It was one of the most difficult times of my life. Some of you know the story. Others may have seen a snippet of it on the Vimeo on my ABOUT page. Suffice it to say that Mr. OTN and I have come through some dark times and we are so grateful to Father God to be where we are today.
Welcome to FREEDOM FRIDAY – A devotional, emotional, spiritual and sometimes hysterical series that I will be sharing on occasional Fridays, in addition to my regular Old Things New posts. Why? Because though once bound in chains Christ has set me free – FREE to live, to love, to dance, to sing, to be who God created me to be!
Fifteen years ago . . . It was a struggle to get through my days at work with a smile and an upbeat attitude. Then it was home to cook dinner for my girls while trying to put a positive spin on the situation we found ourselves in the midst of. All the while, the ache inside was deep and I longed for was an end to each day so I could get into my bed, pull the covers over my head, and sob into my pillow with all of the pent up emotion I held inside.
It was during that three month period that a different sort of relationship began between began our young beagle Snoopygirl and myself.
Snoopygirl was the most sensitive dog I’ve ever known. She seemed to discern human emotions of pain and responded with compassion. When I cried she looked concerned . . . and when I cried like my heart was breaking she crawled in as close to me as she could, burrowing beneath the covers to press herself into my heart. It was like she was crawling inside my pain to share in it, in an attempt to bring healing to my hurt.
What a gift from God this little dog was to me during that time.
Eventually life moved on, as it always does. My husband returned home after three months away and we began to work toward healing in our lives, separately and together. There were many ups and downs. Sometimes we didn’t know if we would make it. But we held on to our hope in God to perform a miracle . . . and He was faithful. Eventually Snoopygirl had pups of her own and was required elsewhere. She was ever aware of the emotions swirling through our household though and vigilant to come close when needed.
Several years later, our Soopygirl was diagnosed with cancer. The doctor performed surgery to remove the tumor but said it would come back. Not wanting her pup Cozyanna (a very needy girl indeed) to be alone, we adopted Sasha, a gangly boxer/lab mix to add to the pack. That was eight years ago. The cancer never came back but Snoopy moved into a different position in the family, a bit overshadowed by the younger two, but never less loved.
This last year was the roughest for our Snoopygirl. Her hearing failed and her eyesight became dim. Now an old lady of 17 her legs became too weak to climb the stairs to the bedroom at night. Eventually she didn’t want to be with us in the bedroom at all, but preferred to be alone, on her bed in the kitchen.
Snoopygirl lost her young beagle good looks. Her fur became thick and fluffy from the medication she was taking, she had tumors on her body that would grow, recede and grow again. Her eyes were weepy and her nose drippy. She lost muscle mass and became so thin that it hurt to look at her. Her legs became so weak that we had to carry her outside to do her duty and sometimes she would growl at us when we lifted her, because of the pain.
Last week we spent our last morning with Snoopygirl and it was very sweet. Hubby spent some time sitting on the kitchen floor with her in his lap while she snuggled in. Something she really hadn’t wanted to do for a long, long while. We made the trip to the vet’s office where they had a room ready and told us to take as much time as we needed with our girl. As Kelly held her, wrapped in a blanket, I put my face next to hers and touched her muzzle with my lips. She breathed in the warmth of my breath on her face and gave my nose a tiny touch with her own doggie nose. I wanted so much to press myself close to her heart like she’d done with me so many times and let her know that it was okay. She couldn’t hear us as we spoke our last words to her but she could feel us close and she looked at us with peace in her cloudy eyes.
Goodnight sweet doggie.