by Nan Jones @NanJonesAuthor
Sunday morning we said goodbye to our beloved Blue. It was sudden. No warning. He collapsed and a subsequent exploratory surgery with an emergency vet revealed massive amounts of cancer.
Blue had shown no signs of illness — aging, yes. Slowing down a bit as his muzzle grayed … yes. But he was happy, eating, thrilled by his daily walks … until he collapsed.
Life is a paradox.
I am fragile, yet strong in the Lord.
I am broken, yet held together by His grace.
All because of Jesus.
His love bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things. His love never, ever fails us.
I know these words to be true, but when my emotions are raw and tears are relentless, I find myself clinging to this because His love is the glue I need right now to hold me together.
I’ve been searching for God in my sorrow because I know He is present. I question His timing because my husband is in the throes of dementia. Dementia and trauma don’t mix very well. Just as surely as His love hopes all things, His presence is abiding — especially when someone is heartbroken or crushed in spirit.
So I set my mind to look for evidence of His presence with me.
I desire the same for you if you have suffered the death of a beloved fur baby.
Blue was a great source of joy for David, and my faithful companion who cuddled with me when days were unbearable.
So why now? Why did we have to let him go now?
This thought came to mind: the just shall live by faith, not by sight. We must. When nothing makes sense, God always makes sense. He is constant. Our sure place. He is faithful and trustworthy and good.
Yes, He is very good.
I sought the Lord and I found Him. I found Him last night in the middle of all these tears. I found the realization of God’s mercy — Blue did not suffer. As sick as he was, there was no suffering. There was joy. There was a skip in his step and a happy wag of his tail until the end.
There was love — great love — and companionship that sealed our hearts together.
For that I am grateful.
Blue was God’s gift to us. He was a stray that needed us as much as we needed him. He was three months old, long and gangly with ginormous feet and one blue eye.
Cute as a button. Smart as a whip.
We were going through a broken time of ministry.
Blue was going through a broken time of abandonment.
Each of us needing unconditional love that only the Lord can provide. He does all things well, doesn’t He?
Our beautiful Blue Boy grew to be a handsome and very strong almost nine year old. His chestnut fur blazed auburn in the sunlight. His tender, gentle spirit touched everyone that knew him.
Yes, he was a gentle giant, a sweet hunk of love.
He once caught a baby groundhog in our backyard, and, unfortunately, the groundhog didn’t survive Blue carrying him to the front yard. Blue put the groundhog down and lay next to him for two hours hoping he would wake up and play. He had no intention of hurting the little guy and was saddened that his new friend didn’t wake up.
Blue was a gentle soul.
If we told him a family member was coming to see us, he sat on the couch staring out the window, sometimes for two or more hours waiting for his loved one to arrived.
And smart? Mercy goodness! When he did something against the rules (like crossing the street), all I had to do was snap my fingers and point towards the bathroom which was on the other side of the house. Blue would walk slowly with his head down and tail tucked between his legs and take himself to timeout!
I followed behind him as he stepped into the bathroom and laid down on the rug. Turning on the light, I closed the door for 20 minutes. When time was up I opened the door and spoke his name. He sat up so I could stroke his face and then we “discussed” why he was in timeout and if he was sorry he could come out. Yes … I’m serious.
What a great, great dog.
Life without Blue will be difficult — He was an integral part of our lives! But the memories are so sweet. We are so thankful he ruled our roost for almost nine years.
Dear one, if you have recently lost a beloved fur baby, I know your emotions are raw, too. I pray that the Lord will open your eyes to see Him there in the midst of your sorrow. I pray that you will search for Him because I promise He will reveal Himself to you and you will find comfort.
I think of Blue running those meadows of gold and my heart smiles.
I hope for you the same.