Tag Archives: companion

The Old Dog

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14-year-old dog abbey

Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month. The day after she passed away my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so, and she dictated these words:

Dear God,
Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.

I hope you will play with her. She likes to swim and play with balls. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, ‘To Meredith’ in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, ‘When a Pet Dies.’ Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,

Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help and I recognized her right away.

Abbey isn’t sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don’t need our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to keep your picture in so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I’m easy to find. I am wherever there is love.

Love, God

Author Unknown

a grateful whale

(Read about a Big Fish, maybe a whale, in the book of Jonah).

As Reported In The SF Chronicle

On the front page story of the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday, Dec 15, 2005, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines.

The fifty-foot whale was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her her tail, her torso and a line tugging in her mouth.

A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallone Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her – a very dangerous proposition. One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer.

They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around – she thanked them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.

The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

From: Inspire21.com

Horse Laughs

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Before you read the funny things below, I will relate a story about  a horse, a guardian angel, and God’s watch care over us.

One day a young man was riding his horse near a town outside Orlando, Florida. He had been riding a good distance and he was thirsty and tired. The young man saw a lake at the bottom of a hill and decided to go down there to drink. It was about thirty feet from the water when his horse suddenly stopped abruptly. The young man got off the horse and the horse made a loud sound as if giving a warning. As the boy started toward the water the horse knocked him to the ground. The young man was angry with his usually gentle horse. He picked himself up and attempted to go to the water to drink again. The horse again knocked him down and jumped up and down making noises. This time instead of getting mad, he got smart. He looked carefully into the tall lake grass and saw a huge shadow under the water. He started walking away from the water holding the horse reins in his hand. About thirty feet away he found a large rock. He came near the lake water and threw the rock at the large shadow. When the rock hit near the shadow a large alligator came rushing out of the water. It was twelve feet long. The boy got away but was shaking with fear. He realized that he was almost an alligator meal. His horse, or an angel, or God had saved his life. After calming down, he rode home grateful for his horse’s attention to God’s warning that he did not understand. Sometimes animals are more aware of God and his angels than we are.

Simposious

 

Horse Laughs

A blonde decides to try horseback riding, even though she has had no lessons or prior experience.

She mounts the horse unassisted and the horse immediately springs into motion. It gallops along at a steady and rhythmic pace, but the blonde begins to slip from the saddle. In terror, she grabs for the horse’s mane, but cannot seem to get a firm grip. She tries to throw her arms around the horse’s neck, but she slides down the side of the horse anyway.

The horse gallops along, seemingly impervious to its slipping rider. Finally, giving up her frail grip, she leaps away from the horse to try and throw herself to safety.

Unfortunately, her foot has become entangled in the stirrup, she is now at the mercy of the horse’s pounding hooves as her head is struck against the ground over and over.

As her head is battered against the ground, she is mere moments away from unconsciousness when to her great fortune… the Walmart manager sees her and shuts the horse off.

*´’`°¤¸¸.•’´?`’•.¸¸¤°´’`*

One day a man passed by a farm and saw a beautiful horse. Hoping to buy the animal, he said to the farmer: “I think your horse looks pretty good, so I’ll give you $500 for him.”

“He doesn’t look so good, and he’s not for sale,” the farmer said.

The man insisted, “I think he looks just fine and I’ll up the price to $1,000.”

“He doesn’t look so good,” the farmer said, “but if you want him that much, he’s yours.”

The next day the man came back raging mad. He went up to the farmer and screamed, “You sold me a blind horse. You cheated me!”

The farmer calmly replied, “I told you he didn’t look so good, didn’t I?”

*´’`°¤¸¸.•’´?`’•.¸¸¤°´’`*

One day, while I was petting a Shetland Pony at the zoo, a friend of mine asked, “How are you today?.” I responded, “I’m feelin a little hoarse.”

*´’`°¤¸¸.•’´?`’•.¸¸¤°´’`*

A city dweller came to a farm and saw a beautiful horse. He decided he had to have the animal.

He bargained with the farmer and the farmer finally sold him the horse. The city man jumped on the horse and said, “Giddyup!” The horse didn’t budge.

The farmer explained, “This is a special kind of horse. He’ll only move if you say, ‘Praise the Lord.’ To stop him, you have to say, ‘Amen.'”

Keeping this in mind, the new owner yelled, “Praise the Lord!” whereupon the horse took off with great speed. Soon horse and rider were headed for a cliff.

Just in time the rider remembered to say “Amen!” The horse came to a screeching halt right at the edge of the cliff. Relieved, the rider raised his eyes to heaven and exclaimed, “Praise the Lord!”

From: Truthbook.com

Stories That Make You Think

 

 

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One night while diving for lobster on the small Island of Mauritius I was stung on my forearm by 5 Box-Jellyfish, which the local Creole fishermen called “invisables” A sting from a Box-Jellyfish often proves to be fatal – as exemplified in Australia where 70 people are known to have died from their stings. Many books quote this particular type of Jellyfish to be among the most venomous creatures in the world.

 

By the time an ambulance arrived my body was totally paralyzed and necrosis had begun to set into my bone marrow. On route to the hospital I began to see my life flash before me. At this point of my life I was an atheist – but I knew I was nearly dead and I didn’t know if there was life after death or whether there was just nothing. As I lay there dying, I saw my mother in a vision praying for me, encouraging me to cry out to God from my heart and He would hear me and forgive me (my mother was the only Christian in our family.) I didn’t know what to pray and cried out that if God was real, could He help me to pray. Immediately God showed me the Lord’s Prayer, and for the first time in my life I prayed from my heart and gave my life to the Lord.

 

 

Death & Hell
 

The ambulance stopped and they placed me in a wheel chair and raced me into the hospital. The nurse took my blood pressure twice but could not find a pulse as my veins had collapsed. The doctors tried to save my life by injecting anti-toxins and dextrose into my body, but seemingly to no avail. Within a few minutes I seemed to slip away (apparently life ceased from my body for a period of approx. 15 minutes).

 

During this time I found myself in a very dark place, not realising where I was. So I tried to find a light switch, thinking I was still in the hospital – but as I reached out into the dark I couldn’t touch anything. Reaching to touch my face I found my hand go straight through it. It seemed so bizarre, as I knew I was standing there but couldn’t touch any part of my physical body.

 

As I stood there I began to sense that this wasn’t just a physical darkness but that there was something else there. I could feel a cold eerie feeling as though something or someone was looking at me – a spiritual darkness. From the darkness I began to hear men’s voices screaming at me telling me to “shut up” – “that I deserved to be there” – “that I was in Hell”. I couldn’t believe it, but as I stood there a radiant beam of light shone through the darkness and immediately began to lift me upward. I found myself being translated up into an incredibly brilliant beam of pure white light – it seemed to be emanating from a circular opening far above me (I felt like a speck of dust being drawn up into a beam of sunlight).

 

 

The Journey
 

I entered this opening to find myself inside a long narrow passageway or tunnel – at the far end of the tunnel I could see the source of the light – it was so radiant that it looked to be the centre of the universe. As I continued to look towards this light it seemed to draw me towards it at an incredible speed – I wasn’t walking but was being translated along this tunnel towards the source of this light. I watched as a wave of light broke off the source and moved up the tunnel towards me – as it passed through me I could feel a wave of warmth and comfort flood my soul … it was incredible. This light wasn’t just physical, but was giving off a living emotion … Halfway down another wave of light – this time it gave off pure peace – followed by another wave – of pure joy. Coming out of the end of this tunnel I found myself standing in the presence of awesome light and power – it seemed as though even the constellations in the universe must find their energy source from this focal point.

 

As I stood there I wondered to myself if this was just an energy source in the universe or if perhaps there could be someone standing in the midst of this light!!!!! A voice immediately responded to my thought and asked me “Ian, do you wish to return?” Return, I thought!!! Where am I??? As I looked over my shoulder I could see the tunnel going back into darkness.

 

 

The Light
 

I thought – darkness – hospital bed – am I out of my body? – is this real? – am I standing here? – or am I in a coma having some bizarre dream? Am I in my body or out of my body?? (I could cognitively think of the two alternatives.) As I looked back towards the light, it was still there … I responded “I don’t know where I am, but if I am out of my physical body I wish to return.” The voice responded “If you wish to return – you must see in a new light.” “New light”, I thought, “I’m seeing the light.” “Are you the true light???” Words appeared in front of me “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).” I had never read a Bible before in my life so I didn’t know this was straight out of the scriptures. God is light, I thought – that is pure light – I see no darkness here, I have just come from darkness – I see no evil, no shadows – this is pure light – am I standing in the presence of God??? He knows my name and I didn’t tell Him, only God could do that – He knows what I am thinking before I even speak, only God could do that. Then he must be able to see everything I have done wrong in my life … no … I don’t want God to see that. I felt totally exposed and wanted to move away from the light and go back into the darkness where I belonged. I thought someone had made a mistake and brought the wrong person up. As I drew back towards the darkness a wave of light swept through me … I felt pure unadulterated Love flow over me. Love I thought, how could God love me – I’ve taken his name in vain – I’ve slept around – I’m not a good man … but no matter what I said, waves of His unconditional Love continued to flow over me. I found myself weeping uncontrollably in His Presence. It was so amazing that He had totally forgiven me and accepted me as I was.

 

The waves of Love ceased and I wondered if I could possibly step into the light and see what God looked like. I was so close. … I asked if I could step in. ..???.. I heard no response but thought if God could love me so much, He wouldn’t mind …. As I stepped into the light I found myself disappear into it as it was so radiant – it had the intensity of laser light, yet you could look directly at it. The light seemed to absorb me into it – the centre seemed to be very bright so I aimed for it – I could feel a healing presence coming off this light that was healing my broken heart … it was touching me deep inside my heart of hearts where no one gets to see … so beautiful.

From: Heavensinspirations.com

Puppy Love

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puppy love

By Bill McCartney

“We jog, run, camp, fish, and build furniture. But do we ever cross the line?

I’m Bill McCartney… It’s 4th and Goal!

I know men who can take raw wood and a few nails and create a family heirloom. And then there are those of us who can listen to a sputtering engine and pinpoint the problem without even popping the hood. Other guys fly fish or fry up a gourmet meal.

Some of us are music lovers, avid readers and huge pet fans. These interests help fulfill us, but sometimes we can get caught up filling our days… and evenings… and weekends… pursuing activities that leave our families in the dust.

Take our interest in man’s best friend. Our animals are companions for kids, protection for the home and just plain furry fun for the whole family. But, with all the extras and supplies available, there can be a tendency to get a little carried away.

We’ve got doggy beds, doggy diet chow, and special canine clothing. People primp their pooches, put them up in pet hotels, and even take them to counselors, when they’re not sure what’s dogging Fido. Things can easily get out of hand.

While we enjoy our outside interests and hobbies, do we let these “extras” become sore spots in our lives? Do they absorb far more time, energy and money than we should be sacrificing?

Any diversion can draw us away from the relationships that make life worth living. Let’s ask ourselves what’s more important, fulfilling our own needs or being a father to our children? What will they remember longer? The shiny wax job on the classic ‘vette? Or all those times we got on the ground and wrestled around with them?

Guys, we can take our hobbies to the extreme, pouring money and time into efforts that have no lasting value. Anything we put ahead of our wives and children, whether a pedigreed pooch, a workbench full of tools, or a super-deluxe convertible, says something about who we are, as men. Let’s keep first things first and stay clear of anything that pulls us away from our first priorities as fathers and husbands.

—–

Bill McCartney was the head coach of the University of Colorado football team for years, leading them to a co-National Championship. Now he is active as a speaker for a Christian organization.” Puppy Love, Inspire 21.com, by: Bill McCartney.

“…Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8

The Old Man and The Dog

 

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  • The Old Man and the Dog 

By Catherine Moore

“Watch out! You nearly broad sided that car!” My father yelled at me.   “Can’t you do anything right?”

Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn’t prepared for another battle.

“I saw the car, Dad. Please don’t yell at me when I’m driving.”

My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.

Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts. Dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him?

Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington  and  Oregon  He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often.

The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his powers.

The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn’t lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn’t do something he had done as a younger man.

Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing.

At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived… But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone He obstinately refused to follow doctor’s orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone.

My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust.

Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue..

Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad’s
troubled mind.

But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it.

The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered in vain.

Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, “I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article.”

I listened as she read.. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.

I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons too big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen a dog  in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world’s aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed..

Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hipbones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention.. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly.

I pointed to the dog “Can you tell me about him?”

The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement. “He’s a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we’ve heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow..” He gestured helplessly.

As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror. “You mean you’re going to kill him?”

“Ma’am,” he said gently, “that’s our policy. We don’t have room for every unclaimed dog.”

I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. “I’ll take him,” I said..

I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch. “Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad!” I said excitedly.

Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. “If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don’t want it” Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house.

Anger rose inside me It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples. “You’d better get used to him, Dad. He’s staying!”

Dad ignored me. “Did you hear me, Dad?” I screamed.

At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate.

We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw.

Dad’s lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw. Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal.

It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne.  Together he and Cheyenne  explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and  Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet.

Dad and  Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years. Dad’s bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne  made many friends. Then late one night I was startled to feel  Cheyenne’s cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father’s room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night.

Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad’s bed.. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad’s peace of mind.

The morning of Dad’s funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life. And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

“I’ve often thanked God for sending that angel,” he said.

For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article….

Cheyenne ‘s unexpected appearance at the animal shelter. .. ..his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father. . and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.

The Old Man and The Dog, By: Catherine Moore.

Thankfulness For Our Furry Friends

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A Final Offering to a Furry Friend

An unforgettable true story of a grieving dog’s gift to her buddy in heaven.

By Theresa Olive

“Several years ago, our family rented a house that had a basement apartment under ours. The young couple who lived below us were quiet and unobtrusive. Their dog, however, was not. Cody was a typical black lab; a big, tail thumping extrovert. He loved to greet us by planting his huge paws on our chest. Our dog Tasha, an English Setter mix, was a kindred spirit. Because she shared the yard with Cody, they soon became fast friends. We often saw a blur of black and white fur as they raced neck and neck toward some hapless bird that had just landed in their territory. The only time I saw any conflict between the two dogs was when we fed Tasha. Cody would bound up, expecting to share in Tasha’s bounty. However, Tasha would bare her teeth and growl menacingly. Cody would change his strategy, dropping to his belly and inching slowly toward Tasha’s dish. But this ingratiating behavior did not impress Tasha. The closer Cody got, the more Tasha snarled and snapped. Finally, Cody would slink away with his tail between his legs—until next mealtime, that is. Then Cody, ever the optimist, would replay the scene, with the same disappointing conclusion. One day my husband Jeff came home visibly upset. He had just found Cody lying by the side of the road, killed by a speeding truck. Tasha sniffed at Cody’s glossy black fur and whined. Over the next few weeks, Tasha was listless, her tail drooping. She obviously missed her old friend. At the same time, Tasha’s food dish disappeared. We replaced it with another, only to have that one vanish as well. There followed a steady succession of bowls, aluminum plates, even an old coffee can. They all disappeared. Finally, the mystery was solved when our neighbor knocked on our door, her arms loaded with the missing dishes, some still half-full of dog food. “Are these yours?” she asked.When Jeff and I nodded, she explained, “I saw Tasha headed toward the road, so I shooed her back. Then I noticed all these dishes in a pile.” Puzzled, I asked, “Where were they?” “Well, you know,” she answered thoughtfully, “it was right by the place where Cody died. Isn’t that odd? Surely Tasha couldn’t…” Her voice trailed off in confusion.

Jeff and I exchanged glances. Could Tasha have been enticing her old friend back by offering him the one thing she withheld from him when he was alive? Even today, retelling the story gives me goose bumps. It raises questions about animals’ intelligence and emotions.

It also reminds me not to wait to show love to those around me. I need to share whatever blessings I’ve received with others—before it’s too late.” From: A Final Offering To A Furry Friend, By: Theresa Olive