If you are a regular reader of mine, you know about our dogs Cocoa and Ginger. They are also known as Sixty-Five and Fifteen. I nicknamed them according to their weight. Neither of them seems to mind these nicknames, but as I think about it, I sure hope nobody decides that’s a good idea and does the same to me. My nickname would be, well, never mind, but it would be a great deal higher than either of my dogs’ – or even both combined.

I may have to change their nicknames because their weights have changed. Ginger is the sweetest old girl you’ve ever met. She is an eleven-year-old yellow lab mix. In her older years, she has lost weight and is down to sixty pounds. Cocoa is an adopted miniature dachshund, whom we believe to be about seven years old. We weren’t sure how old she was when she came to live with us, but she has been with us for five years. She has not lost weight and she is not so much a “mini” these days. I may have to change her nickname to Twenty. We’ve restricted Cocoa’s diet, and mine too, to help with our nicknames. If she keeps gaining and Ginger keeps losing, it may become hard to tell them apart. I’m teasing. Honestly, they look absolutely nothing alike. Ginger is still much larger and solid blonde, with beautiful black eyes. She looks like she’s wearing eyeliner. I’ve accused her of slipping into Jean’s makeup. She has never denied my accusations. Cocoa has almost every color under the sun in her coat, but no eye makeup.

Both breeds were bred to be hunting dogs. Labs are usually bird dogs, especially used for hunting ducks, or retrieving them. Dachshunds were intended to hunt burrowing animals. Standard size dachshunds were developed to chase down and flush out badgers and larger burrowing animals. Miniatures hunted smaller prey such as rabbits and mice. Both Ginger and Cocoa are skilled at digging out burrowed biscuits that Ginger has buried. That’s about the extent of their hunting, but with Cocoa’s coloring, she could hunt without being seen by her prey. This often causes me a problem when I am hunting; not with her, but for her.

I’m not really sure what color Cocoa is. Most dachshunds are either black and tan, or red, but Cocoa has all those colors and more. She has black, brown, rust, tan, gray, and white all mixed and mingled together. She is what’s known as a dappled dachshund. When she goes outside, especially in fall and winter, sometimes I can’t find her. Her coloring, blends in with the leaves on the ground. Combine this with her small size, and my poor eyesight, and she disappears while in plain sight. Sometimes she literally disappears by slipping under the fence to visit our neighbors, but usually, she is right there in front of me, but I can’t see her. She is camouflaged. Did I also mention that when I call her, she likes to pretend she’s a cat and ignore me?

This problem could, possibly, be a male thing. Often, when Jean asks me to find something in the refrigerator, closet, or pantry, and I can’t. I think the peanut butter hides from me, or maybe it comes in camouflage too.

It is also possible to go through life and never find exactly what we need, even when it is right in front of us. God is not camouflage; He is invisible, yet if we bother to look, we can find Him. God said we shall seek him, and find him, when we search with our whole heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)

— Bill King is a native of Rainsville, where he and his wife graduated from Plainview High School. King is a director of missions in Opelika, a writer, musician and author. His column appears in the Times-Journal Thursdays. Visit brobillybob.com for more information.

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