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In Grief, God comforts

July 22, 2010

In the midst of grief, God is amazing.  Let me share.

A few weeks ago I entitled a post “Hard Decision”.  I didn’t share what that hard decision was.  Today, the hard decision came to fruition.

I have had Annie for 13 and 1/2 years and got her as a 12 week old puppy.  She is a Jack Russel Terrier, but a very non-JRT.  Vets have said, “She doesn’t act like a Jack Russell.”  She has always been quiet and timid  … and not a barker.

When going on walks she always made sure she greeted each person personally, hoping for a pat on the head.

Annie was excellent with children and the smaller the better!  At a potluck when I wasn’t paying real close attention, I turned around to find  a 1 1/2 year old yanking on Annie’s ear.  Annie didn’t budge, growl or bite.  She just looked hopefully up at me to make it stop.

Annie loves warm things and she hated to have her nose cold.  Often she would be on my lap with her nose tucked into the crook of my elbow or arm to keep her long nose warm.

Here is another example of her desire for warmth.  I had done laundry one day and put some nice newly washed and dried laundry on my bed to fold.  Somehow I was distracted and left the room.  Annie managed to climb onto the bed and into the basket of freshly dried warm clothes.  The basket must have tipped over, but that didn’t stop her from snuggling into the warm softness and catching a siesta.

Contentment

Another cute shot:

If only I could have a nap like this all the time.There are more stories and I hope you don’t mind if I share them in the coming weeks.  It will help ease the pain.

This last spring, Annie had a “running/jumping” accident.  We were on a walk.  Being the inquisitive dog she is she climbed up a snow mound and went exploring.  Then she tried jumping back down, but misjudged and landed on her back.  The next day her hind legs would crumple underneath her.   I took her to the vet and she had a slipped disk and was given muscle relaxant, etc.  She got a little better, but her hind legs always bothered her.  Then Annie began bumping into things — I took her back to the vet and she was diagnosed as “going blind”.  It has been down hill ever since.

She had gotten to the point where she was falling down, sometimes unable to stand and eat, and I carried her wherever she needed to be.  She was also “leaking” even with a pill to help with incontinence.

God’s graciousness … The last two days God created some wonderful “cuddle” time with Annie.  This morning Annie awoke very relaxed and contented.  We had our “morning time” together with the Lord.  Annie on my lap, snuggling her nose under my arm to keep warm – as usual … Then a friend came to pick us up and take Annie to the vet.  The friend had had to put her dog to sleep the week before.  Unfortunately, my friend didn’t have much time to grieve, then, because she had company coming.  God gave her “grieving” time with me.

Annie, quietly snuggled into my arms on the way … I didn’t know what I’d do – the decision to put her to sleep hadn’t been fully made – I wanted an option out, but I wanted to find out exactly what was wrong.  The doctor checked her out, she had a bulging disk with nerve endings close to her bladder … therefore, her leakage.  She wasn’t going to get any better and was in a lot of pain though Annie never complained.  Annie was completely docile, content and it was time to let her go … for her sake.

The vet gave me a huge hug when it was done.  Another friend’s husband had already dug a grave, even thoughtfully putting a shovel nearby.  Those little things mean so much when you can’t think and your heart is aching.

I have had doubts about having done it and went to the internet and found a letter posted from a Father wanting to comfort his children and wife about the loss of their dog.  Guess what the dog’s name was:  Annie.  An article of comfort just for me from another dog named, Annie.  Here is the article:  http://www.thepetcenter.com/article.aspx?id=3377

… God has been gracious to make Annie’s last moments peaceful ones, provision of friends, encouragement, etc.  And even navigating me to an online encouragement from a Father to his children in the death of their dog named, Annie.

Thank you for listening … The eyes and heart hurt, the nose is red, but God is still on His throne providing comfort for His children.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Nikki permalink
    July 22, 2010 10:08 pm

    I am so sorry Carolyn. Your story brought tears to my eyes. What a loyal and loving companion little Annie was! My computer wont let me look up the article you posted, but I am so glad God provided you with comfort in such a surprising and obvious way! Sending you (((hugs))) through the internet, and praying for you. Love you!

    • July 22, 2010 11:29 pm

      Nikki,
      Thank you so much. This has been incredibly hard … I looked at myself in the mirror today and thought – I hope no one sees me like this 🙂 … My eyelids look like it won’t take much to have them swollen shut. I’ve been crying off and on all day …

      I miss snuggling up to this sweet dog. She has been such a comfort to me over the years – it is hard for her to be gone. It sounds silly, but sitting in “our” chair is hard to sit in without the other part of “their”. Annie has been a significant part of my life for 13+ years … and such a little silent comforter … Anyways, …

      Thank you for your encouragement and support.
      Love,
      Carolyn

  2. July 23, 2010 6:03 am

    Carolyn, I am so, so sorry. I am praying for God to hold and comfort your heart. I know how very hard it is to lose a pet. it’s like losing family. I am just more sorry than I can say.

    Love and hugs and prayers,
    Colleen

    • July 23, 2010 1:10 pm

      Thank you, Colleen … the prayers are appreciated and needed … I feel like a grapefruit is stuck in my throat and it won’t go away. Little Annie was such a silent comforter during the 13+ years I had her. I’m not hungry and tears are so close … the ache is incredible. I didn’t realize how much I loved the little dog and how much she had become a part of my day.

      Love,
      Carolyn

  3. Clinton Cooper permalink
    July 29, 2010 2:10 pm

    Hi Keri,

    You don’t know me, but I’m on the FAF forum (ClintonC). I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am too. I understand too that she was your family.

    I wanted to share a little something with you.
    Last year, my mother and father in law had a little black dachshund show up at their front door, no collar, no owner looking for her. She walked right in the kitchen door when their son, my brother in-law, came in. They tried to chase her out, but she went running into their back yard, and wouldn’t leave. Every time they opened the door, she would try to run inside. So, they decided to adopt her. Mind you, not one of them cared for pets. But, within this last year, she has been a blessing to them like you wouldn’t believe. My father-in-law has the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s, and my mother-in-law can’t get around well. This little dog has become a true God-send to them. A companion to them all.

    She showed up when my mother-in-law was watching Oprah, and started barking. So, naturally, they named her “Oprah’!

    I am so sorry for your loss, and I will pray that God brings you comfort
    If our sovereign God cares enough to send a little, playful, feisty, granola-bar loving, miniature dachshund to an elderly couple who needed some companionship, I know he cares the same for you and your needs too. ( 2 Corinthians 1)

    Blessings to you today,
    Clinton Cooper

    • July 30, 2010 2:14 am

      Clinton,
      Thank you so much for your encouragement! It meant so much to me when I read it … Thank you for taking the time to share your story of God’s provision for your in-laws. Today, especially I found myself a bit down and your post was something I needed. It was a week ago today that I put little Annie to sleep. I found myself rather down … but I’m sure with the passing of time things will get better. And thank you for the reminder that our Sovereign compassionate God knows our needs and our tears.

      Your sister-in-Christ,
      Keri

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