Friday, October 9, 2009


(This isn't a picture of Heidi, but of the same breed and coloring.)
We buried one of our dogs last night. We have three, but this old stray won our affection and love in a special way. Our area is quite rural and she just appeared one day. A crew was working on a wrought iron fence and gate for our neighbor. After a couple of days they realized she had no other place to go and was hungry. They started bringing her food and she was there to greet them every morning. She was eager and gentle with soulful eyes. She was an Austrailian Cow Dog and behind the gate and fence were cows so she was happy. They knew their project was coming to an end and appealed to me to take care of her when they were gone. I didn't really want to, but who could deny and old stray?

I don't want to say that she was ugly, so I will use the term gnarled. I have since found out that the lifespan for her breed is 12-15 years. If she lived her maximum then she would have been ten when she showed up. She was so trusting and gentle, it didn't seem as if she had been abused. She had a very old and worn looking collar but no tags. I would have loved to know the back story on her. She quickly became part of our family. After a surprise litter of puppies we had her spayed, and her teeth clean. She had hip dysplasia that is a weakness of her breed. However, if my husband I are were going for a walk, she would follow us to the ends of the earth limping along behind us. We would do everything to discourage her, but if we were on foot she was going with us. When her hips were really bad and she was on medication we would drive our car a block away, park it, and then walk. It was the only way to spare her.
We should have named her Ruth because she was going to go wherever we were going. Instead, one day in jest, my husband called her Heidi. I laughed hard. Heidi called to my mind a beautiful, young girl and she was none of those things. The book of Romans says that, "God calls those things that don't exist as though they were." So that is how an old, life worn dog got such a delicate, youthful name.

As we prepared to bury her we had tears sliding down our faces. My husband gave thanks to the One who made her, for giving us the privilege of taking care of her the last five years. I hope when I get to the place that Jesus has prepared for me that I am greeted by a young and healthy Austrailian Cow Dog with soulful eyes.

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