Wednesday, August 7, 2013

External Support

We have a wonderful neighbor who rescued a disabled dog, knowing it would cost her a fortune to try to help the dog. That alone should qualify her for sainthood, but beyond that, she went far above and beyond the minimum surgeries. The dog has had 5 surgeries, many drugs, stem cell therapy ($$$$$$), and on-going physical therapy! But the poor dog still has trouble walking.

"Have you tried a brace?" I asked as Roxanne shared some of her woes.
"No," she told me.
"The Hip Hound Ortho soft brace I got for Honeybun worked wonders for her. And it is only $70. Would you like to give it a shot? I can loan it to you. Cowboy looks to be the same size as Honeybun."

So yesterday I ran the brace over and showed Roxanne how to put it on Cowboy. Just like with Honeybun, as soon as the firm compression helped hold his hips in place, Cowboy was wagging his tail and walking with a normal, steady gate. We walked him half a block and when he finished, Roxanne said he would normally have laid down, collapsing from the fatigue and instability in his hips. He stood steadily, wagging his tail. Roxanne was thrilled and is going to order the brace immediately. Such a simple fix, so inexpensive, with such dramatic results. Why don't vets know about this brace?

It was not designed by a vet. It was designed by dog owners who saw the need, used a little common sense, and then with vet consult, went on to produce the brace. If only all problems in life could be so easily dealt with! Sometimes, when everything that can be done medically is done, all that is needed is a little external support, something that helps hold everything steady and firmly where it belongs.

Like God.

We can struggle and get pretty far sometimes on our own, but most of us will eventually hit our limit. There will always be a point at which we can go no further. Sometimes, the despair is so great over what we cannot do that we give up altogether, and like poor Cowboy, just lie down and not even try to get up. Faith falters, hope deflates, dreams evaporate, and we wonder what is the use to try again when we are so prone to failure. I have found this is when God does His best work sometimes. When I collapse into His support, more often than not, I find a strength that I didn't know was there. He holds me firmly, setting me on my way again. It may not always be the path I intended to follow. But He doesn't let go till I get where He wants me.


For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” (Isaiah 41:13 ESV)

-save a dog-

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