Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ten Golden Rules We Learned From A Golden Example

2 Corinthians 1:3 NASB - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort

Three years ago today we picked up our other best friend. Today we held him as he took his last breath. Our hearts are broken. Trooper was the greatest dog in the world, and as Randi would always say he was our 'first born son.'  He was part of our family.  He was an integral part of Team Wideman. If you are not an animal lover I know that you may think this is silly, but I would often make it a prayer of mine to be more like Trooper in the way that I relate to my Master and to the world.  As I would pray that in the wee hours of the morning on my knees, Trooper would be right there by my side. He rarely left it and even more rarely disobeyed a command. If I could only live a life like that...

Below is a list of 10 things we learned from our other best friend:

1.  Always be excited to see whoever crosses your path.

Trooper never met a stranger.  Every person that walked into our house, Trooper loved on.  He made you feel like you were the most important person in the world. He would get SO excited when we walked through the door.  You couldn't help but smile when Troop greeted you. Trooper wanted to be friends with everyone.   He could not understand why any person or dog wouldn't want to be his friend. Every day that we went to the park, Trooper played with every kid there. We even trained him to go down the slide:) McKinley loved playing with him.

2.  Always be willing to help with the dishes.

Trooper was the best helper ever.  He licked clean our dishes after every meal. As soon as he would hear the fork scrapping at the bottom of the plate, he ran into the room. All our friends and family laughed at this, but he loved it!  He was also great at licking McKinley's face after meals; she loved to share her food with Troop!

3.  Sometimes the greatest need is to just be there.

Troop was the best at just being there. He would curl up by your feet, or put his head on your lap, sometimes even lay in your lap and his sweet, big, brown eyes would just look at you, making it seem like everything was going to be okay.  He was a comforter.

4.  Follow your Master wherever He takes you.

Wherever we went, Trooper would follow. He was the most loyal thing we have ever known. No matter how he felt, or how tired or scared he may have been, he stuck right by us.  Especially to Matt.  Trooper adored the heck out of his dad. Where Matt was, Trooper always had to be.

5.  Tears are just opportunities for kisses.

Trooper licked far too many of our tears this year. He had the sweetest heart; he knew when you were hurting and just wanted to make all your tears go away. We SO loved Trooper's kisses.

6.  An empty hand is meant to be held.

Trooper loved to have his hand held.  He would sit right in front of you and put his precious paw into your hand and want you to squeeze it. He reminded us that sometimes just holding your hand can make you feel so loved.

7.  No matter how hard things are, make someone smile.

Whether it was when I was in the pain of surgery or sick in bed during chemotherapy, Troop laid right by my bed. He would put his sweet head on the edge of my pillow and just grin his big teeth. After I lost my hair, Troopie would love to lick my bald head. Oh how it made us laugh. He brought more joy to our lives then we could possibly explain.

8.  A Family is meant to be together.

Trooper hated for any of us to separated from each other. When he was a puppy, we took him on the kayaks at Lake Lavon. Matt would be in one kayak, and I would be in the other. Trooper could not stand for us to be apart! When we would ride bikes, Trooper hated that we couldn't always ride next to each other. He was our constant reminder that Team Wideman needed to be one.

9. Complaining never gets you anywhere.

Trooper never wined or complained.  He really made the best of every situation. McKinley loved to climb on Trooper and try to ride him. I'm sure a toddler yanking on him all the time wasn't always enjoyable, but Trooper just let her do it; they were best friends.  Last fall, when we were camping, there was a terrible rain storm and our tent completely leaked.  We were all totally soaked and snuggling together to keep warm. Trooper would not lay down, he stood on his feet all night to protect us. The next morning, although we are sure he was exhausted, he was out fishing with his dad.

10.  Always know the call of your Master.

There was this special whistle noise that only Matt could do, that Trooper always responded to.  He could be so far away, exploring as he loved to do, and yet when he heard Matt's call, he came running. This often kept him out of trouble in dangerous places! Oh how we wish we always respond to the call of our Master that same way.

It has often been said that dogs tend to look like their owners. Golly, we aspire to look like our dog. We were so blessed by every day of the past 3 years with Trooper.  God knew what we needed and when we needed him the most. God used sweet Trooper to teach us so much about His unconditional, always present, forever loyal love for us.  Our family is forever grateful for our time with Trooper. Although so much shorter than we would have hoped, his impact will last a lifetime.  We are heart broken and can't imagine our life with out our baby Trooper. But we are praying that every time we miss him (which we know will be A LOT), we will turn to our Heavenly Master, listening to His call and following Him wherever he leads us.  Even in this moment of tremendous loss and sadness, He is evermore the God of all comfort.

With all our love,

Team Wideman


  1. Well said team Wideman. We will miss trooper
    The voges

  2. Randi and Matt - we are so, so sad to hear about the loss of your sweet Trooper. We know the love of a dog, and our hearts just break with you guys. We know that Trooper had an incredible life here on earth, and he could not have had better masters. love you guys!
    Courtney & Bryan