This past Thursday my wife, grandkids and I drove about 3 hours north to get a puppy—a nine-week-old German Shepherd/Great Pyrenees mix.  We have been looking at dogs for a while and have been discussing it for years, but held off for various reasons.  My wife had dogs much of her adult life and my family had a few different dogs when I was growing up.  My wife and I have wanted a dog for a while but have held off for a variety of reasons.  We have had rabbits and chickens, but this would be our first dog as a couple.  All of us were excited.

The event itself took all day.  Between six hours of driving to this farm, helping the wife of the couple deliver a baby goat, and meeting the litter and picking a puppy, the hours flew by.  The ride home was stressful as well, as the dog got carsick early on and we still had a long drive ahead of us.  It all worked out, the puppy arrived at our home safe and sound, and we have been having a both enjoyable-yet-stressful first week with the puppy.  What surprised me the most about this entire process was the inner healing I have received during this past week—all from getting a new dog.

To back the story up a bit, when I was younger, all of our dogs were SPCA rescues.  The first was Mosby, a golden lab who we ended up having to give away years later.  I was probably eight or nine at the time.  We had Jeb for a few months, a pitbull puppy who we took back because he was a biter, and at some point we found Ginger.  She is the only dog my parents have had in the past thirty years who was not given some sort of South-related Civil War name—and I named her.  🙂

Ginger was a total sweetheart, and I loved that dog.  I think our family pretty unanimously agrees that she was the best dog we have ever had, and I remember the day we had her put to sleep.  She was old, and I forget all the details, but I was in my teens and I was very sad—we all were.  I remember her laying on the table on the right-hand side of our vet’s office as he injected a blue-colored substance into her, and she closed her eyes and passed away.  I will never forget that moment; I loved that dog.

Fast forward again to this past week, and this new dog (whom we named Rowan Bronx Delta the I) has helped bring me inner healing I didn’t know I needed–grieving over Ginger’s death.  I have found myself thinking of my favorite childhood dog multiple times this past week—when I haven’t thought of her in years.  It’s amazing how something so simple—and what would usually be thought of as a good thing, can bring about such painful memories.  And while this might not sound like a good thing, it’s actually quite wonderful.

You see, grief, and all other painful emotions are stored in the body, and over time they contribute to physical disease.  Even when they don’t cause disease, they remain behind the scenes and negatively impact our ability to make good decisions.  When situations arise that feel similar to the one that caused our pain, we naturally and unconsciously react to protect ourselves from further pain.  This means that we aren’t actually free to make good decisions because we tend to choose whatever will keep us from the pain we don’t realize we are carrying.

I am thrilled to have added Rowan to our family.  I am blessed that I had the opportunity to have Ginger as a pet.  And I am very thankful that God has used this encounter to help set me free.  How has God been bringing about healing in your life?



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  1. Donna

    Emotional healing…I think, is often an ongoing process that often we have forgotten about, the hurt, the slight, the loss, the painful experience, of the effects life has over the course of a lifetime. Maybe that ties in with scripture of where God wipes away every tear? As we know He felt our pain, and while we forget, He does not.
    Glad you got a recovery from a scar on your heart with this new addition to your life now. Animals are one of the best kind of love, aren’t they? Enjoy your new friend.

  2. Dirt Road Cowboy

    I lost my little heart dog in December after over a year battling cancer. She died in her sleep beside me, which was her favorite place to be.
    I was really angry with God when it happened because every time I prayed for her healing, the only thing I heard was, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” I trusted, and she died.

    When I got over being angry at God, and turned back to Him, he began teaching me, and leading me to teachers that have helped tremendously with my spiritual growth. I learned how to enter Heaven, and have been going there every day for almost 6 months. And, on my first visit, Jesus came to greet me. when He did, guess who was running along at His feet? My little baby! I wasn’t expecting it, but out of His great love, He brought her along to see me, and I’ve been able to spend time with her every time I go to Heaven.

    So, my healing is seeing her alive and waiting for me.

    • Michael King

      That is so precious!! Jesus brought Ginger to me the other day in a similar encounter. I love how He loves us 💖

  3. karenspeaksblessings

    Dogs are amazing! I have 3 in my home right now, my dachshund Patches, my son’s husky Shadow and my belated mom’s golden retriever Amber who is the newest addition. They are all the sweetest dogs and they always love to be close to me and to my son and we love being close to our dogs. Dogs are so easy to love. I enjoy hugging them all lots and petting them and holding my dachshund in my arms like a little baby and baby talking to him! I love them so much and I think they do heal the heart of wounds as you mentioned in so many words.


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