Visitors - Come on in and say hello!

Monday, March 27, 2006

St. Joseph, Prayer, and Pets

I am constantly amazed by the intercession of the saints and that of faithful friends.

This weekend I experienced another spiritual attack, one I know was retaliation of a type. I am not going to get into that, but let's just say it involved my own attempts to become closer to the Lord and in (as we all do) intercessory prayer on behalf of some friends.

I woke up on Sunday morning and went down to feed the dogs. My greyhound did not come down, which is EXTREMELY odd. He's Mr. Velcro dog. I went upstairs to see if I could figure out if Mr. Lazy Bones was understanding that he was being fed. It seemed he did, but as he got up to obediently follow me down, he held his leg in front of him awkwardly. Uh oh.

I have no idea what happened to him. He'd been fine Saturday night. We'd had an issue with a strain earlier in the winter, and that was preceeded by a little racing around. Although he limped and yelped on occasion, he ate as usual and icing it seemed to help. He was progressively better the next day, so I hoped for the same result this time.

Somehow, though, I knew that it was not to be. I felt horrible all day yesterday (sick), but went to Mass, leaving him out of the kennel, which is also not normal. As an ex-racing dog he tends to be more comfortable in the kennel, but yesterday I just didn't want to move him and he didn't seem real inclined to want to move around.

I went to Mass, prayed, and returned home, and as I went to apply ice to my dog's swelling leg, he yelped and cried and screeched horribly! I did the only thing I could do...I burst into tears. I picked up the phone and called a nearby friend, feeling like an idiot but not able to stop my sobs. She of course came over immediately, which is literally only a few steps away. When she arrived I was on the phone with the emergency clinic, thinking I needed to do something to ally my dog's pain.

The cost of the ER clinic...$98.00 to walk through the door. The cost of the X-Rays and likely "consult fee"...over $300, best guess. The total cost of everything...a lot more than I have available to me.

My friend sat with me while I pondered this, and then told me she had to go to Mass, but offered to pray for us. I thanked her for coming, and later called her; she has no idea how much her presence helped to calm me and clear my head.

During the afternoon I left the grey and took my other dog, a Shepherd and we walked over to my church. I visited the Fatima shrine and St. Joseph and prayed for their intercession. I regretted I had no flowers to leave in their honor, but I had that sense that they were with me.

Last night, my friend, the same one who had been over earlier, brought me a boquet of yellow daffodils, and immediately it came to me that they were from St. Joseph. He is typically associated with the white lily, but something about this particular bouquet just says, "St. Joseph". Of course I thanked my friend, but she was the one who had been inspired to pick them up for me on behalf of a Saint. I do pray that St. Joseph also sends her a gift.

Throughout the day I asked friends for prayers, and I have one friend who does a regular 3 am Holy hour and his was last night. I have to say that for the first time in weeks, I did not wake up between 3 and 4 am. (Those of you who experience this know what I'm talking about, and it ain't insomnia.)

This morning my dog's leg and paw were very swollen, although he seemed better and he had a normal appetite. But he was still favoring it and I knew I had to bring him in. He was due for his shots, anyway. So I went in to work and called for an appointment. God set things up nicely today, so that I wasn't so overwhelmed I couldn't leave. Dont' get me wrong, it was a horrible day to have to leave, but I had the feeling that all is well and God is in charge.

But that didn't stop me from praying while at the clinic. The vet indeed wanted to take X-Rays, and as I've had some medical training myself, I knew that his request is more than reasonable and the best for the dog. So although I can't afford it, I agreed.


The vet asked me again what had happened, which was exactly nothing that I knew of. He explained that his concern was a spider bite, and this can cause the injury and swellign we were seeing. I asked him what kind of spider? Brown Recluse.

He said they are more common than most people realize. So dog owners, cat owners...if your pet wakes up in the morning with a swollen joint or other spot, look for bite marks (if a short-haired animal) which will look like 2 puncture wounds, and sweeling and pain. If you see this, please bring your pet to the vet and offer this to God. He gave you your pet, so he'll take care of things for you.

Today as I sat in that vet office and prayed and wondered about all the "what if's", I heard that still small voice within saying, "Trust me." I took out a picture of Jesus and considered what he would have done if I lived in his time on earth and was fearful for my pet. Jesus was definitely the sort to stop by and lend his hand. As he did today.

The vet later came back and said he saw some bruising, wanted permission to shave so as to look for the bite marks if there were any. I agreed. He came back again and told me that he didn't find anything so they were treating this as a sprain. The X-Ray was negative (PRAISE GOD!).

Now my guy has a pressure bandage on his leg and paw and a cover to place over it. He's not at all happy about it but we go back on Thursday to see if the swelling is down and if there is any evidence of a bite. If there is, I will need more prayers and some people who are willing to come over and help me track down the poisionous little bastards. I am arachnophobic and if they cross my path, they die. If they cause harm to my dogs...they die.

Anyway, the cost today, X-Rays and all, was not nearly what I thought it would be. I think we'll be in the clear, but of course it's not all done. And I know the attack is going on, so I do continue to ask for all of your prayers. Maybe you think my worry about a dog is ridiculous, and you have a right to that opinion. But I see my pets as gifts from God and they have taught me so much about God. Their presence in my home is a manifestation of God's love and truth be told, I would never be able to sleep without their presence.

And the events that have accompanied yesterday's crisis and today's diagnosis prove to me once again that all this is in God's hands, and boy, do I need to do a better job of trusting Him!

So Minnesotans...keep an eye out for a nasty little spider called the Brown Recluse so that, just in case this turns out to be all due to that, you can get your dog or cat or whatever to a vet immediately to deal with it.

And pray to St. Joseph. He might send you flowrs! Tonight I lit his votive candle with a prayer of thanksgiving for his intercession. The lilies in his hand were right in front of the flame and they appeared to be yellow daffodils.


Anonymous said...


I'm glad your canine friend will be fine. Thanks for sharing the info on the spider. I have 2 cats and they love the basement so I'll have to be on the lookout.

Don't apologize for loving your animals. They can lead us to a fuller life in Christ. Sounds crazy?

I went back to private Confession after 10 years of attending general absolution services in response to a bargain I made with God. I said if the Lord could get me thru the devasting period after I had to put my 18 year old cat to sleep, I would get myself to private Confession.

I went and now I don't know why I waited so long. But, without that kick in the pants after the loss of my feline companion of many years I don't know where I'd be now. Still rollin' in sin perhaps?


Our Word said...

I'll pray to St. Francis for them as well (and for you, too!)


Unknown said...

How's he doing tonight, Adoro?

My sympathies and prayers to St. Francis also.