Chances are you’ve seen the video GoD and DoG just as millions have since it first appeared on YouTube in September 2009. Most people, however, don’t know the real story behind the tenderhearted song.
Composer Wendy Francisco, a singer-songwriter and artist who lives in northern Colorado, had struggled for several years through a difficult marriage, which ended in a painful divorce. Filled with sadness, she found herself questioning her worthiness in God’s eyes.
“I knew that God still loved me, but my life had kind of caved in,” she says. “After the divorce I thought I was no longer of any use to God.”
However, Wendy was able to emerge from this low time to find happiness again. “God restored everything,” she says. “God never left me.” Wendy eventually remarried and she regained equilibrium in her life.
Then one sunny spring afternoon in 2009 Wendy saw God’s grace revealed through her dog, Caspian. As she rushed out to run errands, the big fluffy white Colorado mountain dog stared up at her with an expression that said, If it were up to me, I would never leave you. As Wendy drove away she realized her dog’s sweet look was saying what God would say: “I never leave you.”
Caspian’s look tugged at her heart, and lingered in her memory. A few days later as Wendy was eating dinner with her husband, Don, these words came to her: “I look up and I see God. I look down and see my dog.” She dropped her fork, looked at Don and said, “I’ve got to write a song.” She immediately left the table and went into the living room to write GoD and DoG. She said the words flowed quickly from her pen and she completed all the verses in about 45 minutes.
Over the next 48 hours, Don, who is also a singer-songwriter, helped her polish the song. A few months later when the Franciscos were performing on a Christian cruise, Wendy decided to sing the song for the first time in public. Before she could get halfway through the song the audience gave her a rousing ovation.
Wendy was so encouraged by the response she shared it on YouTube. Initially she created a photo montage of Caspian, but decided that animation would best serve the lyrics. Although a painter, she had never attempted animation. But that didn’t stop her. She spent two intense days, including an all-nighter, working on the project and the result was the video we see today.
Wendy was thrilled when the video received hundreds of hits, but was shocked when it went viral. Within a 40-day span, the video was viewed more than a million times.
In September 2009 she published a book version of the GoD and DoG video and also created a website in response to the many e-mails and letters that have poured in.
Today Wendy spends much of her time telling people about God’s love and devotion. That, she said, is the main theme of GoD and DoG, a seemingly simple song with a powerful message: God never leaves us.