The vet’s words were crushing… “Don’t ever let him run and give him these pain pills “… We had just adopted Yankee and we knew there was something wrong with his back hips but we did not realize how serious until we took him immediately to the veterinarian. He was a beautiful eight-month-old rescue German Shepherd and he was special! We realized he loved to run, loved to fetch, loved to play, and we were going to have a hard time keeping him down.
Now, I have to back the story up… 30 Years before, we had been given a collie by God.
The collie was special because my husband had not wanted to have a dog after two other dogs had died and broken his heart and he didn’t think he could take it anymore …. he would never again have another dog for fear of losing them again. After two years of my begging, he had declared an ultimatum… It had to be a collie, AKC registered, and FREE! That was an impossibility in my mind (and Joe’s) but not with God. I remember after five days of looking for that dog in all the newspapers I finally gave up and said to God “If you want us to have a dog God then you will have to provide…. I give up! ” Three days later I went to the clustered mailbox to get our mail on Bolling Air Force Base and found the 3 x 5 card taped to the box it said “FREE to a good home …AKC registered Collie” I was so amazed! I grabbed the card and said to God “I can’t believe it! You want us to have a dog!” I ran in and showed Joe, my husband, the card and he was astounded and said that he couldn’t believe it as he thought he had given me an impossible task. I went over alone to go look at this dog because Joe would not go with me.
It was a divorce situation and the owner said that her two-year-old Collie had to leave because she was moving in with her mother who was allergic to dogs. She hated to let him go as he was such a good dog but she said “You have to bring your husband over because Stony, Gen. Stonewall Jackson the Third, didn’t like men. I went home and told my husband everything about this perfectly trained, two-year-old, beautiful, sable and white Collie except for the part about him, not liking men. He agreed to come and look at the dog. When Joe walked in the yard to visit with the dog for the first time, Stony ran from far across the yard up to Joe. The owner was petrified and was yelling for Stony to stop. She thought Stony was going to attack Joe. Stony jumped up on Joe, put his paws on his shoulders and licked him in the face…!!! The owner was amazed as her jaw dropped to the ground. She said incredulously “You guys must be the people that are supposed to have my dog!” That weekend we put a fence in our yard and we had a new family member…
The following winter Stony saved our son’s life. As all Collies do, they will alert you to danger by barking and running from the danger to you and he did this. He was running from the door to me in the middle of a snowstorm and I couldn’t understand why he was barking like that. Finally, I looked outside and saw our two-year-old running in the snowstorm outside in his diaper!!! He had escaped and I had not realized it! Two years later our next son also did the same thing in the middle of a snowstorm and Stony again saved his life. Two years after that we lived in Denver and we had an ice storm. The back patio was covered in ice and I let him out the back and he slipped and hurt his hips really badly. He did a split and he could not walk. The vet bill for Cortizone shots was $500 and it took about a month for him to start walking again.
The following winter during another ice storm I was not thinking clearly and I let him out again and he hurt himself again in the very same way and could not walk. This time I knew I didn’t have $500 and I continued to carry him from his bed to the outside so he could take care of business. This went on for two weeks. I was terribly worried about him…but I saw no way out. We did not have the money for the vet.
On our way out of the church, our middle son’s Sunday school teacher came up to us and said how nice it was that our son, Danny, had asked the class to pray for his dog. They prayed for him and they hoped he would be alright. I was very humbled and I told God I was sorry because I had not prayed for him… It had never even occurred to me to pray for the dog that God so obviously gave us.
When we arrived
back home Stony ran up the steps jumped all over us …..ran around the house and acted like nothing ever happened to him! We thanked God with all our hearts and from then on remembered to pray for all things, large and small. We found in the Word of God that it says in James 4:2 “…You do not have because you ask God.” James 5:15 says ” that the prayer offered up in faith will make a sick person well; the Lord will raise them up….”. John 14:1 says, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God and trust in me.” And another one in the book of Phillipppians 4:6-7 says “To not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. And God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. ”
Fast forward to the day we picked up Yankee from the rescue home…. We soon learned that Yankee yearned to run every minute of the day. We would let him run but then I’d have to take his leg and put it back in the hip socket when he would come back limping on three legs. Remember, the vet had examined him and declared, “Don’t ever let him run, it’s the worst I have ever seen.” and had given him pain pills.
This went on for about four months until he turned approximately one year old. One day I took him for a walk with the leash and as I went down the road I had a very strong, compelling, insistent thought speak to me and He said… And I believe it was God…”You know, I healed Stony but you haven’t even asked me to heal Yankee yet.” Again I was humbled and immediately, I realized God was willing ….so I put my hands on Yankees hips, right there on the sidewalk, and I asked God, saying, “God I know you’re willing and I know you’re able ….God, I ask that you heal Yankee’s hips ….please remake that hip socket so he can run….. in Jesus name amen ” I was reminded of the verse in the Bible Matthew 7:7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” I had forgotten to ask! That was a lesson I had learned those many years ago.
From that day on he never limped again… That hip socket was reformed… He never again had another problem and he continues to be very healthy at 8 years old and runs like a bullet when we hit the tennis ball with a racket or throw the frisbee or the stick that he finds in the yard. I believe that God healed him because he knows I’m a storyteller… I’ll tell glory stories and his story has been told hundreds of times… Anytime someone approaches us to tell us how beautiful he is , I ask if they want to hear the awesome glory story of how he was rescued, healed, rescued me, and is the perfect dog for us. During one of my worst flairs of Lyme Disease, Yankee became my service dog and rescued me. God sure does know how to create the perfect testimony.