out what's going on in Elsi’s life (and in her mind) by going to her website and reading her blog:

RV Tourist: Tips, Tools, and Stories is now available!


Raven said...

Hi...loved Lady's story. I also have a RV and do a ton of horse camping. My girl dogs always go with me.

You may want to join some of our beagles list. Contact me for more info.

Bright Blessings,
Raven in WI
Molly (me beagle & Mama rescued me)
Lucy (I'm an Aussie Kelpie & I help with barn chores)

Kathryn Mackel said...

Raven, you're welcome to contact me ( about featuring Molly and Lucy. We're having lots of fun, meeting everyone's pups.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Awe...what a sweet story! That was a real blessing!

Elsi Dodge said...

Raven, I would love to contact you. But you didn't give an address, and clicking your name gives me a "this profile cannot be displayed" message.