I had one very special dog in my life. He was a Golden Retriever named Duffy. He died suddenly on All Saints Day (so appropriate if dogs could be saints) in 2008.
Within a year we adopted a high-spirited Labrador Retriever rescue we named Wilson. He died suddenly in December of 2018. We have been dogless ever since.
My heart was so broken after these two tragic losses that I haven’t entertained the thought of another dog until…
There was Snoopy
I was invited to join a neighborhood app called Nextdoor. Like social media, you can scroll through threads or make comments then realize you’ve just lost an hour or two of your life in the blink of an eye. Tons of notifications come through which I find myself almost immediately deleting – until this one:
Looking for a great family dog?
I clicked. There was a video of Snoopy along with several responses to meet her. I felt “the nudge” and commented that I was interested. (“The nudge” is when I feel God telling me to act.) Then I realized there was a phone number. So I called.
The owner is Jim. He shared with me the good, the bad, and the ugly. Snoopy is a year and a half old, 50% pointer and 50% bulldog (they did a DNA test). His son found her as a puppy by a dumpster outside of a McDonald’s.
They were moving to California to be near his mother-in-law who had recently lost her husband. They already had three small dogs and, unfortunately, Snoopy was about 60 pounds of rambunctiousness that tipped the scale on one dog too many.
I don’t know how it happened, but God came into our discussion. Jim and I shared our faith. His prayer was for Snoopy to find the right home where she would be loved. It broke his heart to have to let her go.
We met. Snoopy was a real sweetie. But she was a ball of energy as Jim described. We went for a walk, and I got to see her run wild in her backyard. Her energy reminded me of Wilson and the work that would be required. But I was okay with that.
Jim told me that there were others interested in Snoopy. He would keep me updated. I said my good-byes and walked out to my car. Snoopy was sitting at the door watching me leave.
My husband and his family love the Peanuts cartoons. What are the odds that her name was Snoopy? We installed a new fence, so our yard was dog ready. We wouldn’t have to go through puppy training. All these “coincidences” could have made me get all hyped that this was meant to be.
Letting Go and Trusting God
That’s what I would have done in the past. But I didn’t think that. Jim and I both wanted what was best for Snoopy. We were letting go and trusting God for that.
Snoopy found new doggie parents who own a horse rescue farm on 80 acres. They have another dog for Snoopy to frolic with and huge amounts of space to run. It is the perfect place for her.
Jim became a divine connection. We have talked several times since. The move also means a transition for him as he discerns what God has next for him to do.
I couldn’t help but think of Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
Snoopy Provided a Formula to Trust God and Let Go
- Act on God’s nudges – but let go of outcomes. Regret happens when you don’t act. However, the outcome is up to God as we listen, act, and trust. God almost always surprises us in outcomes we don’t expect.
- Lean not on your own understanding. I could have easily read into all the “coincidences” rather than leaving it up to God.
- Let love decide – rather than being attached to the idea of having Snoopy, I let love rule what would be best for her.
There were several verses I could have picked for this story. One as equally important is Philippians 4:6-7: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Jim and I felt no anxiety as we let the right outcome unfold for Snoopy.
Now when Jim and I are faced with decisions, we apply the Snoopy Formula. I hope what Snoopy taught us about how to trust God and let go will help you too.