Blessings from the Love of a Puppy

I’m sorry if my last post (Love for a Puppy) ended a bit abruptly.  It was done intentionally.  Hopefully after reading it you felt a little like you do when watching a movie and it suddenly ends without a full conclusion or after reading a book and arriving at the end only to have the author leave it up to you to figure out what happened next.  Knowing the loss of our puppy pairs in comparison to the loss of a human life, we believe God gave the Zbylot’s a small taste of what it feels like to loose something you love dearly.  While we no longer have Delilah physically with us, sweet memories with her do remain.  In addition, while we definitely would love to have her physically with us now, we would not trade the world for the lessons the children as well as Scott and I have learned through this experience.

After the initial shock of her death, the burial and grave built, and our final goodbyes, the questions came.  Why did God have to take her so young?  Do dogs go to heaven?  Why did God have to take her?  We only had her six weeks.  Why would God make us wait 9 months to finally get the perfect puppy and then take her away?  Why?  Why?  Why?
Nathan built the cross, Hannah wrote the grave stone, and they all gathered rocks to put around it.
Even the neighborhood kids helped.
As we headed to church just 30 minutes after the incident the tears and memories poured.  As we rode, the children would share a memory they had of her and then break down again at the thought of not seeing her do or be there again.  Not knowing if they would be able to make it through Awana, I told them I would bring them home if they needed me to.  They did make it through barely and as soon as we made it back into the car, the tears and memories flooded again.  While we will never know exactly why Delilah had to die, I believe God gave Scott and I some clear answers for some of their questions.
Why did God have to take her and take her so young? 
           God is always faithful.  Scott reminded the children that we should be thankful for the blessings He does give us today and not demand that He continue to give us blessings.  We have to learn that God is in control and not be upset if He choses to give us some blessings and not others.  Just two weeks before in Sunday school the children studied about Job.  (I encourage you to read the book of Job in the Old Testament.)  We read through his life and were reminded that God is in control no matter what.  Job lost everything he had.  He lost all his children, his livestock, everything.  Yet, Job fell on his face and worshipped God.  While Job had lots of questions, he never cursed God.  When it was all over, Job recognized that even though he had questions, God was still in control and could be trusted.  Job learned that he should be thankful for what God had given to him.  God then blessed him with double of everything he lost.  Upon the remembrance of this part of Job’s life, Dawson promptly asked, “Does that mean we are going to get two puppies next time?” 

Most of you may not know that our family has been in the process of becoming a licensed foster to adopt family since June and are in the final stages.  God allowed me to comfort the kids with this reality that I shared with them that night at the dinner table…

“God gave you guys so much love for Delilah.  She had a better life in the six weeks she lived with you than she did the first four months of her life in the kennel.  She had a big back yard to run and play.  She got to go on road trips.  Delilah got to sleep in bed with you.  Just think of all the children out there who are not living such a good life and God is giving us the opportunity to help rescue a child and give that child a better life and share Jesus with them.  The love for Delilah is so small compared to the love that you will have for a little boy or girl that comes into our home.  Maybe God is showing us that the love we had for Delilah is just a tiny glimpse into the love He will give us for one of His children.” 

Delilah playing in the backyard for the first time.
Also, Scott’s grandmother is not doing well.  She was put into hospice about two weeks ago, just one week before Delilah’s death.  The children have never lost a loved one close to them at an age they can really remember.  Since his grandmother lives behind our house, the kids have had multiple encounters and opportunities to strengthen their relationship with their great grandmother that few children are able to.  Thus, God may be using Delilah’s death to prepare our hearts to go through the grieving process when Mema passes.
Do dogs go to heaven? 

Scott and I unashamedly were able to tell the children that there are animals in heaven.  The lion will lay down with the lamb.  Does the bible give us clear understanding regarding all animals and where they go upon death?  No.   But the comfort of knowing God does cherish animals, for He created them in the first place, brings us comfort as well.
It is amazing how this little creature God created brought so much joy, excitement and contentment to our household.  We are thankful for the times we had with her, thankful for the lessons and experience our children were given because of her life as well as her death, and look forward to what God has for us next.

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