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PETS…come in all sizes, shapes and colors. Some are bizarre…an anaconda for example. Not me, sir! The more traditional are cats and dogs, maybe birds next. Think back on all your pets over a lifetime. Mine were all dogs and one white duck. Trixie and Prince were my two dogs growing up. And one Easter I got a blue-dyed baby duck which I named Junior. A couple of years later, ‘he’ laid an egg. Grandma suggested we needed to change ‘his’ name. We never did.
Prince was a German Shepherd. Got him while in Jr. High. We were inseparable. He slept on the bed or beside it every night. Until a mean neighbor poisoned him. Never could prove it but everyone knew he did it.
Fast forward to marriage. Joanne and I got a miniature Dachshund named Fritz von Schlitz (was during my beer drinking days). Now, there are several chapters of a book we could write about him.
We moved to Dallas and gave our youngest a Siamese cat named Simon. Both eventually passed away tragically way too soon. Then along came Sebastian, a miniature, very athletic Schnauzer. We bred him and got his clumsy son, Shadow. They couldn’t live together without fighting so we put Sebastian up for adoption. The couple from Waco who adopted him sent early photos of him seated at the dinner table. They had no children.
Shadow lived to a ripe old age of 17 and developed tumors, thus requiring that he be ‘put down.’ I can never remember being so overcome with heartbreak.
Joanne and I decided that was to be our last pet. And so it is to this day. What is it about your pets? Why are they each so special, so near and dear to your heart? I am told that when a dog is in the presence of his master, more than 90% of its time is spent looking at the master. Is that love or what! They ask nothing of you but give their all to you.
God, in his creation, made the animals before us humans. Do you think he mighthave created them out of love; and they, unlike us, never have turned away from that unconditional love? We humans work at it, while our pets do it instinctively.
We can learn a lot from them. Your pets were never told to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength”–they just do it! Instead of us teaching them many things, seems to me we should be learning from them.
This canine-like attitude of worship of their master should be the strongest witness and challenge for us. We are told to “pray without ceasing”; to “keep our eyes on Jesus”.  Further, in John 15:1-12 we hear from Jesus Christ these words. (my translation)  “If you love me, you will obey me; and if you keep my commandments (obey), it shows that you love Me.” I saw that in all my pets. Don’t you? They really do want to please their master. Because they know that their earthly master loves them.
How much more does our Heavenly Father love us? Should that unconditional (agape) love not drive us to love Him back with all our being? We know things pets don’t; for instance Jesus, the only Son of God, sacrificing his life for us. Have you ever considered doing that for your pet? No! Would you take 39 stripes across your back for your pet? No! But Jesus did. Brother and Sister, that is love, self-sacrificial love at the very highest level. Just like most of you bought your pet, some at a very high price–so did Christ purchase us–with His life. Propitiation means substitution! His death, so you may live, not just victoriously here, but eternally with Him, the Father and the Spirit.
It has been much debated as to whether animals, even your precious pets, will enter heaven. That is in the Creator’s hands.
But for now; watch and learn how to love and live from your pets.
Love them just like your Father loves you–UNCONDITIONALLY!
Oh, I forgot to mention; we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. Unconditionally! That is the second greatest commandment. If you don’t know how, ask your dog! 
It comes natural for him/her!
Copyright 2018
Bill C. Dotson

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