For the past few weeks, residents of this area have been keeping their eyes open for a dog that escaped from a boarding kennel. I don’t know the details of the escape. All I know is that a female boxer somehow got loose from the kennel that was keeping her for her family while they were away. When they came back, their dog was missing.
The owners put up bright green fliers and signs everywhere, with the highest concentration of notices going up around the area where the dog was last seen. Several of us who live in this area put the status on our Facebook page. Apparently, there were search parties out looking for her, as well.
I can certainly identify with the owners who, through the negligence of someone else, lost their beloved pet. I’m sure they must’ve been sick with worry and frustrated with rage over these events. I can’t imagine the panic that would rip through me if I came home to find that my beloved Ace, a part of my family, was missing. The shock of it alone would be devastating.
It’s even worse when we lose people. Most likely, we’ve all had the experience at one time or another. I’ve cried buckets, no, more like rivers of tears over beloved people I’ve lost. I’m not talking about those I’ve lost to death. That is a different kind of grief. I’m talking about those I’ve lost through negligence, misunderstandings, or a myriad of other difficult situations. All loss is sad, but these particular losses hurt deeply because they often feel preventable. I imagine the loss of this dog was preventable, too.
Sometimes, though, these losses happen. Words are spoken or in some cases words go unsaid. Neglect takes place. Misunderstandings flourish. Then, before we know it, we’ve lost someone dear to us. Under these circumstances is all lost? No, I don’t think so. I believe we can find these beloved people again but not without effort.
I don’t know all the effort that went into finding this lost dog, but I know there was plenty of it. Signs had to be made and placed in strategic locations. Traps had to be set. People had to search. Friends had to communicate.
Finding a lost beloved person is an effort of a different kind. In the Christmas message of 1994, President Howard W. Hunter stated, “…mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer…Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger…Speak your love and then speak it again.”
In the end, this sweet, beloved pet was found by someone making an effort. I can only imagine the reunion that took place between this family and their lost dog. If so much joy can be had over a reunion with a lost pet, imagine the joy we could experience when we make an effort and then find our lost beloved.