One of our pets is most likely dying.
I realize it’s ‘just’ a pet. I also realize there are many people currently suffering and dying, and that’s a much bigger issue than a pet dying. There’s so much sadness in the world, and a pet dying is to be expected, even if that pet is still relatively young. Things happen. Life happens. I know this isn’t the end of the world.
Yet, I believe in pondering and learning from every thing, in every day, and right now my days have been centered around a pet dying. So that’s what I’m writing about this morning. I tried to come up with other things to write about, but this is where my heart and mind are right now so here it is, some of my jumbled current thoughts.
The pet that is most likely dying (still praying for a miracle, but bracing for reality) is my pet. My tiny little 3 pound beautiful long coat chihuahua who was a gift to me from my husband for our 20th wedding anniversary 6 years ago. For the past 6 years this tiny little doggie has followed me everywhere. When I work, he sleeps near by. When I am in the kitchen, he sits in a corner tucked away as closely to me as possible, yet in the corner so he’s safe from my feet moving about while I cook or work. If I’m working and hubby is relaxing, he’s on hubby’s lap sleeping. Or maybe he’s chasing the cat around the house. Or even putting our 80 pound German Shepard in her place. He’s a fixture in the home. One that will be missed. A tiny part of the home that will leave a great big hole.
In January Teagan underwent a surgery that cost us thousands of dollars. We knew when we decided to do the surgery that he could get sick again, but we were hoping for the best. I know, I know, some are moaning that we would spend that much money on a pet. It’s not like we’re rich and can even afford to spend thousands on a pet. Others are reading and nodding in agreement that they would do the same too. No matter what it took, they would pay for the surgery. Personally, the opinion of others about how we choose to spend, or choose not to spend funds on our pets, is of no real concern to me. I’ve been through every reaction one could expect. The only reaction I haven’t received very often, is one of no reaction. A reaction of no opinion, but simply listening to why we decided to spend the money to have the surgery. It wasn’t an easy decision. There are a whole lot of things our family could have spent thousands of dollars on. Yet, we prayed, we prayed HARD, we struggled, and we asked for clear guidance, and this was what we felt we were to do. Sometimes spending money on a pet is not even about spending money on a pet. A lot of lessons were learned. Lessons about priorities, and money, about supporting one another through hard times, no matter what, no matter how hard it may be not to feel anger about the cost, and most importantly, a lot of heart issues and attitudes about who’s money (God’s) is it anyways? And how do we decide what is right and what is wrong in the midst of decisions needing to be made quickly? I know many who will spend any amount of money without a thought, and I know many who will NOT spend any amount, without a thought. It is not for us to decide what others should do. It is only for us to decide what WE should do. This is what we decided.
It’s kind of like our social media these days. There’s a whole lot of reaction about every single thing that we do, and there’s not a whole lot of quietness or listening. I love the saying that God gave us 1 mouth, and 2 ears, so we can speak half as much and listen twice as much. The focus in our daily lives actually makes me quite sad.. It has become SO much about saying our piece, sharing our opinions, and there isn’t a whole lot of focus on people and their ‘needs’ or their ‘story’ any longer. There’s certainly not a whole lot of focus on love anymore. I don’t know… maybe there never was a whole lot of focus on love, and because social media is so ‘in your face’, all day, every day, we just notice the lack of silence, and the noisiness of opinions, that much more now.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23 NIV
I don’t see a whole lot of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or self-control being shown in any great quantities.
Don’t get me wrong, I do see it, I really do, I just don’t’ see a whole lot of it. Yet THESE are the things that should be the focus of our days, and not the sharing of our opinions, or our reactions to what others are doing, not doing, or what they should do, etc..
Believe me, when I share scriptures like the one above, I don’t share to point fingers at others. I’m actually working through this scripture myself. When I see a lack of something in others, I try my best to turn the finger and point it straight back at me. I turn to a mirror and take a good long hard look at myself. Because that’s the only person in this whole wide world that I can change. Me. That’s it! So my focus needs to be on me, and where I need to change and where I need to grow, and on how I can be more loving, more joyful, have more peace, and share more peace. How can I be more kind and good? How can I be more faithful to others (and to God), be more gentle, and how can I work harder at being self-controlled?
Even in the midst of this little doggies death, I have to ask myself these questions.
Back in January after Teagan’s previous surgery, we made the choice that we would not go that route again if faced with the same decision in the future, This morning when my husband came to bed (he’s on night shifts) I asked how Teagan was doing when he checked on him. I was honestly hoping that he would pass away in his sleep if he wasn’t going to show fast improvement. My husband said he was still the same, no change. I just wanted to stay in bed and go back to sleep and hope and pray maybe by the time I woke up again that he’d pass away.
Instead, I asked myself what would I want if I were Teagan? I know, again, some are moaning that he’s ‘just’ a dog…. But he’s MY dog. He’s MY responsibility right to the end. So I asked myself, what do I want in these days that could be Teagan’s last? Instead of staying in bed, I saw that the sun was soon rising, there was a pink and gold glow in the sky. I hurriedly put on my clothes, wrapped Teagan in a nice warm blanket, and took him for a walk to see the sunrise. We sat out there, out back of our property where there’s no trees to block the view. We sat watching the sun come up together and I thought to myself that this is exactly what I would want someone to do for me if I was the one facing my last days. I’d want them to take me to see the sunrise, to enjoy the sun shining on my face. So I sat out there with him snuggled in the blanket, the sunshine on his face, and I just sat and cried and prayed that God would please heal him or take him peacefully and quickly.
All I can do is aim for my best in helping Teagan, and hope that my best is good enough right now.
It’s all any of us can really aim for.