I think of many memories of my dog Leo, but one came to me this week of which when I look back on it, I can only share and smile. Our Christmas Eve was spent in Colorado where Leo was receiving treatment for lymphoma. He made a miraculous reversal in health in the first couple of weeks as we went day to day trying to figure out our new temporary home and city of Fort Collins, Colorado.
I was not planning on bringing Leo outside of Fort Collins until he was in full remission, but on Christmas, God placed it in my heart not to wait. So we journeyed a long winding canyon to Estes Park. Leo was now strong enough to look out the window where we saw many things, including a herd of elk.
We spent the morning in Estes Park, where we visited some shops which were open where Leo made quick friends with the owners of these businesses and also customers. I had not planned on this in the past, but here we were. It was a nice sunny day, beautiful weather. What we take for granted as well comes to mind, the restaurants were still open. I was able to administer Leo’s chemo in the warm entry of one.
But the great memory I have is when we traveled back to Fort Collins. The year I adopted Leo as a puppy, I went to a small church near the downtown for Easter, and since it was Christmas Eve, I thought why not go there. Leo had never been to a Christmas service, so this would be a first for him.
Upon arriving at the church in afternoon, the lower section was filled, and the only available seating was upstairs. The stairway was rickety, dark, and winding. And Leo and I climbed these stairs. I can only think now, is how Leo did this. He was not in the best condition, but didn’t object. He climbed these stairs with me. As we got to the top, we found a seat. Leo sat through the entire service by my side. I don’t think anyone there would recall a dog being there because Leo was behaved, and silent.
At the end of the service, I was worried because we had now to go down that same rickety dark staircase. Leo made it with ease. He had no sickness, no signs of his cancer either. I don’t recall anything of the service, but I do recall now how pleasant this really was considering what we were going through.
I had hoped it wouldn’t be his last Christmas, but realized it very well could have been. And what a better memory for me than this. Leo was a remarkable blessing from God. And God’s providence led us to this church on a Christmas Eve. It was just Leo and I in this foreign city surrounded by people we didn’t know. This time he was with me as God was with me.