About four months ago, we lost our previous dog at age 15 years plus. We still miss him and fondly recall his habits and favorite things. At the same time, I am especially “nesting” for the new puppy. I ordered a smaller crate for this one, a new leash, and I’m still shopping for a collar and a few essentials. I do want him to be happy in his new home—away from his six littermates. Two cats might be an adjustment all the way around.
Mostly I am looking forward to experiencing moments and adventures with the freshness of new life. Little things are so enthralling to someone that has not seen or heard them before. Flowers, birds, children, friends, car rides, treats, and toys are better than television for the observer. And I look forward to the lively energy of a puppy that can run with a new body.
A new life can bring a kind of resurrection of hope, joy, and laughter into the family. And during what has been a tiresome period of fear, change, and loss, just being in the presence of one so new is refreshing.
I am aware that this could be my last puppy. A person can reach the age when it is not kind to bring a baby into the family—for safety and fairness in the relationship. So I hope I can treasure the periods of development along the way for both of us. I know that a pet companion can be good medicine for people, and I have experienced that all my life. Loss is hard, yet beginning again is like making a new friend with a different personality, quirks, and abilities.
I have some plans for this puppy—that he will minister with me to others. I hope to show love and care to some special people who need to see and feel a furry friend. With the proper training, we can share joy and energy.
Every new puppy, kitten, foal, baby (whatever you love) is a potential gift and lesson. We learn things about ourselves as we relate to these creatures, about life, and about God. Welcoming them into the family can cause problems and fun, hope and loss, expense and value. And that is the microcosm of life on the planet with all the risks and potential.
So if you are lonely and tired, consider adding an animal companion. I believe that God speaks to our hearts through his creatures. God shared his attribute of unconditional love in creation. And I may share more about my new family member!
Questions for personal journaling or group discussion:
- Read Genesis 1:20-24; 31. Respond with thoughts about “it was good.”
- What experience with a pet or animal has changed your life? Have you talked to God about this?
Karen Spruill writes from Florida.
* Our last dog was a rescue and I am a supporter of taking rescues. This time I desired the best outcome for a therapy dog so I chose an experienced breeder.
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