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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 30 - A picture of someone you miss.


As I've blogged about before I'm not a huge fan of the animal kingdom. But even I, the non-lover of animals, have fallen for a few. 

Until recently I can't remember a time where our family didn't have a dog, and I mean at least one. Growing up we had greyhounds and then the greyhounds had more greyhounds and for a second there I thought we were running a racetrack. Those dogs although fun to run around with were never truly my pets.

Johnny was the first dog I think I truly considered my pet. I was pretty young throughout his whole life so I don't remember much about him except that he was a short fat little beagle whom I loved. I remember thinking that I hadn't seen Johnny for awhile and then someone in my family telling me that they didn't think he would be coming back. That was rough because I was experiencing my first pet loss.
Then came Ace, the little doggy light of my life. I remember getting him and he was just a puppy, I'd slip him into my tutu's and carry him around in a wicker basket. I'd let him chew on my jelly sandals and love him to the max. Ace was always there. He was in the yard waiting for you when you were driving home and he was at the door waiting for you when you'd come outside. He'd retrieve countless numbers of softballs that were over/underthrown so that we didn't have to. Ace was my tanning partner on my roof in the middle of the summer and my walking companion because there was no way you were gonna catch me walking alone in the country! (I've seen those snakes and I hear those coyotes at night, don't think that I don't!)

Ace was the dream dog, the worst thing I ever remember him doing is dragging his 'hunt' into the yard (talk about gross!). I loved to look out on the deck and see Ace curled up in the shade sleeping and our cat curled up on top of Ace sleeping. He was a lover. When Ace died this past summer it was extremely hard on our whole family.

My oldest brother Jeremy with Ace
When I started writing this I had no intention of tying it to God. But in reality everything is tied to Him. He is at the center of all that is good. Not that I'm trying to say that God is like my dog, but reminiscing on my memories with Ace I'm reminded of how God is always with us.

Just as Ace waited for me to drive into the driveway, get out of my car and followed me until I got in the house and then ran to the window to watch from the inside so does God. He is always there waiting for me to come home, to come home to Him.

When Ace knew that I was about to go inside and stop petting him and playing with him and leave him he'd give you that look. You know? That look; that 'stay with me a little longer, I love you, I want to play with you!' look. I imagine that that's the way our Lord looks at us when we leave Him. He wants to be with us and it fills Him with joy when we choose to be with Him.

When I would go inside, even if it were for 5 minutes, once I opened that door and stepped outside again it was like Ace was having a party for my return. He was so happy to see me and he'd long forgotten about my leaving him. It's a lot like the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The prodigal son left his father and wasted everything that he had given him. When the son returned the father wasn't angry at him but rejoiced that his son was back and threw a party. Our Lord loves that we spend time with him. And even though sometimes we leave Him, He is always ready to welcome us back with open arms. He loves us unwaveringly and that is enough.

My older brother Russ with Ace and Tyler


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