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.