Together in Doggie Heaven now-
(photo by Sheri Postma)
If you hadn’t heard, we lost a member of our family yesterday, as we had to make the heart-wrenching decision to put Pedro down. Like this post from 2013, I’m really not writing this for your benefit, but for mine – in hopes that it will be therapeutic for my family, since we’ve all been crying for over 24 hours now.
Unlike Jasper, whom we chose from a litter of puppies in nearby Lockport, Pedro was purchased in Los Angeles by our oldest son, Chad, back in 2003. Chad and his roommate both worked in the television industry, so they would leave Pedro in the backyard all day while they were at work, and there happened to be a lemon tree in the yard, so Pedro occupied himself all day playing with lemons. So began his lifelong obsession with a ball.
About a year later, Chad was assigned to be the accountant on the set of the TV drama “Lost” in it’s pilot season – which meant he had to move to Honolulu, where the show was being filmed. Since pets entering Hawaii are required to be quarantined for 120 days (at a cost of over $1,000), Chad asked if we would “watch the dog” for him until he returned to LA, which he thought would be about six months. We reluctantly agreed, since it was “only for six months”.
Even at that, Pedro nearly drove us crazy those first few weeks because of his obsession with chasing a ball. Then my wife fell in love with the little guy, and as the months went by he became her dog, and there was no way she would let Chad have him back.
By my calculations, Pedro had more friends all around the world than any dog in history, as he literally entertained our guests from Senegal, Nigeria, Zambia, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Trinidad, Cambodia, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom, and they all seemed to enjoy throwing the ball for him to chase, despite our warnings that they would wear out long before he did.
And of course, he brought laughter to every CLC’er who entered our home: pastors, elders, H2H leaders, ministry directors, staff families – you name it, everyone who came into our house had to throw the ball for Pedro.
While I’m at it, I must give a special shout-out to Sheri Postma and Carl & Nancy Harris, who loved Pedro like he was their own whenever Chris and I had to travel for missions – one reason we could accept those international opportunities is because we knew he was being loved in their homes just as he was loved in ours.
Like Jasper, it seemed his favorite times were on vacation in the Smokies or being around the pool at my in-law’s in Michigan. He didn’t have Jasper’s love for swimming, but he delighted in flicking the ball (as only he could) into the water and then begging until one of us retrieved it for him.
He loved my wife as deeply as any animal can love and as he aged, was most content just being on her, pressed up against her on the couch or even sleeping in our bed at night. When Jen experienced her bout with blindness last year, Pedro sensed that something was wrong and wouldn’t leave her side for those 36 days.
Pedro preferred humans over other dogs (since people could throw the ball), so even though he had over 10 years with Jasper, they basically just co-existed. But when Jen brought Diesel into our family last April, he forced Pedro to be his friend and play together, which seemed to renew Pedro’s youth. The two of them became two peas in a pod, following each other around the house, eating from each other’s plate (even though the food was the same) and fighting to see who could sit closest to Chris.
No dog has ever been more loved. When Sol broke the news to Bennett yesterday that Pedro had joined Jasper and Joey in doggie heaven, his response was, “Oh man, why do they like to go there?”
But we know the answer to that, Pedro, because now you can chase a ball in doggie heaven and never stop. Rest in peace, little buddy. We love you!
The early years
Nothing was better than sleeping in mama’s arms
He really was Chris’ dog, but in later years, he warmed up to me, too
The “boys” loved vacations in the Smokies
The best part of vacations in the Smokies was putting his head out of the window. (We’ll never forget the time he barked at a bear that dozens of tourists were trying to get a picture of, sending the bear back into the woods)
Sometimes he would go into the pool at Gramma Hansen’s, but riding the raft with Diesel was the best!
When Jen was blind for 36 days in 2015, he wouldn’t leave her side
This pic says it all: “you know what to do, so don’t just stand there: THROW THE BALL!”
nothing like a mother’s love
Say hello to Jasper & Joey for us-