As some of you know, The COVID-19 bug finally got to me. A sore throat, sloppy cold and a positive test sealed my fate for a few days. Nothing serious, thanks to shots and boosters! While I’m feeling better each day, and will be cleared to be back in circulation soon, I cannot comprehend that millions of folks have lost their lives to this virus.

I have been alone, obviously, for a few days now. Wait, I must take that back. Bonnie has hibernated in the other bedroom down the hall: she is doing well and wants to keep it that way! But bear has been my trusty companion. I have heard before from others how a pet seems to recognize illness or anxiety and draw especially close during such times, as if to comfort. This has been my experience this week. As I write even now bear is invading my personal space.

Bear came to us on July 4 last summer. We met his temporary keeper at a dog park and brought him home. Though we don’t know for sure his age, he’s definitely still very much a puppy. And though we don’t know what he went through early in his life, it likely involved moving from place to place and spending lots of time alone in a locked room. For a Labrador Retriever, both of these things are immediate crises!

We have enjoyed watching him settle into life in our home, and backyard, and we have been amazed by his constant nearness and love for snuggling, as if he’s still a bit worried about not being left alone.

This week I have experienced God’s love and presence and comfort through this beautiful creature. He twirls around and plops down, wedging his back into my right leg. I feel his touch. After a bit, he turns around and places his snout across my hip as I pet him for a while and we rest together. When the mail or a package from Amazon comes, he barks as if to protect me. By yesterday (Tuesday) I felt well enough too long for some fresh air, and so took him for a walk…or should I say bear took me! Pulling with excitement, greeting every person and other dog with eager joy. We did see a horse, and he wasn’t so sure about that creature he likely has never seen before!

Back at home, he is constantly with me. Reading while laying on the couch, he wedges himself in-between my legs, plops down and takes a deep cleansing breath. Working at the dining room table, he lays at my feet, literally on my feet to warm them. Where I go, he goes. Though isolated, I am never alone.

Wendy Francisco years ago created a song that became a book called God and God. Watch it here:

I look up and I see God, I look down and see my dog.
Simple spelling G O D, same word backwards, D O G.
They would stay with me all day. I’m the one who walks away.
But both of them just wait for me, and dance at my return with glee.
Both love me no matter what – divine God and canine mutt.
I take it hard each time I fail, but God forgives, dog wags his tail.
God thought up and made the dog, dog reflects a part of God.
I’ve seen love from both sides now, it’s everywhere, amen, bow wow.
I look up and I see God, I look down and see my dog.
And in my human frailty…I can’t match their love for me.

This is my experience, day after day, and especially in these last few days. God is good, all the time! All the time, God is good! Bear reminds me of the “HESED”, the “steadfast love” of God that never ceases and is new every morning.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!

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