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Does every encounter you have with another person, every exchange, every chance meeting, every smile, every word spoken in frustration, every sadness shared, does it happen for a reason?

A special post from the heart of Adena Lowry, one of the Writers Group at North Pointe. Einstein said, “There are only two ways to live your life: as though nothing is a miracle, or as though everything is a miracle.”

A Long Goodbye

My dog, Griffin, is sick.

I think we’re putting him down next week.

I’ve been saying goodbye to him for a few days now, drinking him in, watching him, talking with him, hanging out with him, scratching him behind the ears, unsure of how I’m going to do life without him.

Even as I write this, the tears start to flow and I have to pause to get through it.

A Neighbourly Dog

I love that silky eared, golden-eyed, whale breath dog.

I’ve been walking around our neighbourhood twice a day for the last fourteen years with my golden labrador. We’ve met so many of our neighbours.

Even this morning, on our meager walk of three houses down, three houses back, we stopped to chat with two neighbors. Griffin wagging his tail, happy to have a chance encounter with anyone, sponging extra pats on the head, rubbing his furry body on someone’s pants, slobbering just a little on their hand.

He loves people…

What has this perpetual furball – this faithful friend who tugs at my heart – taught me about living?

3 Things I Learned From Griffin








1. Spend each day with quiet time.
My daily routine includes getting away with Griffin on a morning and afternoon walk. During this time, we often find an uninhabited park, solitude on the golf course, or a street of silence. No matter rain, snow, or shine, we’ve been out promenading the neighbourhood.

Griffin does say much as we walk, and I’m often left with time to be still and reserved, my thoughts turn to God and prayer. Griffin is so polite, as he never interrupts, just nicely walks along, sniffing, following our usual route.

It has given my time to reflect, prioritize, steady my heart for the day to come. I’ve had time to talk to God, give him my worries, my concerns, and my thanksgiving. I’ve had time to cry out to Jesus and praise his name all in the same moment.

2. Invade the space of others, whether you are welcomed in or not.
Griffin does not wait to be invited into your garage, your yard, or even your front porch, if you are there, that is invitation enough. You may not have even spoken to him, but there he is, in your space. And since he is here, you might as well stop what you are doing and have a conversation.

People need to know that they are not invisible.

You may not know it, but your little interaction may be the encouragement to help someone through the day. People don’t often know that they need to have a connection, but once they have experienced the contact with even a complete stranger, they somehow feel different, better, akin.

3. Wag your tail and be friendly.
Tell people they are important by your actions and excitement to see them.

Griffin is such a happy, goofy dog. He’ll see you from across the street, or you’ll simply be walking past our house, and he’ll think that you are coming just to see him. It makes him feel special.

I often think he believes that the only reason you exist is to come and visit him.


I’m very grateful for the people I’ve met along the way in our neighbourhood. I’m thankful for their kindness, the treats they’ve shared with my dog, the time taken to pause and chat and pat.

We need community.

I know we’ve experienced something special here.

APPLICATION: Thank you neighbours. It’s been a wonderful 14 years. So thankful. Adena, Stephen, Micaiah, and Griffin Lowry. Please leave a comment for Adena and her family.

I write to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose. If this material is helpful to you, please follow me.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers


  • Jenn K says:

    Sweet Adena & Family, my heart aches for you because I know the pain that comes with having to say goodbye to our fur family! A year ago I had to make the same fateful decision for my girl, Takoda! It was difficult. Know that Griffin loves you and will always watch over you! Stay with him through the difficult time at the Vet, hold him close, tell him you love him, embrace him, take in his smell, the feel of his fur, the love in his eyes! It’s not easy. Give yourself time to grieve – there is no timeline! Take care of you and your family the best you can but don’t be afraid to ask for help! Dogs are family too – they aren’t “just pets”.
    Those who understand your loss will be there for you whole heartedly.

    Blessings and love to you and your family during these difficult days.


  • Gary Grycan says:

    Thank you for sharing with us about this great and special dog. As one of the neighbours on his route I will miss the unconditional love from Griffin. Words of encouragement from his family have helped so often and experiencing Griffins happy to see you attitude have been of great help to me over the years.

  • Adena says:

    The loss of Griffin has been tremendous. God is talking to me daily about my deep grief for this loving dog. God is so amazing to use all things to bring us closer to him. Although I miss him with all my heart, I know that God still holds mine.

  • Debbie Gonzales says:

    Your words are amazing and I feel blessed to have read them. I can relate so very much to your story about Griffin. I am a Christian and I believe with all my heart that my yellow lab, Maggie, was sent to me by God to teach me so many things. Few people understand the bond that I developed with her. She had become very ill towards the end and it was the hardest thing ever having to make the decision to let her go. Maggie was born with hip dysplasia. At 6 she developed arthritis. At 7 she was diagnosed with cancer. After having the tumor removed she was given 1 – 3 years life expectancy but I refused to accept that. I prayed daily over her and God gave her another six years. Maggie gave me 13 1/2 years of unconditional love, support, comfort, and a loyalty I’ve never known. She is over the Rainbow Bridge and I know I will see her again. Thank you for sharing your story. God bless.

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