His name is Oscar. Oscar Meyer Weiner… Carpenter. Few people find this surprising, as we are already the proud owners of a cat named Buffalo (whose late brother, WATER. had succumbed to the ways of the road at a young age). Our six year old son, Tyler, had a knack for coming up with some interesting names for our animals, and when we got him his puppy, he didn’t disappoint us.
Oscar is a cute little puppy. His mother is a Jack Russell Terrier, and his father is a mystery. Oscar will never be a large dog, which suits his masters’ mother just fine! Glancing out my kitchen window, I often see Tyler trekking all over the yard, his golf bag slung over his shoulders and Oscar right at his heels. Something about that picture just melts my heart - a boy and his dog.
Tyler loves sports and usually keeps up a running commentary for his own enjoyment as he plays. One day, he was in the middle of a “big golf tournament”. His usual golf partners, Troy, Austin and Michael, were there. The golf balls are set in place and if you look real hard, you can see each player as he steps up to the tee (to the naked eye, it appears that Tyler is the only player).
Austin (aka Tyler) raised his driver into the air, bringing it down with all his might. Suddenly, there was a flash of movement, and little Oscar ran right between the club and the ball. The hit was inevitable, and with a sickening thud, the club connected with Oscar’s side.
Tyler dropped his club in horror, his game forgotten. Picking up his little puppy, he ran to find me up near the garage.
“Tyler, what happened?” I asked, as he came running towards me. He was holding his dog out in front of him in an unusual way, and I knew immediately that something was wrong.
“Did you hit him with your club?” I wondered, having been watching him a moment earlier.
Tears filled Tyler’s eyes as he nodded his head. The puppy’s head drooped and his muscles were twitching in a way that was too familiar to me.
“Quick, lay him down,” I said. Oscar lay on the ground as his body continued to quiver. His eyes closed, and I knew the end was near.
“Oh, baby, I’m so sorry,” I said as I picked Ty up in my arms, “I don’t think he’s gonna make it.” Tyler’s tears became heart-broken sobs as we looked down at his lifeless puppy.
I turned and carried Tyler around the corner of the house. He was devastated enough; I didn’t want him to see Oscar as he lay in the throes of death. We sat down in a chair, my heart in my throat, as I held my hurting son.
Rubbing his back, I whispered, “I know, I know, I’m so sorry you’re hurting. I love you, baby. I love you so much.” How I wished I could turn the clock back five minutes. I would have kept Oscar with me. I would have told Tyler to be careful. I would have done… something.
Setting Tyler down, I peeked around the corner of the house. Oscar was still twitching, as I watched his legs went straight up in the air, and he flopped down on his other side.
Turning back to Tyler, I suggested that we pray for his puppy. Bowing our heads, we told God all about Oscar, and asked that if it was His will, could He please heal our puppy.
As we sat there, God spoke to my heart. He reminded me that He sees me when I have pain in my heart. He speaks in His Word about how He is “our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1 NIV)
I am so glad that I could be there for Tyler during his time of need. It fills me with joy to know that I was able to comfort him, to let him know that he wasn’t alone in his grief. And yet, I find much more joy in knowing that God wants me to come to Him and tell Him when I am hurting. He understands my tears, and He wants to comfort me.
Oh, what a comfort it is, just to hear my Heavenly Father whisper, “I know… I know… I’m so sorry your hurting. I love you, child. I love you so much.”
Standing up again, we decided to wrap Oscar up in a towel and carry him to the shade of the porch. As we lay him down once more, I noticed that his breathing was becoming heavier. Expecting each breath to be his last, we stroked his back and told him we loved him. Tyler was calmer now, so I left him with his puppy as I returned to the house to call my husband.
As I hung up the phone, I looked out the window and saw Tyler sitting in the dust beside his unresponsive puppy. His head hanging, likely wishing Oscar would look up and lick his hand.
How quickly our day had changed! Only twenty minutes earlier, Tyler and I had been out working in the yard together, as Oscar ran along beside us. I went to the door, and called Tyler in.
“Daddy can’t come, but Grandpa is almost here. We’ll wait and let him take a look at your puppy,” I said.
Soon my father arrived. He gently picked Oscar up, and talked softly to the little pup. While he was talking to him, Oscar slowly opened his eyes and tried to rouse himself. Hope coursed through my veins.
Could he still live?
Was God going to heal him?
“I think he is just knocked out,” Dad said, as he lay Oscar down again. “Just let him lay here, and we’ll keep checking on him.”
Sure enough, by that evening, Oscar would wake up for short intervals. Each time, he would struggle to his feet and walk in circles. It was a little comical to watch, but I think the smiles on our faces were more from the joy in our hearts that God had answered our prayer and healed Oscar.
The next morning, Tyler and I were again talking about Oscar.
“I was almost positive that he was dead,” I told them.
“Well,” my imaginative son said, “maybe we should change his name.”
“Change it! Change it to what?” I asked.
Tyler grinned and said, “I think we should call him, Lazarus!”
And so Oscar/Lazarus is once more running at Tyler’s heels as he, Troy, Austin and Michael head out to again master the golf course. But this time, they all stop by the doghouse first. They need to tie up the puppy.