Prayer and the Pug
Could her canine campanion really teach her to have faith? The inspirational story of Max.
Then I dumped and scrutinized the contents of my purse. Twice. Yes, I checked my pockets. And yes, I checked the car. And although I knew it made no sense, I also checked the refrigerator, freezer, pantry and oven.
I called my friend Sara, and told her what had happened and asked her if she would please say a little prayer—for the missing keys, and for Tom’s test results. Which she did, right there over the phone. Praying helped me feel a bit less anxious about Tom—but did nothing for my state of mind about the keys.
As I hung up the phone, I was seized by an unpleasant thought: What if one of the workers took the keys?
Frantic, I phoned Tom at work, and in a rush of words told him what had happened.
“You’d better call a locksmith,” he said calmly.
So I did. At least now we didn’t have to worry about being robbed.
Days passed. But I couldn’t stop wondering about the missing keys. In my mind’s eye, I could picture the brown braided-leather key chain so clearly—feel its supple softness, worn smooth as a pebble after years of being tumbled around my purse.
Read electrifying true stories of people connecting with God through prayer.
The keys were the first thing I thought of in the morning, and the last thing I thought of before going to sleep. Where could they have gone?
A week later on Saturday afternoon, Tom was standing in the kitchen doorway with dog leash in hand.
“Can you believe the way those keys never turned up?” I asked him.
“Good thing we had the locks changed,” he said. “Max and I are going for a walk. Wanna come?”
On this particular walk, Max assumed his usual pokey pace, meandering along the sidewalk, stopping to sniff (endlessly) every tree trunk, utility pole and fire hydrant along the way.
We strolled past our neighbors’ homes, and then crossed the street, where an empty house was undergoing a renovation. The yard was overgrown and unkempt, littered with lumber and bricks.
Abruptly, Max veered off the sidewalk, and onto the overgrown lot, tugging fiercely on his leash.
“No, no, Max,” I said. “Stay on the sidewalk.”
He regarded me imploringly with his Antonio Banderas eyes, and pulled harder, suddenly lurching forward onto the lawn, and flopping down on his belly, with his legs splayed out. Panting, he closed his eyes and luxuriated in the cool softness of the tall grass and weeds.
“C’mon, Max,” I pleaded, pulling his leash.
Stubbornly he resisted, and became 20 unmovable pounds of dead weight as he pressed his black velvet chin even more firmly into the ground.
“I don’t know what’s gotten into him,” said Tom. “I guess we’d better pick him up and go home.”
As I bent down to pick Max up, I glimpsed something buried deep in the weeds next to Max’s head, something that looked very much like a bit of brown braided-leather.
No, I thought. This can’t be possible.
I tugged gently, as though pulling a small carrot out of the ground, and there they were, covered with dirt. My keys.
“Oh, my gosh!” I yelped. “I can’t believe it!”
I screamed so loudly that pedestrians across the street looked over with alarm. “No problem!” I called to them, grinning ecstatically, dangling the keys in the air. “Our dog found my keys!”
Kathryn Slattery is a long-time Contributing Editor for Guideposts magazine, and the author of several books including her memoir, Lost & Found: One Daughter’s Story of Amazing Grace (GuidepostsBooks). Learn more about her work, and see pictures of Max at her website.