Thursday, April 30, 2015
“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” ― Will Rogers
There are many wonderful quotes about dogs—this is one of my favorites from John Grogan: “Such short little lives our dogs have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to pet them and say soothing words. It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.” I say this because our good friends and neighbors, Australian missionaries, just had to put down the dog who had been the friend and playmate of all their children for the last nine years. If God made any mistakes, one of them was that dogs don’t live long enough. We have always had dogs since we were first married and we have had to suffer the loss of many, some I had to hold while the vet put them to sleep (a hard thing to do). As Karen and I get older, we just can’t do the things we have always done. We deal with daily pain and can just about see our ends on the far horizon, knowing our time here, and our ability to serve and help others is no longer a thing of many years. Of course, mild depression is a constant companion—or at least it was until we added a two-year-old Tibetan Terrier named Sissie to our family last December (her owners had to go back to Norway). Her unbridled joy, unconditional love, her connection with Karen that defies description, the joy our workers have in her (folks traditionally who greatly fear dogs), her jumping into my lap and John’s lap when she wants some extra attention has brightened our days and given great joy to our every day. She is pure personality and makes us laugh and love her and each other like John Grogan wrote above. We will never be the same because of her presence in our lives. This is why we have all been very worried, very depressed, and very sad for the last few days. She became constipated which is not unusual, but we have no vets to surgically remove a bowel blockage or access to canned dog food or any of the other medicines and remedies we found on the internet. Basically, if we couldn’t get her better, she would probably die after such a short time with us. Three days passed and we were all worried, workers as well. All we could do was give her exercise (all internet sites recommended that), a little olive oil with her food, and a little beef broth with her dry dog food. Then, this afternoon, it was Juliana (our house worker) who came into the house screaming in happiness, “Sissie choo! Sissie choo!” She was shouting and smiling from ear to ear. I’m guessing you can figure out what “choo” meant. It meant that happiness has returned to our home. There is no vet who could have even begun to help. The vet our friends used to put their dog down botched the procedure and made everything more painful, so we are so thrilled that God sent us a “thank-you” note name Sissie, playing, running, and needing petting once more. Thank you, Lord, for hearing our prayers. There are no guarantees in this life, but we are so happy that God moved this black cloud on its way and left sunny skies and rainbows in its wake.