Goodbye Shotsky

We remember those words, “My Lord and my God!” spoken by Thomas as he saw first hand the miraculous sign of the Lord’s existing life after death. It was a great and awesome sign to Thomas. What I experienced this week is truly a  moment of–“My Lord and my God!”. A sign given that simply was so strong and obvious that I must share with you and hopefully it’ll inspire you, to know that we serve an all-seeing Lord and that His love and compassion is so deep.  Allow me to explain what the Lord has done this week.

Sadly my beloved dog of 7 years, “Shotsky”, died last Saturday evening.

He had gotten some type of stomach or intestine ailment and it was off and on the last 3 weeks or so. This dog was indeed a blessing to me. I found him in the local dog pound about 7 years ago. One day I decided to go to the pound to search for a dog. I arrived and then went inside and they said to go out to the kennels and walk them  and see if I saw any I liked. So I began at the first row and walked the aisle.  I walked the first 2 or 3 rows and strangely almost all the dogs either stayed back in their pen and stared or didn’t even pay attention to a potential new owner.

Finally in the last row and the last pen, I see a dog coming running up to the fence, his tail wagging a hundred miles an hour, and he’s licking through the fence. I knew right then this was my new friend, his loving energy had won me over. I had never been a big fan of pit-bulls and certainly had no intention of getting one. But this one was quite “handsome” as I noticed he looked almost like a Labrador with a pit bull mix . He was what is known as a “fawn” pit bull. Most of them don’t have the real wide jaws and frankly they look more docile (less menacing)  I believe.

So I decided to get this new furry friend. But the story soon took a un-expected twist. The first 2-3 weeks he was nothing but trouble. He continually got out of the back yard and destroying the fence in the process, and I had to find him running around the neighborhood. So about 1 month later I placed a call to the pound and inquired whether I could give him back. They answered affirmatively. But it seemed after the call he had calmed down and started acting better and less trouble. When I picked him up at the pound they had told me his name was “Brownie”. But I didn’t like that name so as I was driving home a name just popped into my mind–“Shotsky”.

So Shotksy became better and better and he started to show me that he was really a good boy with some high energy at times. I drew more attached, as we all do after time. We learn their little ways and habits. But Shotsky really was special , allow me to explain why.

When I had purchased him they told me that he was a surviving dog brought to our local pound from the storm riddled area of Louisiana -the massive Katrina disaster. Apparently some of the surviving dogs had been sent all the way to southern California. So he most likely had to scramble for his life to safety amid the torrential waters . This sounds just like Shotsky because I was to witness a most unbelievable survival instinct he showed later. Likely his owners didn’t survive. They told me that I would have to wait 6 months to see if anyone claimed him from the area.

After a few months I started to worry. He had become my special “boy”. What happens if they come and claim him back? That thought was quite worrisome. But no one ever came forward. So we bonded through the years and I truly enjoyed his company. His obedience was so inspiring that I wrote a blog post about it. You can view it here . In that post I describe the incredible accident that Shotsky survived. If I had any doubt that I didn’t have a special dog before, I certainly knew after that terrible ordeal and accident.

So last Sabbath, Shotsky wasn’t doing well. He had good days and bad days. But he seemed to be hanging tough. He had already survived a sever bout of bloat and his liver had turned his eyes yellow a year or so earlier. As evening came around after I had given him a light dinner and his remedies, he came into my office and did his favorite little move. He came up to me as I sat in my chair and placed his head on my knee with his big eyes looking right into mine. This was his way of saying “I want something”. Usually it was for food, or to go “bye-bye”. I would place him in the passenger seat and he would stick his head out the window. His tongue sticking way out and all the drool landing on the window and side of the truck,lol.  Or he wanted to go outside. In this case it was to go outside as it was about 8 pm. Which was not unusual due to his wanting to go relieve himself.

So I went to let him outside and then went back to the office. About 30 minutes later I went outside to check on him. As it was dark I couldn’t see him as he was in the further part of the yard. But as I looked I was spooked as a humming sound flew right by my head. What was that? Then a few seconds later again it happened. Then I saw that a small hummingbird had landed a few feet away from me. As I have posted before,  the Lord has used hummingbirds several times in my life as direct signs from Him. In fact the awesome story of the dead hummingbird sent by God to warn me about my former idol (music) was made into a post.

I knew that this was a direct sign from the Lord. But little did I know that it would turn out to be quite an amazing sign. As I watched this little bird, I then looked out in the yard and there was Shotsky just standing there from afar watching. As if he knew what was going on and observing it. I drew real close to the bird and he just sat there and didn’t flinch at all. He just looked back at me and fluffed his feathers. Then he took flight and hovered around my head again, almost as if to give me some type of acrobatic show. I stood fascinated and looked up to the heavens and thanked our Lord. There could be no doubt this was sign from the Lord. Then after watching for a while I opened the sliding glass door and the bird flies  right into the house!

He went into the living room and landed on a small table. In amazement I walked over and gently put out my hand in invite him to come on my finger. He was very comfortable and I was able to get within inches of him but as he didn’t move to my finger , I didn’t press the issue. He just looked around as if he was inspecting the place. Then he flew to the chandelier lights in the dining room and perched above the lights.

About this time I decided to go outside again to check on Shotsky. My heart stopped. There he was slumped over on the patio floor, his breathing stopped. I knelt down and as tears flowed I thanked the Lord for the special time He gave me to have spent with this one of a kind dog. He had been having some real bad days the last couple of days and his breathing had been labored. So I felt somewhat relieved that his suffering was over.

After a while I went back into the house and the bird was hovering around one of the scenic pictures on the wall, then he landed atop the frame. As I watched this, strong emotions came over me as it all hit home. The Lord knew that Shotsky was about to die and sent this little messenger to comfort me– wow! So even though I was deeply saddened I felt very close to “my Lord and my God.”

So that evening I felt truly blessed by Him and it helped to soften the hard blow of losing my dear friend. Our Lord is always steps ahead of us and just the fact that He goes this far to comfort a broken heart is truly the best and strongest love of all.

One of my brothers in Christ showed me this quote. As I read it, it confirmed what the Lord had told me — Shotsky would be in the earthly kingdom (Israel) when we arrive there. His tail wagging, his tongue hanging out, and his eyes full of warmth and love.

Until we meet again, rest in peace my beloved Shotsky.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.” (Roman 8: 19-21)

4 Responses to “Goodbye Shotsky”

  1. Bonnie Says:

    Oh brother Rob, my heart is aching for you! Shotsky was such a sweet boy… I am so sorry for your loss!!! PTL for his mercies though and those 7 beautiful years you were able to experience his unconditional love. (hugs)

  2. philip tasale ameara Says:

    Thank you bro Rob for blessing us with your story..
    A comforting hope for Shotsky and those of us who have grown attached to pets, we’ve come to love so much and cared for, whose lives were laid to rest .
    I thank the LORD for blessing us to see His love thru’ His creation continually.

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