Man’s Best Friend 

I’m sure you’ve probably heard the phrase, “a dog is man’s best friend”, well, I definitely believe that’s a true statement.  

God gave us these amazing animals to be our pets to love and care for. Some people love cats, fish, hamsters, birds and yes, some even have pet pigs!

Our pets are truly gifts from God. Pets give us unconditional love, they are loyal, they don’t “talk” back, they don’t judge, they don’t get offended, and they don’t hold a grudge. 

If you take good care of them and treat them well, they would give their life for their beloved families. You hear stories of their bravery and how they have saved the lives of children, elderly and have done amazing feats in the face of danger.  

Since I didn’t have a pet when I was growing up, other than hunting dogs that were out in the backyard kennel, I didn’t really know what I was missing until 2005 when we decided to get a puppy for our children. 

We started researching different breeds to find the perfect dog for our family, and we found a precious little white Maltese puppy from a breeder in West Texas. We couldn’t wait to pick him up and were so excited to bring him home. He only weighed about two pounds and was so cute–we named him Wiley.

We all loved and nurtured him; he became like one of the family. He was so precious to us, and his love made us all feel so special and loved — he was the perfect pet!

Wiley loved us unconditionally and was always there to greet us and welcome us as soon as we walked in the door. He acted like he hadn’t seen us in years, even though we were only gone for a short while. He brought so much love and joy to the family and we all felt his love daily. Each one of us had a special bond and true love for him. Wiley just had a way to brighten our day and make us feel like everything would be OK. He was all of our best friend, and we were all his favorite! 

Wouldn’t it be great if we as humans could be that way, never judging anyone, never keeping score or getting upset because someone said or did something we didn’t like, just loving everyone unconditionally and making them feel so loved and understood — like the true love from Jesus! 

Sadly one day last week our precious little Wiley passed away. He wasn’t sick long only about five days. We tried to save him but his little seven pound body just would not heal and God took him home in the middle of the night. It truly was one of the saddest days of my life. Seeing my family in such pain was so difficult. We all loved him so much and will miss him so much.  

As I reflect on why losing Wiley was so hard, I think it’s because of his unconditional love for us and his true loyalty and genuine excitement to see us every time we came home. He was totally dependent on us for everything; food, water, shelter. He knew he could count on us. He was always there to hug and give all his love and attention. Wiley truly seemed to listen and understand everything we said.

I have to admit I never truly understood how hard it was when I had friends and family who lost their pets and carried on for months grieving and mourning their loss. Now I understand. You never really know how someone feels until you have walked through it yourself and experienced the pain and hurt firsthand.

There is a sadness and emptiness that can only be filled by the love of Jesus, the comforter and the one who understands our pain and can take it away and give us peace and inner joy.

I’m not trying to mitigate the loss of a parent or spouse or precious child; I can’t even begin to imagine what that feels like. I know we all experience it at one time or another, and it brings a season of despair, sadness and pain. But I know there’s only one true source of relief from the pain and suffering felt from the loss of a loved one and that is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. —2 CORINTHIANS 1:3–4
                             ~ Deb Hicks