Like a dog that is chasing his own tail
In a circle around, as he goes to lie down,
So my life’s been a cycle of searching
For happiness that disappears
As soon as it’s found.
Like a dog madly scratching at his fleas,
As if to say, “Please get rid of these.”
So my life’s been an everyday battle
Against fears and failures
And my weaknesses*.
Like a hungry dog that is wolfing down a big meal,
Slurping water everywhere, trying to get his fill,
So my life’s been spent thirsting for truth
And trying to sort through
The things that aren’t real.
Like a lost dog that’s finally found his home again–
No more to be alone, no more to roam–
So my life’s found a safe home in Jesus;
I’ll live with Him forever,
For I am His own.
*I pronounce this as “weaknessees” to force an amusing rhyme with fleas, please, and these.
About This Song:
When I was growing up, we always had a dog. First was Melina (that’s from Greek for black, my father said), a mixed breed pup some friend of my parents brought back from the South Pacific at the end of the second World War. She lived to be seventeen or eighteen.
Then during my college years came Elsa, followed in turn by Fancy. Both were German Short-haired Pointers. Despite their high breeding, they proved too nervous to function as show dogs. They made great pets, though–once we got used to their skittishness at being touched or petted. The last dog I remember–this was long after I grew up–was a miniature Schnauzer named Schneider.
As a mid-lifer, I had to take Schneider to be put down because my father was seriously ill at the time. Too ill to do it himself. In fact, I’m not sure he knew what my mother and I were doing. If I recall correctly, she was relying heavily on his acceptance that we had done what had to be done. He accepted Schneider’s death as gracefully as possible once he got better.
When my father’s 70th birthday was approaching, a dog-themed song seemed an appropriate gift. That’s how this song came into being. The framed copy of the lead sheet I gave him that day is hanging in my hallway.
Now flash forward. From 1981 to 1991. I was on my first volunteer mission trip–to do ministry activities at the Windsor District Baptist Church about fifty miles northwest of Sydney, Australia. Our host pastor, George Stubbs, was a diligent worker, and he determined to work our team as fully as he could. He was–to be blunt–a loving slave driver.
One of our activities was presenting Scripture lessons in the public schools. When Pastor Stubbs told us the lesson was to be about the lost sheep, he looked at me as if I might easily pull something out of my head. I nearly panicked. I didn’t mind talking to kids. I just didn’t know how to do it. And what was I to sing? I’d never written any children’s songs, and I’d never written one about searching for and finding the one lost sheep.
But then this song came to mind. All of the stanzas dealt with our need for Jesus, and that final one dealt specifically with lostness and coming home. God worked a miracle in helping me introduce that song in a way the children could really relate to, and I ended up using it in other Australian schools and on mission trips in other countries.
I hope these lyrics not only make you smile, but inspire you to appreciate what a privilege it is to belong to belong to God and to depend on Him for your needs.
Are you a dog person? Can you relate to these lyrics? How about leaving a comment?
A free lead sheet (lyrics, tune, and chords) is available for this song here.
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