First posted in July, 2012
Last night we lost our big dog, Lindsey. Greg and I sat with her and talked to her as she died. She wasn’t sick so it came as a bit of a shock. She had served us faithfully for over 12 years. She was a rescue dog who came to us a couple of years old and a little rough around the edges, but she grew to be a vital part of our family. She traveled with us to visit family in Colorado and Burnet, Texas. She was my husband’s shadow and went to work with him every day. She was part of our life.
One of the last things I told her was that she honored her creator with her life. And she taught me much about life and about our Father.
She showed me that no matter how bad a life starts out, it can become a really good one.
She was neglected and abandoned. She was emaciated and sick when she was found. She was nursed back to health and she needed a home — she needed a family. And we wanted her. We taught her to play, how to become an inside dog, how to stay home and how to be part of a family. She taught us patience and grace. We bonded. She reminds me that the future doesn’t have to be controlled by the past. It lies ahead, and can be redeemed.
She showed me that time plus presence equals love.
She was a wonderful example of unconditional love. She was always happy to see us, ready to curl up at my feet, next to Greg on the couch or under his desk. She welcomed two additional dogs into the pack with grace. Her constant presence and her quick response to a whistle or call emphasized her readiness to do what was asked of her and just be near. It reminds me that my time is important and so is my physical presence.
She reminded me that having a friend makes everything better.
While she was short on actual words, she was big on communication. She spoke with her entire body. She had a look that said, “I understand,” one that said, “I’m sorry.” And one that just said, ‘I’m here.” She had a way of leaning up against me when I was hurting that was so comforting. She would sometimes lay under the table next to me while I studied. She reminds me just how important friendships are to me, and mine to others.
She showed me that if you aren’t the one in charge, that it is better not to lead.
I said she was my husband Greg’s shadow, and she was. If he was moving she was with him. She was usually behind him. But sometimes, she would try to lead. Sometimes she got it right and knew where he was headed, but most often, he would end up tripping over her or bumping her out of the way. I often heard, “Lindsey move!” when Greg was headed someplace in the house or the yard. It reminds me that if I am not careful, I can get in the way of what God is trying to do. My place is to follow, not lead.
She showed me that a life well lived gives glory to her Master in heaven.
She was created a dog and she lived life as who she was. She never doubted her calling. She was content to be our dog. When it is my time to be ushered into the presence of my heavenly Master, I hope His words are similar to the ones I bid Lindsey farewell with, “You have honored your Creator with your life.”
Well done, sweet dog. Well done.