And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4
As I updated in my last post, my dog did not make it. He passed away of kidney failure on October 6th after emergency surgery for bloat that Monday and a blood transfusion the following day. He had an incredibly rough week to say the least, and I’m so happy that he is no longer in pain.
That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt for myself though. Excruciatingly bad. I don’t know how to go back to a life where my dog doesn’t exist.
Almost ten years ago, we lost our dog Shadow. He started slowing down and acting strange. My mom took him to the vet and found out that he had Stage 4 stomach cancer and would die within 48 hours. She made the right decision in putting him to sleep so that he would go peacefully.
My sister and I wanted another dog almost right away. We missed having a dog around so our parents gave in and started researching. We’d always had German Shepherds so we kind of wanted another. My mom found a breeder about 20 minutes away who had one male puppy left. She said he was “on clearance” because he was unable to breed (but we didn’t care because we never planned to have him mate!)
I still remember driving to the puppy farm in excitement and I still remember this wobbly German Shepherd puppy come running out of the gate toward us with the same excitement I felt. He jumped, played, and bit me. He was too cute and too fun. We piled into the car and he took turns standing on my lap and my sister’s.
From the time we brought him home this boy was nothing but trouble. He would stick both of his front paws and his whole face in the water bowl to drink. He slobbered his food everywhere when he ate, and got into EVERYTHING. We had to completely puppy proof our house because otherwise he would destroy everything. He loved to play with the soccer ball so we named him “Beckenbauer” after the German soccer player Franz Beckenbauer. We called him Beck, for short.
As he grew older, he never really outgrew his puppy ways. He still slobbered everywhere and got into things if we weren’t careful (we still have a gate up in the hallway connected to my old room). He misbehaved all the time and rebelled. He hated getting his toe nails clipped and being groomed. Most of all, he HATED thunderstorms and would lose his mind every time we had one.
But he loved a lot of things. He loved car rides. He loved walks. He loved people. He loved treats. He loved popcorn. He loved chasing the dogs next door through the fence. He loved playing with his toys. He loved to play catch and roll around on his back in the yard.
He has grown up with me. From age 14 to 24. All of my passwords growing up were his name and birthday. My mother became his number 1 and would play catch with her every single night and sleep by her bed. He was the center of our whole lives.
I have had trouble sleeping this week ever since finding out how sick he was. I prayed hard constantly, and asked others (even strangers) to pray for him. I cried out to God and begged him not to take Beck. I told him that I knew in my heart it was not his time. He still loved to play and run around. How could a dog that was still so full of life be on his death bed right now?
We visited him and he was definitely sick, but seemed to perk up that we had come to visit him. Then yesterday morning, the vet called my mom and said that he had not made it through the night as expected. Honestly, my first thought was anger. I wanted to beat my fist at God and scream and say that I had prayed so hard, why had he taken him away? My anger then turned into sadness, and I have been stuck in grey cloud of sadness ever since.
I am afraid that he died in pain. That he was alone in a cage, thinking we had forgotten about him, and that we didn’t love him. That he died and no one was there to comfort him as he went. The sadness and guilt has been so much to bear. I was hunkered down at my mom’s over the time that Hurricane Matthew just came through last night, and I cannot begin to tell you how painful it was to turn around every corner expecting to see him and him not being there. His toys are still laid out, his fur is still everywhere, and his bowls are on the floor waiting for him to come back. I am trying to cope with the fact that God said it was his time, and that He does all for the good, even when it hurts.
I never thought that losing my pet could be so painful, but I have come to realize he was so much more than that. He was a protector, a goofball, a baby, an eater, a runner, a lover of cuddles, and toys. He was naughty and hilarious. He is missed already and always will be.
Dogs have an innate ability to remind us of who we really are, and who we ought to be. I am thankful that God brought Beck into my life to remind me and show me who I really am, even when he is no longer here.