‘Paws’ for thought

Dear Mike:

In our busyness, each day too easily blurs from one to the next with no significance—nothing setting it apart from yesterday other than it’s one day closer to the next pay cheque or the next day off . . . until it happens.

Our day is turned upside down, our peaceful, complacent peace of mind is shattered, when we are forced to deal with the loss of a special pet. Our everyday routines become foreign and painful. We feel out of sorts, lost, secretly vulnerable, overwhelmed, and undeniably alone.

With the many changes that are taking place in our family, the last thing I needed was to lose my best friend, Taz.

Dogs have always been a huge part of our family, and always will be. You probably remember Conan going to work with Chris every day, surveying the countryside and assessing the well-being of the livestock in the district from the safety of his Jeep (less a few seatbelts, of course).

Taz didn’t have the wonderful personality Conan did, though. He was protective to a fault and feared by many—for good reason. Nonetheless, we loved him and he loved us in such a way that we had never experienced before.

I feel, though, that our pets have something very important that they are able (and perhaps trying) to teach us.

If you’ve ever buried your face in the neck of your dog, or curled up with him in bed, or just felt his loving, adoring eyes upon you (worshipping you regardless of your faults or your mood, looking for some way to please you), then you know what I’m talking about.

It had occurred to me a number of times over the past few months that Taz was God’s way of giving me a hug. He was always with me, always watching me, always at my feet, and always ready to love me whenever I needed—especially if I picked up his rope or grabbed the car keys!

I always have believed that God is able to work all things for the good when we love Him, but it was hard to see the good that could come from Tazzie’s death. Blessings have, nonetheless, come from knowing and loving him. One wonderful blessing comes in the realization that, just as Taz was there at every second of every day, ready for me to call his name, so, too, is God for us.

Our dogs are such a wonderful reminder in our everyday lives that God is always watching, always listening, and always cares for us regardless of our “humanness”—ready to love us unconditionally in spite of ourselves.

Our dogs also can teach us how to love God back—the very same way they love us. The only difference is that God calls on us to have faith in His presence and His love.

When we look up, God is there. When we call out, God will listen and He knows what’s best for us—just as we profess to know what’s best for our pets.

Just as we expect, and require, our pets to surrender their will for ours, so too does God require this of us so that He can bring peace and true happiness to our lives.

I believe God also expects us to love and serve each other with as much devotion and dedication as our pets give us.

While our days on this earth are numbered, we should know that this is just a temporary stop in the grand scheme of our lives, and that to waste even one day on this earth—or to let another day just slip by as just another insignificant one—is a crime and a waste of the precious life that God has given us.

Is your dog sitting patiently at your feet, worshipping and adoring you? Maybe you should get down on the floor and give him a hug. Who knows, maybe you’ll feel the presence of your God hugging you back!

Enjoy this day—it’s God’s precious gift to you!

Donna Cannon