Tag Archives: unconditional love

The Passing of a Loved One

Carl’s friend Leo had to be put down today.  Leo was a very special dog. I know because we had the privilege of taking care of him for six weeks while his human family transitioned into their new home. Leo had a way of letting you know that you were loved.

You will be missed..

People tell us that dogs are man’s best friend. I have to disagree. Dogs, particularly ones like Leo, are more than friends. They are family.  He had a way of sticking to my heart strings and even though I didn’t see him again, he will always have a place in my heart. Pets can do that to you.

Sometimes when a loved one passes on, the pain can be very difficult. All kinds of questions for God arise that usually can never be answered. But even through the pain, gratitude for the experience of having that loved one in our lives should reign over the unanswered questions.

So I want to thank Leo’s family for entrusting us to take care of their four legged “baby”. Thank you Leo, for the short time you came into our home and became a part of our family.  But, most of all, I want to thank you God for creating animals like Leo, who love us unconditionally. 

Peace to you Leo and to your family…..

Good Times

The Power of Love

As Carl made his way down the sidewalk and through the neighborhood, I absentmindedly followed. I was clearly not paying attention as my foot caught the lip of the concrete slab, which instantly caused a stabbing pain to rush through my foot.

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Carl was oblivious to the pain that I was experiencing. He was absorbed by his inner world and what I felt didn’t even come up on his radar. The fact that he didn’t seem to care about my welfare didn’t bother me too much. I know that I can be as insensitive to the needs of others when I get too wrapped up in my own affairs.

As I write this, I am sitting in an airport with a wide assortment of different kinds of people packed all around me. But with the closeness of all the people, I have no idea who they are and what their needs are.

Matthew 22: 36-40 gives us a clear picture of how God wants us to become.

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

As we go through this life, we need to discover the love of God that can only come from Him. Once we understand His love for us, we can begin to love ourselves. And lastly, once we have the love living in us that only He can create, then and only then we can love our neighbor.

So often, we don’t love ourselves enough to give to others. If we can understand how much God loves us it can transform us into confident people that can go beyond ourselves to meet the needs of others.

As for Carl, I know he will never comprehend this concept and thus will never be able to love others. It will always be about him and never about the people in his life. But that is okay. He is only a dog.IMG_4071

A Dog’s Unconditional Love

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It was clear who the culprit was. The evidence lay all around him. A piece of fuzz here and a torn off arm there. Monkey had lost an arm and Carl could care less. He lay in the sun as peaceful as could be without regard to his favorite stuffed animal.

Monkey had come home with him many months ago and had been there for Carl on those first terrifying nights of being away from his dog family. But now, it was clear that Carl had lost interest in the fuzzy companion. All he wanted was something to play tug-a-war with when he was in a fighting mood.

It’s hard to stay mad at this little guy for very long. He is still a puppy and we know he will occasionally pee on the floor or wake us up with his high pitched cry. And even when he does irritate us, we will continue to love him.

Unconditional love. Why is it so easy for people to love their pets when they make life difficult? Is it the look of innocence they give when they are being scolded? Or the way they want to be near you when you don’t think anyone else cares.

John 3:16 states: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The love God showers on us is so much more powerful than the love we have for our animals but sometimes we need a tangible example of what love looks like. So being the cool God that He is, He provides us with our four legged friends to help us understand love a little more clearly.

And hopefully, the next time Carl annoys me, instead of getting angry, I will let it serve as a trigger to thank God for my four legged friend. The little dog who helps me see God’s unconditional love for me.

This post was originally posted in August of 2015 but I wanted to share it again because it illustrates one of my favorite memories of Carl and why I knew God was calling me to blog about him.