Lessons learned from Sandy, our Golden Retriever
What Do Sheep, Dogs, and People Have In Common?
On January 30, 2018, we were forced to put Sandy, our beloved Golden Retriever, into permanent naptime. I know he was “just a dog” – but he was still one of God’s creatures, one He allowed us to care for and love for 14 years. He was like a quirky family member for sure, but one who was loved by all of us. It hurts. At this writing, it’s been six weeks, but we’re still grieving. We miss him and his sweet presence every single day.
Sandy was a joy, but sometimes he would drive us crazy! He was sweet to a fault, beautiful with soft blond, curly hair, and had the friendliest face ever! We never knew a dog could show so many different facial expressions! In any given situation, we’d see expressions of joy, anger, affection, and humor. Sometimes he seemed to be making fun of us! When angry, he’d get a square nose look. When embarrassed, he’d turn his face away. We called him Mr. Personality Plus.
He was the most obedient dog we ever had. But there were two propensities he had that always got him in trouble! One was to grab something in his mouth when excited. His preference was dirty underwear, one of our shoes, my purse, – or his bed – which he would shred to pieces! These propensities would get him in trouble every time, even though he knew it was wrong. He just couldn’t help himself.
All those traits are now only memories in our hearts. One of my favorites is a scene from 2010.
One day, as I opened the door to let him inside, all I could see was a cloud of white polyester fiber floating in the air all around him. He was covered with it – which he loved by the way! His bed lay shredded like a heap of snow, all around his body. At the sound of my voice, his square nose look appeared. Then the embarrassed turn-his-head-away look emerged. He knew it was wrong, but he’d done it anyway – again.
“And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.
I want to do what is right, but I can’t.” Romans 7:18
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on Him
the sins of us all. Isaiah 53:6 NLT
So, what do sheep, dogs, and people have in common? We are all in the same boat, no matter what our inclinations for doing wrong are. Left alone, we can’t control them because they are inherent to our DNA, passed down from the fall of mankind. That’s why Jesus came to earth. He came to teach us, to love us, and to rescue us from the penalty that was ours to pay. So, He paid that penalty for us. After we turn to Him in faith and repentance, He will give us the power needed to overcome those propensities. That’s real LOVE people. Jesus said this in John 15:13:
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
He did just that. I pray you will thank Him today by asking His forgiveness. Here’s how: