This is a story about dogs, and about rain. It seems appropriate to tell this story in January, when I sit by the fire with my warm dogs and their cold, wet noses.
How the Little Dog got a Cold Nose
When a man named Noah started building a boat in the middle of the desert, people laughed.
People thought he was nuts.
Noah wasn't listening to people.
Noah was listening to God, and God said “Build a boat.” So Noah built a boat.
Noah called his boat an ark, and when it was finished, he rounded up all the animals, two by two.
People laughed at the possums and panthers and penguins.
They laughed at the cheetahs and chinchillas, giraffes and gazelles, and rhinoceroses and hippopotamuses.
But the animals weren’t listening to people.
The animals were listening to God, and God said, “Get on the boat.” So, they got on the boat, all the animals, two by two.
Pretty soon, it started to rain. It rained, and it poured, and it rained some more.
People stopped laughing and the ark started floating.
Noah and his family and all the animals, two by two, rode safely on the waters. They sailed for 40 days and 40 nights.
When the rains finally stopped, out of the ark came Noah and his family and all of the animals, two by two...except one.
No one could find the little dog.
Noah searched everywhere. He looked on the first deck. He looked on the second deck, then the third deck.
Finally, in the farthest corner in the lowest deck, he found the little dog.
The dog was shivering and standing with his nose pressed hard against the side of the boat.
"Come here, little dog!" called Noah. "It's time to come out! Come on out, little dog!"
But the little dog wouldn't move.
Noah gently pulled him away from the side of the boat.
Then Noah saw what the dog had been doing.
"What's this?" said Noah. "Plugging up a hole in the ark with your nose? The ark might have sunk! Little dog! You kept us safe me, my family, and all of the animals, two by two with your little nose!"
"Little dog," said Noah, "you will always live with people to help them through the cold, wet times.
"And so that people will always remember your bravery, your nose will always be cold and wet, just as it is today.”
That's how the dog got his cold, wet nose.
When you feel it, remember the little dog who used his nose to protect Noah, his family, and all of the animals, two by two.