When we met Sam and Eloise, we knew they had to stay together. You see, Sam is Eloise’s father, and they simply love one another. Sam likely would have been okay on his own, but not Eloise. She looks to Sam for guidance and comfort every single day. And while she has grown to love her new sister, Lily, she would be lost without her dad.
Sam keeps Eloise calm in stressful situations, so if they need to go the vet, we always take them together. Managing two 100+ pound dogs at once isn’t easy, but it’s worth the work to see the comfort Sam brings Eloise in this situations.
Recently, I took the two of them to the cardiologist for their semiannual echocardiograms. It’s an event, to say the least, as it requires hoisting each dog on a table and keeping them calm long enough to get a full-blown cardiac exam and echo done. We do Sam first, and he always takes it like a champ. His usual position is lying on his back for a belly rub, so as long as I keep scratching, he’ll lie still forever.
Eloise is a different story.
Eloise doesn’t like being lifted on the table, and she doesn’t like that when she’s on that high table, she can’t see her dad.
When we got Eloise on the table, we managed to get her in position for her exam. She was on her side, and I held her head and gave her kisses, letting her know she was okay.
But she whimpered and cried, despite my kisses and reassurances. And Sam heard the cries of his baby, and was trying to find a way to get to her. But because the table is too high and both the vet and I were blocking his access to Eloise’s front side, he kept pacing back and forth trying to find a way in.
And he did.
He crawled UNDER the table and found the very end of Eloise’s paw dangling over the side. And he started gently licking her paw. And she stopped whimpering. So he stood crouched under the table, contorted in what had to be a horribly uncomfortable position, for nearly 10 minutes. But he stayed there and he kept licking her paw so she would know that he was there. That he hadn’t left her. That she was loved. And that she would be okay.
There wasn’t a dry eye in that room.
I wept silently as I saw the love of a father expressed in the most amazing and unexpected way – through the gentle kisses of a dog.
If we look for it, the love of our Father is reflected in the world all around us. Do not miss it.
He who created ALL things, infused in us the ability to share the love He has for us with those around us.
As we celebrate the gift of His presence this Christmas, I pray we’d all be reminded that we have been given the gift of Christ’s love to share with those around us. Give that gift today. Merry Christmas!
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35