In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.~Job 12:10 NIV
I felt a paw scratch at my leg. I closed my book and looked down at Bo, our family’s black toy poodle. “What do you want, sweet pea?” I set aside my popcorn.
At first, I assumed he was begging for a bite of my snack, but his soft whine and tense body language insisted that wasn’t the case. My mind lit up with concern.
Bending over, I picked him up and held him close. “What’s wrong?” I whispered in his ear.
His shallow breaths sounded raspy. His sides moved like an accordion as he tried to inhale. His chocolate eyes pleaded.
My concern deepened. I knew all about asthma in people—but could a dog also have it?
Jesus, what should I do?
I cradled him in my arms and walked outside, hoping some fresh air would help.
My parents arrived home shortly thereafter, and I was relieved to hand Bo over to my mother for her expert care. Both of my parents expressed alarm at his condition.
“We’re taking this dog to the vet first thing tomorrow,” Mother decided.
Early the next morning, I was anxious to see if Bo had improved. From the worry etched under my parents’ eyes, I saw the answer without asking. His little body was still trying to suck in oxygen through his raspy throat, and he looked exhausted and miserable.
My parents wrapped him in a light blanket and headed out the door.
“Call me with any news.” Tears formed in the corners of my eyes. I ran to my room and picked up my Bible to read Scriptures about healing. I read a verse in Matthew.
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.~Matthew 9:35 NKJV
Lord, I don’t know if you heal animals, but if you do, have mercy on Bo. Please heal him.
An hour later I heard my parents walk through the door. I rounded a corner, hoping to see Bo happy and back to normal—surely the vet had fixed him up with a shot or pills. But their arms were empty.
Alarm pierced like a knife. “Where’s the dog? Outside?”
A tear trickled down Mother’s face. My father frowned, studying the Mexican tile floor.
A hard knot twisted my stomach, and my heart skipped a beat. “Where is he?” My voice trembled.
My father placed a kind hand on my shoulder and smiled as best he could. “Dr. Sanders asked us to leave Bo with him until tomorrow. They’re going to observe him and see if he’ll…”
“Live?” Tears spilled down my cheeks. I ran into my mother’s embrace, and we sobbed together. Bo was more than a pet—he was a cherished member of our family.
Throughout that long day, Mother phoned the vet’s office for updates. Bo was alive but not better. Time stood still, and sadness descended like a shroud.
On the one hand, I couldn’t wait until tomorrow to find out if he had made it…on the other hand, I didn’t want to face tomorrow if he hadn’t.
I awoke early the next day and braced for the worst. As we convened around the breakfast table, I held my breath. “Any news?”
“Yes, I just spoke with Dr. Sanders. Bo made it!” Mother heaved a sigh of relief. She explained that he had paced around the vet’s office all night struggling to breathe while two employees sat up with him.
But sobering news followed. “The vet thinks it’s caused by allergies from the desert climate here in Arizona. Unfortunately, there’s nothing more they can do for him, so they’ve asked us to take him home.”
Overjoyed, I clapped my hands in ecstasy before I realized the rest of the story… then froze. “But if he can’t get better, that means he’ll die at home?” The knot twisted again in my stomach.
At that morbid thought, my parents probably felt as sick as I did. But for now, bringing Bo home, even to die, was most important.
His homecoming was bittersweet. Although still sick and wheezing, he was visibly relieved to be in familiar surroundings and with family. We tried to make him as comfortable as possible with his favorite toys on soft blankets in the kitchen where we could keep a close eye.
By nightfall, Bo’s condition had worsened. Exhausted, my mother and I each headed to bed, but my father chose to stay in the kitchen with him all night. Since Bo usually slept on my parent’s bed, my dad made a pallet to lie next to him so he wouldn’t be afraid.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.~Matthew 5:4 NKJV
I climbed into bed with a heavy heart. A dampened pillow and a pile of wet tissues later, I did the hardest thing I have ever done. I surrendered Bo to God. But just as I stopped crying and drifted into twilight sleep, a voice spoke.
The dog will be alright.
My eyelids popped open. The voice had resonated inside my spirit, loud and clear. I had heard older relatives of mine relate stories about hearing God’s voice, and I knew it was biblical.
Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.”~1 Samuel 3:10 NKJV
Total amazement swept over me at what I had just experienced. If that was God’s voice, Bo would live. Sadness fled, and peace rocked me to sleep.
The next morning, all was quiet. Not knowing if that was a good sign or not, I ran to the kitchen, my heart pounding. I clung to the promise I had heard.
My parents turned and smiled. They stepped back so I could see our beloved pet, eating from his bowl like his old self.
It was a miracle! God had truly spoken!
When Bo saw me, he stopped and came to greet me, all wiggles and licks. His asthma had all but disappeared. In fact, he continued in good health for many more years, asthma-free.
Most importantly, I now know the answer to my question.
God loves and cares for all His creation—and He does heal animals.
Have you witnessed God’s healing for a pet?
Thank You, Jesus, for demonstrating Your grace and compassion by healing our sick pets.
Copyright © 2020: Does God Heal Pets? : Karen Jurgens: All Rights Reserved