Thanksgivings for Gunny – by Fr. Marc Robertson

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”  (Isaiah 26:3-4)
A little over two years ago, our beloved Great Dane, Gunny, had emergency surgery to remove his spleen. It was a life-and-death operation, and we were blessed that he came through the surgery well. We brought him home, only to encounter Hurricane Matthew 24 hours later!
The picture below was taken around 2:30 a.m., with 100 mph winds battering our home, trees snapping and crashing around us, and the entire house groaning and making noises like it was alive. My wife, Alice, and I were hunkered down, praying the giant live oaks on our property would not find their way to our roof, and that we would survive the night. Our adrenalin was high, our hearts were racing, and we were tense and tight as a piano wire.
Not Gunny. He was flat on his back, displaying his freshly shaven abdomen and sporting his 12-inch long incision. Calm and drowsy, the young dog, just a little over a year, considered this just another night in the Robertson household. It was as if God was saying: “If my creatures can be at peace, can’t you? What will your scurrying around do?” I was amazed at this scene – so much so that I paused in the midst of the chaos and took this photograph.
It remains a reminder of how God calls us to peace at just the moment our minds and hearts tell us to panic. In the very midst of the storm He reveals to us that he is, indeed, “an everlasting rock.”
“O most loving Father, who desires for us to give thanks for all things, to dread nothing but the loss of you, and to cast all our care upon you who cares for us: Protect us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, and grant that no clouds of this mortal life may hide from us the light of that love which is immortal, and which you have revealed to us in you Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” (Modernized from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, Family Prayers, “For Trustfulness” – page 596)

Thanksgiving for Stella and Claire

Here is a more recent photo of Stella and Claire, who are both dong well, especially now that we have fenced in our big back yard and they can roam freely. Stella is the athletic one of the two and Claire remains the “cuddle bear”.  They get along well and we are blessed to have them as part  of our family.

And, congratulations to Ed Speare for the publication of his book “The Legend of the Christmas Dachshund” !

Thanksgiving for Claire

No Comments
Ed and Suzy Speare of Virginia write, “We brought another long-hair female dachshund into the family to be a buddy for Stella who came to us in July. We got Claire in September from a different breeder in another state than Stella, but they are the same kind of dog and get along famously. The play together, chase around our front yard area, sleep at night in separate cages, but nap together as “bunk buddies” during the day. Stella is the more athletic of the two, and Claire is more cuddly and likes to be held. We are enjoying them immensely. I have put in a PayPal donation to ATLAS in Thanksgiving for Claire and am attaching a few pictures of both of them. Wishing you a blessed Advent and Merry Christmas.”

Thanksgiving for Stella

No Comments
Ed and Suzy Speare of Virginia write, “We are once again a household with a dog. We brought Stella home on July 1, 2017, from Wilmington, NC. She is a miniature, long-hair female dachshund, Shaded Cream in color. She is a feisty little thing and is a change from our last dog, but we are adapting to each other as time goes on. In honor of her coming “home”, I am mailing a donation to Atlas in her name today. We are definitely using the pet prayer book with her!”

In Memorial of Phoebe

No Comments
Ed and Suzy Speare of Virginia write, “Phoebe was a local dog born on February 13, 2001. She came to be with us in June of that year and lived to be almost 16, passing in November of 2016. We had an older male dachshund who was not too spry until Phoebe came to stay and right away he perked up and enjoyed chasing her around and playing tag in the house. Phoebe considered him her “Unkie Ace” and followed him everywhere. Phoebe had a couple of odd characteristics for a miniature dachshund, but not totally unheard of. Her ears had extra cartilage in them and tended to stick up and were not long and floppy. She also had a shorter tail than the norm. She liked to play, but also liked to be still and sit with anyone who would hold her. She was good with kids and other dogs, except Schnauzers which she disliked intensely for some reason. She liked to play tug of war with a rope toy, but at 2 and 1/2 years that kind of play caused severe disc problems in her neck. She had to have one removed and another channeled to relieve pressure on her spinal cord which had caused her to be temporarily paralyzed. She recovered completely, but in her older years had severe back problems and became lame in the hind legs. Her condition got worse as she passed her 14th and 15th birthdays and just a few months shy of her 16th birthday had to be put down when her internal organs began to fail. Friends came with us to the vets to say goodbye and were a comfort to us. We were able to use the little pet prayer book you wrote all along with her and even at the end. Suzy has had dachshunds all of her life and she said by far Phoebe was the best one of all of them, so when it came time for us to have a dog again, we opted for a longhair and different coloring so as not to compare a new dog to the best one ever.”