Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17—NIV).

(***Read to the end to discover a unique way YOU can help a furry friend.***)

My very first memory includes a dog. Two in fact.

Before I could walk on sturdy legs or talk in lengthy sentences, when all things—colors, sounds, scents—were still new, fresh from heaven, Momma would push me in a stroller. We’d venture down a gravel alley that ran behind the houses on our street, dividing the homes on King Avenue with those that sat behind. Just a right turn out the garage door, then ten paces forward was a small patch of worn grass enclosed with chain link. This was the home of two dogs—their gender, breed, and color no longer etched in my mind. What I remember is their scent and the happy feelings a girl barely two experienced each time we happened by.

“Doggie,” I’d certainly exclaim, pointing “D-ood dog.”

And Momma would affirm truth we both believed. “Yes, those are good dogs,” she’d say as she pushed my stroller close enough that I might take in their dog smell—a mixture of moisture and earth and, well, dog. To me, it was the fragrance of joy.

I don’t remember if I was ever allowed to pet those mongrel pups, if they ever licked my outstretched fingers through the fence. I don’t know the number of times we passed by or if, one day, we discovered them gone. Like many memories from one’s distant past, these, too, beautiful though the moments were, are like shards of stained glass, pretty to look at but no longer part of a bigger picture.

To me, these visits of long ago were gifts, and my recollections—simplistic though they are—remain treasures. If young children have a unique sense that somehow links them to heaven, then perhaps these dogs were a reflection of their Creator, as God, too, was dear to my little girl heart, even at a tender age.

In some sort of way, perhaps my “D-ood dog,” exclamation was much like a prayer that God himself could decipher, know its full meaning—even more than, perhaps, Momma.

The Giver of all good gifts, my heavenly Father heard. Yes, he knew. I was really saying–

Good God!

Because that is what he is.

Thank you, God, for dogs and all good and precious gifts that come down from you. Help us to be good stewards of that which you’ve placed in our care. Amen.


***How have you experienced the gift of a good dog or another pet, perhaps not even your own? Please share in the comments below, and a donation in your honor will be made to our local humane society.***

To hear a wonderful song about our good, good Father, click here!