And the Lord said, " I will give you a gift, a precious gift that will gladden your heart and make your life richer and happier than you imagined possible. There is a small problem attached to the gift, a bit of generosity is required of you. You must, whenever the time comes, be willing to give the gift back to me. That will be a test of your confidence in how your life is unfolding. You must be willing to part with that gift even though it has become terribly precious to you. I do not ask you to be unemotional; you may grieve and cry and feel all the normal natural feelings that arise when you lose something precious. That certainly signifies that the gift was a true treasure to you and that it has been a blessing in your life.
The difficult test is that you love me enough to permit me to take your treasure away from you so that it will be with me. You are faced with a dilemma; are you to risk some sadness and grief far down the road in order to gain immediate joy and companionship? That is your question; that is your choice.
What I will give you will be a stranger at first but the manner and the nature of it will be to insinuate itself into your soul and to become part, a lovely part, of your life. You will find this new friend to be anxious to please and amenable to training. You will find that it becomes part of your family and will add much to the harmony of that family. It will teach you lessons you didn't know you needed and it will affirm its love for you in a hundred, nay a thousand different ways. It will bring joy in the morning when the day is just beginning and it will bring peace and contentment as it sleeps by your feet and asks nothing more than to love and to be loved.
That stranger will become a friend and then a companion and a trusted ally. That stranger will teach you more than a little about its kin and the manners and maxims of the denizens of its world. You will see and hear your world through a new set of eyes and ears and, if you pay attention, you might get a bit of an idea of the importance of the world of smell. This isn't difficult knowledge to gather in the presence of this gift. You only have to watch, listen and hear.
I can almost guarantee that when time comes for me to call this gift, this "loaner" friend, home you will be heart broken at having to give it up. If you have a heart at all it will break. But this is a loan and you do not really "possess" it. It is yours for a while and then it has to come home to me. You must be willing to suffer pain if you hunger for joy. You must be willing to lose it all if you are given the world. But even if your life will never be the same, you cannot help but change for the good. Your life will be spangled with memories of joy and satisfaction; of pride and humility. You will be left with wonderful memories and you will be left yearning to repeat that experience again.
I'll be there with another loan. I'll be there with a new being that will be as different from the first as different can be and you will learn to love it too. It will never be the way it was but it could be even better. All I ask is that you have an open mind and a heart that will hold a dog.
by Bob Blakely