To say we were shocked was an understatement. No one expects an otherwise healthy, 5-year old dog to suddenly expire. As we talked with the neurologist when we checked him in - we were looking at some tough decisions ahead. The only way to completely determine what was going on was a $2200.00 canine MRI (that would actually be done at the downtown Children's Hospital - how crazy is that?!). This could show if it was a tumor, encephalitis, or nothing (leaving the last diagnosis as epilepsy). But the hospital only did these on Thursdays. There was also the enormous cost to consider. We had already spent nearly $1000 in just the last few days on tests and care for him - was an MRI the right choice? And if it was a tumor - what was our next plan? Brain surgery on a dog? I have first hand experience with this - I had a benign cystic glioma removed in 2002. Recovering from brain surgery is grueling! Could we actually ask that of our sweet Mick just so WE could feel better and keep him around longer?
We left the pet hospital with our heads spinning - but were sure that in 24-hours, the doctors would be able to at least stabilize him so we could work on the next steps.
This was my prayer yesterday:
Dear God -
Please take care of our sweet dog, Mick.
Ease his pain and show us a clear direction in which to take his care.
God tells us to be specific in our prayers. He knows what we want, but He also wants us to ask:
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find;
knock, and it will be opened to you.
And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it
Well... You can get much clearer than our answer. God took Mick to heaven - to play with Clifton (our previous dog of 12 years), and Julia (our niece), and all of the other past pets and family. Either he knew that no amount of testing would fix Mick on earth... or decided that an MRI wasn't the best use of our fiscal gifts... or just really wanted to have our sweet dog hanging out with him in Heaven, God answered our prayer. It might not be the answer I wanted, but it's the answer I asked for, and how can I argue with the answer that involves my beloved pet being healthy, whole, and happy running around in God's big playground?!!
On a side note... Not sure if our pets go to Heaven? Consider this response by Christian author, Rick Warren:
People miss Heaven because of their rebellion against God's offer of love, by rejecting Jesus. But dogs, which have no ability to sin nor moral conscious, do not have an ability to reject Jesus. It is the same principle as a baby, young child, or mentally challenged individual. The Bible calls then "safe," not "saved." In Proverbs, we read that "The Lord preserves the simple" which includes persons without the ability, capacity, or moral conscious to reject Jesus.
Mick was a rescue dog. We got him through a wonderful organization called Columbus Cocker Rescue. At first I was beating myself up over the fact that WE were supposed to be his rescue - yet we only had him 3 years before he died. But this morning, I realized that even the three short years of rescue were important. God calls us to be His hands and feet to all his creations by reaching out in prayer, help, comfort, service, or with our financial gifts. While God is the ULTIMATE Rescuer, He EXPECTS us to do some earthly rescuing too!!
Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
When we first got Mick at age 2, he had terrible ear infections. The previous owners had not taken care of his ears at all-- to the extent that vets were talking full ear ablations. And ablation is a grisly ear surgery where all of the inner and middle ear is removed and outer ear flap is sewn shut.
Obviously, all hearing is lost in the ablated ear; an ablation is saved as a very last resort for a chronically ear-infected pet. We were steadfast (especially my awesome husband!) in getting all of the medicines deep into Mick's ears to heal the infection-- for over 6 months we worked to avoid ablation - and had to regularly make sure we were keeping his ears clean. One thing the vet mentioned was that even through had significant damage deep in his ears from the older infections, the canal (that we could reach and clean) looked good. So I'm feeling more confident this morning that we did our part with Mick.
My friend, Amy, told me that "If God knew Mick wouldn't have a long life, sending Mick to the House of Buckley was a pretty good deal, I think!" David has often said that if he could be reincarnated, he's only want to come back as a dog in our house - because those dogs have one sweet life! I have to remind David that HE is part of the "good life" that dogs in our house receive... ahhhh...details. ;)
Just because yesterday was completely craptastic, and my eyes are puffy today from all the tears, I am solid in the knowledge that one sad day is small in comparison to the love, and joy, and companionship Mick gave to us. And since I know God isn't finished with US yet, I am resolute that God expects us to continue to do our part in helping others - whether that be people or pets.
If you are looking to adopt a furry friend and changing a life, consider taking a look at CCR's list of dogs looking for a home. Just look at some of these faces - and these are just a handful of the dogs wishing for a forever home! (Images are linked to dog's description.)
Not local to SW Ohio? Use Petfinder to locate a pet-in-need in your area.
And, give your pet a hug from me today. I miss mine.
When God had made the earth and sky, the flowers and the trees.
He then made all the animals, the fish, the birds, and bees.
And when at last He'd finished, not one was quite the same.
God said, "I'll walk this earth of mine, and give each one a name."
And so He traveled far and wide. And everywhere He went,
A little creature followed Him, until it's strength was spent.
When all were named upon the earth, and in the sky, and sea,
The little creature said, "Dear Lord! There's not one left for me!"
Kindly the Father said to him, "I've left you to the end.
I've turned my own name back to front, and call you DOG, my friend."