Was thinking about all the pets in my life. Seems old Blackie is getting a little slow these days. Pets on the mission field are important to family health in my opinion. Furloughs are often rough though and I've been hoping that dear old black dog goes on to doggy heaven peacefully before our next big trip to the States.
Dogs for us provide friendship and true protection in a world full of petty and big crime. We are thankful for our good dogs. Below is a repost from a few years back...
Tippy was the name of one of my uncles dog's when I was a girl. Tippy was a good old dog. She seemed to live a good life. I remember as a little city girl thinking that some day I could have a dog, too. That day came after we moved from the big city to the country hillsides of Virginia. Daddy went to see a man about a dog and came home with Star. She was a pretty black dog with a small white patch that earned her the name of Star. She was an outside dog and a good one. She stayed close to home. She had one litter of puppies giving us a dog who came to live up to his name - Bandit. He was known to steal things from a neighboring farmer who shot at the dog from time to time. Bandit eventually moved going to a family farther away from farmers who like to shoot.
Star eventually got old and went on to the great hunting grounds. When I married and left home, my dear husband brought home a little kitten he had saved from a sure death. Her name was Abby. But this story isn't about cats, just dogs! When my youngest son was a newborn a family in our church in Fortaleza gave us a puppy. The lady said that with a family of three boys we definitely needed a dog. The boys named him Blackie With The One White Spot or just Blackie, for short. He reminded me a lot of Star, but only in appearance! Blackie was and still is a stubborn mut who adores biting little boys who try to get into our yard or whom he thinks might be considering coming into the yard, thus preventing the act before it happens. He IS a good watch dog, especially since he has such a bad reputation!
After Blackie came to Bahia he seemed a little lonely with all our going and coming to the island camp. So we began to consider a second dog. And then Girl came into our lives. She was so unwanted that we couldn't even decide on a name. We just started calling her "Little Girl" which stuck until she grew taller than Blackie. She was a street mut that a missionary friend couldn't get rid off from the front of his house and thought the boys might like. Yeah right! But we did come to love her inspite of herself. She is rather wimpy for the most part, but can put up a good mean front when necessary.
Then there was my Tippy. Tippy was a little puppy that appeared under the old blue car that had been sitting out front of our house. For days she lived in the shade of the car. The boys began to feel sorry for her. Me, too. She was pretty. I knew we didn't need another female or another dog. I bravely carried her way out into the mato (brush) hoping she wouldn't come back. I carried her off three times each time going further than the last. She was weak and little and puny and covered with fleas and ticks. After she showed up the third time, I brought her in and gave her a bath. She was mine. She needed me. I liked her and I picked her a name.
She was a funny dog. She sparked things up around the house. She was so skinny she could squeeze out on the slats in the side gates to get out into the front yard and from there she could run in the street. When she heard our car coming, she would come bolting back home and try to get back in as fast as she could.
She got contracted a mosquito transmitted disease that attacks dogs and small children called Calazar. Many dogs and even horses are carriers some being affected by the disease. Tippy lost the hair on the tips of her ears and began to be lethargic. The nails on her paws began to grow abnormally and her paws were hurting her. As her condition worsened and we realized what the problem was, I had to go to the health and sanitation office and ask for someone to come and take her. They had no money for fuel for their truck! They said if I would give a little for some fuel they would take advantage of it and collect some other dogs that were in the same state.
It's been a few years now, but we still talk about Tippy from time to time. Today's entry is for all the good dogs and good cats in our lives. I think dogs and cats are like the animals that must have been in the Garden of Eden - friendly and loving, living in harmony with man. I didn't write about the pet cats I've had. I'll save that for another day...