When she reached the point that she could no longer even stand, we decided to make that final trip to the vet. This one was hard, harder than any of the dogs or cats before. You might be surprised to know that several have said how they will miss hearing about her—“the Magdi stories,” they always call them, people who have never even seen her.
She taught us a lot over the years. First, and foremost, she taught us to fulfill our purposes. She was born and bred to herd and she tried to do it from puppyhood, crossing our paths as we walked to turn us this way and that. She herded basketballs, soccer balls, body balls, and even a bowling ball. She often tried to herd squirrels, which never quite worked as she thought it should.
She taught us to work diligently, even when she was tired, even when it was too hot to do much more than sit in the shade. She taught us loyalty and bravery—she was always between me and whatever scary tractor or mower roared on our property and came running when a snake appeared, even the deadly ones. From the moment my illness reached this peak, she has somehow known and protected me throughout.
She taught us that there is always a younger generation watching, one that needs to learn how to do the tough stuff—like eating raw green beans.
She taught us to find the thing we are best at and do it with all our might, even if it’s just catching tennis balls. She taught us to enjoy the simple things in life. She was often an exasperation due to her smarts, but far more often she brought us joy.
God has been using his animal creation to teach us for thousands of years. He tells us that even the eagles know to care for their young, Deut 32:11. He tells us that even the smallest of animals knows to behave wisely, Prov 30:24-28. He points us to one of his tiniest creatures to teach us about diligence and hard work, Prov 6:6-8, Go to the ant, you sluggard. Consider her ways and be wise. He tells us that even the birds of the heavens recognize the seasons, so there is no excuse for his people not knowing his law, Jer 8:7.
So I think it is not wrong for us to remember a special dog who taught us many things over the past few years. If we could learn our purpose—serving God and one another—if we could be half as brave, hard working, smart, faithful, and content as she was, we might turn out okay after all.
Ask now the beasts, and they shall teach you; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell you: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach you; and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto you. Who knows not in all these, that the hand of LORD has wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind, Job 12:7-10.