My heart felt light as I arose this particular chilly February morning to get ready for work. I was still basking in thanksgiving from the news I received the night before and how the Lord used the kindness of others to lift my mother's spirits.
I did what I did every work morning and slipped on my coat and shoes to take our dogs out for their morning routine before starting my pot of coffee. On this particular morning when I opened the door, I was greeted to an empty porch. I quickly discovered the door leading outside unlatched. I rushed outside, but there was no sign of my little white Maltese and Joe's English creme Dachshund.
Unable to find the dogs in the immediate vicinity, I stopped at the two local gas stations giving them a description of our dogs and my husband's name and number. With a heavy heart I drove on to work. I worked until noon and before heading home I called Joe and received the news that both dogs had been killed between ten and eleven o'clock the evening of their escape. When I got home I received the full story, and though heart-wrenching, I knew it was a story that needed to be shared with others.
Dachshunds are by nature scavengers and so probably after running around the yard near the house for a while, Schatzi's instinct took over and the two dogs headed down our driveway. Only two houses down from our driveway a car rounded the corner and hit and killed Schatzi. A women driving by not only noticed this little pup no longer alive but a white one near him.
We were told that she stopped and tried to lure Jasper to the safety of her car. Frightened, he wouldn't come to her and the woman realized he had no intention of leaving Schatzi either. She pushed Schatzi's body off the road and sought help in trying to rescue Jasper from his certain death.
This dear woman returned with the local police, Dennis, who tried unsuccessfully as well to catch Jasper. He came close to catching him, but somehow Jasper slipped from his grip. Dennis so wanted to rescue this frightened and heartbroken dog that he called a local man with a huge heart who had successfully rescued many dogs.
Lonnie informed us that several times he had Jasper in his hands, but uncharacteristic to Jasper, he growled, bite, and managed to escape Lonnie's grip, too. Lonnie decided to go home to retrieve one of his small dogs, believing this other dog would ease Jasper's fear. While he was gone Dennis lost sight of Jasper. By the time Lonnie returned, Jasper had been killed by another driver at the end of our driveway.
The death of both of our dogs broke our hearts, but in the hours following the news of their death my heart swelled in what the Lord showed me. The first thing was the immense kindness of these three strangers. Being fairly new in town and the house we are renting up on a high hill, no one knew who owned these precious dogs. Lonnie told us that they only knew they were well-loved and cared for pets. Lonnie, Dennis, and the mysterious woman only had one thing on their agenda. It was to do as much as possible to save the remaining little dog. My heart spills over with gratitude toward them for their efforts, even though it just wasn't meant to turn out that way.
The second thing that stood out to me was the personality of these dogs. Schatzi was only a little over a year old, but he outweighed Jasper by at least five pounds. He had the physical power to dominate Jasper and rule the roost as the head dog of the house, but he didn't. He was a picture of true submission and displayed the fruit of gentleness as he bowed well to all. He had the energy of a pup and with it, the love for adventure, of course. Schatzi was a picture of his master.
Jasper died because he avoided those trying to save his life. His fear and distress over the loss of his buddy caused him to distrust those trying to help him. His loyalty toward Schatzi caused a blindness toward those reaching out to him. It's a reminder of how often times we might miss something new the Lord has for us when our loyalty becomes misplaced in times of stress. Jasper was indeed a picture of his master, too.
The remaining lesson comes in the way the Lord created these wonderful creatures. They provide a picture of the Heavenly Father's unconditional love, steadfast acceptance, and constant desire to be our companion and faithful friend. When we call out to Him, He comes to us immediately. He stands by us and defends us to the death. He will never forsake us.
Despite the shortness of the lives of Jasper and Schatzi, they were a blessing to us. They will never be forgotten and we're grateful for what we learned from their lives and through their deaths.