In the space of a month, the house I was renting was robbed, a pitbull attacked the little dog my young son had on a leash, and I found a used syringe in the yard where my children played. Most of the residents, including the police, told us something like, “yeah, it’s bad everywhere.” No, it wasn’t, because we packed up and moved to a better area, the second move in a little over a year. Things were not looking good for us. I hated leaving my family alone after the robbery, so I decided we needed a dog.
I found a boxer rottweiler mix—a fine watchdog. We named her Rosie. Our new house had almost an acre fenced in with a privacy fence, perfect for the dog. Two days later, I got a text from my wife that Rosie had escaped. She found a low place in the fence that she could crawl under and made it through. I was already heartbroken about what the boys would do with their brand-new puppy gone. An hour later, I got another text that they found her. She was a few blocks away, on a neighbor’s swing set, at the top of the slide.
She ended up topping the scales just under a hundred pounds, and when she got excited, her tail would wag something fierce and look out if you (or any of your possessions) were near it. I had an acoustic bass guitar I kept on a stand, and more than once, I would hear the bass thumping as her tail slapped the strings.
When she was still a pup, and my youngest was too, he was sitting at the kitchen table with Rosie near him. My wife heard the dog howling. When she came to see what all the commotion was, my son was having a seizure. He started having around 100 seizures a day. Rosie became his protector and followed him everywhere. If I picked him up, Rosie would bark at me for messing with her boy. She knew something was wrong and guarded him fiercely. I wanted her for a guard dog, but the only people she ever barked at were the FedEx delivery man, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and anyone who messed with her boy.
She had been sick for a long time, and I knew it was coming. I hate death. I hate sickness and disease. I hate the sin that brought it into the world. I hate saying goodbye and being sad. I hate the temptation towards apathy. If you don’t care about anything, then nothing can hurt you. The death of a pet is one more reminder that death is coming. Life is short. I’m thankful for Christ. I’m grateful that he beat death and rose from the dead. I’m thankful that He became a curse for me so that I have the hope of eternal life, the resurrection, and the new heaven and earth, where there’ll be no more pain, sorrow, and death.