This has been a year full of trials for our family in the pet realm. In January are 11-year-old cat, Spike, passed away. He was affectionate as far as cats go, and we miss him. Then, a month ago my little dog, Nala, was attacked by a bigger dog with no warning or provocation. After two nights at the Emergency Vet Service, and a couple of weeks of wearing the cone of shame, she is now fairly well recovered. And now - just as we are relegating that experience to the annals of our family history, Asia reached the point where to keep her alive is no longer the most loving, compassionate decision we could make. Her life, which revolved totally around Norm's and the seasons of the year -especially Fall and hunting time, was lived for the purpose of adoring her master. I must confess, that the animals we have surrounded ourselves with have given me an unexpected glimpse of the kind of relationship God wants with us. I think of the way Asia would lean in toward Norm any time she was sitting next to him, and how her eyes would be focused on his face, just waiting for him to reach down and pet her. Knowing that, he always did reach down and pet her, and frequently give her some tummy scratching, as well. I can't help but think how God wants us to look at Him with the face of adoration, and how focusing on Him helps us to be prepared for whatever He sends our way.
As Asia has gotten older, it has been apparent that arthritis had come to stay, and more recently we observed a mass in her mouth. On Friday, she began having bouts of diarrhea, and a trip to the Vet on Saturday confirmed that the mass in her mouth had quadrupled in size in the past few months, and that the diarrhea was probably a stress-reaction to the pain she's been in. That being the case, Norm made the hard decision that it was time to let her go, and not to let her suffer anymore. Asia - you were a great dog, and we miss you.