Saying Goodbye

It has taken me 3 days to write this post – not because I am lazy and lack diligence in keeping up this blog – but because the emotions have been too raw and the pain too biting to put into words. My beloved Sweetiedog left us this past Friday after 15 glorious years together, and I am finding it hard to say goodbye.

If you have never known the love of a dog, you are truly missing out on one of the greatest treasures this world has to offer. I genuinely believe God gave us dog to offer a taste and trifle sample of just how great is His love for us. It is no mere coincidence they share the same name, just spelled backwards. A dog loves without failing. They defend without mercy. They forgive without question. They give all of themselves and ask nothing in return. Their love is boundless.

I have known the love of a dog, as have I known the love of God. Sweetie and I embarked upon our journey December 5, 1995 when I carried her home in a cardboard box from a little town north of St.Cloud. It was the beginning of the greatest friendship I have ever known. The little stinker was a Houdini from the start – nearly getting us both killed climbing out of that box the entire drive back to Minneapolis. It was the first of many tricks she would entertain me with over the years. I called her Sweetie, because she was just too cute and I reasoned it would end up her nickname anyways.

We shared countless laughs, and numerous tears. We graduated college together. Went on vacations and shopping excursions – she was the master of ‘stealth dog mode’ in her designer pet bag perusing the produce section at Byerlys. Got married, divorced, then married again. Welcomed a second dog and survived 2 trips to the ICU. We bought 2 houses and had 2 babies together. We lived a lot. We loved a lot.

She hogged the pillow and stole the laundry. She chewed her greenies and charged the fence. She loved to hike and tried to hunt – almost nabbed herself a chipmunk once. She swam like a fish and danced like a cat. She was a unique personality and the sweetest bundle of love in a 3 pound package.

It is a great tragedy the lives of our beloved dogs are so short in comparison to our own. They live so much in the time they are given; they could certainly teach us a thing or two. In the hours after her passing I told my husband I could never do this again. The pain was so intense I could not even cope. But I know that “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” And to avoid the suffering, I would have missed out on the love. 3 days of sadness are nothing compared to 15 years of glorious memories. I thank God for giving me dog and a tiny piece of Himself. Thank you for the memories. Rest peacefully my beloved Sweets, until we meet again.


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