“Let the earth bring forth living creatures, animals according to their own kind, and man will have dominion over them”
Our experiences with own pets bring questions as to exactly who has dominion. And all would attest to their impact on our lives, as suggested by my own personal story as follows;
Twelve years ago, He introduced Bri-Am (Named for two of our grand daughters: Brittany and Amber) to us; A tiny ball of Shitzu/ Poodle fur. During the many years, although we have suffered the passing of many pets, we count none so dear to us as her. Certainly it was due to the fact that were were retired and had offered many hours of lap time.
January 21, 2012, not knowing it would her last with us, we took er to the beauty parlor, had her bathed, and clipped right down to her little toenails. Upon finishing, the parlor called us to pick her up as “something” was going on with her. My wife, Audrey, found her in what we later knew as a state of congestive heart failure; her breath rattling rapidly in and out of her tiny mouth. With little doubt, our Vet declared her likely terminal, and she was left there for emergency care. Before Audrey arrived home without her, the phone rang with the advise that she should be “put down”. We consented.
Some might commit her remains to a backyard grave or surrender her to a Pet Cemetery; we chose to just remember her as she was the day previous, as she snuggled into our laps looking into our eyes with unconditional love.
If we were asked; “Does God know of this?” I would say… certainly He does. I might not need a reason for that conclusion, but I do have one;
Two weeks before, I had an agonizing dream of her death, which I shared with Audrey. I had awakened to hear a gentle whine from her place on the floor beside me… to be lifted to a warm place beside me on the bed. Her breathing had stopped. I awoke.
God had walked me through the whole frightening experience. He then saw to it that on the day she died, she would be bathed and clipped, and a fresh dinner of rice and chicken be set before her (which she strangely declined). He sent me on my daily walk; this time by myself ……as within me was the premonition of her condition, subsequently confirmed by the vet.
The Spirit, even as my tears of grief flowed as I walked “our walk”; He reminded me as He had often done before; “Write about it.. it will be easier to bear”. I searched for my painting of her, finished years before, and hung it on the wall of my studio. I put her collar in my old jacket pocket as I took those same daily walks without her.
We did what we must; move beyond that day to recall the many tender times of forbidden licks of the hand, her loving obedience, her puppy playfulness, her dutiful protection of our home.
Is there a doggie heaven? I would not argue for it.
But, we we were given the heaven of her company for many years. We celebrate God’s grace and the Spirits’ role in preparation for such events, past and future.
Goodbye little girl, wherever you are… We miss you.