How can I possibly ask, who am I to complain? I’ve been so tired the last month or so. Donnie, the little guy in the picture, has to go out and do his business every hour or two, pretty much 24-7. I get so little sleep that I’m constantly exhausted.
You see, when dogs have kidney failure, there’s no dialysis like with people. Instead, they get something called a SubQ injection. Subcutaneous fluid injections, that put the fluid under his skin, but somehow not any deeper. Then, over the next 24-48 hours, his body absorbs the fluids. That means he has to go more often.
But it’s that process that removes the toxins from his body. All 12 pounds of him. With the little bladder that comes with that tiny body.
So yeah, I could complain. But really, who’s worse off? He’s probably got a year to a hear and a half to live. Or less.
With that in mind, who am I to complain?
Donnie’s “only ” a dog
Some people will say that. But not me. He’s part of our family. He’s also part of God’s creation. On top of that, Donnie’s already been abandoned twice!
Donnie was part of a litter that was left behind when his original owner lost their house. Yes, I feel bad that someone lost their home. But really, was it necessary to leave those puppies behind without food or water? They all lived on nothing but grass until they were rescued by a shelter.
Probably because of that, Donnie’s had digestive issues his entire life. He has to get a regular strength Pepcid every day, as well as another pill to calm his stomach. Then, every few weeks when he vomits from still having too much acid, we get yet another pill. So who am I to complain?
Even after getting rescued though, Donnie was adopted and returned to them again. Thankfully. If it weren’t for that, he wouldn’t be part of our family. And based on the way his first two “families” treated him, probably wouldn’t be alive today either. Again, who am I to complain?
But Donnie is also part of God’s creation
Like I said – Donnie’s a dog. And some people wouldn’t go through what we’re doing. Or even understand it.
Ge 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Ge 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
Ge 1:27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Ge 1:28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Ge 1:29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
Think about verse 28 – Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.
We don’t all agree on what that means.
Many who claim to be Christian have no problem with “rule” being taken as – do whatever you want.
But others of us take that to mean we have a responsibility to God to take care of His creation.
Not only that, but when we bring one of God’s creature’s into our homes as pets, we have even more reason to care for them. I think when we do it “right”, they become like part of the family. No – they aren’t people. However, they are special in their own way. And by “adopting” them into our families, we make additional promises to God to care for them.
What about non-Christians?
Am I making these statements about adopting pets and the care we should take for them to non-Christians? No. I sincerely hope that everyone who brings a pet into our homes will take good care of them. However, as Paul and James wrote, it’s not my place to judge someone who’s not Christian, expecting them to live up to the kind of life we Christians should lead.
So who am I to complain, compared to Donnie’s kidney failure?
This question came up when I was sitting in my car at the vet’s office. Donnie was inside, getting a blood test to monitor his progress with the SubQ fluid treatment. BTW – he’s doing well.
I thought about the fact that he’s generally in there for an hour getting the injection. It takes that long mostly because he’s, as they call it, “very willful”. He struggles a lot. In fact, that’s why he’s still going to the vet’s for the injections. Normally, it’s done at home. But they said he’s fighting so much that they don’t think we’d be able to do it ourselves.
So while he’s going through all that, who am I to complain?
On top of that, he has to switch to a kidney-friendly food. Since he has the digestive problems from eating grass as a puppy, he has an incredibly hard time switching food. Most dogs can change from one food to another within about two weeks. Not Donnie. It’s going to take at least three months! During that time, we have to watch him very closely to see how he’s reacting, giving him additional meds if it’s not going well.
Again, while Donnie’s going through all that, who am I to complain?
The really big reason to ask, who am I to complain?
OK – all that is important to me. As I said, some of you won’t get it. Others will be “touched” by it. Hopefully, most of you will get it.
But here’s the big thing for Christians.
As this was all going through my mind, I saw something in my car. I’ve had it in every car I’ve ever owned, going back almost fifty years. During that time, one of the cars was stolen. Even though the car was pretty much stripped, it was still there, untouched. Most of the center console was also intact, because that “thing” was hanging from it. I also had a car that was totaled in an accident. Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to remove it, although I did leave a whole bunch of other stuff – partly because I forgot and partly because the damage to the car kept me from being able to reach it.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, it was a crucifix. A cross from my Catholic days, with Jesus on it.
I looked at that, and beyond anything else that happened, or will happen in my life – and I had to ask, “who am I to complain?”
This is one of many articles I’ve written on the topic of what I’ve learned from my dogs. We’ve had five over the years. Donnie has known every one of them. And now, he’s the last one standing. They’ve meant a lot to us. Provided so much joy. And have taught us so much. If you’d like to check out the others, they’re at
Learning from a dog