Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Tribute to My Faithful, Furry Friend

Nikolai 7/13/89-4/24/09

Those who have never experienced the devoted love of a wonderful dog have missed out on one of God's greatest gifts. We speak so often of unconditional love, but God has given us a real-life example of it in the love a dog has for his "pack."

Nikolai was such an example. For ten and a half years, he has been by our family's side, through ups and downs, through moves, through daily life. He never once complained if we forgot about him, yet he always rejoiced when we included him. Walks were something to be celebrated, even when they might have been a bit long in warm weather for a heavily-coated dog. Rides in the car were always anticipated...even when they ended up at the vet! It really didn't matter, as long as he was with one of us.

He loved homeschooling! Why? Because it means we are home! He spent many a happy hour curled up on the coach with mom and daughter as they worked through assignments.

He was a "rock star!" Wherever we went, Nikolai was the center of attention with people of all ages stopping to admire and pet him. He gave love to all he encountered in life.

When he was younger, he loved playing "soccer" with a basketball. When there was just a bit of snow on the ground, he would chase the red dot from a laser pointer around the entire yard. He was fabulously beautiful to watch when he ran...long, loping strides with that beautiful tail unfurled behind him.

And that smile. He smiled a lot, even when he hurt from his infirmities, because he was happy to be at home with us.

Then he got sick, and we got to give some of that love back by nursing him back from near death to a healthy weight. And throughout it all, he never quit smiling. His gentle nature allowed him to put up with innumerable shots, needle-pricks by inexperienced, but loving hands, and pill after pill after pill.

And then, without warning, it all ended.

If the depth of the pain and the number of tears shed are any indication of the love we had for him, then he was the most loved puppy in the world.

Yet in the midst of this deep, deep grief, we praise God for the gift he gave us in Nikolai. The joy we have received from him over the years more than makes up for the seemingly insurmountable pain we are experiencing right now. God is near the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18), and that is our family.

Please Lord, draw near....

1 comment:

MaryD said...

So sorry to all of you for the death of your dear furry friend. Blessings as you grieve! It was a lovely tribute.