My Neighbor’s Dog, “Tuck?”

It was about a month ago that I was driving home from a LONG day of meetings, making my final phone call on the cell. Suffering from “relational overload,” being on the phone was the last thing I felt like doing, but it was a conversation that needed to happen before day’s end.

As I was driving down a side road, talking to one of the most godly saints of the church, the man’s cell phone apparently lost its signal as he was cut off mid-sentence. I looked down at the phone to see if I had completely lost him, when all of a sudden I looked up and saw this ugly-coyote-looking-dog run out in front of my car, forcing me to slam on the breaks and watch my computer bag rocket off of my passenger’s seat and slam onto the floor below. (Since this bag was holding my MacBook Pro, it would be equivalent of a mother watching her child run full throttle into a brick wall.)

At one fell swoop I unleashed a SERIOUS profanity.

And then the moment of horror….I looked down and noticed I still had a connection with the person I was talking to. I immediately started saying his name in the phone to see if he was still there….but nothing.

My mind began to race and think, “What if it was one of those situations where he could hear me, but I couldn’t hear him?”…”What if he is on the side of the road right now having a cardiac arrest knowing one of his pastors is disguised as Lucifer?”…”What if…?”

Then my phone rang. It was him. I panicked.

Being unsure if he had heard my explosive vocabulary or not, I did what any other spiritual mature, minister of the faith would do…I lied.

“Oh hey ________, I guess we got disconnected? It was the craziest thing, but right when I lost you my neighbor’s dog ‘Tuck’ jumped out in front of me and I almost hit him.” (Yes, this is the lamest and cheesiest lie, but I was under pressure and I am not an expert at it!)

His response confirmed that the phone disconnected on his end too, leaving him void of the R-rated drama that premiered in my car. All was calm now. What a relief.

All I had to deal with then is just the fact that I flat-out-lied to this honest and innocent man with hopes to cover my butt from the potential embarrassment that I exploded his Christian worldview with my “F-Bomb.”

Unfortunately…or fortunately…it was a weight I couldn’t bear. So I told myself, “The next time you see him, you have to confess.”

So wouldn’t you know it that I was scheduled to meet with him on the following Friday…Good Friday of all days! After the meeting I asked to see him alone for a quick minute, and told him about how I lied to him about the dog’s name with fear that he may have heard me swear.

Definitely surprised (more so at the confession then sin), yet grateful for the confession, his forgiveness was immediate and sincere.

It was probably only later that night did he finally put two-and-two together remembering the actual name I gave the dog and the word I must have spewed. I assumed the paramedics arrived 20 minutes later, reviving him to full health.

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)


~ by Dave Smith on April 25, 2008.

11 Responses to “My Neighbor’s Dog, “Tuck?””

  1. I appreciate your candor bro. I struggle with my foul mouth too. Maybe you need TV Guardian ( to help you as you watch all of your %$#@! Hollywood sermons.

    My wife is super strict on unkind words in our home, which I applaud, although I get scolded more often than my kids, who think the “S Word” is “stupid” and the “D Word” is “dumb!”

    One time we were watching Home Alone with the kids at my sister-in-laws, who have some foul language censor built into their DVD player. The irony was that the first 30 minutes of the movie made me cringe because the family was so mean to each other even though they rarely used a four letter word. Later in the film, the main character finds peace in a local church and enlightenment from the sage words of an old man who is listening to his estranged grand-daughter sing Christmas carols, which were censored because the technology assumes that every time “Christ” and “God” are used in a sentence it can’t be good.

    Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail, in thee do we trust, nor find thee to fail…

  2. Yea, I am sure one day we will be able to surgerically implant a “cuss box” on our brains…or at least genetically alter the future generation’s slant on swearing. Until then…

  3. Did you hit the dog?

  4. No, actually I missed him. I actually think it would be better for me if I had hit and killed the dog. Somehow that would justify my verbage in some people’s minds thinking if I had killed something you would expect such a reaction.

  5. This mac fan wants to know if the computer was ok.

  6. Yea, this is question gets to the heart of the issue more so than whether the dog was okay…but is the MAC okay? Yes, it is fine…however we all know that if something bad happened to it there would be no limits as to what language of lament could be used!

  7. “Tuck,” huh? I’ll have to remember that one…

  8. If you just used a Windows PC, you wouldn’t have lost so much if the computer were messed up.

    I think it was God telling you your Mac is your idol.

  9. David! Not my son! I know you really meant to say Tuck! :>) Isn’t it great …God’s Grace I mean…He even forgives those outbursts of bad language….and much, your mom

  10. I really wish you hadn’t written this. Makes me miss you, my friend.

  11. […] for counsel while coming in town for a family visit. (Yes, I know, your thinking…the “tuck” […]

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