Lady, the Miracle that God Sent Me
She lay on the cold steel of the operating table looking at me through her pain racked eyes. Even as she struggled for each desperate breath, her eyes never left my face. They mirrored the love we felt for each other. I know the touch of my hand on her head gave her consolation and helped dispel her fears. She was not alone. As I prayed for her to pass quickly and stop the struggle for life, God gave me a Miracle that will live with me till I die. He gave me the visual proof that our animal friends like our human friends, although their body may die, their spirit live on. Such was His gift to me of a dog named LADY and a Spirit that lives forever waiting for me.
This beautiful red dog, part Rhodesian Ridgeback and Heinz 57, arrived on our doorsteps in terrible condition one cold, winter day. How she got onto the private Island we lived on is still a mystery. She had to get past uniformed guards, and drag herself many blocks before she reached me, but one evening Ferd and I found her laying on the walkway entrance to our home in California. Exhausted and near death, she was laying on her side when I heard a whine outside the door. When we opened the door, with extreme effort, she rose and came inside as though she belonged. She was dirty with what looked like caked blood, leaves and other debri on her body. She followed us into the house and again lay on the carpet, exhausted. After closer examination, we found that someone had sliced her with a knife under all four of her legs. Each cut was about 4 inches long. She was nearly starved and had a fish hook through her nostrils. She appeared to be such a docile and sweet animal. Just thankful for having found us and trusting us to help still her pain. It was indeed a sad shape for this beautifully spirited animal to have to endure. But endure she did and had found her way to us. Looking back, I can see that she was a gift from God to help me further along my way to faith and Jesus Christ.
At first we were afraid to pick her up because of her pain so we went over to a theater where our son was and asked him to come home and pick her up and help us take her to the vet. $300 later we had acquired a new friend. Now let me tell you, we did not want a dog. We traveled a lot and did not want to be encumbered with a pet. But the good Lord had other plans for me. I guess he got tired of hearing me mutter about DOUBT and being too lazy to look into His word and find out the truth, so like doubting Thomas, he gave me proof of His promises and love.
As the days became weeks and LADY healed, we advertised in the paper trying to find her a home. As people answered our ad, it soon became apparent that LADY was no lady when it came to people coming near me. She attached herself to me and would growl, showing her large canines, and would attack if anyone came too near. At first it was funny, but later it became not so funny. She wouldn't let strangers in the house. So how was I going to get a dog a new home, when she wanted to attack everyone that came in.
We weren't. And we were stuck! Finally, our son's girl friend agreed to take her home with her. We delivered LADY to her home, put her in the 6 foot fenced yard and left. By this time, I was becoming attached to her myself, so it was a sad farewell. Several hours later, I had this feeling (you know how the Holy Spirit nudges you) that I should go and check on LADY to make sure she was OK. So we trudged back over to the girl friend's home and sure enough, LADY was sitting on the curb in front of their house, waiting. How she got out of the fence I do not know as it was locked. It was like she knew we were coming back. We opened the car door and she jumped in. LADY became our dog. Like Christ, we finally accepted.
Through the years, as she became secure in our love. She calmed down and would let people and children come into the house as long as they got no where near me. She and I became soul mates and had many years of love, fun, treeing gardeners, near-miss attacks on those brave enough to visit, walks through the woods, snoozes by the waterfall behind our house, loads of kisses, hugs and just plain being friends. We traveled everywhere together in our motorhome. She would walk with me through the woods and wilderness of Lake Tahoe, spend hours sitting by me at the side of my favorite wilderness pool, and run the beaches when we moved to Florida. She consoled me when Ferd had open heart surgery, she helped me survive my teenage son's growing into adulthood, she guarded my desk in my production office when I was on location filming a movie, and for twelve years she was my best animal friend.
After Ferd's health problems and his finding Christ and starting his ministry, we did our final movie, ending up in Florida where we also retired. Lady went with us. Looking back at the timeline of events in our life, the Holy Spirit was working hard to get us in his fold. He introduced happenings in our life that were leading us to start living the Christian life. Although both of us were Christians, we were not living and glorifying the Lord. When we moved to Florida and after Ferd received the Holy Spirit, we started a new life.
My love for animals, especially LADY, was so great it was hard for me to believe that my animal friends would just be gone when they died. Never to be seen again. I studied the Bible to find all of the verses about animals. I found that there were soulish animals. Animals that knew right from wrong. And I knew that they listened to the Spirit of God. Ferd's prayer time was in the morning. He would go for walks in the woods and pray aloud in the Spirit. Many times wild animals, rabbits, opossums, raccoons, would follow along behind or beside him as he walked and prayed. He was filled with the Holy Spirit but what about me? I still had doubts that would sneak in. I didn't know how to receive the blessings the Lord kept trying to send me. And I still had no proof that when animals died, they would be with me in eternity and it was troubling to my faith.
Through LADY I was led to meet a Greyhound named HAPPY and became involved in Greyhound Rescue and my ministry. When we adopted Happy I explained to LADY about the hardships he had gone through and how we could give him some of our love. (Yes, some might think I'm nuts but my dogs understand me as clearly as you do). LADY understood everything we talked about and although we adopted Happy, and Pumpkin Pie, LADY was always the head of the household of animals. I think she tolerated them because they weren't all over me like other dogs and she still got more than her fair share of love. As I've said many times, Greyhounds are not like other dogs. They're more like trained athletes. And LADY recognized this and took joy in helping her fellow canine brothers and sisters. She went on Rescues with us always guarded me when we had new greyhounds come in and out of our house. She ruled supreme. I could go on and on about events that have happened with LADY but the final gift that was given to me when she passed on is what's so important to pass on as a special blessing to those that have lost or are about to lose a beloved pet.
One morning we got up, took LADY out for her morning constitutional and she fell down. She couldn't get up. We knew something was horribly wrong. We gathered her up in our arms and rushed her to the vet. He told us she was in acute heart failure and was dying. She had to be put down to ease her pain. That dread decision was upon us. As my husband and I held her in our arms on the table between us, the vet administered the shot. As the medicine took effect and LADY's body died, GOD spoke to me. With tears streaming down my face, I looked over at Ferd, then at LADY. With my hand on her body as I felt the life leave her, I suddenly saw her spirit leave her body. It rose from her body about my eye level, paused, looked over her shoulder at me as though to say "see ya". She was no longer old and gray, but a young girl like she was when we found her. Then she lifted on up toward the ceiling where she disappeared. I quickly looked at Ferd who was looking at her body. I asked him, "did you see that?" He looked up and answered, "see what?" I knew he had not been given the same gift as me. Jesus had let me look into the Spirit world for just a few seconds. It was His way of telling me that I would see my friend again.
For many years in my struggle to believe, I have had arguments with ministers and other Christians and people of the cloth about whether animals had spirits or souls. I didn"t have any real proof about my belief that animals did have spirits and would be in heaven but when LADY passed on, I saw with my own eyes and my doubts about God and faith, went out the window. I know for a fact that animals do have spirits that go to heaven where they are waiting for us. In the "dog business" we call if RAINBOW BRIDGE. The place where they wait for us to join them. Now I know that we will all be together again. Because I was given that gift from God. Now there is no more DOUBT only FAITH in all his promises. Now when I pray, I know how to receive the answer to my prayer. In Mark 11:24, Jesus said, "When you pray, believe that you have received, and you shall have what you prayed for." How do you receive something that in the natural you have not yet received. BY believing God's word over everything else. And that is Faith.
I recently lost my Pumpkin Pie and I'm writing a story to share with you about the reason our prayers are not answered. But for now, This was a wonderful blessing I received from the Lord to share with you. Thank you Jesus.
A true testimony for Christ by
Beverly Sebastian and her friend, Lady bug