Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Addie, Our Pet Rock

Prompting my inaugural post on my brand-new blog is Lysa Terkeurst's contest for prospective writers. The winner will be published in Proverbs 31. This contest has been the impetus for me to create a blog, an idea I've been pondering for several months, and to share a story from our family that I wrote in early December. I hope that this article blesses you.

Addie, Our Pet Rock

“So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.”

Joshua 4:7b (NIV)

Back in July, we added a new member to our family. Our daughter christened her with the noble name Lady Adaline, which was quickly shortened to Addie. Adorable, with wavy apricot-colored fur, soulful brown eyes from her Golden Retriever mother and playful personality of her white Standard Poodle father, this Goldendoodle quickly fit into our family. She adored the children, was protective of them, and was always ready to play. She adopted me as her special human and “dogged” my every footstep. Addie’s flaw, however, was an intense desire to eat everything—and I mean everything! With an almost two-year-old and a four-year-old in the house, she was quite happy with the many crumbs that dropped from barstools like manna from heaven.
However, one day, Addie decided to venture from the edible to the inedible. On Thanksgiving, we found some tell-tale pieces of green plastic that pointed toward the fact that she had ingested part of one of the children’s toys. Addie’s usually huge appetite began to wane until finally she was eating nothing. When the dog who ordinarily followed my every move around the house refused to leave the bedroom, I knew that it was time to take her to the vet.
The vet stated that Addie would need exploratory surgery, which would run about $500. Ordinarily, I would have insisted on the operation with no qualms, but we had found ourselves in a much different financial situation that ever before. A few months ago we had bought a new home, and our other house had not sold. Two mortgage payments a month was beginning to dwindle the savings that my husband had so carefully built up for years. Paying this much money in our current financial straits gave me pause. However, in my heart I knew that we had taken responsibility for this wonderful animal and that we needed to do what was necessary to take care of her. Although I was unable to reach my husband, as he was in an all-day meeting, to make sure he concurred with my decision, I told the vet to go ahead with the exploratory surgery. I was sure that they would find the blockage caused by the toy, they would remove it, and Addie would be fine. I prayed for God to give the veterinary surgeon wisdom and steady hands and to give Addie strength.
Later that afternoon I spoke with the vet who surprised me with the news that they had found no blockage, but the passage from the stomach into the intestines was scarred and swollen. We would just have to wait and see if the swelling would go down. If not, there was a further surgery at a better equipped vet’s office in another area that could be done. I was truly surprised that the expensive operation had not fixed the problem and that we could be headed for much more expense down the road. Would we be able to afford it? What would happen if Addie didn’t improve? The children would be heartbroken. My toddler was already wondering where Addie was.
The next day my husband visited Addie at the vet and reported that she looked weak and worse than before. That night I stayed up for hours praying, although at the back of my mind was a fear that God might think my prayer for a dog was trivial. Didn’t He have much more important things to worry about? My mind drifted to my four-year-old, who was just beginning to understand about God. On her own initiative she asked God to take care of Addie and make her well. If Addie didn’t get better, how would that shape her perceptions of Who God was and what He could do? Suddenly, I realized that it was God’s will for Addie to heal. This situation would be a memorial for our family, just as the Israelites set up stone memorials to remind themselves and teach their children of the greatness and goodness of their God. I prayed to God that we would use this situation as a way to draw closer to Him and teach His nature to our children.
I visited Addie the next day at the vet, and she was very weak. She was, however, obviously happy to see me. She even managed a couple of bites of food in my presence, which was the first food that she had eaten in five days. When I called later that afternoon, she had shown the first signs of improvement. The vet thought that she should be able to go home by the weekend. I praised God for His answer to my prayer! My four-year-old and I thanked God that night for making Addie better. When I called the vet’s office the next day, I was told that she could go home that day, a full day earlier than expected! Addie slowly has recovered at home and is now completely back to normal, playing with the children and chasing the cats!
As an unexpected bonus, my husband went by to check the mail at the other house and found a refund check for medical expenses associated with the birth of our younger child, now almost two years old. The amount of the check was approximately $600, roughly the amount needed to cover Addie’s vet bills! Not only did God heal Addie, but he provided the financial resources we did not even expect.
Our dog’s illness taught our family much. I have decided that Addie will be the first chapter in a family scrapbook which commemorates events that evidence God’s working in our lives. Addie, this beautiful Goldendoodle, this important member of our family, is also a memorial, a stone, or our pet rock, if you will, set up to remind our family of God’s goodness and His personal involvement in our lives.

¨ Read Chapter 4 of Joshua. Why did God instruct Joshua to set up the twelve stones?
¨ What events in your lives show God’s power in your life?
¨ What could you do to make these events tangible reminders of God’s goodness?

Power Verses
¨ “Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.” Joshua 4:6-7 (NIV)
¨ “You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.” Deuteronomy 11:19 (NIV)
¨ It is good to give thanks to the LORD and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High . . . . Psalm 92:1 (NIV)


Marybeth said...

Wow-- what a great post! I loved your story-- and I loved how God not only answered your prayers, He provided the necessary money and made up for the loss.

Van said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving your kind comments. I started reading your story and could not stop. How happy I am that Addie is well. If you are a reader and you must be if you are a retired English teacher - me too, by the way, you will love reading RESCUING SPRITE - I wrote a book review on my post - RESUCE ME - 1/2/08. The story in the book will absolutely confirm the decision you made. Thank you God for our animals and the love and devotion they show us!

Beth said...

How wonderful that not only did you get to see God's provision in this crisis, but your children got to see answered prayers as well.

Nice job...

Heather@Mommymonk said...

God is so good, isn't He? And your family will remember His faithfulness to you through that loveable dog!

Laura said...

It is so fun to see God show up - and He would do it more if we let Him be in control! Great story!

patjrsmom said...

What a lovely story. God is always with us, if we only are still and let Him reveal Himself to us.

Thanks for visiting my blog, too!

God Bless,

Laura said...

The stones of remembrance is one of my favorite Bible stories! How awesome that you were able to experience God's faithfulness in a way that your family will remember for years to come. Blessings to you, Dear One!

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...


Just wanted to thank you for your comment on my blog earlier this evening. It's nice to "meet" you. :)

This was a beautiful story! I was very moved. The "stones of rememberance" is very special to our family, so this touched my heart!

Welcome to the land of blog!

Stephanie said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a nice message. It was very nice story and it is so wonderful how God brought the money just when he did.


Lelia Chealey said...

So glad you visited my blog. I loved your story & found myself cheering Addie on, hoping she had survived~Praise God she did. I love how God shows off His faithfulness even through our pets. Awesome!

Vickie said...

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and your sweet comment. I loved your story about Addie. God is so faithful!
Thanks again!

Amy L Brooke said...

Wow. That was a great story. I am so glad that Addie is okay.

Thanks for visiting. I hope to come back and read more of your work. You are a good writer!

Shonda said...

Great story. I do believe God loves the animals, after all He created them. I believe He is concerned with all that concerns us. Your testimony shows that.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving an encouraging comment.

Blessings in Christ--

Lisa writes... said...

What a testimony of our faithful God!

Heidi said...

Awesome Story!!

I have got the bumps on the arm to prove it!!!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!!! I hope you'll come again.


Dawn Ward said...

What a beautiful story and testimony of God's faithfulness! Thank you for sharing it.

Thanks also for stopping by my blog and for your kind comment. I so enjoy making new friends this way!


Dina said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! A great story! God Bless, Dina

Miss Sandy said...

What a wonderful post! God's ways are so amazing!

Miss Sandy

Joyful said...

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving your encouraging comment. As I've spent some time reading the different entries for the Proverbs 31 contest, I've noticed that you have written kind comments to so many. You have a very sweet heart. Thanks for taking the time to read entries and offer words of blessing. I'm sure God has used you to bless many. Thanks for sharing your story. May your family have many more memorial stones to mark God's goodness. He is faithful !

Amy Wyatt said...

I enjoyed this story so much. I'll be back to visit your blog again!

Rachel said...

What a beautiful story and image for your children to remember!! God is faithful and able to do more than we can imagine -- while this is something we all know, it is awesome when we have examples like this to lean on!

Thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog :-)

Have a blessed week!!
Love in Christ