Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Family Pet (05/15/08)
TITLE: Mrs. Abbott’s Best Friends
By Tim Pickl
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I always admired Mrs. Abbottâ€™s faith in God. Her love for the Lord obviously motivated her to keep going, after losing Mr. Abbott to a heart attack 20 years prior. I appreciated Mrs. Abbottâ€™s presence in the neighborhood, and I always tried to be a blessing to her. She lived just a few blocks away from me.
Every time Mrs. Abbott walked FooFoo past my home, I stopped her, and we chatted.
That last day in the spring was no different.
â€śFine day for a walk, it isâ€¦ Godâ€™s been good to me and FooFoo over the years, He has... God always makes a way, He does.â€ť
â€śYes, He does.â€ť I didnâ€™t want to say much more, because I noticed FooFoo was badly limping, favoring one foot. The dog didnâ€™t look well at all. Concerned, I asked, â€śIs FooFoo okay?â€ť
â€śOh, childâ€”FooFoo doesnâ€™t have long for this olâ€™ world.â€ť With tears, she bent down, and scooped up FooFoo in her arms.
â€śHere, let me help you.â€ť
I carried FooFoo for Mrs. Abbott back to her house.
She repeated herself as we said our goodbyes, â€śGodâ€™s been good to me and FooFoo over the years, He has.â€ť
FooFoo died that night while Mrs. Abbott slept.
That summer, I decided to get a puppy. I loved Brittany Spaniels as a child, so I thought Why not? and purchased a precious little boy spaniel, whom I promptly named Spencer.
Spencer the Brittany Spaniel--kind of had a cute ring to it. He sure was cuteâ€”a beautiful combination of liver and white colors. Spencer would just look at me with those expressive eyes and I would melt and give him anything he wanted. But, he had one flaw--
He loved to run away.
The first time he ran away in the fall, I found him immediately, thank God. Over the winter, I learned to wait, because I knew heâ€™d get cold, and want to come home to his nice warm bed. Sure enough, it worked, and I soon would hear him scratching on the back door, whining.
Spring came around again, and Spencer smelled something in the wind, and somehow got away from me and ran away. This time, he didnâ€™t come back, and I got really worried. I hopped in my car, and prayed as I drove down the street.
â€śLord, please help me find my crazy dog. Please keep him safe. Heâ€™s just a pup, and doesnâ€™t know what heâ€™s doing.â€ť
Spencer walked out from one of the neighborâ€™s yards, smiling like dogs do. I couldnâ€™t stay angry with him too long, because I missed him so much, and God answered my prayer, and I was so happy to have him back.
That summer, Spencer was big enoughâ€“and apparently clever enough--to open the gate with his nose, and ran away. He was gone for a few days. I thought maybe one of the neighbor kids let him out. He did this several times until I witnessed it for myself.
That dog was smart!
In August, during the â€śdog days of summerâ€ť I saw an obituary for my neighbor, Mrs. Abbott. That weekend, I went to Mrs. Abbottâ€™s church for the Memorial Service. It was an emotional time, and while the people were greatly grieving, I observed they were comforted by Godâ€™s peaceful presence.
Finally, Annie, one of Mrs. Abbottâ€™s granddaughters, stood up to memorialize her Grandma.
â€śI want to thank God for my Grandmotherâ€™s good neighbor, Mrs. Pickett today. Over the past year or so, since Grandmotherâ€™s dog FooFoo passed, Mrs. Pickettâ€™s dogâ€”Spencerâ€”miraculously showed up on several occasions.â€ť She stopped, wiping away big tears. â€śOne time, in the winter, my Grandmother slipped on her porch and cried for help. Spencer barked until someone called 9-1-1. Then, this summer, before Grandmother passed, Spencer showed up, let himself into my Grandmotherâ€™s back yard, and sat with her next to her wheelchair. He was sent there by God to be a comfort to my Grandmother.â€ť Annie looked right at me. â€śMrs. Pickett: Thank you.â€ť
Shocked, I started balling.
I had no idea.
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