By: Jim Honeycutt
In my arms he lay, looking upon my face through eyes of trust. Searching for understanding, somehow he seemed at peace even though I was in the middle of an emotional storm. And as the tear that rolled down my cheek fell, I whispered, You’re my good boy aren’t you? You know that, right? You’ve always been my good good boy Paco. Petting his fur gently, I found my hand was shaking. Focusing on my voice he looked deeper now, into my eyes, and as he did my heart burst. After eighteen joyous years, my precious pup Paco had reached the end of his life’s journey. A heart that was failing and seizures when he tried to eat, life had become more torture than reward. But enduring to the end, he looked to me to help him find rest. I had spent the last week of his life with him near constantly. Picking him up to hand feed him, picking him up to take him outside to potty, picking him up to help him stand to drink water, and I would have gladly spent everyday helping him. But this wasn’t life, this is barely surviving, just hanging on and doing it in agony. My Father Walter taught me early on in life that pets are precious gifts that we are lent for a short time. And in that God entrusts us with their well being, we must never be selfish looking out always for their welfare. To compel Paco to continue to endure his pain and failing health, which he would have done without complaint, I believed would have been cruel and selfish on my part. So here I stood in the veterinarian office, facing something I had dreaded for quite a while now, saying goodbye to my much loved Paco paquito.
As the medication began to flow I held him, stroked his face, cried, looked into his eyes and told him I would never forget him. Cherishing the short time God allowed me to hold him and enjoy his life, forever in my heart. Then with the faintest of movement he drifted away. Eighteen years may seem to be a long time when you are just beginning a journey, but at the end of the road, its just to short. At least that’s how it seems to me right now. Extremely difficult, there are times in being a good steward of God’s gifts that we must make decisions that go against our natural inclinations.
I once read a statement from an author where they wrote “Taking good care of everything the Lord gives us is not just an idea or a teaching. Instead it is love in action.” I really like that, more than that, I feel the same way. I believe I show my love and appreciation for all God does for me by taking care of the many blessings He bestows upon me.
Some might believe that having a pet is a small thing. That God doesn’t care if you have one or not. And that might be true. But I know that scripture says in Psalms 150:6 “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Now how can a living creature other than man praise the Lord? I am not completely for sure. Yet I read what the Word says and I trust it as the authoritative directive from my Creator, so if it says everything with breath that’s what it means. I wrap my head around it by thinking about it in this manner; The way I interacted with Paco, the way I lived out my care for him, the way I was grateful for his companionship, these simple actions of love brought about praises to Our Creator. Who designed and created us both. Quite simply God made Paco with the ability to praise Him just like he did me. I don’t know how that works, but then again I don’t need to know. The praise is God’s not mine.
Looking around I see the world is filled with breath. The earth and everything we can perceive or don’t perceive is for the Praise of God. It’s easy to be naive, thinking that man alone has this honor, but Jesus said in Luke 19:40 when told by the Pharisees to keep his disciples praises under control, and I quote “ I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out. I encourage you to take a look around, beyond the way you normally view things, looking for the praise that belongs to our Heavenly Father. Fulfill your duty, live out your creation, bring praise to God in all you do. Taking the utmost care of all His blessings, both big and small. Even little chihuahua’s.