Friday, August 21, 2009

It's funny how things happen in your lives that can change everything.

What was supposed to be a simple surgery turned into a journey and ended with a completely new perspective on health and well being.

A child's encounter with a dog changed our lives and created stress and sadness. We had a pet. Now we don't have a pet.

We go along each day and we like the stability of our lives. We like that, aside from a few not far from home adventures, we do the same thing day in and day out. We can count on that. It makes us feel secure.

Then one day everything changes.

Is there anything you can count on?

Thank goodness that God never changes. He always stays the same. He's always there - even when we can't see Him, even though we can't feel him.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

grace... Kathie

ps. Update for Good Bye Boomer - good news of a sort. It turns out that Boomer didn't bite the little boy. There were no teeth marks at all, he swiped at him with his very large paw. Even though that wouldn't have changed our decision, it still makes me feel a little better.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I went on a brisk walk this morning. Just 10 minutes to Hopkins Pier. To get there you have to walk along a beautiful lane, covered by a canopy of trees, trees as tall as the sky. I love walking that lane, especially in the morning with the sun peeking through the tops. No matter the temperature, that lane is cool and refreshing. After the lane you go up a short but steep hill along a ways and down another hill to the pier.

At the end of the pier I sat and stared at the water, the sun shining down on it looked like sparkling diamonds. No matter where I stood on the pier, the line from the sun made the trail of diamonds lead straight to me. I sat and pondered the truth that God's light finds me no matter where I am. I sensed His presence at that moment and as the heat from the sun warmed my body, the light of God's love filled my heart.

I don't often feel that these days. It's only that I have a memory of it. That memory has been my sustaining power through the darkness, a dark so thick, almost like a fog that surrounds and confounds you. You can see the light but it is a distant light and you can't reach it. I heard Hell once described as a place where you look up and can see Heaven but you can't reach it.
I hope that that feeling never leaves me again. I hope it stays. But the reality is that life is hard and there are hard times we face. When that happens, sometimes we can't see God, feel His love or sense His presence.

But we believe He is there.

We trust in His unfailing love.

And that is faith. That is the faith that sustains us through the darkness.

grace... Kathie

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Good Bye Boomer

A very traumatic event happened this past weekend with our dog, Boomer. A little boy named Tristan who has some special needs approached him behind our trailer where he was tied up and probably a bit too quickly - and Boomer bit his face. He was cut up really bad and and covered with blood and his mother who was near by picked him up and rushed him to the washroom. I followed right behind her. It was shocking to see the amount of blood and there was big gashes on his head and face, one that narrowly missed his eye, and his lip. The camp nurse came and patched him up and then his mother took him up to the hospital in Sechelt to get "glued" back together.

We were devastated. Boomer came to us just a couple of months before his 2nd birthday. He had been sold by his breeder to a family in North Vancouver and it was not a good situation for him. He was a gentle, calm dog who ended up being terrorized by two other aggressive German Shepherds and when the breeder visited there because the owners complained he was too skittish, the breeder took him back. He was eight months old. The breeder re-socialized him in their house and he became their son's dog for a while. While visiting his kennels looking at Golden Doodle puppies, we saw him. Evan being very scared of large dogs, the breeder brought Boomer out and it was a match in heaven. He stood stock still and didn't even blink when 6yr old Evan went hesitantly to pet him. Evan asked us if we could have that dog!

Boomer quickly became a part of our family and he was really Ed's dog. He followed him everywhere, quickly obeyed and followed our direction. He loved to play and have a "kong" thrown for him and loved to run and frolic with some of the other camp dogs. However, there were a couple of incidents that convinced us that as obedient and gentle as he was, he was a skittish dog that frightened easily by the noise of trucks, especially the garbage truck and was territorial. He was aggressive when people came on our property and jumped at people at our campsite if they came up to the property too quickly. We had him neutered and he calmed down.

But two incidents happened with our grandchildren that gave us further cause for concern. One day when Sydney was 2 yrs old, she accidentally stepped on him while he was sleeping between the sofa and coffee table. He quickly reared up and swiped his paw at her leaving a couple of scratches on her. Then not even a year later, our other 2 yr old granddaughter approached him while he was hiding from the children in my mother's bedroom. We're not sure what happened, but it left a scratch and a small bruise on Alethea's face. That made us realize that no matter how gentle or obedient he was, he did not like being approached by small children and we had to be extra careful when the little ones were over. That's why he was tied up at the trailer, at the back, to be on the safe side. But when all is said and done, you can't always predict what children will do and the worst case scenario happened.

However, this story has a happy ending. We thought we may have to put the dog down because we didn't want to take any more chances. But after talking to a vet, the SPCA and some friends, we felt that perhaps we should find another home for him. But where? Who?

The my Tuesday night ladies arrived for a day trip up here on the coast. We were going to Molly's Reach for lunch, hit the market and then the yarn shop in Sechelt. But there was a new lady in the group named Laurie and when she heard what happened to our dog she spoke up and said, "I'll take him." What? We were shocked and weren't sure if she was serious. But no, she was. "I have 10 acres and no small children and no grandchildren. And I work for a dog trainer."

We're still not sure why or how this all happened. We're still feeling the trauma from last night when we saw a young child covered in blood. And less than 24 hours later, Boomer has a new home. He went home tonight with his new owner. It was an emotional good bye for Ed and I.

But Ed told me that last night when he was walking Boomer he was praying and asking for an answer to this situation. Begging for an alternative to ending Boomer's life. He heard a breeze in the trees and looked up - it was as if he could hear God's whisper to him, giving him comfort. God had an answer even though we couldn't think of a solution. In our grief and distress God came to us and spoke loud and clear.

Tristan is fine today and was already wanting to pet another dog. Apparently, it wasn't enough to traumatize him and make him scared. His cuts will heal and there will be scars.

But it could have been much worse. We're thankful it wasn't.

Good bye, Boomer.

My heart aches that you've left us and I'll never forget you and the love you brought into our lives.

grace... kathie