The Sad Dog

by | Aug 11, 2022 | Heaven, Promise, Second Coming

Whoever said that animals don’t feel emotion has never met my grand puppy, Charlie.

During one of the COVID summers when the US land border was still closed to Canadians, we made the very long drive across Canada from our home in southern Ontario to our son’s home in Alberta. Due to COVID, we hadn’t seen our son and daughter-in-law for almost two years, and we were long overdue for a good, reconnecting visit.

There was, however, yet another thing made us excited to make this trip: Our grand puppy, Charlie.

Charlie, a Golden Retriever by breed, was about 8 months old at the time. Once again due to the pandemic, this would be our first time to meet him, and we fell in love with him instantly. Charlie is quite typical of his breed in every way. Besides being inquisitive and loving, he is an incurably playful boy with more energy than all of the adults combined. He would go from one adult to another, begging them to play. Naturally, none of us could resist his soft, brown eyes and the comical way he held his golden ears, and one by one, we would give in and play with him until we collapsed on the couch, totally exhausted. Not so, however, with the bundle of pure golden energy that responded to the name of Charlie. He would simply go, toy in mouth and tail slapping his sides, to the next adult in line. Funny how we all would inevitably melt at the sight of his inquisitive, playful stance…

And so it went all day long. He would eventually be put in his crate for the night, and the little bit of sleep he would allow himself would somehow replenish all of the energy anew for the following day. If only we could harness some of Charlie’s energy, the entire city of Edmonton would be have a wonderful — and renewable — energy source!

Seeing as Charlie’s human parents, our son and daughter-in-law, so obviously needed a little break from their energetic spark of joy, and seeing as my wife was often busy with laundry, meals, etc., I ended up succumbing to the demands of those soft eyes more than anyone else. We played and we played. And if I sat down (usually because I simply didn’t have the energy to play anymore!), he would follow me to my chair, squeaking a toy between his teeth, and beg me until I gave in again. And if I had to get ready to go and do something, he would follow me around with one of his toys draping from his jaw.

All too soon it was time to leave. Although my exhausted and sore body would welcome the rest from our grandpuppy, I knew in my heart that I would miss him terribly.

And I did. And, perhaps even more importantly, he missed us! He was so sad! He moped for days. I have such fond memories of those days last summer when I had a new bestie, an 8 month-old golden retriever named Charlie.

There was good news, however: I would see him again soon! We were planning on flying out for Christmas (yes, we learned our lesson about making the long drive by car!), and my heart rejoiced at the thought of once again playing nonstop with a now older, but seemingly not too wiser, 13 month-old golden boy named Charlie.

More than likely my Charlie boy has forgotten all about me by now. Yes, he was very sad when we left, but soon the joys of life, the new toys and new smells and experiences have erased the memory of his human grandparents. I’m pretty sure he didn’t understand we were coming back. I know that I was really excited to see Charlie again, but wouldn’t it have made me feel good if Charlie longed for me to come back as much as I looked forward to seeing him again? Wouldn’t it have made me feel special to realize Charlie wanted me to come back as much as I want to?

I often wonder how the disciples must have felt when Jesus returned to Heaven. I’m pretty sure they — and Jesus as well — were all pretty sad. We know that the disciples went back to Jerusalem to pray with other believers for 10 whole days. But they, too, had hope: Jesus would return!

Here we all differ dramatically from this puppy. We do understand that Jesus is coming back! Unfortunately however, it seems we’ve also forgotten how special it is to spend time continually with Jesus. Do we await His return with excited anticipation? Or have we, like my Charlie pup, all forgotten about Jesus? Have we become apathetic and complacent?

Unlike Charlie, we have a written promise that Jesus will return, a promise we can go to and read over and over again: “Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death” or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’” (Revelation 21:1-5a NIV)

I know that Jesus anticipates His return with great joy as well. But wouldn’t it make Him feel so special for us to long for His return as much as He longs to return? Why not spend some time today contemplating how special it will be when Jesus returns? Long for Him as He longs for you. Throw off materialism, apathy and complacency, and let the excitement of His return fill you with joy and anticipation!

In His love,
Rob Chaffart
Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries


The Sad Dog