One year ago today, my family brought home a sweet new puppy & we named him Baxter.  We were not yet “dog people” at that point and we had no idea of what lay ahead. What you will read in this & subsequent posts, was originally presented as a series of Facebook Notes as I struggled to make sense of the tragedy that would unfold for us.  I didn’t know then that the words I spilled out would have any impact beyond my own catharsis.  But the reverberations were loud & ultimately led us here… to The Bible, The Spirit, & Diet Mountain Dew Blog…

So grab some tissues  & get ready to get yer Feels on…


 


When personal tragedy comes your way, its hard to know what to share via Social Media and what not to share. On the one hand, why burden the ‘internets’ with such a thing? On the other hand, there are some things that can be learned from the tragedy of others, so why not share. The longer this has lingered with me, the more I’m inclined to take the latter approach. “Beauty from Ashes” as my best friend said the other day…

And that’s really the crux of the situation right there. Romans 8:28 says… “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”  TBH… its really hard right now to imagine the “good” in this for me & my family. But I’m hopeful that if I throw this thing out there, God will use it for someone else’s “good”. As he’s stirred this in me, I’ve realized I’ve got quite a few things to say about it all… Not really at the “I need to start a blog” level, but definitely more than a 144 character Tweet. And though the temptation exists to hate & rage on this thing… I’m committed to saying what I need to say in love.

And so… I’ll start Baxter’s story at the end…


January 24th, 2016 was not a typical Sunday, but we had no idea how atypical it would be when it started. Because typically, we’re pretty predictable on Sundays. If we’re in town, most Sunday’s we’re going to be at church until 12:30-1:00, then we go out for Mexican for lunch, because its in the bible somewhere. We’d usually meander homeward about 2:00-2:30 and that frequently meant nap time because if I was serving on team that Sunday, I would have been up since 6:30’ish in the morning. But there was no church that day… Cancelled due to the snow & ice & more snow that fell Friday & Saturday.

My youngest daughter, “R” (age 9 at the time) made a new friend during the snow days that weekend… She does that alot that fearless child o’ mine. She just goes at life with reckless abandon… offering her friendship to anyone that’s in her orbit. What you do with it is up to you… she’s just going to keep on being R regardless. My wife & I met the new friend for the first time on Saturday. Very nice kid… well mannered… polite… had his own light saber with him… They sledded & played hard in the weather all day Saturday & got started again early on Sunday. They knew it was going to get warmer on Sunday and wanted to get all they could out of that hill before everything started to melt.

But it did melt… and so they moved on to other adventures. Over lunch, they watched a Star Wars prequel because Star Wars… (obviously)… And then it happened… They had an idea to take Baxter and one of the kid’s small dogs for a walk around the neighborhood. Seemed harmless enough. Before we knew it Baxter was on the leash & they were out the door. I remember that I was hanging a picture in the living room. They hadn’t been gone but maybe 10 minutes when R busted through the front door wailing…

They had walked Baxter to “the kid’s” house and R stayed with him on the front lawn while the kid went in to get one of their family’s small dogs. In trying to exit the front door, the family’s two pit bulls blew right by the kid and…

Let me stop there & say that this will not become a referendum on pit bulls… My brother-in-law owns a very sweet one that R adores. There’s much more to this story on the dogs… R… Me… but for now just this…

Baxter died at approximately 1:58pm… January 24th, 2016…


Continue on to Part 2 here

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