In Memory of Angel

Our Christmas Angel Story

Sixteen years ago, God brought an angel to our home on Christmas morning, but not your typical angel. This one was fluffy all over, had four furry little paws, two long ears, and just the cutest little face! She came at just the right time. When both Alan and our youngest daughter, Karen, were going through some really tough stuff, God brought much needed joy in their separate situations through this little gift which proved to be quite a blessing through the years. This is the story of how Angel doggie, our sweet Schnoodle puppy, came to be a part of our family.

Two years before Angel’s arrival, our first baby, a fourteen year old Irish Setter named Dolly Dog was killed in a tragic accident. Losing her so suddenly traumatized our whole family, but particularly Karen, who announced that she never wanted another pet; however, God often uses time to bring healing, and two years later, Karen began asking for another dog. Alan, Kelly, and I weren’t so sure she was ready for another one, so we began to seek the Lord about it. One Sunday morning I awoke from a strange dream in which I saw myself holding a small pure white fluffy puppy, belly up, in the crook of my left arm while rubbing its belly with my right hand. I woke up and wondered if God had just given an affirmative answer concerning our getting another puppy.

That same morning after our church worship service, a friend excitedly came running up to me asking if I remembered our conversation two years earlier about Schnoodles being great pets for children who are bothered by allergies. she’d told me that if Karen ever got ready for another dog, she might want a Schnoodle puppy. She then proceeded to tell me that she’d forgotten all about our conversation until that morning while praying before church. Her Schnoodles had recently given birth to puppies, and she’d found homes for all but one, which she said was so sweet that she just didn’t want to part with it; however, she had three dogs already and needed to find a good home for the remaining puppy. She began praying about the matter. Suddenly she saw my face just bounce — before her eyes, and the Lord reminded her of our previous conversation. I laughed and then told Nancy about the dream I’d had that very morning. We set up a time that afternoon for me to meet her furry little friend.

When I arrived, I was greeted by two full grown silver Schnoodles and a sweet little fur ball, but she didn’t look anything like the puppy that was in my dream. Her coloring was an ugly mixture of brown, tan, black, apricot, and gray;  not pure white. At first I was a little disappointed and told Nancy I didn’t think that could be the right puppy since it didn’t look like the one in my dream; I was about to leave, when the puppy rolled over, belly up, right in front of my feet as if to say, You can’t leave until you rub my belly!  I did just that and was reminded of my dream, so I told Nancy that maybe she was the right puppy after all and that I would bring Alan to see her before making a decision.

Later that afternoon, I returned with Alan, and once again we were greeted by all three Schnoodles. We both just fell in love with the cute little puppy and agreed that we’d take her, despite her being the wrong color. When walking out the door with our new little Christmas bundle — I said, Maybe she’ll turn white one day down the road. By the way, have you already given her a name?  Nancy smiled and said, It’s not too late to give her a name that you pick out, but I’ve been calling her Angel. — I almost fell over, because during the Christmas season sixteen years earlier when we’d bought our Irish Setter, the name we’d picked out was Angel; however, The day she arrived in our home, she pulled down our Christmas tree, breaking all the ornaments, so we decided Angel didn’t quite suit her personality. Without any protest from her, she immediately became Dolly dog. I excitedly relayed that bit of history to Nancy. At that point I was fully convinced that God was bringing a little angel to our home and that she would eventually turn pure white like the puppy in my dream (and that’s exactly what happened!)

We surprised Karen with our new addition on Christmas morning and our lives were never the same again. God used Angel many times to bring so much joy into our home. One of our fondest memories is about how much she liked to sing. When we’d have friends over to worship and fellowship with us, she’d throw her long ears back and sing along as we praised the Lord with our voices and instruments. One day, some of our friends’ children came over and forgot to do what they always did when visiting us. Usually they’d play the harmonica and Angel would join in with her singing —, but this day, they got so busy with other activities, they forgot. As they were about to leave, Angel ran to the door, threw her ears back and began to sing —howling like crazy— as if to say, “Wait a minute. You can’t leave yet. You forgot something!”  We about died laughing, as some people had said she just sang because the instruments and voices hurt her ears and caused her to react that way. Now we had proof that Angel sang because she just loved singing.

One day some women had gathered in our home to pray for a particular woman who was going through some tough circumstances. Some of us had our hands on her back as we prayed, and evidently Angel noticed. She walked over to the circle and stood up on her hind legs while placing her right front paw on the woman’s back until we were all done praying. Now that was something to behold!! Of course the experience brought much needed joy to that woman’s life, as well as to the rest of us who witnessed it.

After sixteen years of companionship with us and our two daughters, meeting and getting to know our son-in-law, playing regularly with our two granddaughters, and chasing who knows how many Florida, Louisiana, and Georgia squirrels, Angel began to slow down a bit. Up until recently when she lost most of her hearing and some of her eyesight, you wouldn’t have guessed she was sixteen years old, for she still romped playfully every chance she got; however, we had to carry her up and down our steps due to physical problems.

Not long ago, Alan created a little doggie ramp for Angel.  As a result, for her last two weeks on this earth, she ran up and down freely like a puppy again and had the time of her life playing in our yard; however, four days before Thanksgiving of this year, 2007, Ange l suddenly got extremely sick when Alan was out of town, but she waited for him to come home before she left; another example of God’s perfect timing. I was on the floor just loving on her when Alan walked in and joined me. He began stroking her and within three minutes, she stretched and sighed like she was about to settle down comfortably for a nap and just quit breathing. That experience was very painful, but God is an amazing healer when it comes to a loss of any kind, whether it is a physical one or an emotional one. The Lord loves to comfort us and to fill voids with Himself, for He is faithful in all His dealings with His children.

About Angel’s passing, some might say, What’s the big deal? She was just a dog. Nothing could be further from the truth. She was never just a dog. She was a precious gift from the Lord. We miss her greatly but thank God for so many wonderful memories of our special Christmas angel.