For the Love of a Dog, A Life Lesson

by Morgan Ramsey

Snoring is now my new favorite sound in the whole world. I’m being completely serious. I used to hate it with a passion, especially before my dad got his C-PAP. I’m almost 103% sure that his snoring would shake the house. I would hear it in my dreams sometimes. Like I’m not meaning to go on and on, but seriously I would wake up occasionally from hearing it. Meanwhile, my brother across the hall could sleep through a F-5 tornado along with a hailstorm in the middle of a hurricane, and be sound asleep. For real. But anyways I used to hate that sound, until very recently. But let me explain.

wood-animal-dog-petSo do we have any passionate dog lovers out there? Same. We’ve had our dog, Buddy, for almost 10 years now and every day is an absolute gift. And when I say he is the best dog, I mean it’s no comparison. What other dog can successfully play hide-and-go-seek with you and pull off the couch cushions just to aggravate mom? Obviously, he reigns supreme over all dogs.

A few months ago we found a cancerous spot and some fatty tumors on Buddy and our veterinarian decided that he needed to operate. Buddy came through the surgery just fine and was enjoying life just as any other Labrador does. Then a couple of weeks ago my mom and I found another suspicious spot on the back of his left leg. So a couple of days later we took him to the vet and the doctor again decided to operate. We picked him up a couple of days ago, and we thought everything was fine. He acted tired, but normal. Before we went to bed Buddy seemed a little bit anxious so my parents decided to give him his prescribed sedatives. I didn’t think anything more to it, and went to bed.

Around midnight, my mom woke me up and I knew something was wrong just by the way she said my name. “Morgan, something is wrong with Buddy.” So I went into my parents’ room and found Buddy on the floor with my dad lying down beside him. Buddy was lying there and it was all he could do to wag his tail to greet me. Apparently the anesthesia was still in his system and had mixed with his sedative to produce a negative effect on him. He had zero strength and the way he was looking at me made my heart sink. He couldn’t walk and it was all he could do just to breathe. My mom was on the iPad trying to research and see if there was anything we could do. We called the emergency pet hotline number to see if we should bring him into the nearest emergency pet hospital, and they told us that there wasn’t a lot for us to do except give him water, watch him, and pray.

pexels-photo-128817So we prayed. And prayed some more. Dad slept on the floor with Buddy, and I crawled into my parent’s bed so I could watch over Buddy. I would check every so often to see if his chest was moving up and down. About 20 minutes after we settled down to go to sleep, I heard something that in that moment was the most beautiful sound: I heard Buddy start snoring. In that moment complete peace washed over me, because I knew that everything was going to be okay.

Has anyone out there ever been there? So completely panicked that you don’t know what in the world to do? Same. In more situations than this one, I can assure you. Trials are scary. Trials are unexpected. Trials are hard. And the thing about them is that they can make you very, very afraid if you’re not careful. But that night as I was going to sleep I realized something. I’ve been sleeping on the same pillowcase for probably the last five years. And it was just then the verse printed on the pillowcase became alive. My mom bought them for me when I started college, and she probably knew in advance that I needed a verse to actually sleep on to help me fight my anxiety. Thanks Mom.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus”- Philippians 4:6-7.

Ladies, whether it’s your dog, your grandmother, your spouse, your children, your future, your test results, your ACT score, or your siblings, the Lord tells us in His word that worrying won’t add an hour to our life. So why worry? My prayer for you as you are reading this, is that you completely surrender every worry to Him. Every thought, every word, and every action to Him. The God who made the universe and intimately made you cares so much about you. And he promises that everything that was intended to harm us will be used for His good. He’s got you exactly where He wants you in this season! And this trial that you are going through is going to be used for His good! So drop the worry and pick up the cross.

I believe that the biggest way to fight worry is to be thankful in our prayer life, just like it says in His word. So that night as we prayed together, I started thanking Jesus for Buddy’s life, the way he has brought inexplicable joy into our lives, the way that he has been through the good and the bad times, for all of the times that he’s greeted me at the stairs wagging his tail, acting like he hadn’t seen me in years, for the many times he has made me laugh, for all of the snuggles, and even for all of the aggravating times like when he used to pee on the floor when he got too excited or when he pulled all of the cushions out of the couch. Thankfulness trumps worry. It’s true. And as I was pouring out my heart to Jesus asking him to heal my dog, I realized that every time I asked God to heal buddy, he kept giving me even more reasons to be thankful.

Thankfulness Trumps worry

After I told the Lord what I needed, and thanked him for all that he has done, I felt the Holy Spirit’s peace wash over me. And after I surrendered it to Him, I noticed myself at peace and attentive to the details. I was grateful for snoring. I was grateful for a pillowcase that I had used for five years. I was grateful for the blessing of having a dog.

So ladies, what in your life needs to be surrendered? It’s usually the things that scare us to the core. What in your life do you need to truly be thankful for? It’s usually the things that we take for granted every day. But you know what? Once you surrender and say “thank you Jesus”, something incredible happens. You experience the peace of God, which vanquishes every fear, every doubt.

So I ask again ladies. Why worry?