Every Good and Perfect Gift

6 1/2 years ago, we met this little guy at the shelter in Miami Dade County. The shelter there takes in 100 dogs per day and puts most of them down. This particular one was scheduled for the next day.

We took him home.


He came home with about 100 ticks, kennel cough, and pretty severely emaciated. The adoption fee was cheap, but the vet bill wasn’t exactly a bargain.

But he was a steal.


Stephanie and I unknowingly entered the toughest time of our adult lives, living in Miami. This post is not about those struggles, but I look back on those years now and realize the trials not only built character, but cemented in us a peace and a trust in God to care for us in good times and bad.

And Teddy gave us a beacon of happiness and joy.


6 1/2 weeks ago, he became incredibly ill and we didn’t initially know why.
We took him to the vet and after a bunch of tests, realized he probably had pancreatitis. We’re still a little perplexed how, because we’re altogether pretty strict about what he’s allowed to eat. His regular vet could do nothing for him, due to the severity (literal fat blobs were separating from serum in the centrifuge… constant vomiting, diarrhea, suffering from extreme pain). It was suggested we take him to Animal Emergency and Referral Center, but that it would be very expensive. It was.

But we would not turn our backs on him.


AERC did a remarkable job treating his pancreatitis. Unfortunately, he mysteriously went into kidney failure. Every blood test sent his BUN and creatinine levels higher and higher.

At our request, he was discharged from AERC. They couldn’t do much more for him there at that stage than we could do for him at home. Plus, well, money.

We were sent home with 9 medications, bags of fluids to inject subcutaneously, and a “good luck”.


For over a month, we’ve loved on him. Stephanie managed to get all those pills in him three times a day (wow, honey…), we poked him 100’s of times to get a half liter of fluids in him daily, monitored his food ounce for ounce, woke up with him *every* night at 3am to pee, and even turned to hydrotherapy in the tub and canine kidney health herbal products.

Three weeks ago, we did a blood test and were told he was past the point of no return.


We soldiered on. The entire time, our prayer to God was “no expectations and no limitations”… and for the peace to accept either outcome.


You might be thinking a lot of things.
1) These guys are nuts, going to those lengths for a dog
2) What does God have to do with it?
3) Um, that picture of him is adorable.


The answer to 2? Everything. Every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:17)

Teddy was and is a gift that came at the perfect time. From the outside looking in, he’s just a dog. To us, he’s a reminder of God’s love for our family.

Oh? You wanted to know the outcome?

Yesterday, his BUN and creatinine levels (you know, those irreversible numbers?) came back…


The vet care? Exceptional. The medicine? Required. The committed care at home? Invaluable.

The good and perfect gift? Healed.