Promise was born January 3, 1998 in Pea Ridge, North Carolina under the watchful eye of dog breeder and caregiver, Wallace Craddock. Sara brought him from North Carolina to Leesburg, delivering him to me in the early spring. I remember the first time I laid eyes on him…the cutest puppy, trotting happily right behind her down the sidewalk in our Leesburg, Virginia neighborhood. And for twelve and one-half years he continued to walk happily alongside each and every one of my family members who were willing to take him out for one of his favorite things…a walk down the sidewalk in the same neighborhood.

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What joy he brought to our family household throughout his life. He had more than enough love and attention to spread around to the five of us, loving us equally and never far from any of our shadows, whoever was home at the time. He was a true friend with a winsome vitality and personality that brought life to our home. A constant and faithful companion, he would sit at your feet, sit on your lap, run with you, play with you, sleep with you (if you let him), follow you constantly and never wanted to be without you. He guarded the house with his often loud barks and I never felt afraid when home alone with him

Less than a week ago son Phil, home visiting for awhile, had dug out a big bush in the backyard to help me plant a crape myrtle to make a new garden bed. And on Friday evening after dinner, daughter Elisabeth (who hadn’t been home for a visit since Christmas) asked me if I wanted to go with her to walk Promise. Setting off for the walk, with Promise jumping with excitement, I said to her, ‘Promise acts like a two year old!’ We had a nice walk and arrived back close to 9pm with Promise pulling/leading the way. Later that evening he wanted to go outside constantly but after being gone longer (10-20 minutes)than usual, at about 11:30 pm husband Bob went to check outside and found him… laying under a bush…gone, just like that.

How good and merciful and kind the Lord is. I had prayed and asked Him some time ago that when it was time for Promise to go home to Him, that He would just take him suddenly and that he would not suffer. He answered that prayer. And not only that, but He arranged that sons, Phil and Chris and daughter, Elisabeth, along with my husband and I, were able to be there to say goodbye to our dear friend.

Little did we know that the new garden spot was to become his memorial garden where Phil dug the grave and he and Chris lowered his body into it. Friend, Rena, brought a beautiful yellow rose and a passion flower to add to the site, helping to plant his garden.

I am so thankful for the gift of Promise that the Lord gave to us for this period of time that wound and intertwined our lives in a bond that gave us a common ground for communication and appreciation. I believe that the Lord used him to teach us about love, care, responsibility and faithfulness. And in return we received more than our fair share of unconditional love, faithfulness and companionship.

Though he is sorely missed, my hope is that one day, if we follow and serve Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we will see him again in heaven.

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