The Story of Red, a Bird Dog

Red was a German Shorthaired Pointer pup, full of energy and mischief. With training and time, we hoped he would become an expert hunting dog. We were wrong.

At three months, Red was bouncing off the walls. He loved antagonizing our German Shepherd, nipping at her heels, then running away. When Mama wasn’t looking, he was pulling the freshly washed sheets off the clothesline. No one could go outside unless prepared to fend off Red. He jumped and bounced and raced around incessantly; that is when he was in the yard. Red should have been named Houdini because he was such an escape artist, we couldn’t keep him inside the fence. It wasn’t long before Red had worn out his welcome.

Even though Red was a wash up as an obedient family pet, he wasn’t a total loss as a bird dog. One day as Mama and I looked outside, we noticed Red prancing around the yard like King Tut. He was strutting around like he had a secret only he knew. Intrigued, Mama and I continued to watch him, positive he was up to something. Mama thought he might have something in his mouth, but it was hard to say for sure. We had to think of a plan to get close enough to take a look. If he realized we were too interested, he would play keep away with us.

We decided that I would go outside and as soon as he was within reach, I would grab his collar and hold him. Then Mama could find out what he was so proud of. Slowly and nonchalantly I opened the door. I didn’t want him to be suspicious. As soon as he saw me, he made a bee-line at full speed. Red couldn’t wait to show me what he had. He pranced over just close enough so I could see that he did indeed have something in his mouth. It was a baby bird, still alive and apparently unharmed.

“How are we going to get that bird from Him?” Mama mused out loud. Neither of us wanted to see the bird harmed, but we weren’t sure Red was going to be willing to let us take it. I volunteered to try.

By this time Red was dancing near the door, tossing his head, clearly pleased with himself over his prize. I talked to him gently and softly, hoping he would let me get closer. On my second try I had him by the collar. Then it was up to Mama to rescue the baby bird. To our surprise Red readily relinquished his prey. While I kept Red busy with a ball, Mama put the baby in a safe location where its Mama could find it.

That was the highlight of Red’s escapades. Soon after, he went missing for a couple of weeks before we found him several blocks away happily living with another family who thought he was a stray. Turns out they thought Red was simply wonderful. They had a houseful of boys who adored him and delighted in his antics. After tracking him down a second time to the same home, we decided to let him stay. We didn’t tell them how relieved we were to be rid of him.

Red, our incorrigible mischievous bird dog, would surely have been condemned to a life of eternal punishment at our house. Thank goodness another family came to love him. With them, he had a new start with all his past bad behaviors forgotten.

Thinking back to those awful months with Red reminds me of my relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ. You see the Bible says that everyone is a sinner, condemned to an eternal punishment. But God loved us so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die on a cross so we could be forgiven and have a place with Him. Jesus took the punishment we deserved.

Now I know that when God the Father looks at me, He sees red, the blood of Jesus which covers my sin. We weren’t too fond of Red because he was so much trouble. How thankful I am that my heavenly Father never gets tired of me and never considers giving up on me. That’s because He loves me.


(True story originally published on in 2009.)

Linda is an inspirational writer and photographer. Her writing has been published in, Union Gospel Press, Gospel Blog, Frontline, Dollar Stretcher, Discipleship Journal - DJ Plus, At the Center magazine, Simple Joy, Cross & Quill, Hot Cars, and others. Linda's story "Stretched to My Limit" about dealing with dementia was featured in "Stolen Moments" by Elizabeth Bezant. Linda's first non-fiction book was "Homeschooling: The Modern Day One Room Schoolhouse." In it, she shares her experience as a homeschooling mom, explaining the basic principles of homeschooling for the beginner. She successfully completed her first fiction novel through Chris Baty's 2006 National Novel Writing Course (NaNoWriMo). Linda also writes inspirational articles on her Words of Encouragement Blog. Enjoy Linda's photos at Words of Encouragement Designs.

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