“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24
Spike was the name of our dog. We were blessed to have Spike for 15 years. Spike taught me how to care for a living creature and at the end of his life, to not have regret.
We saw Spike at a pet store, and I thought he was cute for a Chihuahua. But he was expensive so, we do not get him. A few weeks later, we went back to that same pet store to see if he was still there. Spike was still there, but he looked unwell. He was sneezing, had a runny nose, and was lethargic.
I looked at my husband, and he knew I wanted to save this dog. He said, “this may be good practice for you before having a baby, and since your birthday is coming up, we can get the dog.” Thankfully, Spike went to the vet the next day and given some medicine which helped him get better (it was Giardia-an intestinal parasite found in unsanitary conditions).
Anyone who saw Spike wanted to pet or snuggle him. However, Spike did not like anyone under the age of 12 or if you wore a uniform. He would pretend to go potty to get a treat; everything was about his stomach. He knew my mother would give him chicken anytime he saw her. Spike would act cute to get out of any trouble. He was a peacemaker when members of my family were arguing. He would do something to get their attention and make everyone laugh.
Several months before we put down Spike, the Vet diagnosed with a heart murmur. His heart murmur was a stage 5 out of 6. There were drugs to help him be comfortable. I knew I would have to make that decision to put him down in the next few months. I used that time to prepare myself and the family that he would be gone.
In those last eight months, I did not look at walking him as an annoying chore anymore. We gave him lots of love and comfort. I made sure he played with his other friend dogs in the neighborhood. We told him how much we loved him every day and thanked him for all the joyful memories.
Spike began to struggle. He would have temporary paralysis, struggle to breathe and drink water. I knew it was time to put him down. My husband, daughter and I went to the veterinarian office to say goodbye. I decided to stay in the room and hold him when the vet put him down. At first, my daughter wanted to stay with me, but the vet strongly encouraged her not to be there. My husband took her out, and I said goodbye to Spike.
A family member texted me to check on me, and I told them I would call in a day or two. When I reached out to them, they asked the usual questions. They asked if my daughter was there when we put Spike down. I replied that she was there only to say goodbye. For the next couple of minutes, I received a verbal beat down of how I may have traumatized my child and how that was a bad decision. I said, “if this situation has taught me anything, it is that I am no longer going to regret my decisions.”
The decisions we make in life always teach us something. We, either, learn a hard lesson or we remember what served us well. If we ruminate and keep our thoughts on repeat, we create anxiety. When we do make mistakes, we ask for forgiveness, forgive ourselves, and pray to our Heavenly Father to help us get past it. I hope that my life reflects a life well loved and served.
Lesson Learned: Regret is a waste of time and energy.
“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for any decisions I have made that doesn’t align with your plan and purpose for me. Thank you for your grace and mercy. Help me to learn from my mistakes. May I become stronger from every trial I face. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”