I came home to find blood on the walls again. It was on the kitchen cabinets. On the glass of the patio door. She’s been here; I knew.
It’s not what you’re thinking. Although it may have looked like a crime scene, and there was much scrubbing with the magic eraser to be done, what came through my house wasn’t a horror story.
It was my daughter’s dog, Piper. A big, black, mixed-breed dog who my daughter got at the rescue shelter. Although she looked ferocious, she was pure love and gentleness!
She’d been rescued once before my daughter found her, but she’d been returned. Seems she was too strong for the first new owner who couldn’t control her on her leash. That’s when my daughter found her. Lainey’s big old heart saw this dog no one wanted. She determined she would be Piper’s place of belonging and she brought the rest of our family into this great love.
The blood I was coming home to once again was from her always-wagging tail. ‘Happy Tail,’ the vet called it.
Yesterday, two years after Lainey and Piper rescued each other, Piper was lovingly and tenderly escorted over the rainbow bridge. After suffering from some sort of neurological event nine long months ago, Piper endured lots of setbacks and side effects. The time had come, and Lainey selflessly and bravely released her.
If I’m looking for God everywhere, I can wipe away the tears to look here. Where is God in this story of Piper’s life? What has my family learned from her, this dog with Happy Tail?
1.Consent to the Rescue! Piper bounded home with Lainey, even though things hadn’t worked out for her before.
2. Love always. Love deeply. Love completely, no matter what. It was Piper’s way to curl up on Lainey’s lap, wrap her giant head around Lainey’s neck and give her a “hug.”
3. Trust the one you belong to completely, even when you don’t understand. No matter what the next steps were for Piper’s treatment, she trusted my daughter’s love for her.
4. Accept help! Lainey picked up this huge pooch and carried her up and down the three flights of stairs when Piper needed to go outside.
5. Use what you have! Because she was so stumbly, Piper would find someone or something to lean against. It was an honor to be used as her kickstand!
6. Don’t fall into the pit of focusing on what you don’t have! Piper rolled right over whatever new setback came with the progression of her condition. Some of the side effects of being on steroids were gruesome. They caused her skin to become very thin and break open. Especially her Happy Tail. But she didn’t let it stop her wag! Or her happy! She rolled with all the contraptions the vets tried to stop her tail from bleeding, eventually succumbing to a neon green cast on that long, strong tail.
7. Be what you’re created to be. Piper never stopped being that joyful dog! She got where she needed to go, although she often took a stumbly, circuitous route. She never let her mobility challenge keep her from getting where she wanted to be so she could be what she was created to be…a comforter, a lover, a minister to every soul she encountered.
Look closely back at that list. Aren’t these God-lessons for us all?
Isaiah 43:7 says we were created for His Glory. If this precious pup taught us all of this, just by being what she was meant to be, how much more can we bring Glory to God by being what we’ve been created to be. Carriers of His Glory.
We do this just like Piper. We consent to be rescued by His Love. We also need rescuing and must consent to let Jesus rescue us. Despite past hurts and things that didn’t work out, believing a place of belonging waits for us in Jesus.
We too can learn to love purely when we know we are loved by the One who loved us first. We learn trust our Abba’s love for us, no matter what. He works all things for the good of those who love Him!
We accept help when we need it and use what we have right where we are. God asks over and over in the Old Testament, “What’s in your hand?” Look around and use what you already have!
We refuse to fall into despair over a new setback. This is how we can be what we’ve been created to be: Carriers of His Glory.
Thank you, Piper, for teaching us all so much in such a short time. Thank you for letting us see God in you. Thank you, precious, tender-hearted Abba, for loving us so much that you have given us these furry teachers, because You love us. Thank you for using a pup to demonstrate your pure love!
If you’d like help seeing the pure love God has for you, please visit my webpage and book a free 30-minute consult with me. As a certified Christian life coach, it’s my mission to help women find the freedom and fullness Christ died to give us.