Friday, March 14, 2008
This is Oscar. He's a nine year old boxer, and he rarely walks these days. Adopted from Lone Star Boxer Rescue, he's been in our family since he was two. Right now his latest challenge is the loss of most of the feeling in his back legs. We've been to the vet, we've been to the holistic vet. We've taken Rimadyl, we've taken Chinese medicine, we've even had acupuncture, and nope, he still can't find the ground underneath him, even if you tie a magnifying glass to his back legs.
The amazing thing about this dog is: it doesn't bother him. He gleefully drags himself across the hardwoods to get where he wants to go, he dives into his daily kibble as if it were filet mignon. He barks threateningly at squirrels and tries to fight the neighbor's dog through the fence. It's obvious that he is in no pain. It is equally obvious that Oscar doesn't want to give up living any time soon.
When he came to us seven years ago, he'd been beaten and starved; his spine and hips stuck out and he had a cigar burn on his side. Yet he threw himself into our arms, sat patiently while One (and then Two) crawled over every inch of him. They'd sleep on him, he'd sleep under them. He radiated joy over every meal, every pat on the head, every scratch, every trip outside.
Why am I belaboring Oscar and his joy? Because this dog has inspired me to faith more times that I can count. His peaceful acceptance of his condition, his joy over any small blessing - these things have schooled me in how I should act in the face of my God and what He puts on my plate every day.
I love this dog. I love him because he is a family member, but also because he reminds me to savor every blessing, to look beyond what cripples me, and to thank my Master at every turn.
Thank you Oscar. And when it is time, may God speed you to your well-deserved rest.