Recently we lost our 14 year old toy poodle to congestive heart failure. (His name was “Jacque Pierre de Orlean,” but we usually called him “Boo” or “Orlean.”) We woke up Sunday morning, August 19, to find that he had passed away in his bed. Our hearts are broken, as he was as much a part of our family as we are. In fact, we often joked that this was his home and he just allowed us to stay with him. I’m sure other pet owners will understand this.
Throughout reflecting upon the joy he brought into our family and the loyalty of his disposition, I became more and more convinced that he was more like a Christian than most of us. There were certain traits to his character which I see described in Scriptures for you and me. It got me to thinking; I want to be a dog!
He was loyal – Regardless of the situation he only had eyes for his family
He was forgiving – Regardless how we may have done something wrong he always sought to love us.
He was committed – Regardless how he felt when he was sick he always sought to be near us.
He was protective – Regardless of the impending danger he was willing to risk it all to protect us.
He was giving – Regardless of the time of day he always wanted to bring us a toy.
He was convicted – Whenever he did something wrong he demonstrated shame and sorrow by hiding or rolling over in submission.
He was a faithful follower – He knew who his ‘master’ was and followed us everywhere we went.
He obeyed commands – The commands he understood were obeyed as if we were speaking to a human.
He greeted us with joy – Every time we returned home, regardless of the length of time we had be gone, he rejoiced with barking and licking, and met each of us with a demonstration of affection.
He loved us unconditionally – Regardless of how we felt about ourselves because of failures and frustrations, he always held us as the apple of his eye.
I know it is easy to ‘project’ personality traits onto our beloved animals. However, as my broken heart has looked to God’s grace during this time of the loss of our poodle, I have come more and more convinced that I want to be as faithful, loyal and loving as a dog!
Orlean was in our family for 14 years. However, he will be in our hearts forever. Maybe this was just part of the healing of my heart or maybe it is the cry of my heart to be more like Jesus. Maybe…just maybe, it is both!