Do Angels Have Ticks?

“Maybe there are things you just can’t know
But can you say there are no mysteries

in the house you choose to dwell
Maybe we are entertaining angels unaware”

—Michael W. Smith

Pain hurts even when it’s self-induced.

This past summer I found myself living in the home of a dear friend Brock who is a member of the artist mentoring group I led for eleven years. He and his wife were on summer tour and graciously gave me a place to attempt to sort out my life.

The house is literally in the middle of nowhere. Tucked deep into the woods on a hill in the countryside south of Nashville, one feels completely isolated.



Hurting myself and knowing I had desperately hurt others.

As Brock gave instructions about the house, he casually mentioned a puppy had shown up a few days before and said, “If you feed him, you might find a friend. His name is K.O.”

The name seemed appropriate.

Around the second morning of a sixty day period that seemed to last an eternity, I blearily stumbled out onto the front porch with a cup of coffee, spied a bowl I assumed was for dog food and reluctantly filled it.

A few minutes later, I saw the “puppy” for the first time. An overgrown gangly blur of brown and energy. He flew up the steps, brushed by me straight to the food and in a few slurpy, crunchy seconds hungrily devoured every bite.

He then jumped up in my lap with muddy paws and proceeded to lick me while exuding the most terrible breath I have ever experienced. And if that weren’t enough, he had huge, transparent blood—bloated ticks greedily attached to his skin, sticking out of his dirty brown fur like parasites from a science-fiction movie.

I had a friend.

Over the course of the next two months, the morning ritual became something I hesitantly anticipated. The ribs sticking out from his belly gradually began to disappear and most of the ticks fell off after countless applications of ointment.

It seemed we were both in need of healing balm.

K.O. would accompany my runs along the country road, and like the exuberant puppy he was, fearlessly leave me for a second and run abruptly in front of  “Tonka-like” work trucks. They would careen to a screeching halt, the driver cursing him and me in thick tobacco and southern juiced accents.

He would sit impatiently—paws awkwardly draped over my bare feet—as I smoked an occasional contemplative cigar at evening, every once-in-awhile vainly chasing a firefly. I couldn’t help consider the ironic, albeit tragic, analogy.

We slowly became affectionate friends, me giving him sustenance and medicine, he giving me the unconditional love only a dog can give.

On yet another very sad and tearful day in the humid heat of this late summer, as I left that house of healing and grace,  K.O. sat on “our” porch watching me and slowly disappeared forever in the rear view mirror of my Jeep.

Brock called me a few days later to see how I was doing at my new location, and at the end of our conversation he said as only he can say it, “Oh, yeah, remember that dog K.O.? He disappeared after you left and has not been seen since. There’s no carcass on the road, he just disappeared. It was kinda like he was an angel or something? Huh. Maybe he was just for you. Who knows?”

Who knows?

Maybe there are things you just can’t…know.

Question: Do You Believe In Angels?

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By randy

Encouraging people to find out who they are so they can live their lives fully.

15 replies on “Do Angels Have Ticks?”

Randy, Hope you find healing in the months ahead as you travel this broken road back to wholeness. My prayer is that this experience will bring you back closer to the Lord, with a new resolve and integrity, and that you will allow Him to use the shattered pieces of your life to craft a beautiful, new masterpiece, that you are able to make amends to your loved ones, and to help bring healing to your family. He IS the God of Redemption and Restoration, and nothing draws Him, or others, like brokenness, raw, open honesty and transparency, and a contrite spirit. Praying also that as you put away the old and put on the new and die to yourself, that you will allow Him to bathe you in mercy as He ministers to you. Praying for you and your family.

Oh absolutely. I believe God sends us comfort in a variety of ways, when we least expect it or realize it in front of our faces. I’m so sorry Randy for the difficult time you and your family are walking through and praying God’s never-ending comfort & healing to you all. Thank you for sharing your painful journey with such honesty & courage. God bless. And God bless K.O. ;)

You bet I believe in angels! God’s first angel in heaven was Jesus & to follow was a whole list who blow their horns when God created earth & will again one day when this earth turns to paradise forever & more. There are ppl/animals that God sends to directly be with us during the times HE is sad to see we are needing encouragement, tenderness love, care. HIS plans are always for us & not against us. Ever have the phone ring “just at the ‘right’ moment” or a friendly visit when you think you are completely alone feeling hopeless.?.?. We are Never Alone with HIS angels watching over us. It’s a shame that the one angel decided to disobey the Almighty & set out to gain the world in his own power & jealousy rather than live in God’s ruling… one day at a time, we will be living on paradise again — Don’t you ever forget that Randy Elrod! — Keep smiling because God’s Grace is covering you & HE LOVES YOU VERY MUCH! — All things in HIM & thru HIM are for the good!!!!

I was divorced (after a cpl affairs), later in life my ex married his daughter’s mother – twenty yrs later, their daughter contacted me on fb & came to visit!!!! So not all “bad” is not meant for “bad” but rather GOOD!!! Still believing in angels!!! AMEN


K.O., although searching for you will likely be someone elses angel along the way. Funny how life evolves without any known effort or intention on our part.

As I reflect on the days of my brokeness, I too came to know of angels, and there were many. I now believe the people who remained close to me must have been breathing air into my lungs, for I know I was incapable of such at times. Healing begins with a moment here and there, and then two…..and then an hour, and two hours. Before you know it, you can put together a half a day that you aren’t crying, or wanting to disappear.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans for hope, and for a futre,

I clung to this verse. I hope you equally find strength from it.

Bless You,


In many places in the Bible, the word that we translate as angel, literally means messenger. Sometimes God sends us a message via an angel like K.O. because we’re having a hard time hearing any other way.

Grace and peace to you in this difficult time.

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