Over His Head

by Torry Martin

Dear B. Log,

Sam likes it when I toss his tennis ball way out into Trickle Lake so he can swim for it. I was doing this when my banker, Mr. McCready, walked up in his suit and with a little black dog in his arms.

“How did you train your dog to swim like that?” Mr. McCready asked.

“Sam’s part Labrador retriever,” I said, “so going in the water comes pretty natural to him, I guess.”

“I can barely make my new dog get his feet wet,” Mr. McCready said. “Watch this.” He moved to dip his dog into the lake. The dog held his paws spread-eagle, trying not to get wet.

“What kind of dog is he?” I asked.

“Scottish terrier,” Mr. McCready said. “His name is Braveheart.”

I thought Braveheart seemed like a pretty big name for a pretty small dog that was afraid of water. Mr. McCready seemed to read my mind.

“He’s not afraid of water,” Mr. McCready said. “He’s just not used to it yet.” Meanwhile, Braveheart yipped and squirmed against getting dipped.

“Oh, stop being such a baby,” Mr. McCready scolded.

Just then, Sam returned from the lake and tossed the tennis ball out of his mouth to me. Braveheart yipped wildly and leaped out of Mr. McCready’s arms just as I threw the ball for Sam again.

Braveheart barked and chased Sam . . . right into the lake. Mr. McCready and I stared in amazement as the little black dog paddled after Sam, yipping the whole time.

Suddenly a jet skier sped toward us and did a doughnut that sent large waves crashing toward shore. The waves didn’t bother big Sam, but tiny Braveheart kept disappearing under them.

I raced into the lake, shoes and all, to rescue Braveheart. Holding the little dog safely above the waves with one arm, I swam to shore and came out dripping but victorious.

“Here you go!” I said, handing Mr. McCready his dog. “I’d say Braveheart deserves a medal for his brave heart to go in after Sam! He seems just fine, too.”

The banker glared. “You and your dog almost drowned my new pet!” he yelled at me. “And now my suit’s getting wet!”

Whoa! I thought. I just went into the lake to rescue your dog, and you’re blaming me instead of thanking me? I wanted to yell back that the incident wasn’t my fault or Sam’s. Braveheart had just chased my dog and gotten in over his head, literally.

But then I remembered how Jesus says to be kind to those who treat us badly. So I swallowed my words—along with a bit of lake water⎯and reached to pet Braveheart’s wet, little head.

“Brave dog,” I told him.

Mr. McCready still glared, but I thought I heard God’s whisper in my heart.

Brave man.

And that was enough for me.

This article first appeared in the July 2011 issue of Focus on the Family Clubhouse magazine. Copyright © 2011 by Torry Martin. Used by permission. Illustration © Gary Locke.