Leave it to me to have a dog with an anxiety disorder!
When Ruby, our mixed but mostly Labrador came to us she was so thin you could count her ribs and she had a bad limp. She had been abandoned in the mountains and a friend of ours up there for a weekend saw her and fed her while he was up there. When he started to leave she looked so pitiful that he brought her home but soon found that he wouldn’t be able to keep her. When our friend brought the little foundling to meet us we had recently lost our beloved Reuben, who died after suffering a stroke. I had brought him home to my son who was only ten years old at the time and they were constant companions for twelve years, so it was a terrible loss for us all but especially for “my boy”. I did not want to invest a piece of my heart in another dog and since we already had a vicious tea-cup poodle, another dog was not on my agenda, however, when we saw this precious dog who had been abandoned in the mountains with a bad limp, which we found out was a broken hip from either being hit or falling, she was the very vision of our Reuben and instantly became a member of our family and we called her Ruby.
One morning not long after my mother died I found Ruby fully engaged in a grand mal seizure. Both of my grandchildren were crying and asking me if she was dying. I actually thought she was having a stroke because it was terribly reminiscent of the day I found Reuben in the same condition. I knelt down beside her and wrapped my arms around her holding her as close as I could to my chest and began to softly pray and ask God to help her. My dad always prayed for our canine family members and they were always healed, he said it was because they didn’t have any disbelief and our faith for them always brought a positive answer. Ruby was unresponsive at first and the blank stare in her eyes made me think she had died when suddenly she sneezed and began to come out of it. I immediately called the Vet and took her in for an exam. The doctor asked if there had been any change in her life lately. Bingo! She was very close to my dad, she sat at his feet or beside him all day every day and he would sneak pieces of cheddar cheese to her, he died in May of 2013. She would not go into that room when he didn’t come home. She transferred her affections to my mother and again was by her side and watched over her all day, every day. Mother died on Christmas Day of 2014 and then three days later the rest of the family that lives here left for a week vacation, so the house was empty except or the two of us, Ruby and me.
Several hundred dollars later I find out that she had separation anxiety! The solution was to administer two Benadryl every eight hours! Let me add that while we had her at the Vet, which was no more than an hour and fifteen minutes, she literally lost hands full of hair! I couldn’t believe it, and the doctor explained that it happened because of, you guessed it, separation anxiety!
If the animal kingdom responds to loss and fear, which we will refer to as separation anxiety, what do you think it does to us as humans who have so many emotional upheavals?
Father’s abandon wives and children, Mother’s leave husbands and the babies they carried in their womb, bosses turn on employees that have sacrificed to help raise a company, friends may shun you, and you may feel abandoned by all the people who you have loved, so let me now share the verse I told you about earlier, it means everything to me:
Romans 8:37-39 “So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? The One who died for us, who was raised to life for us! He is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us, and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”
If you are feeling loss and separation, don’t have a grand mal seizure, take Benadryl every 8 hours or shed your hair, just read and re-read that scripture and if that doesn’t do it for you, I don’t know what will!
It’s God’s perfect love that makes you whole again!
*note: Ruby is now fifteen years old, she no longer has a limp because we had her hip fixed, she eats and sleeps and a lot of times loses control of her bladder, but she is our faithful companion and we love her very much.