September 7, 2016
Now, I finally come to the story that showed me, in no uncertain terms, that not only does God answer our prayers, but He used this to show me how He can use the things we go through in this life to teach us what the Lord meant when He instructed us to only “pray in the spirit”, asking Him only for what He already knows that we need, and how He actually coaxes us to ask things of Him, Himself! That’s what happened that day we’d spent long hours at the local Vet clinic, waiting for the final verdict concerning our little puppy, Major’s, fate. He was so sick!
The Vet couldn’t seem to figure out what was making him so ill. He had begun throwing up that morning, and he wouldn’t even try to eat his food of course, and was even throwing up water. He was listless, too, and so miserable. We had bought him from an Amish farmer in Lancaster county over in Pennsylvania on Thanksgiving Day only a few sort weeks before, and he had told us Major had been wormed, and given his shots, including for Parvo, so we couldn’t figure out what was making him so sick.
He had been 2 months old when we brought him home, and he turned out to be one really feisty, chubby ball of fluff! His name was Major because that was the name given him by the man who owned the litter, and his parentage turned out to be a bit questionable, to say the least[!] We saw his mother, who was the sweetest, little Keeshond. She had a lovely grey and white coat, and a curly tail. She looked like a tiny version of a Siberian Husky, and was sweet as could be. However, even though all of her offspring had her curly tail, they also had what I’d call “German Shepherd” coloring–tan, with black on their backs–and, the entire litter demonstrated the same type of reserved shyness around people, with none of them wanting to greet us at all. Instead, they all tried to find places in which to hide themselves. As they did that, they kept looking in our direction with the most cautious look in their eyes, too.
I’d never seen pups behave that way, and it wasn’t until 2 years later that I’d watch a documentary in which the behavior of wolf pups would be contrasted to that of dog pups, and that’s when I saw for myself the same odd behavior in the wolf pups that I’d seen in that litter of pups of which Major was a member! Wolf pups behave totally differently towards people then dog pups do. Wolf pups shy away from contact with people, whereas dog pups usually do everything they can to get our attention!
However, the farmer who owned the pups told us that they were “Black Mouth Curs”. “Old Yeller” was a Black Mouth Cur, not a giant yellow Lab, which surprised me when I found that out! Black Mouth Curs are not found among the AKC’s registry, but only because there doesn’t seem to be an actual standard for that particular breed. I think that’s the way lovers of that breed want it, though. That way, so long as the dog exhibits the characteristic ‘black mouth’, I guess whatever it’s crossed with doesn’t even matter! We didn’t get to see Major’s father while we were there to pick him up, but seeing how sweet his mother was seemed good enough, at least for me it did. I loved Major on first sight! He was such a huge, roly-poly ball of yellow puppy fur, and he was one heavy little guy, too! It was his beautiful, big brown eyes though, that I felt reflected the inner goodness and love the pup had within him. And, it was those eyes that melted my heart, and bonded me to him forever! However, I thought it odd that none of the pups made a bit of noise while we were looking at them all. They simply walked towards the hiding place of their choice, there in the barn, keeping a wary eye on us the entire time. But, it never crossed my mind at all that one of the things Major could be crossed with might just be a wolf! And, of course, the litter’s owner never said one word to us about anything like that–of course.
It wasn’t until Major was playing out in our yard with our Doberman, Tank, that I heard what sounded more like a wolf killing it’s prey out in the woods, than it ever did a small, little 3-4 month old pup simply playing with his new pal, Tank! Major had one horrible-blood-curdling-sounding growl! When I first heard it, both dogs had been romping through about 2-3 feet of new snow out in our front yard. Major, as small as he was, tried very, very hard to not just keep up with Tank, but to best him, as they both ran full-speed through the snow. I had never seen a pup as determined as Major–he just would not give up, and tried and tried to beat Tank, as they raced through the snow like plows! But, once Major became frustrated at not being able to beat Tank, that’s when he lunged at Tank, and out came that blood-curdling growl! It was so chilling to hear!
[Later on, when I had the chance to speak to him about Major’s blood-chilling growl, my husband wouldn’t believe me! I told him that Major’s growl made it sound like I was hearing a wolf killing game out in the forest! He looked at that adorable ball of golden puppy fur, and I think he thought I just had to be exaggerating! Thankfully, though, as I ran towards them both, is when I noticed that Major had just growled, and nothing more. Tank was fine! Not that I should have feared for Tank at all. After all, Major was only 3-4 months old, and Tank was 3 years old!]
As it turned out, while he was a small puppy, Major was “all growl and no bite”, or at least he never did anything more than make that chilling sound when he’d become frustrated at never being able to even catch Tank as they ran around the yard. Tank was a very gentle Doberman, too, and he never once took Major’s growl seriously while they were outside playing. I did, though! I kept a watchful eye on them both, and would run to make certain Major was only growling whenever I’d hear him becoming frustrated with trying, and failing, to catch up with Tank! I was totally impressed with Major, though, because, no matter how hard it must have been for him, he refused to stop trying to beat Tank in one of their foot races around the yard–it was very impressive to watch such a small pup try his heart out like that, and refuse to quit!
One morning, not long after we’d received several feet of snow, Major didn’t join Tank in his run through it. Instead, Major simply sat on the front walk, and looked miserable. Then, he began throwing up, and that was what pushed my ‘panic button’! So, we rushed him to the Vet clinic not far from here, and told the Vet his symptoms, as she prepared to examine him. Unfortunately, I realized I had to leave the room, and the reason was due to Major’s efforts to protect me from the Vet, who was a stranger! He refused to allow her anywhere near me! That’s when I realized he had that black spot on his tongue for a very good reason–he was exhibiting the trait a Chow-Chow is well known for, and that’s being a ‘one person dog’! As sick as he was, he was refusing to stop guarding me from what he perceived as a possibly dangerous intruder! I finally had to leave the exam room, and once I did, he finally let the Vet near him so she could look him over. Bob helped out with that, too.
[To this day, even though he loves Bob, no question about that, it’s still me that he continually tries to protect–even when I wish he would simply relax! He even follows me from room to room, and camps out in front of the kitchen door, or the bathroom door while I take a bath! I just pray that I don’t die before he does! I don’t like thinking about him being like one of those wonderful, but poor little faithful, dogs who refuse to leave their master’s graveside once the master has died–God forbid!]
As I waited out in the lobby of the Vet clinic, worried sick over what might be wrong with Major, I felt so completely helpless! I paced around, went outside and walked around the parking lot a bit, then went back into the lobby, literally wringing my hands over it all. That’s when I began to have this tiny idea growing in the back of my mind at first, and that idea began growing larger, but it seemed to be coming more from within my heart than within my head. It was as though this plea was taking shape from within my heart, but I couldn’t quite put words to it at first. So, I kept pacing around, going out of, then entering back into, the waiting area, or lobby really, since people with their pets walked in and out all the time I was there. It seemed like hours were going by, but I was too fearful to go back to the exam room and check to see what was going on!
I feared all was lost, and that Major was sure to die, and my heart was just breaking! On my last trip back into the clinic’s lobby from out by the parking lot, is when it happened. It happened so quickly, though, it took me by complete surprise! I had just opened the door to enter back into the clinic when, suddenly, from within me, strong thoughts that were not mine, asked me this question, “What do you want?!” As soon as He said that, I blurted out what my heart’s desire was: “I want my puppy back!” As I said that I nearly burst into tears, too! And, I knew automatically that I’d just said that to God, Himself! It had to have been Him who literally had to drag that out of me, because I also feared asking Him to help Major, because I was afraid if I asked for that, then it would break my heart to bits if God didn’t help him–fear was tying me up in knots over it–so, I believe that’s why God helped me by putting enough internal pressure on me until I just blurted it all out! But, I knew the moment I said those words that they went from my mouth to “God’s ears”, as they say. I knew He had heard me for certain! However, what might come of it all I had no real idea. I simply kept hope secretly alive in my heart, and knew time alone would tell.
Finally, after what seemed an eternity, Bob came out of the exam room. The look on his face let me know things were fairly grim for my little guy, too. They had to place a muzzle over Major’s little nose and mouth to ensure that he wouldn’t nip the Vet, or her assistant, while they were trying to help him. I got to see him for a minute before we left, and he looked so completely helpless and defeated, that it broke my heart just to see him like that! I feared that by the next day they’d be calling us with the worst news possible! It was what had happened, though, when I told God that I wanted my puppy back, that helped steady me as we left the clinic for home, leaving the little guy in the capable care of the Vet, and her staff. It gave me one ray of hope that broke through that terrible, grey gloom that had settled over both of us as we went back out to the car. I felt like crying my eyes out, too, and my heart felt as though it had sunk down into the ground as I got into the car, it was so heavy.
The next morning when the Vet called, she told Bob that we could come and pick up Major and take him home, that he’d made it through the night even though they hadn’t expected that. She told Bob that they believed he had Parvo, that dreaded, nearly completely fatal illness that every dog owner fears so much! We couldn’t believe it, but she told Bob that even though Tank had never developed it himself, he may have brought it back into the yard on his paws, and, since Major was such a young pup, he was very susceptible to picking it up, and coming down with it. She told us all we could do was wait and see if he improved at all over the next few days, but she didn’t sound very hopeful. They’d done all they could for him, so, from then on out, it was up to him–and, to God–to get him through the rest of it. She said that either she or the other Vet would give us a call that afternoon, to check up on how he was doing. So, after Bob hung up, we drove over to the clinic to bring our little guy back home with us.
When they carried Major out to us he looked more like a limp rag doll than the vibrant puppy he had been only 48 hours earlier and my heart almost froze! I couldn’t believe how terrible he looked, and they still needed to take that muzzle off of him, so it made him look both ill and dangerous at the same time! But, something inside of me refused to give up on him being able to recover from it all, including recovering from the night he’d had to spend in the clinic with strangers, and while having to wear that awful-looking head gear, as well. That’s when I realized, too, just how much I really loved that pup, and how hard I would work to help him get over it all, no matter how hard that might be, since he’d just been both sick, and traumatized, at the very same time, and I wasn’t very sure if he was even capable of getting over it all, including the Parvo!
However, it wasn’t going to take God more than a few hours to work the not-so-small miracle that would bring Major all the way back to us, and cause me to realize what I had just witnessed–the answer to that rather forceful exclamation I’d made the day before–God giving me my puppy back, in no uncertain terms! It literally happened that fast, too–one minute Major was just laying on the floor, seemingly disinterested in everything, including life itself, and the next minute he was up and actually eating! He’d even gathered up enough energy to growl, and fuss, at the cat, who had gotten too close to his food dish–I couldn’t believe it! Just about then the other Vet called, and he asked me how Major was doing, and I told him, and I could hear happiness in his voice as he told me how wonderful that was, and that he was totally surprised! He had not expected any good news when he called, so hearing me tell him Major was not only up and eating, he was strong enough to grouse at the cat at the same time, was better news than he’d ever expected! So, all of that rated a huge Alleluia, and amen, and the biggest “Thank you!” to our heavenly Father that I could muster!
So, that’s the story of how God gave me back my puppy, and in no uncertain terms, either! Telling God ‘thank you’ just never seems like enough, though, does it, when He’s done something so wonderful for us, something that, without Him, would never have even been possible?! But, just telling Him how grateful I am, then giving Him my love by obeying the commands of Christ, which are to love God above all else, then to love others as we love ourselves, will have to suffice, since what else could any of us ever give God that He doesn’t already have, but our love and faithfulness to His will for us, and our trust in Him, and in Jesus as our Lord and Savior?! [ Amen!]
“May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.”