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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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Where We Are Now

After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008
I’ll be talking a lot about what interests me on Chris Fabry Live! The things I observe, the people and places—I guess if it’s a noun, I want to talk about it. And one important topic is under the broad heading of animals. Our family has had several pets over the years, but none has taught me more about life than our Bichon-Frise, Pippen. At the left you can see him with his rheumy eyes and just a bit of Frodo's right ear fur.

I won’t give you all of his history because I’ll probably be using that for his obituary in the coming months. Pippen is slowing down physically. He’s 10, actually he was born a week after our daughter Kaitlyn, so it’s easy to keep track of Kaitlyn’s Birthday. Pippen is not the white, poofy Bichon Frise you see in those fancy magazines with the people all dressed up and sitting on some uncomfortable, but stylish couch. The people pippen hangs out with wear carhartt shirts and underoos. He’s not a calendar dog.

But he has been there for the kids on their bad days, wagging his tail, waiting for them at the door…and when they open it he runs out and we yell at him and eventually he comes back. He’s been a fearlessly faithful member of the family.

But Pippen now has more maladies than the people in the town I grew up in. Believe me, I hear all about them when I call home.

Pippen has adult onset diabetes. Cataracts have rendered him blind. I think he has acid reflux. He’s always been lactose intolerant. He’s a little overweight, and the kids all think he looks kind of spooky with those white eyes. He truly should be the poster dog for about 10 canine health issues. If there were a magazine called, My Diabetic Dog, he would be on the cover.

Pippen runs into things. He does remarkably well memorizing where all the furniture is, but when he’s just awakened by the sound of our other dog, Frodo, and Frodo’s tags jingle, Pippen can become a little confused. The kids still talk about the time that Pippen, sound asleep as they watched a movie, was suddenly awakened by Frodo’s bark as Frodo hurried for the back door. As all good dogs will do, Pippen jumped up from a sound sleep and ran up the two steps leading from the living room to the dining room. Except he was pointed in the wrong direction and literally jumped into the TV set and fell backwards, which was actually more entertainment for the kids than the movie they were watching.

Pippen runs into chairs that aren’t pushed all the way into the kitchen table. Pippen runs into walls every now and then, and the reason for this is usually because he is going too fast.

When I let him out of his kennel this morning, Pippen’s tail was wagging as fast as it was when he was a puppy. There’s still a bit of the wonder dog in him. He thinks he’s a lot younger and a lot more spry. He barks by faith and not by sight.

I grabbed the kennel handle and his body was just wiggling and tense. “Slow down, Pippen,” I said. At the sound of my voice he seemed to calm a little. “Slow down, Pippen.”

He looked up at me and I realized the kids are right. This is one spooky looking dog. He deserves to be on Stephen King’s dog poster. This is a little Cujo without all the slobber.

“Slow down, Pippen,” I said, and I gently lifted the handle, the door flew open, and he was. Into the wall by the kitchen, but he was off. He skittered to his left, just grazing the island with the stove, narrowly missed my wife’s chair near the computer, turned right at the kitchen table, and dutifully took his spot by the back door, whining and panting.

Slow down, Pippen. Those are some pretty good words for me today. I get all excited about something that’s happening. I forget that I am, in a sense, blind…and I go running off on my own way without listening to the gentle voice of the one who loves me most.

Slow down, Pippen.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes the last few years. Many of them could have been avoided had I only heeded my own advice to my dog.

Maybe you’re in a hurry today. Literally, you’re going over the speed limit, or it’s the speed limit of life. Ease your foot back off the accelerator, of if you like the dog metaphor better, as the kennel door is opened this afternoon, take it a step at a time.

One thing I like about Pippen is that he’s not so afraid of running into things that he’s just given up. He could easily do that. We’ve all run into walls in life and that can make us want to stop running.

I guess what I learned from Pippen is that I need to remember first—whose I am. My owner loves me and cares for me and wants good things for me. He also is excited that I’m excited enough to run. But he sees a lot more of the picture than I do. In fact, I’m blind to much of the truth about myself and my surroundings. If I stay close to him, I can navigate the kitchen or the living room.

Just some thoughts from one dog owner to another.

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