Daily Encouragement Net - Encourage one another daily (Hebrews 3:13)
"Encourage one another daily" (Hebrews 3:13).
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.


By Stephen C. Weber

I got my first dog on my ninth birthday. To this day I don’t recall why I named her Suzy, which sure isn’t a common name for dogs. She was just a light brown mutt from the dog pound but she became a memorable part of my childhood. Back in the early sixties we played outside a lot and our dogs always ran with us. My friends and I played ball, built forts, went down to the creek to catch crawdads, skinny-dipped in the farm ponds and all sorts of healthy boy’s play. We didn’t have video games in those days let alone having our heads staring down into an electronic device!

I grew up in the sixties in Belton, Missouri, a small town south of Kansas City. I was a boy scout and weekly rode my bike to the church where the troop meetings were held. In those days it was safe to be out even at night in the dark. My dog Suzy often ran along with me to the meetings and would wait to run home along with me when the meeting was over.

One night I got a ride home with a friend’s dad. I don't recall the specifics but I apparently forgot all about her until the next morning. The next day we drove to the church that our scout troop met in. There was my dog Suzy, still waiting patiently by the very door I had gone in for the meeting the night before! That was a good lesson on holding on and faithfulness.

Suzy was spayed so she never had puppies but she sure had her dog friends. Her best friend was Pumpkin, my best friend Dave’s dog. I think it’s neat that dogs have friends since I value friendships so much. I don’t know how Suzy and Pumpkin communicated but they sure liked to play together and with Dave and me. Dogs can teach you a lot about friendships. I don’t recall them ever not getting along. By the way, Dave is still my friend and we still reminisce together.

In the summer before my sophomore year of high school we moved to Independence, closer to the city and had a fenced yard where Suzy stayed. She was already getting a bit older by this time and settled in. I don’t recall as much about Suzy in those days but I know she remained loyal. Dog’s are great examples of loyalty. After high school I went off to college and Mom and Dad took care of Suzy for me. My, was she glad to see me when I would come home though. And I was glad to see her as well!

Right after my Junior year of college Brooksyne and I got married. We began our ministry together in a little country church about 20 miles outside of Springfield, Missouri that had been closed down. It was surrounded by dairy farms, hay fields and woods. It had a small parsonage next to it with a wood stove that became our first home. It was a great place to start our married life. And Suzy came down to live with us and was our first pet as a married couple. She was old and arthritic by now but she sure loved the farm life and being free again. But she was scared when I would be out all night putting up hay, particularly if it thundered. Brooksyne didn’t like it much that Suzy would jump up on the bed with her!

One time I was driving a tractor with a farm wagon
hauling hay. Brooksyne and Suzy were riding on the wagon and we hit a rut and Suzy slipped off the wagon and I ran over my own dog. Brooksyne will tell you that’s the hardest she ever saw me cry. It’s tough losing your first dog. It was dry that summer and the ground behind the old country church was hard as a rock. But I took a shovel to bury her and my first funeral service was for my faithful dog Suzy. She sure taught me some good life lessons.

* I’ve also written a story about the dog we got as a young married couple that replaced Suzy. We named him

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

Copyright 2005 Stephen C. Weber - All Rights Reserved

"Living today anchored in God's solid foundation"