Being Quiet When Others Aren’t


Quiet was a precious commodity that I discounted for much of my life. I grew up as an only child and my friends called me lucky. There were no sibling rivalries or fights. Little was required to be shared. I watched what I wanted to on TV. Well, I did have to share several hours a week with my parents. But the most special gift I possessed without realizing it was the freedom to retreat to my room and think or read or listen to music by myself. The greatest gift I possessed was quiet.

We have lived through a week of the unusual, including a bad automobile accident that my son was involved in last night. He is fine, as are the two young men who were in the vehicle that hit him. By God’s great grace, everyone walked away from a wreck that the officer at the scene told my son should have claimed the lives of those teenagers. After their car struck my son’s, they rolled over. Their tire tracks are on the side of my son’s SUV.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that seat belts don’t matter. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that God is not merciful. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that dogs can’t sense your emotions.

These have been barking days. I mean that literally. And figuratively.

Without having directly lived through any of the events of this week, the bulldogs have sensed the tension, the unrelenting pressure. They don’t know how to put it into our words, so they put it into theirs.

I have never heard these dogs bark so much, so loudly, so continuously as I have over the past few days. Especially Tiger and Miss Sweetie.

Why Miss Sweetie, I don’t know. She is young and opinionated. She excites easily and is hard to calm down. Any new twist to our schedule intrigues her and disturbs her. She is bullheaded and bulldoggy. She is sensitive.

Tiger I understand better. Tiger understands pain. This next week will be the one year anniversary of the dog attack that almost took her life before she came to us. In fact, she came to us as a result of that fight with one of her previous pack members. When I have been in pain for any reason, I see Tiger wince. (For Tiger’s whole story, see Saving Tiger Parts 1 – 4 in the archives of this blog).

When the nonstop barking begins, I can easily fall into annoyance, but I have no right to. Their barking is the only way they have of showing that they know something is wrong. In our house. In our world.


God bless these dogs for caring enough to bark.



Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

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