Promise, my friend

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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19 thoughts on “Promise, my friend

  1. Debi,

    I am so sorry for the loss of Promise. He was a beautiful dog. Thanks for sharing pictures of him. May he rest in peace.

  2. It is so true that dogs love us unconditionally. I too have lost many animals as I have always had them around me. I recently heard a story.
    A family had to have their dog put to sleep. This was done at the vet’s while they were there. The vet said, “I wonder why dogs can’t live as long as people”. The son and owner of the dog answered , “I know. It’s because it takes people many years to learn to love unconditionally and dogs already know this so, they don’t have to live as long”.
    Now those wise words came from a little boy. (A true story)

    Debi, dogs go to heaven so you WILL see Promise again. Cry all you need to. Hugs to you. Dot

  3. I am so sorry about Promise. But, how wonderful that he lived healthy to ‘old age’. He left so peacefully. Able to say good-bye to the whole family was so comforting to all of you. What a special friend Promise was. His memories will always walk beside each of you and keep each of you joyful.

    Good story Dot gives us. Something for each of us to think about when it is hard to love another. Dot, we always love your wise words. Come back often and share with us.

  4. I wrote this poem for Debi, to remember her precious PROMISE

    Promise was a “pledge” to be loyal and true
    Promise was a buddy that stuck close to you
    God’s delightful creature GOD created just for you
    Now he’s fulfilled his PROMISE
    And the Lord has, too
    May you find comfort in knowing that his job is done, well done
    And he will ever be your PROMISE
    The faithful one.

    So sad about this darling dog, family friend and ‘buddy’. Promise was affable and laughable and so merry a dog. He was a blessing and I, too, know he will be loping around Heaven, jolly and joyful.

  5. Oh Debi I’m so sorry for your loss. You all will miss him. I remember him trying to butt in when we were putting up cans of tomatoes and peaches. He liked everyone who came in the door. It didn’t matter whether they were rich or poor for each touched his inner core. It showed it in is dance for joy. It seemed God brought together everyone who was so precious to him to touch him one last time. Now you have a garden to honor him and a picture by Dorothy Jett to remember forever this precious gift – Promise.

  6. Thanks to all for your outpouring…to Needles for your caring words, to Dot for your hugs and ‘down to earth’ love, to Mg for your gift of poetry; to Sara for words that will always echo comfort in my being; to Rena for your kindness and reminder of thankfulness to Dorothy for her artistic gift that captured his spirit. May God bless each of you everyday.

  7. This love so unconditonal; (TITLE) TheGolden Rule
    I knew not what it meant;
    until I got a puppy;
    when I was barely ten;

    he followed me everywhere;
    ran to meet me after school;
    he slept beside my bed at night;
    he taught me the golden rule;

    I knew that he would leave one day;
    I know he knew it too;
    straight to heaven he did go;
    he ‘lived’ the golden rule. (c) 2010 Dot Clifton Zafra

    In memory of all good dogs, especially inspired by Promise, the dog who belonged to Debi. He surely practiced the Golden Rule

  8. What a beautiful poem Dot and an excellent illustration of how we can learn and how we should ‘live’…or walk the walk and not just talk the talk.

  9. Debi, I’m so sorry to hear about the lose of Promise. What a beautiful dog he was. I know your heart is hurting from such a lose. We, too, have lost our best friend, Skipper. We bought a beautiful Golden Retriever, when Noah was a baby. I told my Mom, I wanted Him to grow up with a dog. Skipper was 10 years old. he became very sick and we found out that he had Addison’s disease. We started him on steroids, and we could tell he was feeling much better. About a month and a half ago, I went out to feed and medicate Skipper and he was gone. We searched and searched. He never came home. My boys have cried and cried. Skipper was a great dog and a big part of our family. It’s been hard on all of us, to lose such a great friend. We praise the Lord for blessing us, with such a wonderful dog. We will never forget Skipper. Debi, we will continue to pray for you and your family. We understand the pain you feel after losing such a precious gift from God. God Bless you and your family.

  10. Thank you, Dot. And your poem about the faithfulness of our canine friends, inspired by Promise, reminds me of the rhyme, Mary had a little lamb; Only you had a “little dog” who followed to school one day. And speaking of doggies following to school….now the counselors and our principals bring their doggies to school on certain occasions. It ministers to the children and sets a tone of joy and “love” for the whole day.

  11. CF…I am sorry about Skipper. My heart goes out to you and especially those precious sons of yours. I pray for your family that there will be a good outcome. What was meant for something bad, the Lord will turn into something good. In the meantime, I pray your sons will grow in wisdom and strength through this tough time.

  12. I am so very sorry to hear about Skipper. I hope and pray that there will be a closure for Noah, Luke and family.

    I do remember at times Skipper would take off for a little fun away from home and Mom, Noah and Luke would search and find and bring Skipper home. I can still hear Noah and Luke’s joy over the phone putting Skipper on the truck and trucking it home. May The Holy Spirit lead Mother in finding a way to hold closure for Skipper and his best buddies, Noah and Luke.

  13. Chickenfarmer, thank you for your words and prayers. I, also, am so sorry to hear about Skipper. Losing Skipper in such a way must be extremely difficult and painful. May the Lord bring healing and comfort to you and your family in His special way.

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