Nine years ago I brought home a six week old German Shepherd. We named him “Chopper”. My wife did not want a dog and for a while domestic tranquility was suspended, but it took only one day and she fell in love with Chopper. Now if you are not a dog (or animal) lover you will never understand how an animal can become a part of your family.
We tend to assign them anthropomorphic thoughts and emotions, and they become an outlet for our need for unconditional love. A dog greets you without question, his affection is constant when you are broke or just inherited millions. He is the object of your children’s love and with that relationship they learn to care. The children learn compassion and concern when the dog is sick, and they learn to share with the dog.
I realize dogs are animals, but there are many attributes about a family pet that can be used to teach about God’s love and our response. Needless to say we are heartbroken about Chopper, especially my wife and youngest son. Providentially in July, I had purchased another German Shepherd puppy named Rudy (Notre Dame). Again my wife was totally against it but I knew that when Chopper died I would not desire another dog so my thought process was that in 3-4 years Rudy would be grown and be there when Chopper died. I had no idea that Chopper would be healthy one day and put to sleep the next.
On Saturday morning as I prepared to take Chopper and Rudy to a scheduled check up I noticed Chopper was listless and with no appetite. After a days worth of tests in two animal hospitals he had deteriorated with inoperable cancer and was bleeding internally. He was put to sleep at 6:00 PM this past Saturday while in my oldest son’s arms, the rest of the family could not bear to be there. I usually do not share things like this but please pray for us and especially my wife. And is this how God feels when someone dies without Christ?
I do believe Rudy will begin to help us heal.