My son Caleb has a golden retriever dog guide, Esther. She’s ten years old, and I say that she is semi-retired, but Esther knows she is still a puppy.
Every morning she jumps down the stairs, spins around the living room, and says, “It’s a new day! Let’s have fun.”
I love her. She makes me smile. And she is a reminder to me from God of new hope. Esther is well into middle age, for a dog, just like I am. But her days are full of energy and love and new chances for happiness.
For Esther, every meal is a fresh delight, even though it is the same old dog food. She finds a toy she hasn’t seen for months, and it’s exciting. She comes to us snuffing and licking and wagging her joy with us like new friends.
Every meal, even after eight and a half years, she still waits with hope under the table, just in case we change our minds and feed her. She meets visitors at the door with gifts of a toy or a shoe. One of our favorite games as a family is looking all over the house for where Esther hid one out of a pair of shoes. Okay, maybe that is only a favorite game for Esther.
When Esther is not working, she is a family dog, and she loves us all. Mmm, let me just say—she knows who in the house is not a dog lover, and she leaves them alone. Caleb is still her favorite, and she is especially excited when he gets home and meets him at the door with much moaning of happiness.
The other morning when Esther jumped down the stairs, God reminded me that just because I’m almost fifty-five and a stay-at-home lady, life can still be new and full of hope and possibility. For years, Caleb and Esther have worked as a team, and Caleb travels throughout the city and the country. She is a gift from God for him. But at ten and a half, she’s a new gift from God for me.