All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.
by Cecil Francis Alexander
When God created the heaven and the earth, it was a plan without a flaw. Perfectly set in motion, it was enacted as God had ordained. After He spoke Heaven and Earth into existence, and gathered the waters into Seas, He had the earth bring forth grass, herbs, and fruit trees.
After that, He created the lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night, and to be for signs and for seasons, and for days, and years. He made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also.
Only then, after He had covered the earth with greenery, and set the Sun in heaven to give sustaining life to the growing things, did He create the animal world. He filled the waters with fish and sea creatures, and made the fowls of the air to fly above the earth. Then God created the living creatures that live upon the earth, the beasts of the field, and every creeping thing.
Each thing that God created and set in motion obeyed perfectly His will. Then God made his crowning creation, which was Man. He gave man the dominion over every creature that He had made—the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, and every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Sometimes I wonder how well we have borne this responsibility. God cares for His creation, as the scripture in Luke 12:6 tells us, “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?”
I believe that God will hold us responsible for mistreating His creation. Of course I know that animals are used for food, and that is their intended purpose. But to willfully inflict hurt upon these lesser creatures has to be a sin.
We have always had animals as pets, from hamsters to a red-tailed hawk and many in between. There is no bond as strong, however, as the relationship between a person and a dog. We like cats too, and Chester has a special place in our home. Still, cats are independent and choose their own time for affection.
Dogs are different. A loyal dog likes nothing better than to be near their master. A dog can worm their way into a household and become like a member of the family. Criss has always had hunting (outside) dogs, and formed a close bond with them. Someone shot and killed his best squirrel dog a couple of weeks ago, and he has grieved ever since. (The man said he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was a harmless dog.)
For the first time in my life, I have a dog of my own. We never had a house dog, and I didn’t realize I needed one. I used to laugh secretly at little old women who had a pampered house dog—now I belong to that club.
Criss would never consent to having a dog in the house. He went on a fishing trip last summer, and while he was gone, my daughter-in-law Jennifer presented me with a birthday gift—a six week old French Papillon puppy. I fell in love with him immediately, and named him Louis. He was bred in Georgia, and you ought to hear him bark in French with a southern accent!
When Criss came home, he was firmly entrenched in the home, and all the threats in the world didn’t shake me. If Louis had to go, I was going with him!
To continue the story, Andy gave Criss a unique Christmas gift—a Jack Russell terrier puppy. Of course you can’t return a Christmas gift, so Millie became the second canine member of our household. It was impossible not to love her. Unlike a lot of Jack Russell terriers, she is calm and laid back, so sweet and loving in nature.
She immediately adopted me, and trails behind me with every step I take. When I sit down, she lies across my feet. To think that someone could deliberately harm or kill my pets causes a grievous hurt to rise up in me.
My friend Carol Kerns sent an e-mail which had the following quote, “We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare, and love we can spare, and in return, dogs give us their all. It’s the best deal man has ever made—M. Facklam
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