Paws to Remember

My friend, Krista, said goodbye to her precious Gracie yesterday.  Gracie was in her family for 12 years and helped Krista and her husband raise four children. She loved her squeeky toys, and her bark was bigger than her bite as she mastered the role of ‘pseudo guard dog’ upon initial greeting. Before you could blink she’d curl up next to you. Everybody loved Gracie.

Losing a ‘pet’ is often given too little emotional weight – these creatures are not ‘replaceable’, and I pray friends and family appropriately grieve when this situation occurs. It’s natural to mourn when we lose our beloved four-pawed companions. It calls for the jolt of ‘a new normal‘ in our lives. Gracie, you will be missed.

A trip down memory lane is in order for those of us who have experienced the loss of a furry friend…Today, Gracie reminds me about my past losses.

Mindy was our first family pup.  She joined us when I was eleven and passed due to cancer during my first year of college. There was a strange void when I came home for a visit after she was gone.

It was years later when my heart welcomed ‘Mr. Murray’; he was the first pup who claimed me as ‘mom’.  Murray was a party dog and an enthusiastic Canine Assistant.  He retrieved everything from keys to dollar bills for me and was the office mascot who sometimes took the role of Santa’s helper in the lobby at Christmas.  Murray, in my opinion, is the reason that my dog-whisperer husband, Brent, noticed me. He loves animals and had Boone, a black lab, when we met. It was a match made in doggie heaven.

Boone was loyal, loyal, loyal. He was Brent’s dog through and through, and he was my adopted little one when we married.  For over ten years he served as a therapy dog at Eggleston Children’s Hospital and he claimed the foot of our queen-size bed until his last days.

Awwww. Now it’s just Tahoe!

Gracie, Mindy, Murray and Boone you are missed. Thank you for your display of unconditional love and acceptance. The world would be a better place if humans could be as kind, forgiving and accepting as you were.

For those who grieve and face ‘a new normal‘ – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Tahoe Ate My Peach

This peach was intended to nourish me.

While I was getting water across the kitchen I heard a ‘thud’. I left the water task to find my angelic, dog-food only eating canine assistant, Tahoe, looking at me. A peach lay beside him on the floor.

                                                                                                                        Not to worry, I thought as I reached in my purse to retrieve a small treat to use as a trade. I was certain he would give me the peach for a treat – and I probably would have eaten if it didn’t have teeth marks – I know you are saying ‘gross’ about now.

Tahoe tried to lift and hold the juicy fruit, but his teeth sunk into it…and well the taste was good. The next thing I knew he had the peach in the other room.

Concerned that he would eat the pit I watched as he looked up between licks.  He was quite a gentleman with the fruit. Then all that was left was the pit which he promptly gave me.

I love fruit and need it everyday.  This day I was sharing my fruit unexpectedly with Tahoe and got to thinking about the good fruit in our relationships – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. I’d better be careful not to let Tahoe or people or circumstances steal those from me or keep me from sharing them with others!  Oh my, I need fruit.  Good for the body, mind, and spirit.  I don’t want to be in the ‘pits’. OK, yes, that was corny but true.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Gal. 5:22

Choosin’ Joy,