Another sad day. And yet, …

It feels like too many sad days.

And yet …

As Christians, we believe that every good gift comes from God.

As Christians, we believe that everything happens for a reason.

As Christians we believe that even the worst things that Satan does can be turned into something good by God.

Yesterday, we had to put down Hachiko – that’s him on the right.  He bit my wife a couple times in the last few weeks.  The last was more like an attack.  He’s a Chow Chow mix – and had a lot of Chow characteristics, including the “one person” attachment thing.  That one person was me.  It was bad enough when he bit my wife one night – she was giving him a treat, and we thought maybe he was confused.  But then he just grabbed hold of her foot and wouldn’t let go a week and a couple weeks ago.  When I came in the room to see what was going on, he let go.  But I had to tell him “No!” several times to get him to stop growling at her.  That was too much.  Normally a snap of my fingers and then two fingers pointing down are enough to get him to stop whatever he’s doing and sit.  He’s way too powerful for my wife to be able to protect herself.  It took too long for him to respond to me.  But if I wasn’t even there – the results could have been catastrophic.  

We had six great years with Hachiko.  We also think he had six great years with us.  He was abandoned and abused before coming to us.  Badly abused, I’d say, since he was initially afraid of literally everything.  Neighbors and others who knew him were totally amazed at the change in him over the years.  Fortunately, I’ve been retired for the last 3 1/2 years, so I had plenty of time to spend with him.  When he was comfortable and not afraid – he was such a sweet dog.

Then something happened.  We figure probably a brain tumor – because he just changed overnight to become aggressive towards my wife.  All the time he was with us, when Hachiko was afraid of something, his instinct was to run – not to attack.  It seemed he’d only go into guard mode if he thought me or my wife was in danger.

It was very sad.  He had to be quarantined for 10 days, since there was a bite involved.  Then, because my wife was, definitely understandable, afraid of him – we couldn’t keep him.  Given his age, his fear of new people, the “one person” characteristic of a Chow, and the life span of a Chow, it would have been cruel to him to put him up for adoption.  Everyone, including our vet, agreed there was only one choice.

If you’re a regular reader, you probably know we lost one of Hachiko’s brothers – Dewey – to cancer a year ago, after an eight month battle with lymphoma that went to his brain.  Another sad day.

And yet …

it shouldn’t be all sad, because … 

As Christians, we believe that every good gift comes from God.

We totally believe that both of these guys, and their other three “brothers”, were all gifts from God.  

As Christians, we believe that everything happens for a reason.

This article is part of a series – learning from dogs.  The link to the series is at the top of the page.  Each of them has played an important part in our lives – and we’ve learned so much from them, including something about how we should relate with God.

As Christians we believe that even the worst things that Satan does can be turned into something good by God.

Besides the things my wife and I have learned, these guys have been the topic in some of my classes, and certainly in the things I write.  As such, they continue to touch the lives of people who never knew them, even after they’ve passed on. 

There’s one other thing – some Christians believe this, while others don’t.  And I don’t believe there’s a church that will officially say I’m correct about this, but there’s a passage in Romans that I really hang on to –

Future Glory

Ro 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

Ro 8:22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

If all of creation is wait-ing, and has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth, and creation itself will be liberated from bondage – why couldn’t our guys be there waiting for us after we “go home”?  

Church / religious doctrine?  No.
Something we hope for?  Absolutely!

One things we do know for sure – 

Rev 7:17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd;Rev 7:17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

So yes, we could remember only the sadness of their lives ending.

However, there’s another choice – remember the sadness, acknowledging the hole left in our lives – but also remember all the happy times, the things they brought to our lives, and the things they brought and continue to bring to other people’s lives.  

I hope that Hachiko is reunited with his “brother” Dewey – and that he’s now met his other “brothers” Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty – and that we’ll all be together again with his remaining “brother” Donnie, who’s still with us – and with any other “brothers” that may come into and bless our lives.

Sadness?  yes.

Joy?  yes.  Far more joy than the sadness.

I thank God for everyone one of them, and feel blessed and honored that He saw fit to have us be the ones to care for some of His creations.

See you soon Hachiko…

2 thoughts on “Another sad day. And yet, …”

    1. Thank you so much Lisa. Hachiko taught me a lot – patience, the importance of caring, trusting me like I should trust God. That’s a legacy that will live on.

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