I miss my big boy.  Augustus “Gus, Gussie Bear, or My Little Panda” as he was called with affection.  He was truly my “pride and joy.”  I saw God’s majestic artwork in this creature’s awesome beauty, and it was a pleasure to walk with him for the world to see.  People would tell me what a beautiful dog he was, and I would force myself to respond with a simple “Thank you,” instead of a boastful “I know!”

Gus thought life was one big rodeo!  He literally galloped like a pony and bucked around the yard like a bronco.  We have two miniature dachshunds, and Gussie Bear thought he was one, too!  He didn’t know to be careful, so he would race right into, over, or around us. “Big Boy” loved to go on walks and play ball in an open field, or accompany me to the mailbox just to follow my commands.

Gus must have known he was handsome because he loved to be groomed!  I will forever be marked by his presence as a result of him breaking my ankle when I bathed him in our front yard.   He felt so good that he threw himself on the grass and dove right into me on the way down.  That was the year we decided it was well worth it to take him to the groomer!

It was most difficult to brush him or trim his nails, as he would lick my hands throughout the process.  I think it was his way of saying, “Thank you for taking care of me,” or “I love you, Momma!”   When it was time to relax, he considered himself a lap dog and simply wanted to Velcro himself to me.  I loved nothing more than curling around him in his bed and telling him that I loved my precious “Panda Bear.”

I believe Gus was sent to join our family with a special mission assigned to be my four-pawed Guardian Angel.  He was an instrument for me to physically feel the unconditional love and teachings of our Father in Heaven, and a literal being to walk beside me when I needed to talk.  He was a reminder of God‘s protection, and I can depend upon Him.  Gus taught me about acceptance, love, and patience.  Maybe this is why I am not ready to let him go.  I just do not want to give him back.  I think I still need him, but God has something else in mind.  Now I find myself curled around two small doxies in the bed that still belongs to Gus.

Gus was there when I wasn’t ready for him.  He loved me anyway and waited patiently for me to come around.  He chose me from the beginning and said, “You are mine.”  His eyes never departed from me, and he never left my side.  The day I set my selfish ways aside and decided I was ready to let him into my heart; it was as if he said, “Finally!  I have been waiting for you!”  Funny, but I can hear God saying that to me now. ..

— Melissa from San Angelo, TX