Saturday, June 6, 2009

I've been dreading doing something for over a year now, but this week it had to be done. I could not put it off any longer. Over a year ago I noticed a lump on the stomach of one of my Boarder Collies, Belle. It didn't seem to bother her and at her advanced age and the cost involved I elected to do nothing. She had a litter of healthy puppies this spring that seemed to kick the tumor into high gear. I have been watching it carefully not wanting to do what I knew had to be done soon. To be frank, I did not to put her down until I could dig a proper resting place for her on my property. I live in the country where it is permissible and possible and I wanted to keep her here. To some, especially my family, that will sound strange since I have never visited the resting site of my own parents, grandparents or Poppy nor do I have any intention to do so. Anyway, the tumor finally started to rupture and the demand for action came. She had to be put down mercifully or slowly bleed to death. She did not appear or act like she was in pain, never did. I hated to do it but love commanded no other choice. I realize that some who might read this might judge me in any of a zillion ways. Some might see me as a heartless cold blooded killer. Those who really know me know differently. They know that my actions were always based on the best I could do for my dog. Could I have done surgery a year ago? I could have, but my opinion was because it was not a pain to her and at her age surgery would likely shorten her life, I chose not to. Her tumor never stopped her from doing the things she always did as a free roaming ranch dog. I wanted to keep her as long as possible...and I did. Some who do not know me may think me cruel or even if they only viewed the final scene, wrathful or vengeful, missing the whole story completely. I might be able to explain my way back to neutral ground with them, but never likely acceptance....unless they got to know me personally. William Law wrote something on this subject in Spirit of Love. To paraphrase, he said that most folks who do not know God, and even some who do, do not understand what they see as the wrath or vengeance of God. They cannot understand because they do not know Him as he truly is: LOVE. Wrath and Vengeance, although rightly ascribed to Him by scripture do not exist IN HIM. He is Love alone. At the foundation of EVERY action of the wrath of God is his perfect love for His creation. To be honest, I do not understand all of that completely but I do believe it to be true because Scripture does declare that God is Love. I want to look at God's actions the way I hope you can look at my recent act. If you can't understand the work of my hands, at least try to understand my heart. the shack discussion guide

5 comments:

Ray and Janell said...

You did the right thing for Belle at the right time, and in the right way. Growing up as the son of a practical theologian on a midwestern wheat and cattle farm, my father often quoted appropriate scriptures whenever the situation presented itself ... here's one he used a lot: "A righteous man cares for the needs of his animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel." Proverbs 12:10 Your care (even in Belle's passing) reflects good stewardship of her life and your resources.

Jarrod Haggard said...

What if it was just a really big ingrown hair? ...just sayin'.

Great analogy though.

shauna said...

I'm sorry you had to put your dog down. I dread the day that seems to be coming quickly in the life of our family dog. He is almost 12 years old, and 1/2 Rottie, 1/2 Lab. He is my baby. So I hope that he just dies one day, and I don't have to do that... BUT I agree that it is the loving and responsible thing to do when those circumstances come. But, again... very sorry you had to make that decision.

Aimee said...

Even though you know I am not a huge dog fan, Belle was such a sweetheart and she will be missed. That must have been so hard to do. I know it was hard for me when we had to put down my horse for similar reasons last year. So sorry for you.

heidi jo said...

i'm so sorry you had to go through this. being a dog person myself, i know how hard losing our canine companions can be.

i'm thankful that even in this loss, the Lord is creating beauty by revealing more of himself to and through you.