It's a small thing, but then, so is he. A bundle of energy, heat seeker, sweet face and sassy spirit, after eleven years, Happy Dog is still my little boy.
Happy has gone through much in his short life...chemical treatments that sickened him to the brink of death; two spinal surgeries, many a crating to prevent a need for more surgery, I could go on and on, but I won't. Just know that he has suffered much.
Happy Dog has been my faithful companion, my guardian, and he has been by my side through my own bouts with my mortality. We are joined by shared triumphs and tragedies. Our hearts are joined beat by beat. I love him...and...I need him.
If you only knew the times that I have ranted at this dog, for his many indiscretions...a piddle here, and a bundle there, but where does one measure worth. Is it the measure of material things? Or do we measure by the strings of the heart? Happy has taught me to filter all things through my heart. He has gentled me, and he has rescued me from the heartbreak of my past, teaching me to meet the future with courage and anticipation.
His wagging tail has been like a beacon of a playful spirit. We have shared many a joyful romp down the hall, as I, in mock anger, cry: "Bring me back my slipper!" Then off he goes, waving his tail like a signal flag, with me chasing after. We know the rules, for he has made them up. He runs like a rocket, and I try to catch up, which, of course, I never do.
I didn't realize that anything was wrong until he cried out one day. Then we saw his sweet tail, swollen near the tip. We tried. Dear God, we tried. I crated him. He was put on anti-inflammatory medication, but to no avail. His tail...his little flag...will have to be removed.
Oh, how it is killing me. I can't bear to see that little happy tail silenced. It is a tail meant to wag with laughter. Accompanied by his joyful bark, it begs for one to follow into another adventure, which spills so readily from his intelligent mind. Yet, I love him so, I will not let him suffer with such courage, the pain that accompanies his little crushed tail.
So, now, I think about the future. How many more years will God give me with the dog of my life? Hopefully, there will be at least a dozen; yet when the time comes, I will, regretfully let him go. You see, I love him, and I need him. I can see the unblemished love in his eyes for me. I can feel the beat of his heart against my hand, as I lift him up off the floor. That heart will beat for me, without ceasing, until God takes him home. Oh yes! I do believe that there is life after this life for such a faithful companion.
So now, I must make an appointment for the surgery I do not want, to give my little dog a more pain-free old age. It doesn't matter the outward appearance, inside his tail will be wagging just for me. You see, he will always be my little boy.
Father in heaven, through the days ahead, we each have trepidation through many adversities, both great and small. Help us, Lord, to face the future with love and courage, and please, Lord, forgive me as I pray, in this time of great want, for a little dog who has stolen my heart.