Every once in a while when I was a kid, our Sunday School teacher would go over a Bible lesson that contained some “begats”. The begats were genealogies of people – prophets, kings, fathers, sons, even a few mothers and daughters. (For example, Genesis 10 and 11 and 1 Chronicles 1 and 2. Of course, it’s the King James Version that uses the old fashioned word “begat”.)
I enjoy genealogy now. All I remember from those childhood lessons was how boring and long the begats could be. My fellow students complained. “Why all these begats? Who cares? What difference does it make?” (I was thinking it. I just didn’t have the guts to say it.)
The LORD always knows what He is doing. He included the begats for multiple reasons. For one thing, they remind us that there were those who came before us, that we did not simply spring out of the ground by our lonesomes, all by ourselves.
Begats show us patterns of what gets passed on to children. Some good traits and some bad. They also demonstrate that we are not stuck with what our parents did or did not do – good or bad.
In my whole life, Doodlebug and Miss Sweetie are the first dogs that I have been able to compare to their mother. I have been surprised by their similarities and their differences.
They are all trash divers. None of our other bulldogs are. Wiggles the mom, Doodlebug, and Miss Sweetie will always check the trash baskets on the way out the door. You never know when the humans might have failed to finish that breakfast sausage or might have left a few licks in that yogurt container.
They are dirt rollers. Again, none of the others do this. Is there a good, soft spot of ground anywhere for a little back scratching action? Wet or dry makes no difference. In fact, the messier, the better. One can always obtain a bath if one is dirty enough.
They are all platform climbers. The others are not. Provide anything from a cold fire pit to an old picnic table to a decorative stone, and you will routinely find one or more of them perched on top. King or Queen of the Hill.
Wiggles never soils her crate unlike her daughter, Miss Sweetie, who has struggled against this habit.
Doodlebug is up for any adventure, including opening doors, untying his lead, and climbing any structure that will give him a foothold (but only if there is an interesting item at the top). That’s right. A climbing bulldog. We have an interesting future ahead of us.
Unlike her mother and brother who bolt in the very moment the door is opened, Miss Sweetie will sit down at the back door and patiently wait to be invited inside. No one trained her to do this. It is in her personality to wait. (Unless, of course, it is waiting for the bathroom and then at times, ten seconds is too long. “Why don’t the humans move faster?”
So what have I learned from the begats and the bulldogs?
That we learn a lot from our close families even when we don’t mean to.
That we can carry some things with us from generation to generation.
That we don’t have to carry everything with us from generation to generation.
Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.