high highs and low lows

I’m on a roll! Three blog posts in one day! In my previous post, I shared the incredible outcomes from attending the Exponential Church Planting Conference in Orlando. Well, here’s the rest of the story…

While I was at the conference, Suzanne, our 3 kids and our miniature schnauzer Dusty were with her folks in Macon. Tim and I had just gotten on the Florida Turnpike headed home when I received a call from Suzanne in complete hysterics. I quickly pulled the van to the shoulder and my heart began to race. Something was dreadfully wrong but I couldn’t understand her because she was so upset. The first thing I could understand was, “Don’t move him!” Instantly, my mind created a scenario that my son Ethan had been horribly injured or killed. My heart rate shot through the roof. Finally, Suzanne was able to tell me that it was actually our dog Dusty that had been injured. He was brutally attacked by a stray German Shepherd my in-laws were keeping in their yard until they found a home for it. It took Suzanne, her dad and her brother nearly 2 minutes to get Dusty freed from the jaws of the other dog. They broke patio furniture over its back and it just would not let go. Finally, they grabbed a large patio umbrella and after two good licks, the dog let go.

When they got Dusty to the vet, he took one look and said he didn’t think there was anything he could do. He said it looked like Dusty’s spine had been broken and his ribs pulled away from the spine. He was bleeding profusely from deep bite marks across his shoulders and back. He had also been bashed repeatedly onto the concrete as the dog violently shook him. It looked as though we were going to have to put him to sleep. The kids wailed in the background. I was 6 hours away and felt completely useless to help. All I could do was pray.

The vet decided to do an x-ray and to his complete surprise found that Dusty’s spine was intact! He had two broken ribs–one on each side. They wrapped him up in an ace bandage, put him on pain meds, antibiotics and a drip IV. We checked on him two hours later and he was still alive. Then, just before closing–still alive.

The next morning–still alive. Past the 24 hour mark–still alive! Through the weekend–still alive! We brought him home on Monday. He is pitiful, but he is alive and getting stronger each day! My kids (and Suzanne and I) couldn’t be happier. It is amazing how quickly a dog becomes an integral part of the family. The days we were home and Dusty was at the vet, our kids moped around all day. We missed him terribly! The vet was quite amazed that he survived. He even used the word “miracle” with me. I know it seems trivial when you look at the Kingdom of God and all that, but I really believe that Jesus heard the desperate prayers from 3 very sad little children (not to mention 1 very upset mom and 1 very sad dad driving up from Orlando!). One verse came to mind – Matthew 10:29 “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.” Aren’t you glad we can pray to God for something like our family pet and know that He sees and cares about what is happening? I truly believe that Jesus was present through the whole situation and ministered to me, Suzanne, my kids and, yes, Dusty the miniature schnauzer. Ain’t God cool?


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