Right after our sweet dog Lucky went to heaven, I went on a long walk. I was of course feeling very sad. No sooner had I rounded the corner from my neighborhood when a loose dog came charging at me. I didn't have time to do anything before she was jumping on me and licking me. She was obviously young, exuberant, and friendly. No collar. She looked well fed and cared for. She reminded me of my crazy Lucky in his younger days who never met a stranger he didn't like, and was forever escaping and going on neighborhood jaunts.
I couldn't catch the dog, even if I hadn't had a broken rib. She was out for a major gambol, and there was no way she would let me spoil her fun. I wasn't sure what to do, so kept walking. The dog followed me. Fine. Then we will walk up and down every street and maybe someone will recognize the dog.
The dog loved this idea. She raced like a greyhound across the lawns alongside me, always circling back to keep me in sight. Sometimes she raced into the street when a car was coming, and I held up a hand to warn the car to stop.
"Not my dog!" I mouthed apologetically to the driver.
We passed people walking dogs, and she raced over to them to say hello. The people glared at me.
"Not my dog! Do you recognize her?"
They did not.
We walked and walked, up and down each street. I was just taking her picture thinking perhaps I was doomed to have to help yet another homeless creature when a car slowed. The driver pulled alongside me, and rolled down his window.
"Is this your dog?" I asked.
I opened the back door of his sedan, and the dog hopped in.
"She's a sweet dog," I said.
"Yes she is," he agreed, though I detected annoyance. I remembered how I had felt each time we had to go on yet another search for Lucky, the canine Houdini, and build yet another 'impenetrable' obstacle to keep him from escaping our yard.
"Enjoy her," I said softly, closing the door.
Somehow, it all made me feel just a little less sad that Lucky had died. It felt like he had been with me, and I was grateful this lost pet story had a happy ending.
I read a Bible study about how we are not home yet. Not to our eternal home. We are not meant to have unending joy and happiness. That is reserved for Heaven, when we are restored to a full and right relationship with God. However, He gives us glimpses of joy in the trials of life to encourage us, to give us hope, and to remind us of what will one day be.
That is what I experienced with the funny, exuberant, little dog while mourning my own dog's passing.
Hebrews 13: 14-16
For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.