We bought a dog and named him Prince. By the time he had belonged to the family two weeks, the family belonged to him! He was a beautiful golden retriever and was supposed to be kept in the backyard. But he made himself at home wherever he would, and we settled down to sixteen marvelous "dog years." He was probably the most obedient dog in the neighborhood and useless as a watchdog, but we loved him. He was something of a legend by the time we arrived in America. I could write a book about him! Then he got heartworm. I had never imagined there would be a time in my life when I must kill. Was this it?
Being a Christian makes a difference in attitude, even toward animals. After all, God made the animals and gave people dominion over them (Genesis 1:28). We should show respect to all of God's divine creation by the way we treat it--and that includes animals.
Prince survived his heartworm. It was a time to heal. Years later, when he was old and decrepit, our friends advised us to have him put to sleep. Was this the time to kill?
"We must make sure we don't just get rid of him because he's inconvenient," my husband said to me. "He's been a marvelous family friend."
In the end, we knew it was time--time to kill. It was very hard. Animal lovers will understand! But Jesus understood, too! "Nothing exists that He didn't make" (John 1:3), and that included Prince!
For further study: Ecclesiastes 3:1-3