This story is an amazing demonstration of God’s love and how His Kingdom comes to earth in our lives “for real!”
Let’s start with Cory, my beautiful border collie born March 6, 1995. He came to us as an 11-week old little ball of fur so cute, you wanted to eat him up the first day! When I went to the pet store to buy him a collar the lady behind the counter asked what kind he was. When she told me that she had had a border collie I immediately asked “how long did he live?” She told me he lived to 17 years of age. This was a delight to my heart because 3 years before I had to “put down” my previous dog Patch who had cancer at the young age of 8.
At the time of Cory’s entrance into my life I was beginning to understand some spiritual truths that were new to me. One of them was about the power of our words to bring forth blessings into our lives. I immediately began to “pronounce long life” over Cory. I conversed with the Lord, “if that lady’s dog can live to 17, then Lord I’m claiming at least 17 years for Cory”.
Not too much less than that was Cory’s life…but let me share with you some of the journey over his lifetime starting with an event when he was 9 years old.
I had found blood in his stool and was of course immediately worried and concerned. Tests at the Vet showed he had a serious (life-threatening) case of pancreatitis. He was given some medications but the Vet remained concerned about the results of his blood work. Around that time my best friend came to visit me. I thought maybe she was really pushing the boundaries of what God would do for me when she suggested we pray for his healing. She laid hands on him and asked God to make him well. I asked her why God would do this and her answer was “because He loves you!”
Well, the fact that I am now writing about it several years later is proof enough that he was indeed healed of pancreatitis!
As the years went on Cory began to show symptoms of old age – almost complete deafness, diminished eye sight and just “slowing down” when we went for walks. Cory had a “brother” in my dog Buddy a very rambunctious yellow lab. Buddy was a wonderful companion for Cory and I think God brought him into our lives to help keep Cory young. I was blessed to have a place in the country where I could walk them off-leash, but there came a time when Cory started stopping about half way and would just stand there on the path not moving, waiting for Buddy and I to return. It was like he was saying to me: “Mommy, I’m too tired to go on, I’ll just wait for you and Buddy here”. On the way back it was always heartwarming to see his response when we were close enough for him to see us. He would do what I call his “little pounce turn” – a sign that he still had some spunk, just not enough to manage the whole walk.
Around Thanksgiving something alarming started to happen. Cory began to make very strange breathing sounds. Sometimes it sounded like he was snoring while he was awake; at other times he sounded like “Darth Vader” and at other times the sounds didn’t sound like an animal at all – like knot twisting in the wind or even a coffee percolator. Really weird! When I took him to the Vet I was told that it is not uncommon in older dogs for them to develop a “reduced trachea” and that’s what was producing the sound. It wasn’t immediately life threatening, but indeed another sign that he was starting to go downhill.
A few months later another “bad report” from the Vet. This time the worst news of all. Cancer. One of the most hated words in our vocabulary because of its inherent terror. Cory had been having a strange white discharge from his nose intermittently, then more frequent. Next blood came into the mucous as well. The Vet told me he had nasal cancer and there was pretty much nothing I could do. I asked what would be the sign of coming to the end and she said “there will be blood everywhere”.
Well, all I can say is that I was not going to receive that bad news! I know that all the promises of God are “yes” when we lay claim to them by faith. I knew that God didn’t have to heal my dog, but because I already learned from a previous experience that His love for me includes caring for my dog, I started to declare by faith that he was going to be healed.
The other sign that he was really sick was that he had lost a lot of weight. On Feb 4th when I had him at the Vet they weighed him as 34.6 lbs. The clinic staff referred to him as emaciated; that he was “wasting away”. A typical weight for a healthy male border collie is 45 lbs.
A month later, March 6th was Cory’s 16th birthday, and guess what? No cancer! After a few weeks of praying and declaring long life over him I saw that the discharge from his nose had completely stopped, and that he was putting on weight. Then it suddenly dawned on me that the strange noises from his reduced trachea had also stopped! WOW! That brought to mind the verse which says that God will do for us “beyond what we imagine or think!” Can you imagine the level of my gratitude? Off the charts!
By July Cory weighed 44.3 lbs. That’s a weight gain of nearly 10 lbs., which for a dog is quite significant. Now the gals at the Vet clinic were referring to Cory as “the miracle dog”. Indeed, he was!
One last blessing that proved his remarkable healing was a comment from a fellow dog walker friend of mine. We would sometimes run into each other in the wooded trail where he would bring his 3 dogs while I had Cory and Buddy with me. He knew that Cory had been sick and hadn’t seen him for a few months. When he saw him again he said to me: “What’s happened? He looks younger!” Yes, he not only looked younger, but was again able to come for longer walks without stopping.
So back to the beginning of this blog when I talked about the Kingdom of God. It’s quite simple. It’s why we pray “your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”. There are no sick dogs in heaven! We can by faith bring the realities of heaven into the earth. And in Cory’s case we did.
Cory did finally move to heaven, but not because of sickness, only because of old age. He was 16 ½ years old. To God be the glory for his leaving us with a perfect little black nose!