Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Good Boy Earl: Our Miracle Mutt

Above is a picture of Earl as a seven-week-old puppy in the flower frame I put it in, back in March 2001. When I brought Earl home from the animal shelter, he was so filthy I thought his fur was yellowish brown. It wasn't until we gave him a bath that I discovered his beautiful white fur. Over time, the silver hair Earl's aquired blends nicely with his black and the white fur. For a thirteen year old dog, Earl is still a beautiful boy:

Earl,13, and Thatcher,11
March 2014

Earl, 1 1/2, and Thatcher, a few weeks old
Fall 2002

Earl today, age 13, still on Guard Duty after all these years

When Katie plopped down on the couch after school, Good Boy Earl slowly made his way from in front of the door over to a spot on the floor in between Katie and me. Doing his best to guard us to the bitter end. He likes to nap in the middle of wherever we are so he can keep his ears open for danger. His hips and legs are failing him, but his ears are as good as a puppy's. His bark's as loud as a canine with fresher lungs. 

Good Boy Earl, age 13. 
Our Miracle Mutt, April 22, 2014

Since I've been old enough to think I know better, I stopped believing in miracles. There's a scientific explanation for seemingly magical events. But it sure made me smile when, after Katie informed me that she had prayed for Earl's healing, we both witnessed Earl climbing up onto the couch all by himself.

Last night, I shared with my friends news of Earl's failing health.

I asked for prayers, healing thoughts, and good vibes. It feels weird to make such requests for a dog. How could God have time to answer prayers for a dog when there is so much human suffering on the planet? Doesn't God prioritize by species? There are so many other living beings that need God's healing attention. Why would God care about one dog when there is vast suffering on a mass scale, competing for divine intervention?

But prayer is not reasonable. It's a desperate cry for help.

It's working, friends. We know our miraculous mutt Earl will not live forever. But he's doing so much better today. Last night he could barely pick up his hind end. Today he's able to stand up and walk around. Slowly, but slow is better than nope.

We feel blessed to have more time to soak up Earl's love and prepare ourselves for his departure. Last night I was making plans in my head for how I'd get Earl to the vet to put him out of his misery. Today he's moving around better. Using the bathroom outside. And climbing onto the couch unassisted. It's as if dogs are also tapped into that inner energy that connects all living beings and he's communicating his needs to us. Today Earl's needs are to hang out with us on the couch.

Thank God.