Jacob and Emily were so excited! They were going to fly in an airplane to their grandma’s house for Christmas. They kept thinking about how much fun it would be to go on vacation, play with their cousins, and open presents. But they didn’t know that an even more thrilling surprise awaited them.
When the children reached Grandma’s house, they found her caring for a cute puppy. What fun they had playing with him! Finally Christmas morning arrived. After all the presents had been opened, Grandma announced that she had one more, and she hurried off to get it. Soon she came back, carrying a big covered bucket. Jacob and Emily wondered what on earth it could be. What do you suppose they found inside? It was the very same puppy with a bow around its neck! “Oh, that’s our dog?!” they said in amazement.
Keeping Your Puppy Healthy
Wouldn’t it be fun if someone gave you a new puppy? Do you think you would need to know how to take care of your new pet so he would grow and stay healthy? Of course! First you would make sure he had good food to eat. Puppies need lots of good food so they can grow strong—and so do you. God gives us many good things to eat, like fruits, vegetables, bread, cereal and nuts.
Some foods you should not eat. You should not give some foods to your new puppy either. Would a chocolate candy bar be good food for him? Oh, no! Chocolate can make dogs quite sick. Sugary foods are not good for you either. They can make you sick, too.
I’m sure you would let your puppy play outside in the fresh air and sunshine to get some exercise. When you go outside to run and play with him, you would be doing three things to stay healthy yourself—getting exercise, fresh air, and sunshine. What fun!
After playing outside, you might notice your little puppy’s pink tongue hanging out. I can even imagine him putting his head on your leg sadly. Now he needs a drink of cool water. We need to drink lots of water, too (4-8 glasses a day depending on how big you are).
Now, what does your puppy need if he starts looking sleepy after all that fun? A nap, of course. He also needs a long sleep at night to grow and be healthy. We need lots of sleep, too—especially when we are young—ten hours a night at least. Who gives us sleep? “He [God] grants sleep to those He loves” (Psalm 127:2, NIV).
Sometimes you need to say “No” to your puppy. You would say “No” very firmly if you saw him chewing on an electric cord or drinking the cleansers your mom uses to wash the floor. You don’t want him to be hurt or killed. Saying “No” is part of God’s plan for us to stay happy and healthy, too. We say “No” to beer, alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs—anything that will hurt our bodies or make us sick.
Who Do You Belong To?
If you had a puppy, you would surely want him to be healthy and live a long time. After all, you would love that puppy! Did you know that you belong to someone who loves you very much? The Bible says: “Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, . . . and you are not your own” (1 Corinthians 6:19). That’s why it’s important for you to take care of your body. We belong to God. He made us and He loves us, so He wants us to be healthy and happy, too!
Do you think Jacob and Emily’s puppy has to worry about where to find food to eat, or if he will be safe while he sleeps at night? No. You don’t need to be afraid, either. You can kneel by your bed every night and every morning and ask God to take care of you. You can learn God’s promises in the Bible, like this one: “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You [God]” (Psalm
56:3). Trusting God’s care is part of God’s plan to help us stay healthy and happy.
Do you want to do these simple things so you will also be healthy and happy?
This is a true story, although the names of the children have been changed. Unless otherwise noted, Scripture is taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Scripture marked NIV is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.