I have a little girl basset hound named Ginny. Most of the dogs I've owned in my life have been hounds, and quite a few bassets. Actually, I guess she's a woman basset hound, because she's about six years old. Middle age for a basset. Ginny came to us when she was five years old. She had been part of a hunting pack, and had been engaged in field trials all of her life to that point. She has a great voice and a good nose.
Ginny lived outside in a kennel all her life until she came to live with us. She lived with a guy-dog named Phantom, because he looked like the Phantom of the Opera, with 1/2 his face white. Phantom, due to a bad experience with surgery, became somewhat neurotic. He was afraid of adults, and took out his frustrations on Ginny. Domestic violence got so bad that she had to be spayed. She has a shredded ear and a scar on her nose as well.
Well a spayed dog is of little value to a breeder, and there is a belief that neutered dogs don't hunt as well as those that are intact. So Ginny was to be disposed of, and we entered the picture at the right moment. And Ginny came home with us.
No one at my house was totally happy with this arrangement. The boys wanted some big manly dog, and my wife wanted a little cute dog, and Ginny ain't either of these. The cats weren't very happy either. Ginny had never lived in a house, and hadn't even been beyond the basement in her whole life.
Long story short: Ginny has a new job. She isn't chasing bunnies or dropping litters. Her job now is protecting the family from the evil sofa. She holds it down all day, so it can't get to us and do us damage. This is a picture of Ginny at work. She even has a Myspace account. Life is very different for Ginny now. I think we have made her more comfortable, and that she's enjoying life better. I think we have served this little critter in a way it would be good for all of us to be served.
What do we want in life? Security, friends, a bit of comfort. And the opportunity to serve. You know, by allowing ourselves to be served, we are serving.
Brother Joseph Smith, Jr. said that friendship is one of the most basic principles of life and religion. It is one of the most excellent tenets of our institution as well. "I do not dwell on your faults, and you shall not upon mine. Charity, which is love, covereth a multitude of sins, and I have covered all the faults among you."(Documentary History of the Church, 5:401). We don't dwell on Ginny's faults and she doesn't on us. The prettiest thing would be to have no faults, but until then, forgive.