Penny The Wonder Dog

Darkness was falling on the Michigan community where Penny lived with her family that included three young children. Penny was a nine-month-old dog best described as a mutt of medium size with short hair.

On this fateful day, Penny was let out into the yard for a few minutes before bedtime. A family member opened the door and called her. No response. Time passed as the family continued to call. Still Penny did not come. Reality began to sink in on the parents. Penny was missing.

By this time, all was dark in the neighborhood. It was time to go to bed; the parents prepared for a restless night.

The next morning, father opened the back door. To his surprise, Penny lay on the step, motionless but alive. He examined the young dog and discovered a bullet hole in her shoulder. Quickly, he scooped up the dog and rushed to the veterinarian’s office.

After a careful examination, the doctor delivered the bad news. A bullet had passed through her lungs and had lodged in her heart. Surgery was not an option. At this point, the vet was perplexed. How did the dog even survive? Furthermore, he could not imagine how the dog made it back to the house.

“She should have died instantly,” the doctor stated. “We cannot remove the bullet. Surgery would be too dangerous.”

The prognosis was dire. How could a dog survive with a bullet imbedded in its heart?

No one knew if Penny would recover. The mother (we shall call her Mary) had an idea. She turned to her children with a request.

“Let us all pray for Penny.”

That is what they did. 

Innocent voices lifted to heaven asked God to save their beloved pet. To the amazement of all, Penny survived. Beyond that, Penny lived a long life, dying at the ripe old age of thirteen.

A friend told me this true story recently. Unlike most of her neighbors, they were not able to have an invisible fence for fear that an electric shock would hit the bullet and cause damage, possibly death to Penny.

Mary is firmly convinced that the prayers of her children brought about Penny’s miraculous recovery from what should have been a deadly gunshot wound. One question lingers after all these years. How did Penny get back to the house? She could not walk. Whoever shot her could not have known where she lived. If a neighbor found her, that person would have informed the family.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to these.” Matthew 19:14.

Many years have passed since Penny died. Mary still shakes her head in amazement. Every now and then she would remind her children about Penny and the power of prayer.

I told this story to my grandchildren, and they reacted with awe. Perhaps it was news to them that their humble prayers reach the ear of God.

Our heavenly Father watches over the tiny sparrow, our families, and even a little dog named Penny.

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