Probably, it’s about time for an update on Kelly. She is 10 years old now, not a puppy by any stretch of the imagination, and she is feeling the effects of aging.
Like me and many of you, my readers, she has arthritis. For that, she takes a couple of supplements as well as prescribed pain pills every day. You already know she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure about two years ago and, except for excessive panting, she is doing well with that.
About a month ago, she got a ringworm on the bridge of her nose. Knowing it is contagious to humans, I wondered about even taking her to church and her weekly visit to the nursing home. I finally decided if I were really watchful, she could still go.
So we did continue our visits. I took her back to her doctor for evaluation last week and, as I was pretty sure, the ringworm is gone. All that is visible now is the area where the hair has not grown back.
Of greater concern is her reluctance to jump in the car. This has developed over an extended period of time but has become more problematic recently. Case in point: I knew I needed to leave early one Sunday because the church where I would be preaching was about an hour’s drive away.
I left the house with adequate time. But 10 minutes later I was still trying to get Kelly to jump in the car. She can still do it but has to convince herself each time. Finally, my roommate realized I needed help so she came out. Together, we convinced her to get in. When she finally does decide she can get in the car, she just jumps right in like she did as a youngster. Is it truly that difficult to get in? Or does she think, “Oh, this is going to hurt and I don’t want to do it”?
This reluctance repeated itself twice more that day. I can usually find help if needed or, given adequate time, can get her in by myself.
But I’ve noticed she now hesitates about going up steps. A day or two ago, she didn’t want to go up the three steps at the back door. L had them built lower to make it easier. She also limps a lot! Again, arthritis – elbows and hips.
So, is it time for retirement?
It’s a tough decision, because once she is at her place of service, she is happy and diligent – looking for petting and treats.
Again, is it time to retire her and train another dog?
You know, we experience that same sort of indecision about our own lives. Is it time for retirement (or any other change)? Can it wait? If you know Jesus, you pray for guidance. I remember the day He very specifically told me to turn in that retirement letter that very evening as I left work.
But Kelly? I’m still struggling. Guess I need to double up on the prayer for guidance – not just about Kelly but about all of life’s questions.
If you haven’t accepted Jesus, won’t you do it today? Inviting Him into your life should be your very first prayer.