August 30, 2017

When I was growing up I always wanted a German Shepherd as a pet. I thought they were the best dogs ever. Then in November of 2005 I got a call from my wife who told me a friend had an 11 month old German Shepherd that they couldn't keep. Mia asked if we could take her and I said yes. She told me that was good because she was already at the house.

So began our life with Gwen. She was a great dog. She was a protector of the house and kids. One time when we lived in Chicago a person was trying to break into our basement door. Gwen trapped them there until my wife could get help to our house. My son even nicknamed her the Secretary of Defense. She would chase the kids in the yard and loved to play and go on walks. We caught Gwen up on the trampoline one day bouncing and my daughter taught her to jump into the playhouse in the backyard and then go down the slide. When we moved to Arizona Gwen found some new fun. She chased the pigeons and neighborhood cats out of our yard. Gwen loved to go up the mountain on hikes and just be around the family.

We knew her health was failing but on Friday night she gave me a look that told me she was done. Saturday we called the vet to take her in but they were booked and so we scheduled an appointment for Monday. Gwen had other ideas. Saturday afternoon while we were out Gwen died at our home. My daughter was there with her.

Why am I telling you all of this? Maybe it's just therapy for me to talk about it. Or maybe it is because God calls us to comfort those around us with the same comfort we have received. 2 Corinthians 1:4 tells us, "God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us." (NLT) We loved our dog and we will miss her, but we also know the comfort that God provides us. The comfort we receive is for us, but also for us to share with others who may go through a similar situation. I pray our community is one that comforts others because of the comfort we have received ourselves from God.

Mr. Robert Koehne
Executive Principal