Coincidence or God working anonymously?
Several weeks ago, we had to put our rescued black lab, Moses, down. Actually we did not rescue him. He came up to my husband, Jim, while he was walking in the neighborhood. When I got home from work that day, I found Jim sitting on the deck with this emaciated, filthy, missing-fur-around-his-neck- and-tail dog running around the back yard. Jim looked up at me and grinned. He said, “Look what God gave me.” Just a few months before, Jim had had to put down his beloved cocker spaniel, Buddy, so Moses was truly a gift. How do you say no to a gift from God?
Jim announced that this dog’s name was Moses because he’d been “wandering in the wilderness.”
We realized that we would not post FOUND DOG signs around because whoever had previously owned this dog certainly did not deserve to have him back. We could also tell that along the way in Moses’ life, he’d had an owner who had trained him ….sort of.
Jim took Moses to the vet who said that she did not expect Moses would live very long. She commended Jim for wanting to give Moses a good last few weeks or months. That was almost seven years ago.
Moses joined our other dog, Georgia, a mixed pointer and quickly became the alpha dog. He tolerated no one near his food bowl, especially Georgia. Moses would fetch balls for hours on end. He became Jim’s shadow and was a true comfort when Jim’s father died months later.
Moses was a loyal dog with some habits that we had to learn to tolerate. He insisted on reclaiming his territory after another dog visited so we cleaned up puddles. He shed year-round and loved to rub up against draperies, walls, and furniture, which meant regular cleaning and washing.
Jim and Moses often walked around the neighborhood. Kids commented that Jim with his gray beard and Moses with his graying face looked alike. People would ask how old Moses was. We never knew but figured he was extremely old for a dog his size. He began slowing down. Going up and down steps became harder and harder. We knew that Moses’ time with us was soon ending.
On Thursday night before the Monday of Moses’ death, Jim dreamed that our dog, Georgia, and his son’s childhood dog, Paper Clip, were all running around a meadow having a wonderful time. His father was standing there watching, thoroughly enjoying the dogs’ antics. When Jim shared his dream, I said that he’d had a consolation from God. Jim was comforted by the dream, seeing loved ones enjoying life.
On Monday morning, we knew that Moses’ time had come. We took him to the vet and tearfully said goodbye as all life left his body. We’d already discussed that we’d have Moses cremated and keep his ashes. When Buddy had died, Jim buried him in our backyard and planted a fig tree at the grave. But the tree had never produced any figs.
The vet’s office called Tuesday morning to let us know that we could pick up Moses’ remains but we just could not make ourselves go by the office. In the meantime, I happened to find a fig tree at a plant nursery. I was elated because we’d had such a hard time finding the one we planted for Buddy.
After several weeks, we finally picked up Moses’ ashes. I asked Jim if he might want to put Moses’ ashes under the new fig tree when I planted it. He said no and placed the beautifully carved box in a prominent place in our house.
Later that afternoon, I was working in the back yard and happened to look up at Buddy’s fig tree. It had fruit! After all this time, the fig tree was bearing fruit at the same time as we were saying goodbye to Moses! Was this coincidence or God’s acting anonymously, letting us know that those we love are still with us and that life is okay?