Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Father's Love

Our family began on August 22nd, 1989. In 1992, Jessica was born and following her in 1995, Heather joined in on the fun. When she was just a year old on April 29th, and just a few days shy of Brad's 30th birthday, Sadie, our beautiful lab/sharpei 6 week old puppy came just in time to celebrate their birthdays with them. She became a welcome and entertaining addition to our growing family.

My memories start of Sadie, watching her as a 6 week old puppy, rolling around biting Heather, a 1 year old teething baby, on the floor. They would take turns biting and exchanging whimpering only to bite the other one back. Heather had teeth scratches up and down her arms, legs and dog hair in her mouth. No matter how much we got after those two, they found the pain was worth the entertainment. And we did our best to make sure neither one of them took it too far.

Sadie grew and had a few puppies of her own. We left California in 1997 and Sadie joined the journey eastward to Arkansas. Fast forward 13 years later. Heather is now a tall and beautiful almost 14 year old and Sadie will be 13 next month. She has been a very important part of our family and she and Heather remain just as close. Even to the point that Heather has given her the middle name of "Rae" for when she needs a little scolding. She has been the best dog anyone could ask for. With five children constantly surrounding her, and her raising an additional 3 babies after Heather, and 3 more dogs, she has been the most patient and loving dog a family could have.

This last Sunday evening, as we came home from a Sunday evening youth fireside, Brad was driving our family towards the carport. As our dogs were greeting us, running around the car,(which was an everyday occurance) we felt the left rear tire run over something and the following yelps and cries of our puppy Sadie. Word cannot express the immediate anxiety I felt when I had realized that my wonderful family member was hurt. It felt as if something had happened to one of my children. I didn't realize until that moment how much love I could have for an animal and how much I wasn't ready to lose her. I ran to her and put my arms around her and sobbed. I hadn't sobbed like that in a very long time. My heart immediately went out to my Father in Heaven and pleaded to Him to know what to do. Animals can't speak, so I couldn't access what was wrong. Animals in shock will immediately get up, even with injuries. Brad scooped her up and brought her into the house. Heather and I stayed with her, while Brad went to pick up our other children. The pain in our hearts was great, and the only thing we had was prayer.

She shook and cried and we just rubbed her and covered her with a blanket. After Heather and I had pled in our hearts with Heavenly Father, we knelt beside our friend and offered a prayer together. We asked for His will to be done and to know what to do. As much as we didn't want to let go, we wanted what was best for her. A few minutes after our prayer was given, her shaking stopped and she started to lay down and rest. I had peace in my heart and felt the comfort of our Father.

After a very long night, I called the vet in the morning and asked what I should look for for signs of suffering. The vet advised watching for weight being placed on suspected injured parts, appetite and drinking and bathroom visits. We suspected that she was run over in her left rear leg and back. She was putting weight on her rear body, but very stiff, tail tucked, and she couldn't lay down very well at all. I, was afraid of internal injuries and of course, without x-rays, it was hard to tell. She didn't get up much during the night and she hadn't eaten or drank anything. Heather and I were extremely worried. When I couldn't take anymore of uncertainty, I found myself crying and praying again for comfort and answers. I pled with my Father, that He would help me through this. I asked Him for her life to not be over at our hands, but with the natural course of time. I prayed that if she was to leave her earthly time with us, that I would know, for I did not want her to suffer, because we didn't want to let her go.

About 30 minutes later, and late Monday afternoon Sadie began eating, drinking and interacting with the family. She hadn't been outside since the accident, so my concern still was lingering about any internal injuries that would prevent abdominal relief. Tuesday morning, she showed signs of wanting to go outside. And today, Wednesday, with the warmth of the air and the kids playing outside, I found her actually with the tip of her tail rising, a little pip her in step and her ears perking up again. It will take some time to heal, and she may not heal all the way considering her age, but I know that is not suffering. Our time will be short with her, due to her age, but I know that our love extends beyond this earth and she will be a part of our eternity.

Words can not express how thankful I am for my Father's love, for one of His creations. His love extends beyond His children. Some might speculate that Sadie would have healed naturally. But I know that my Heavenly Father, heard the pleas of a family, and extended His miracle to us and one very special puppy named Sadie.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

To Grandmother's House We Go!

As a young girl, I always looked forward to week-ends at Grandma and Grandpa Pentzer's home. We lived in Little Rock and my parents drove every week-end to Clarksville, Arkansas and my uncle came in from Oklahoma City with his family to help my grandparents build their retirement home. They began building their home when I was born and it has been a constant in my life. What sweet memories I have of Easter egg hunts, huge gardens, target shooting, go cart tracks, Christmas Eve and bedtime stories. The time in my childhood when everything was perfect. When Grandma was well, my parents were married, my cousins were close to me and I had no worries. But life has its changes and we continue to move forward.

After my parents divorced, I spent my summers with my dad visiting wherever he was stationed. After he was discharged from the United States Air Force, he and my uncle began a business in the same town my grandparents lived. Many summers were then again spent visiting my Grandparents home. How much peace and stability it brought me. It was unchanging and always beckoning.

My grandma passed away in 1988, three days shy of my eighteenth birthday. It was difficult to say the least. One part of my constant, changed. Things just weren't the same anymore.

In 1997, Brad, Jessica, Heather and I, left California and moved here to Arkansas to raise our children where we felt the Lord wanted us to be. We added Jared, Kimberlee and Dallin to the mix and I love every minute of it. We bought a wonderful piece of property, added a mobile home with an addition, beautiful deck and had plans for adding on. Then, the unexpected, happened.

Since the loss of my grandma, my grandpa moved forward with his life. He remarried twice and both he lost to illness. His latest lady friend, he lost this summer to cancer. My grandfather has a heart as big as Texas and gave all he could to these four wonderful women. He is now broken hearted. Without any special person to keep an eye on him, he took a bad fall and now we are afraid to leave him alone.

My dad and his wife, kept close watch on him while he was recovering from his fall. Brad and I along with the kids would alternate with Dad and Donna. We knew that we couldn't continue leaving him unattended. After my uncle and dad explored all options, an offer was made. They offered my grandparent's house to our family after purchasing it from the estate. We wanted grandpa to be happy by being able to continue to live where he has been for the last 38 years. I felt like I was coming home again.

So, with my children's much dismay and lots of tears, we began the transfer of his and ours and are making a go out of it. I will miss my old property, but I am very much at home in my heart here. Oh yes, there is some modernizing to do. But my memories from the time I can remember being a little girl laying on my grandparents floor, taking walks along the dirt road, throwing rocks in the creek, walking underneath the tall pines, and target shooting, are now being witnessed all over again as I relive my childhood through my children. My hope and prayer is that someday, my children will relive their childhood here....through the eyes of my grandchildren.....