by Ava Pennington

We always had dogs during our forty-year marriage. And every dog had a very distinctive personality, much like people. My current dog is no exception. But ever since my husband died several years ago, Daisy has raised her antics to a whole new level.

Daisy is an eight-year-old boxer who is both a blessing to my writing and a curse. Well, maybe not a curse, but she can definitely be a trial. Don’t get me wrong, I love her and her antics. But there have been times when I’m in the middle of writing and the words are flowing through my thoughts faster than I can type. It’s at this precise moment Daisy will decide she absolutely must go outside to do her business. Doesn’t matter that I walked her before I sat down to focus on writing. And she’s quite insistent about not waiting. Trust me, it’s almost impossible to continue writing as the whining of a sixty-pound boxer reaches a crescendo a few inches from your ear!

Sometimes I think her interruptions are timed by the enemy to distract me from my written message, since most of my writing is nonfiction. But all too often, her timing is used by God to illustrate a lesson He’s trying to teach me before I can communicate it to others. This happened on several occasions as I was completing the edits for the recently released gift book edition of Reflections on the Names of God: 180 Devotions to Know God More Fully. For example, Daisy interrupted me as I was in the middle of editing a devotion on God’s attribute of grace. It was as if I could hear the Holy Spirit speak to my heart: “Since I am gracious to you, can you not be gracious to this animal dependent on your kindness?” Ouch!

Don’t you just love how God uses everything in our life for our good and His glory? Even dogs such as my sweet Daisy!

Ava Pennington is an author, speaker, freelance editor, and certified writing and speaking coach. She also teaches a weekly Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class. Ava is the author of Reflections on the Names of God: 180 Devotions to Know God More Fully (Revell Books), an abridged gift book edition of her one-year devotional. Three devotions for each of 60 names/attributes explore who God is, how this changes us and our relationships. Visit to learn more.

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