July 18, 2021

WHAT MAKES YOU SMILE?

I like this photo of Rick Perrin and his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for several reasons. First, it’s special to remember Rick today, which would be his birthday. Also, I like to see him smiling and relaxing in casual clothes at home—a welcome relief for a pastor who usually wore a suit and tie (as was customary back in the 1990s).  Nowadays a pastor is just as likely to preach in a t-shirt, torn jeans and $5,000 sneakers (see PreachersNSneakers on Instagram). The bonus in this photo is the object of Rick’s smile—his beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, in festive attire for the Christmas season.

The Perrin family fell in love with this breed of dog years before and always had one or two of the lovable spaniels as pets. Rick and Barb enjoyed taking the dogs on long walks every morning and they were usually happily underfoot whenever the Perrins entertained (which was often). Somehow their home seemed especially warm and welcoming because of their pets. 

Rick had a great appreciation for his family history, and I always enjoyed his stories.  One I remember was about a great-grandfather who settled in the northwest. After a few years, he walked out on his wife and several young children.  Rick’s grandfather was just a young boy, and in his anger and despair, vowed if he ever saw his father again he would kill him.  When the son grew up, he became a pastor and had a family of his own.  One night during a blizzard, someone knocked on his door and there stood his father.  By that time, the father was a broken man and close to death.  His son and his wife took him into their home and cared for him until he died.  Rick said that by God’s grace, this wounded son who had once vowed to kill his father for walking out on his family was now able to forgive him and to share God’s love with him.  

I hope his sons Tim, Chris and Scott and their children are continuing to share these great family stories—as well as so many good memories they have of their dad Rick. I wonder if any of them has a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

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