On Saturday, March 4th, Emily and I said our farewells to an old and dear friend. Little Pebbles, a 16 year old hound mix, had been losing weight and breathing hard. The vet confirmed our worst fears; that her little body was breaking down and that there wasn’t anything more they could do for her. So, this left us with only one merciful choice; to put her down. Pebbles had been a trusted friend and source of joy for many people, so there was not a dry eye in the room. Even though we knew it was the right thing to do, it did not make the process any easier. Any dog lovers that have faced that same situation can speak to that reality. As I was holding her one last time and then watching Emily hold her gently to comfort her as they gave her the shots that ended her life, a flood of emotions ran through me. These included sadness and of course fond memories of all the good times. However, in reflection I am amazed at the things we dog lovers learn and experience from our “best friends.”
One of these is unconditional love. A great dog like Pebbles loves without any regard for your imperfections. A bad day can turn just like that with a greeting from your four-legged friend. In a way it is ironic that God chooses to use pets like Pebbles to teach us the very unconditional love he has for us. However, the love received from a favorite dog is just a foretaste of the love that the Father has lavished on us, that we would even be called his children.
Another lesson we learn is sacrifice, as taking care of a dog is no easy task. One must give up time, money and even some freedom to take care of a dog; especially towards the end of their life. Now, what we get back is worth it and then some, but it is still a sacrifice. What a great reminder that anything really worth it in this world will cost you. So we make the necessary sacrifices to keep our beloved dogs happy, healthy and with us as long as possible. However, once again this is just a small representation of the sacrifices that God the Father makes on our behalf. He spared nothing on our behalf, not even his Son, which should let each of us know how much we mean to Him. With that in mind, the loss and love of Pebbles or your favorite four-legged friend should serve as a great reminder of how much more your Father in Heaven loves and cares for you!
So after 16 good long dogie years Pebbles is no longer with us. She may be gone but she is far from forgotten. The over 100 people that responded to my Facebook post since last Saturday is a great indicator of that!
In HIS Service,