His Last Thanksgiving

Today I write on Thanksgiving to reflect on my dog Leo’s last Thanksgiving which was just two years ago. God gives us these pets to learn many things.

Leo, 7 years old, was given a death sentence of lymphoma just days prior. I decided by the grace of God that we were going to journey to Colorado to possibly extend his life or a possibly a provided miracle. So there was a literal whirlwind which occurred as I had to get everything ready.

Looking back, to his credit, Leo never let my frantic nature during the time get in the way of his love for me. My Mom just returned home from her terrible car accident, and wanted us to see her on Thanksgiving. Leo was quite ill, he wasn’t eating anything, but girded up the strength to just do what he had to do.

But when I look back now, it was IMPORTANT that we went on that particular Thanksgiving to see my Mom, because it would be Leo’s last. They had a special relationship, and she helped him in many ways through his illness. So it would have been easy for me to say “no Mom, Leo is not feeling well so we are just going to stay home”. But we went instead where she and Leo could spend one last time together such as this on a special day in November. Frankly, at the time I was not thinking about it that way. I was just trying to cover all bases, as I wanted to make sure she would be OK while we were gone.

When we arrived at her house, Leo as he always did went straight to the kitchen to find her. He greeted her and then went back to couch in the living room where he laid down. I empathize with him, as most humans in his same condition would have been in an ICU. He didn’t cry, he didn’t complain, he knew what he was doing was in love and important to my Mom. He wanted to give one last thank you to her for all that she did for him in his lifetime, no matter how ill he felt.

It was God teaching me that no matter the circumstance, there is no excuse to be inconsiderate or selfish. And my thoughts now turn to Jesus Christ, who probably at many times agonized on being separated from the Father and Holy Spirit if for just a moment to pay for the sins of sinners who did not care one bit for Him. Through that time, if you read the account in Scripture, Jesus never was inconsiderate or selfish. Would anyone have blamed Him if He just avoided the people around Him for awhile, from just relaxing a bit from all the requests and questions, while the atonement approached? Not in the least. However, He did what He promised to do. The torture and death did not change Him, His love for His children carried through!

What a mere dog can teach you!

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