It was May 1, 2006. I drove home from work at 5:30am dreading what I would find. I know the Lord spoke to me that night about 2am with a single word..."Baby"...and I prayed. I had left my 15 yr. old besenji/rat terrier mix the night before covered with a blanket & laying on a heating pad in my parents old bedroom. She had been going downhill for awhile now & I knew her time was close if we did not get the divine intervention I was praying for. I know 15 yrs. is a good life span for a dog but the timing couldn't be worse. These last few years her face had turned very gray & she was no longer the vibrant companion she had always been, especially in these last few weeks. I had never been to this place with a beloved pet before. Maybe, for Baby's sake, I should have taken her to the vet for the easier way out. The very thought of killing my friend was more than I could consider. All I could find in my heart to do was pray & hope. I had no doubt my Heavenly Father gave her to me & I knew He cared what was now happening.
I had prayed many many times for her in her life time & now I was praying for what very well could be my last plea for her. Without this miracle, one day soon, it would be goodbye forever. Troy, my human best friend & God's young warrior had died in 1998. My bond with Baby over the years had made the past 8 yrs. of loneliness bearable. My mom had just died & Dad 5 wks later. Dear God..now the one who was always there through it all is leaving me too.
As I drove those long 12 miles home that morning I was reliving my departure the night before. I had gently taken her by the snout & planted the sweetest kiss on her we had ever experienced. This may be hard for some to understand or for me to explain sufficiently but this time it seemed like the entire love I had accumulated in my heart for her was there as I kissed her in that last moment before leaving for work..all that wonderful love God Himself had given us for each other was present... with God being present in His annointing. It was to be another gift.
I was torn all day about having to work that night & tried desperately, with so little sleep, to get replaced. I believe nothing & no one should die alone. But pets are not considered family & because I worked in a care facility with little 'night' help & supervisors that didn't care to understand, the threat of losing my job loomed if I refused to comply. I'm an intercessor in the Body of Christ & am very familiar with the hordes of hell & how they fight anything heaven does in our lives. I knew who was fighting us & anything God would do in His love for us. Everything in me needed to stay by her side but life dictates the need of a job & hell made sure misunderstandings were being used to harden the hearts of those in charge. I did everything I could to ensure she would need nothing in the night while I was gone. Her temperature had been too low, she hadn't been eating & she could only wobble when she walked. To add to my worries my house was too cold for her because of my financial challenges so I set up a space heater for her. With great heaviness of heart I tried to think of everything & as we shared that last kiss I told her to wait for me in heaven.
The Lord had put this sweet little clown pup with her coat of many colors in my life when it seemed no one had a kind word to say. Even what little family I had here were being so critical. I knew they didn't understand or think what was influencing them but life was so hard when I was trying my best to learn how to walk as Jesus walked, as the Bible teaches. The more I was criticized the more I withdrew. It's interesting to me that around the time the Lord put this spotted beauty in my life I had watched a movie in which a young girl was in a very strict school. In this movie her Dad showed up with a puppy for her as she sat rigid along with row after row of others all dressed alike. I realize in retrospect that having Baby in my life caused me to relax & understand my Lord's unbridled love for us. I realized that my Christianity wasn't about rules, although they are important, but about love. This furry gift from Him brought unbelievable freedom & so much joy & love into my life.
My entire life had always been so serious & about survival but with Baby & my human best friend & spiritual son, Troy, I had learned to laugh. We had been through so much together in these last years. Many times I had shed tears into that mottled coat. When I lost those I loved she was there..familiar..steady..willing to soak up my tears. She always loved me & was always there when I needed love, but for me as a christian, God was intensely involved in that mix. I cannot know the many prayer-filled & thoughtful miles we walked together in those years. Now she was leaving & with her went what was left of our lives when I had learned to laugh & know I was loved. I was afraid to walk through that door. I raced home fearing..hoping it wasn't the time..Please God, please!
I found her awkwardly sprawled out in front of the bedroom door. She was gone. I don't know why but I screamed no! no! no! over & over as though I hadn't spoken those now prophetic words to her, as we parted the night before, to wait for me in heaven. On my knees, I held her in my arms in that horrible moment, as she lay on a cold urine-soaked linoleum floor in this cold, dark, empty house that not too long before was full of life with my parents & our pets. I was screaming & crying into that beautiful fur again for what seemed like 20 min. Then, with quiet resolve, I laid her on the old kitchen counter & bathed that lovely coat one more time. I laid her out on an old army cot in the kitchen & called one that knew about the loss of an animal friend & understood. It is a hard fact to admit but it took me five days to be able to bury her. The old house had an enclosed porch that was very cool so that presented no real problem. I would go out from time to time & stroke that lovely coat, as I stayed before the Lord in prayer still hoping for a miracle & afraid to let go. I could not seem to face how life would be without her home waiting for my returns. I finally was able to put her in the ground, more out of necessity than acceptance, & covered with my keepsake blanket my sister had crocheted for me of many colors. I thought that so fitting. My sister said she felt honored, knowing my loss.
Shortly after Baby's burial I had to move & the old house was burned down. It had lived out its years too. I believe the outcome of my 5 days before the Lord after her death gave me the grace to refuse to feel sorrow for her when sadness would try to come. I determined to thank my God for the 15yrs. He gave me with her. After all, she was His instrument, sent to play His music of love & laughter in a couple of lives full of starkness. The sadness & the intensity of missing her companionship would lift each time I would thank Him..although it would come back periodically. After some months had passed, but when the need for her companionship would be so strong, I would search the internet & I would question if I was trying to replace her. I knew that would be so unfair for another dog to try to fill her paw prints on my heart. Twice I wrote down a phone number but only followed up on the last one. It happened when I was experiencing again the loss of Baby & was thanking the Lord for my precious time with her when an inner voice reminded me of the phone number I had copied down during the last search. I had actually forgotten I had wrote a number down since I would always end a search not sure if I should be looking for another. There were columns after columns of pictures but the one I copied had no photo. Just a line saying: female rat terrier/healer mix, approximately 2 1/2 yrs. old. Surprisingly, I did call the number when I located it & the rescuer said she thought she had posted her picture. She assured me she would send me her picture right away & asked for my email address.
I have taken care of some peoples animals for a few yrs. now & was at their house the day the photo was to arrive. I didn't have a computer of my own so since the library was closed I asked these dear animal people if I could use theirs to check my mail. They of course didn't mind so I proceeded with anticipation. I typed in the needed information & waited as the photo materialized. If ever I was given a gift of wonder this was it. She looked so much like my Baby. The same tricolored face. The same mottled coat. I knew my Lord had done it again! Tears flowed as I sat there enveloped in wonderment. I was remembering how I had talked to my God in this holiday season. I told Him how much I loved Christmas. I explained to Him how awful Christmas had been for along time now (as though He didn't already know how I felt) & even though I knew Christmas was about Him could He help me? It was Christmas Eve when I inquired about this precious little beauty. He heard my hearts cry! I swear, at that moment, it was as if all of Heaven was shouting to me..."Merry Christmas"!!!
I waited to pick her up from a town north of me until I had a few days off in a row so as not to leave her alone until we knew each other. I was so silly as to even get my hair done before picking her up.( I wanted a picture of the two of us on our meeting day..which sadly didn't turn out).
The terrible loss of my first Baby has never been felt again. Baby 2 slept in my arms for the first three nights. She never moved. She would never wander again which caused her to be at a rescue where I found her. And by the way, she was only 7 months old according to my vet. I took her to puppy class right away & never did figure out if she knew this stuff or was just a smart little girl. She lives to play frisbee & has been nicknamed 'Turbo Girl'. And wouldn't you know it..a clown, like her namesake. She has filled my life like none of my other beloved pets are able...just like her namesake! When I come home the house doesn't echo with emptiness anymore because my Baby is gone to her creator. He has created another.. just for me. Who would have thought that was even possible. She is different than her namesake in significant ways...a docked tail, very stand up ears, loves toys & is much daintier. But she's got the same creator who loves me so much that He sent me another furry friend to make the harshness of life alittle more fun.
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