Image The Angry Hippo & Andy the Invincible. There was once a black Labrador named Andy. He lived along the Boteti river in a place called Xobe, in Botswana, Africa. Andy had a brother who was a golden Lab named Barney, sometimes the owners would call them by whistling the tune to the “old black and white” TV show theme song to Andy of Mayberry. Together they were unbeatable for killing snakes. One would distract while the other would grab the back of the unlucky reptile’s neck and together they would rip it apart until the last writhing piece of flesh became still.

ImageThere was a drought and the last pool of water from the Okavango Delta was right in front of the house on the Boteti River. Around 30 hippos were camped there. One day, Andy got the bright idea that he would take a swim with the Hippos. Labs just can’t resist a good swim! So Andy jumped into the water and onto the back of one of the Hippos. There was such a commotion that everyone ran out to see what was going on. I don’t know if it was a stoke of luck or an answer to the prayers that were being screamed out by an onlooker but, eventually, Andy gave up and returned to the banks of the river. Miraculously, Andy escaped death that day. He had the time of his life and had no clue how lucky he was to be alive!

This is a true story. I know because I was the one screaming out the prayers for my dog, Andy!

Sometimes it happens like that in life. We find ourselves in the middle of a very bad situation, with no clue of how dangerous it really is. We normally find our kids in these kinds of situations and somehow, God delivers them. But sometimes, He doesn’t and bad things do happen. If only the dog would have listened to my protests. He wouldn’t have stayed in that situation for long. But he just jumped on the back of that hippo and hung on. The picture will be forever embedded in my mind. A dog an the back of a hippo, barking and holding on for dear life!

There are people in our lives who, whether we like it-or them-or not, help guide us and keep us safe, help us be productive and who just help us to be better than we are. Sometimes its a boss, other times a friend or a family member. I once read a book called “Irregular People”. It talked about that someone in your life that you can’t ever seem to get rid of, that gets under your skin like no one can! Even that person in our lives has a purpose. It builds character like nothing else can. I hope I can be someone who will listen. That those around me who can see trouble coming my way will be able to be heard-by me. And when I am in the “hippo pool” that I will have enough sense to get out fast and make it safely to the shore.