“One of the great joys of life is creativity. Information goes in, gets shuffled about, and comes out in new and interesting ways.”
~ Peter McWilliams
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,
~ Colossians 1:9
He was a small dog. Eight and a half pounds when we got him at age 10. He was an unfamiliar breed other than hearing that one of my students wanted one and that he was from Africa. A Coton’ du Tulear? A royal dog of Madagascar? Well Madagascar must be wild and unruly…this cute little dog barked and barked when we first saw him in his owner’s home. We were told not to look at him, not to put our hands down near him or he would bite…we were given so many “nots” we wondered why they even had him. He was cute as all get out, but unapproachable. When we heard that the family was willing to give him away, I, for one was not interested. Yappy, snappy, unhappy little creature…NO.
And then we heard about the alternative plan for his life. We thought at 10 we might be able to give him a new home.
Our daughter wooed him for a week, visiting with him, taking him for walks on the beach near his home, and finally bringing him to ours. He was unused to the small amount of traffic in our suburban neighborhood, willing to threaten biting even the cutest and bravest of children. He bit several family members. I think he tried to bite all of us, and succeeded with some. We were told he did not like men and he tried to prove that, but I thought he just didn’t like anyone but our daughter. He was attacked early on by a neighbor’s unleashed surly, aging pit bull. We did not think he would live. We were heartbroken at the thought of losing him. Other neighbors joined in our prayers for him. He rallied and made a full recovery.
Over the last six years, we grew to love him, talk to him, take him for walks, take him into our hearts, not just our home. Stubborn, tenacious, opinionated our friend called him. She was so right.
But he also was a good listener, a selective snuggler, and he took his time trusting each one of us. But he loved us too. And he was indeed a good companion. Especially during NCIS marathons where he especially enjoyed the character named Ziva.
When the dark growths began to appear on his sides, he bit them off, licked them clean and kept going. But this last year, something appeared on his ear that he could not get to, a growth the size of a designer potato. He finally smashed it against something in his effort to self-clean and it became infected. The doctor, in his assessment of the tumor managed to have it come off in his hand. He called it “cowboy surgery.” Our little soldier came home with a war bandage and began trying to get it off, even with the “cone of shame.” Three attempts were made to stay the re-growth of this thing, but to no avail. No freezing, crystalizing worked. The last proposal was to remove the part of his ear that the tumor insisted on inhabiting. We had a tearful family pow-wow and decided that he would never stand for the imbalance of the ear, and that it was not going away. At 16 years old, watching him spend so much time trying to remove a bandage that was really just protecting the ever tenacious tumor from his teeth, grew to be too much. We made the decision to put him down.
Again our daughter guided him to his new home with love and skill beyond imagining. My future son-in-law stood by her side and we all cried and surrounded him with loving words. And he passed. The attendant placed him in one of his favorite blankets and in the casket that my husband fashioned. Our daughter suggested a funeral procession. We went to the water he loved so much, drove him past the village cemetery where family members were put to rest, to our own home. We had a short memorial service, saying what was in our hearts to say, tearfully watering the grave and then each shoveling dirt into his earthly resting place. And then we had a good cry together.
We gave him a service that spoke of our love and feelings for this little opinionated doggie and laid him to rest.
Our Lord has done so much more for us, preparing a place, even before we were born. We did our level best to honor the Lord in our life with this little curmudgeonly dog who listened to our joys, our sorrows, our fears without judgement.
Just as our Lord has done for you.
Because of Him,