The sun went down this evening in a blaze of crimson across the early fall sky. I found myself hastily trying to find my camera to catch the last of beautiful amethyst and mauve clouds, breathing a prayer of thanks that this day had ended peacefully.
It didn’t for some and as an early morning email brought word of a young girl injured in a hiking accident and other of my prayers through this day were sent up for that hurting family, I wondered at what sorrow they must feel and chided myself for loving a mere dog as much as I do this latest in a lifetime of much-loved dogs, my Agatha.
She was born on my birthday, many years after I had given up my dreams of children of my own, as each miscarriage took those hopes away, and as the years passed made me realize that those blessings were simply not going to be given in my life.
But God has blessed John and I in so many ways, with loving friends and family and yes, given me small things to love as well, the four-footed ones that I’ve cared for over the years.
I’m comforted that God Himself understands the love I have had for my dogs, the bond with this little Cavalier that brings so much enjoyment to my days. The Bible tells a story of a man that had a small lamb that he loved “like a daughter”, and I’m comforted that He put that small story there, that He perhaps understands how our pets can sometimes help fill some of our empty places.
So yes, my prayers this sunlit evening were of gratefulness, a small tragedy was averted yesterday when Agatha was accidentally closed on our side porch, an area that receives the full noon day sun. It had gotten over 90 degrees and the temperature where she was locked must have been well over a hundred.
I was distracted with our new litter of puppies, engaging small folk indeed & thought Agatha had followed me back inside to the cool comfort of the air conditioning.
A check in my spirit kept urging me to check on her & I dismissed it repeatedly, until it grew to a certainty that something was amiss with my little friend. Searching for her I finally backtracked my steps outside, and as I came around the side of the house heard a desperate scratching sound. Instantly I knew what had happened, I had accidentally closed the door thinking she was asleep in her basket when instead she was trapped in the broiling sun-filled space.
Years working as a veterinary technician told me she was in the early stages of heat stroke and I raced to bring her temperature back down to normal, her tongue dry and already shaded with blue, her eyes frantic and afraid…
Mercy appeared and grace made an entrance, her breathing soon was back to normal, and what could have been a heartache and loss ended with an exhausted but safe little dog asleep under my desk that evening. I of all people shouldn’t have allowed such a thing to happen, I advise people every day on how to care for their pets, how to keep them well, keep them safe…
I took a picture of the damage my poor little dog did the the door frame trying to tell me she was in trouble. The least destructive of creatures, I was shocked at the scratch marks, the vinyl torn from the frame around the door, though desperate, she must have waited long, reluctant to break “the rules” and tear at the door she’d known since puppyhood not to scratch.
A mute reminder that we must have a care, slow down and pay attention, listen to those little warnings in our spirits to be sure all is well in our small worlds…
But most of all, it’a reminder to send up thankful prayers that I’m granted more time with my dear little friend.