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By LESLIE BECKER
On June 22, 2019, we released our sweet friend, Clyde to his heavenly creator. Here is Clyde's story, as we know it.
In our home, between June and October of 2017 we said good-bye to three, deeply loyal, unique, canine companions. When you lose loved ones, humans or animals, there are always deep holes in your heart that call out for a connection with new life. And, it certainly did not take long for the holes in our hearts to cry out.
In early December, while preparing for a Christmas trip, we started to scan the internet for older dogs, from rescue shelters. This search led us to a lovely video about a 9-year old dog named Clyde; a very handsome, robust, rust red, Sheppard cross, with impeccable manners and a delightful smile. Very little information was available about Clyde's prior life, other than he had been turned into the shelter several weeks earlier, and, due to his age, was very unlikely to ever be adopted. And, “coincidently” the shelter just happened to be located less than 20 miles from where we were staying for Christmas.
In God's kingdom there is no coincidence, there is only God-incidence and that is truly how this connection turned out. On Dec. 23, 2017, we were the very first people to arrive at the shelter, to meet Clyde, and within a matter of seconds we knew he was to become part of our family unit. What a blessed Christmas gift he was, bringing new life into our home, and a deep sense of satisfaction to us, for lifting up an animal in need.
Once released from the shelter, Clyde quickly stepped into his new assignment as “pack leader,” loyal servant and mighty protector. He was extremely sensitive and the perfect gentleman in our home. Once outside his castle, he took on a warrior mentality and would aggressively defend his family unit.
He was the watchman on our seawall, who relentlessly, rain or shine, stood his ground to keep any intruders away, be they bear, otter, mink, eagle or other. He was the bellowing barker, at our front door, when guests arrived or packages were delivered. He was an incessant talker when we arrived home, sharing his deep joy that he was not abandoned again, and his humans were home to be protected.
Clyde, in many ways behaved a bit like a canine type angel. In Psalm 91:11-12 the word says: “For he will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.” And Exodus 23:20 says, “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way.” Canines are not God's angels, but they were created by God to support, serve and protect. In this life, Clyde willingly completed his assignment.
We are deeply thankful to the Lord for leading us to a dog in need, named Clyde, who immediately filled the dog shaped holes in our hearts, for a season. Life is filled with seasons, which all have a beginning, a middle and an end. The end of the Clyde season closed peacefully with his entire family surrounding him. We will forever cherish the memories of love and commitment he shared with us.
We know God is always faithful and he will again fill the holes in our souls. Today, we look forward to what lies ahead and to a moving into another new season, where we will be blessed by sowing our home and loving care into another divinely appointed dog.
Rest in peace, sweet Clyde.
Pastor Leslie Becker is a member of the Ketchikan Ministerial Association and runs the web-based ministries at www.arkministry.org and www.scripturebypicture.com.
Perspectives is a regular column sponsored and written by members of the Ketchikan Ministerial Association.