As an owner of several pets in my lifetime, i truly can connect and identify with Mark’s book. It is amazing to me how attached we become to animals, of all kinds.

A dear friend of mine suffered the loss of his dog, Lacy, and wrote about her in his newsletter. It touched me deeply, and I hope it touches all who read it as well. The article follows:

On July 21st I had my beloved cocker spaniel mix put to sleep. She was our family’s loving and faithful pet for 17 years. This is my tearful tribute to her.

I had two other dogs earlier in life (Tammy and Candy). I was not planning on having any other pets. But when my daughter Susannah was just a little girl she was terrified of animals – especially dogs. She would become frantic beyond reason if one was even in distant sight.

We traveled a lot at that time of our lives. Susannah’s fears made it very difficult for the entire family to go anywhere. Her agonizing question was always, “Will there be a dog there?” A question I hardly would know the answer to.

I thought she would outgrow this fear but she didn’t. In time I began to realize that the only remedy may be to acquire a family pet. We went to the Newport News SPCA on such a quest. On our very first trip, looking through the many cages of canines one stood out prominently to my heart.

She was unique among all the others that were there that day. The dogs were all barking, and pacing or pawing at the front of their cages. They appeared either to be defensive or vying for attention.

There was one exception. The dog that we would soon call Lacy was cowering in the back corner of her cage, trembling. She was obviously filled with fear over the whole experience. My heart immediately went out to her. What a match I thought; a timid and fearful dog for a fearfully timid little girl.

While taking her home we allowed Susannah to name her. She chose “Lacy.” Still, in the ensuing days the spirit of fear kept Susannah locked away in her bedroom if Lacy was out in the house.

To my great surprise, one day when I asked the kids who would like to take Lacy “out to potty,” Susannah said very calmly and with purpose, “I’ll take her.” At that instant it was all finally over, Lacy was now the family pet.

Lacy would end up being such a vital part of our family. She loved to ride in the car, whether it was to make a trip to the post office to mail book orders or the BSN, or on a long family trip. She went with us on our road trips to Maine, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Arizona, and California. She lived with us in Hampton, Elam, Gladstone and Windber.

Her favorite place was wherever I was. She would lie at my feet as I read and studied, if she was not actually lying on my lap, beside me, or right on my books and papers. When the BSN was assembled, she would lay her head on the stack of pages closest to me. Even when we had our retail bookstore for eight years, she went with us to work every day and lay underneath my desk.

About seven years ago she had been diagnosed with cancer. She had surgery at that time, and then again a couple of years ago. During this time she also began to lose her sight and hearing. It was very hard for us to watch her grow old.

A few weeks ago she lost her appetite as her condition noticeably began to diminish. She lost significant weight in a very short period of time. She was a real trooper during all of this though. She never whimpered or ceased to be the sweet-natured dog that had brought such a great joy to our family.

On the night of July 20th she took her final turn. Appropriately we were all together on a family camping trip. We knew that as we lay down for the night it would be our last with her. She woke us up at two in the morning, as she began an unceasing whining and yelping of pain. Though doing much searching, we were unable to locate a veterinarian open in the middle of the night. We waited until 7 am to take her to the animal clinic in a nearby town. We held her and talked to her, stroking her gently in an effort to convey our love to her and hopefully comfort her some in the pain of her final hours. All that could be done for her had been done, we were simply telling her “goodnight.”

I held her quiet body in my arms on the way back from the veterinarian. We dug her grave in the back yard under a large blue spruce. I gently wrapped “Lacy Girl” in her blanket and laid her to rest in the dirt, under the shade of the beautiful tree. We positioned a concrete slab across the top of her grave, and placed a pot of ivy upon it.

Why do I tell you all of this? Why do I take up important pages of the BSN with the story of our family dog? It is my tribute to her for being such a good dog. Also, it is my opportunity to share with you the truths that my experience with her brought to bear upon the Scriptures as I told her “goodnight.”


Animals are God’s creation. They come from His hands. They come from His hands as a gift to us.

[i]“… God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy” [/i](I Timothy 6:17).

That final night I reflected on the years of enjoyment that Lacy had brought to our lives. I realized that she was a gift from God. Receiving her as such, I gave thanksgiving to God for creating her and allowing us to have her, and to love her for so many years.


Throughout the Bible God used animals for His glory. They have divine purpose upon the earth. To emphasize this, on occasion, under special dispensational circumstances He has even made supernatural use of them, as when Balaam’s donkey spoke to him, and when the ravens fed Elijah.

[i]“And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass”[/i] (Numbers 22:28 ).

[i]“I have commanded the ravens to feed thee”[/i] (I Kings 17:4).

I knew that night that God had used this little creature of His in our lives. That first lesson to Susannah was just the beginning. We learned some very basic things. The children, of course, learned a little about responsibility, and we all learned about unconditional love, devotion, and faithfulness.


Because they were created by God with divine purpose, the righteous man will be sensitive concerning the welfare and care of his animals. The man who walks with God will have a tender heart toward them.

[i]“A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel”[/i] (Proverbs 12:10).

Our heart went out to Lacy that night. We made every effort though to make her last hours as comfortable as possible.


All of creation has been made subject to suffering. We are all under the heavy weight of the effects of sin and its curse. Not even animals are exempt. They, with us, “experience a common calamity” and have “pangs in company (simultaneously),” “in expectation of relief from suffering.”

[i]“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now”[/i] (Romans 8:22).

It was not Lacy’s fault that she had grown old, and was sick and lay dying. She had not been a bad dog. She was simply old and sick and dying because of the sin of one man many millennia ago. It was Adam who had introduced all of these into creation. Her journey would be our journey. The one who had been such a faithful companion in life was our companion in aging, sickness, and death as well. We groaned and travailed with her those final hours.


All of God’s earthly creation is subject to the same simple laws of death. The death that befalls animals is the same death that comes upon man.

[i]“For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity”[/i] (Ecclesiastes 3:19).

Lacy was in great pain – it was so hard to see her so – but no sooner than the doctor pressed the needle in her frail vain, did her sweet-natured whimpering come to a close. As my hand lay upon my old faithful friend, she drew her last breath and went to “sleep.” That was why we had taken her there, that she may be “put to sleep.”

I was reminded that her lot was no different than mine will be one day. I too shall sleep in death, just as my father has done before me, and his before him. I shall join them all, being [i]“laid unto my fathers”[/i] – resting in the dust of the earth, sleeping in Christ, awaiting resurrection.

What a resurrection it will be for me! For there will be more than one kind of resurrection; but mine will be a [i]“better resurrection”[/i] (Hebrews 11:35). I shall be raised a thousand years before the rest of creation, having my [i]“part in the first resurrection,”[/i] over which [i]“the second death hath no power”[/i] (Revelation 20:5, 6). For I am [i]“in the likeness of His resurrection”[/i] (Romans 6:5), [i]“being the firstfuits unto God”[/i] (Revelation 14:4), and [i]“shall be like Him”[/i] (I John 3:2). What a glorious hope is resurrection!


Now, I know that Lacy was “just” a dog; but she was my dog. How simple are the means and the vessels of God’s use.

Weeks now have passed since I laid Lacy in the ground. Momentarily I still think to take her out to potty in the morning and just before bed. Old habits are hard to break.

I go down the shaded path to see her grave every now and then. I am there reminded of these “lessons” that the Lord brought to bear upon me during the early morning hours of July 21st, as with tear-filled eyes I told my dear dog Lacy, “I love you very much. You have been a very good dog. Goodnight, old girl.”

A member of the groaning creation,
And of the new creation,

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

Andre from VA