Pawprints All Over Our Hearts

Sleeping puppy

In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.—JOB 12:10 [NIV]

My husband Jerry’s ability to communicate gradually diminished as his dementia progressed. It became increasingly difficult for him to find the words to express himself. Our canine companion of many years had passed away, a huge loss for both of us. Jerry asked me one day shortly after her death, “Are we going to get another dog? I really miss her.” We had some long conversations about that and listed the pros and cons. He said, “I think I need someone to talk to sometimes and it won’t matter if a dog doesn’t understand my words.”

He was so right, and that was a convincing argument. He wanted a puppy and while I knew that might produce challenges, it would also probably be good therapy for both of us. Little Bailey Bedford Moon owned us from the start. Little pawprints all over our hearts. She was a rascal at first, with a huge personality, but also a total angel warrior of God. He sent her to love us and she provided us with an abundance of nonjudgmental companionship, a sense of purpose and wellbeing, and a way to communicate lovingly without words.

Through Bailey, God taught us about love and acceptance, and unequivocally about the joy of unconditional love. He blessed us with the ministry of her presence.

Today's Prayer:

Dear God, we thank you for the creatures that you created to love us. Hold them safely in the palms of your hands.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts