THE SPOT in the backyard is now piled high with dead leaves. To the causal onlooker, nothing about it would appear special. But they would be wrong. Dead wrong. It is THE SPOT where my Clancy dog taught me a foundational life lesson.
Clancy didn’t know he assumed the role of teacher as he lay in the grass that early sunny spring morning. He was in the moment: nose lifted high, eyes squinting, and brain in another place. What was going on? What was he thinking? Why the far away look in his eyes?
Six years earlier, Clancy had become our friend. He lived up to the reputation of the Cairn Terrier breed by being as cheerful and playful as his relative Toto on the Wizard of Oz. We often shared the front seat together as we sped down the highway. He would lay on the bed, watching TV with us. And best of all, critics will howl in laughter but I swear this is true, he too became a Chicago Bears fan. How do four-legged creatures often become closer friends than the two-legged variety?
“How do four-legged creatures often become closer friends than the two-legged variety?”
But a couple of weeks before that spring day when Clancy lay in THE SPOT, we noticed odd behavior. He came up missing for hours, taking shelter in the secret nooks and crannies of our small house. The water bowl on the floor started drying up far quicker than ever before as he lapped water like one living in the desert. The boundless energy once on display for all to see disappeared under an ominous cloak of apathy.
Something was wrong. A phone call secured an appointment to the vet for the next day.
After locking in a time for the appointment I let him out back to do his daily duty. Several minutes later I noticed the absence of his customary scratch at the back door signaling his desire to return inside. Looking out the window, there he was, in THE SPOT. Without doubt he was savoring the moment, soaking in his surroundings. At that precise second he seemed more in tune with life than ever before.
The next morning before we headed out, we had a little talk. Seeking to reassure him, I reminded him we had been friends a long time. A little tail wag indicated full agreement. And then, off we went to get some magic pill from the vet.
An hour later I returned home with no friend at my side. The vet, after running necessary tests, determined he suffered from a terminal illness. He had to be put down. Shock. Sadness. Tears.
Just this morning I looked out the window and saw THE SPOT. Immediately I remembered the life lesson Clancy taught me. Sometimes you need to just stop and take it all in. Be thankful for what you have at that one moment. We have no guarantee of tomorrow. Life is all about today. Squeeze it dry. Suck the life out of it. Sniff the air. Enjoy the breeze. Live that moment like it might be your last.
Thank you Clancy. The lesson you taught me will always be remembered.
A touching, but very meaningful post Randy. Thank you (and Clancy) for reminding us of this very important lesson.
Thanks Tim. It really does want me to live life to the fullest.
Aren’t dogs? They do live for the moment. They are grateful for life’s basics: food,water and love from us.On the day of your move, I walked Clancy around as you and others loaded the moving truck.Clancy kept looking for you. He didn’t care where he was going as long as he had you.He lived for the moment as we should everyday.
I really miss being able to have a dog!
Very touching story Pastor Randy. Each animal has a paticular way of showing us how to enjoy life. Growing up on a farm and now raising show animals with Ashley and Nicholas I see life leasons in their goats, rabbits, and pigs. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for reading. We learn a lot from animals!
Wonderful story pastor Randy. It truly does sound like Clancy was taking it all in. God most definitely put animals in our lives as humble teachers, and I have also learned some of life’s most important lessons from them.
Thanks for your comment! I’m amazed at how much i miss havibg a dog. But right now we just can’t have one.
JB & I had such a wonderful friend & companion in our miniature Schnauzer Shelby. She shared our home and hearts for 12 years. She could be quite the scamp but so easy to forgive her mischievous nature as she snuggled up beside us on the couch & yes the bed! Her last year was one a nursing her through congestive heart failure…I never realized before that experience how deep our love for her was. When we had to make that final decision to let her go & rid her of all the suffering we cried as we held her one last time but we mourned her for weeks. I will never forget how she laid her head on my shoulder as I held her while waiting for the vet to come; it seemed she too was grieving our final goodbyes. I agree Randy our dogs do teach us lessons…maybe that’s why God has given them to us.
Thanks for sharing your story. I sure miss being able to have a dog!
thank you for sharing Randy