A Poodle, a Dirty Diaper, and Grace

I asked my special friend Dottie Stam to share a story with you that she told at Bible study. Her comical retelling of what could have been a tragic incident with her standard poodle will entertain and challenge you. Now, here’s Dottie.

I had plans to enter my senior years with great dignity. My goal was to awe my neighbors with my gracious gentle spirit as I modeled how one who followed Jesus should act.

All seemed to be going well till Liam entered my life. He was handsome, very intelligent, definitely charming, well-bred and a complete rascal. He loved attention and was quite affectionate till I asked him to do anything. Then he would give me a look as if to say, “No woman is going to tell me what to do!”

The fact that Liam was a Standard Poodle had nothing to do with the fact that I was determined to nip that attitude in the bud. The fight was on. As the weeks passed, I treated my neighbors to the spectacle of my well thought out training sessions going to pot. I was calm during these sessions giving out my instructions in an encouraging voice while Liam carefully chose to obey when it suited him. I was patient, gritting my teeth, remembering the neighbors.

It all came to a head when a visiting friend left her baby’s poopy diaper on the rail that bordered my fenced in the back yard.

Forgetting the diaper, I let my two dogs out in the backyard. After a few minutes I followed. As I walked toward the shrubs, I caught a glimpse of Liam rushing past with something white hanging from his mouth. My heart froze! I knew what it was!

Somehow that idiot, stupid, pitiful excuse of a dog had gotten that diaper. That poopy diaper was also filled with absorbent fibers and covered with resilient plastic. A plastic that could clog up Liam’s gut and end his life.

Cold fear entered my heart. Liam was a colossal pain, but I loved him. I desperately yelled ‘COME!’ with no results. There was no way Liam was going to give up his goody.

Cold fear entered my heart. Liam was a colossal pain, but I loved him. I desperately yelled ‘COME!’ with no results. #listen, #devotional Share on X

It all went down-hill quickly as I chased that long-legged poodle around the yard screaming at the top of my voice, ’YOU’RE GOING TO DIE! COME TO ME NOW! LLLLIIIIIAAAAMMMMM!

I crashed through scrubs, slammed into trees, and threw everything I could get my hands on that destroyer of worlds who had successfully stripped me of my civilized veneer and turned me into a raving lunatic. ‘YOU STUPID, STUPID DOG! THIS WILL KILL YOU!’ I screeched and hollered to no avail.

Once the nasty diaper was downed, I turned toward the house shaking. Oblivious to the consequences that awaited him, Liam trotted happily at my side. I had tried to save him, and he had ignored me. Now his worst nightmare would descend on him.

The Emergency Vet Hospital is a grim place on a Saturday afternoon. I marched Liam firmly in and handed him over to the vet. While they emptied Liam’s stomach, I reflected on the events of the afternoon.

It wasn’t long before the Holy Spirit nudged me. Liam and I shared a lot in common. I have clutched my own ‘dirty diapers’ and ignored God’s warning that a particular choice would cause pain and harm.

The vet returned Liam to me, miserable and sick, but minus the diaper. He would recover from his ‘dirty diaper’ experience, and we would return to our backyard training and entertain our neighbors.

My recovery, however, would take longer. As I drove home, the Lord brought to mind the ‘dirty diapers’ in my life. Liam had gotten rid of his, but getting rid of mine would take a lot of prayer. 

Thank you, Dottie. Your story reminds me of James 1:14-15:

But each man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed. Then, when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin; and when sin is finished, it brings forth death” (MEV).

The next time I’m engrossed with my nonsense and tempted to disregard my Master’s warning, I hope I remember Liam.

But each man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed. Then, when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin; and when sin is finished, it brings forth death Share on X

Add your thoughts here.

Meet Dottie:

Dottie Mills Stam, grew up as a preacher’s kid and lives in Apex, NC. She and her husband Paul ‘Skip’ have two children and nine grandchildren. Dottie served as Minister of Music/Worship at Apex Baptist from 1989 to 2016. She enjoys many interests including music, writing drama and plays, and reading fantasy fiction. The Lord of the Rings tops her fiction list. She loves horses and dogs and eating cinnamon buns with nuts.




You might enjoy “Why Is It so Hard to Be Good?”

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  1. Sandi Brown

    Thanks for sharing. I too have some “dirty diapers” bit it is encouraging to know the Spirit will gladly take them if only I would sis still and give them to Him!

    Thanks for being faithful to teach us Debbie.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Sandi. I don’t know how I got messed up on date this was supposed to go out. They usually go out on Tuesday!

  2. Melissa Henderson

    Oh my goodness! I can just see the dog running with the diaper and not listening to the command to “come”. Yes, there are times in my life when I know God wants me to do one thing and yet, I think I know better and I choose the wrong path. I am thankful for His forgiveness and opportunity to try again. 🙂

    • Debbie Wilson

      I laughed out loud when Dottie told this story! And can identify with it too. “I’ll come when I finish this!”

  3. April Valentine

    As I chuckled and “oh wow’d” while reading of Dottie’s escapade, all of a sudden I realized Liam and I have a lot in common. So thankful that God continues to chase me around the “yard” and doesn’t give up on me when I cling to the dirty diapers in my life. Thankful He knows my heart and that I’m truly trying to listen, trust and obey. Thanks for sharing Debbie.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Me too, April. Grace!

  4. Lisa

    Hahahaha–too funny! Thanks, Debbie and Dottie, for sharing this great lesson and for the laugh!

    • Debbie Wilson

      I laughed too, Lisa! Thanks for reading and sharing the laugh.

  5. Rebecca Jones

    Glad he was okay, the only thing worse is to see a child eat out of one. I had a poodle who ate a red plastic string, you know, the kind from bologna. I didn’t know until it passed. And my chocolate poodle back in day, Buster Brown, would go potty and not scratch in the grass but but on the walkway, it hurt his paws and he would yelp, but he did it everyday. One day he bit through a lamp cord, no doubt, he should have died but he survived, I had to clean burned flesh out of his mouth for days, but it was miracle. He was gorgeous, and loved to be sung to. I have always had poodles but now my Yorkie keeps me company.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Oh Rebecca, the chewing through the cord could have been deadly for everyone. Thankful he only had burnt mouth. Hopefully that was a lesson he remembered.

  6. Rebecca Hastings

    Well, that was an unexpected story with a spiritual lesson! LOL Thanks for reminding us to check our hearts and lean in to God.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Rebecca!

  7. Lesley

    What a story! And a great illustration too!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thanks, Lesley!

  8. Calleen Petersen

    I’m not sure who has more stubbornness, my dogs or my children . . .

    • Debbie Wilson

      🙂 I used to tell my son when he was young, I was just as hard-headed as he. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree!

  9. Lauren Renee Sparks

    What a great story and application! laurensparks.net

    • Debbie Wilson

      Lauren, isn’t that a great story! Thanks for reading.

  10. Tara Furman

    This is priceless! Amazing how God teaches us such lessons from our dogs. So glad you shared!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Tara, mine are great teachers of spritual truths! 🙂

  11. Laurie

    Dottie, great story! I was wondering how those three unrelated things would work into the post together, but they certainly did! Debbie, thank you for sharing this with us!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Laurie!

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