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Sunday, February 26, 2012


            About 12 ½ years ago, my wife wanted an English mastiff puppy.  As, at that time, I was able to work and had sufficient money to fulfill that wish, we bought one from a breeder in another state.  She was 12 weeks old, and was named Bell.  About 5 weeks later, over the period of a couple of days, she lost most of her hearing.  Over time, we realized that she could hear a loud party a couple of miles away, as we lived in the country, and there was someone a couple of miles away who occasionally threw loud parties, but for most everyday communication, she learned hand signals.  We also learned that, as we attempted to get her attention, we were making hand signals.  As is common for mastiffs, she rarely barked, and usually because she saw other dogs around her barking.  She was never aggressive, but by size alone, brought about a healthy wariness among strangers to happened into our area.
            Over the years, just as with people, she became more sedentary, just due to age.  I believe that the average age for this breed is nine years, so she had a long life, but last Saturday evening, she lost the ability to stand up for herself.  Therefore, on Monday, I (because, in my family, such things always fall to me) took her to the vet to put her to sleep.  I found out that she over these last months since her last visit to the vet had lost weight down to 100 pounds (she was through much of her life about 130).  As I am not in excellent physical condition myself, I was able to get her to the vet via putting her on a padded two-wheel cart, as one would normally use to move boxes around, and a Tommy Lift on my son’s truck.  That she just laid on that two-wheeled cart was an indication of her condition.  Fortunately for both her and me, the vet was only about a mile away.
            It was a reminder to me of why I attempt to do this blog.  A few years ago, the movie called “Bucket List” came out.  I’ve not seen it, but one doesn’t need to, to understand the point.  There are certain things one wishes to do, everyday life can easily get in the way, and one doesn’t have the strength to do them at the last minute.  Personally, I really don’t care to go to exotic places or do exotic things.  I’ve been to both coasts here in the U.S., I’ve lived in the North (Michigan) and in the South (Florida), and have lived the last 7 ½ years in a place that I never had any desire to even visit (south east Virginia).  What is important to me is to live for Jesus, that I might affect, in some positive way, one person, and then another.  I know that I am not an excellent “people person”, as much as I might wish to be.  I’m more a person for quiet thinking, when I can, which isn’t every day, anymore.  Physical limitations, at least for me, have focused me upon what is important.  When growing up, I heard what, to me, was the syrupy sentimental rhyme, “Only one life/Will soon be past/Only what’s done/ For Christ will last.”  I flat well know it was oftentimes used in a way that was unintentionally disingenuous, to fit into a Christendom society, which was more what this society was when I was growing up, but it has a stronger ring of truth when one gets older.
            Still, the thinking part of the brain doesn’t age.  When my funeral comes, would somebody please play “Breakfast in Hell” by the Newsboys, just for shock value to any unbelievers that show up?

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