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.
Becky Mullowney says
So sorry … I did read of your loss, and cried all through this post today. They most definitely are family. What a blessing to have had her all the years you did.
Well, I was waiting for this…I’m so sorry for your loss. We had to put our sweet girl down three months ago and my heart aches for her and I had tears rolling down my cheeks as I read this. After we lost our Sammy, someone told us something that made me smile. He said, “Dogs live the Christian life.” How true. They are the best of God’s creation. All the good stuff without the junk. I love Snoopy’s wise words, and like her, my dog did just that. Hugs to you both.
Patti, So sorry to hear about you sweet dog’s death. They do become family members and so hard when we have to
let them go. It was so sad when we had to say goodby to our dear Oscar. Blessings to you.
Sharon H says
Dear, sweet Patti……my throat is tight, my eyes blurry, my heart is thumping. I know how difficult the journey was for you both to come to this place with Snoopygirl. What a wise and wonderful friend she must have been. She took you as far as she could, didn’t she? I’ll bet that, if she could’ve, she would’ve told you thank you. Thank you for loving her, thank you for trusting her, and thank you for letting her go. She has passed the torch of being your caregiver on to another. Don’t you know that God has whispered to her, Well done, my good and faithful servant. Thank you dear lady for sharing this heart breaking moment with us. I pray blessings upon you both as time heals your hearts.
Joanne Viola says
You linked up after me at Recommendation Saturday. I have to admit, it was the photo which drew me in even after reading the post before mine. A beautiful & tender story in every way. It is amazing the love & comfort our animals can bring to us. We had to put our cat of 16 years down a little over a year ago and still miss her greatly. Beautiful lesson you pulled from your experience! May we press in close to those we love & share their pain. It is something we will never regret. So glad I stopped!
Debbie Prater says
We have a beagle too. Male, named Copper. We love him. He’s been the best thing that happened to us. My son got him from a shelter. They have a way don’t they of winning our hearts?
My heart was so touched by your post and tears filled my eyes. I too had a special dog that got me through some really rough and dark times in my life. Patrick was a chocolate lab with a huge heart. He was my walking buddy and my TV news friend. He didn’t seem to understand how big he grew (109 Lbs) and wanted to sit on my lap all the time. He was the warm presence bobbing up and down as I walked through the door. And alas, I lost him too. But you know, sometimes when I walk now I still can feel the leash in my hand and the tug at each tree. Long live our sweet dogs in our memory. Visiting from Still Saturday.
So, so sweet – I am crying here – our dogs teach us so much and are so precious. So very sorry for your loss.
It is so hard losing a pet who has become so much of your life. So sorry for your loss.
The tears are falling down my face right now. How lucky Snoopy was to have you and you to have her. We lost my brothers dog a year ago today and the emotions are flooding back. All dogs go to heaven… Rest in peace sweet Snoopy.
Sorry for your sadness & loss. What a blessing that Snoopygirl was able to help you get through tough times. I’m sure it’s a meaningful memory for you.
Visiting from #raralinkup
I’m so sorry for your loss, what a sweet dog! It’s so hard to say goodbye to our little friends. Praying for you and counting her wisdom a blessing (my pup seems to know the same truth!)
Much love to you and your family!
Deb Wolf says
Oh dear Patti, I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes. I’m so sorry for your loss. We went through the same several years ago. Now we’re loving on a new sweet pup who understands that cuddles soothe. Still remember the love of those who have gone before her with sweet affection. Thanks for sharing this so beautifully. Hugs and blessings!
Anita Ojeda says
I’m so sorry for your loss, Patti. I had a hard time reading your beautiful story because of the tears in my eyes. God gives us just what we need at just the right time–and it’s always good to realize his intervention in our lives and give thanks for all he has done.
Patti, I’m so sorry for your loss. My heart just hurts for you because we’ve been there before too. Dogs are so incredibly special. Sending you hugs and tender thoughts.
What a beautiful tribute to your darling Snoopy Girl. I’m so sorry for your loss!
~ Megin of VMG206
Michele Morin says
Reading your words for the first time at Thought Provoking Thursday! I couldn’t resist that picture of Snoopygirl, and whenever I read a great post about a dog I recommend this book: https://michelemorin.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/sit-stay-abide/ (This is a link to my review of the book.)
Our family is owned by a St. Bernard named Tucker, and so my heart goes out to you! Blessings on your day.
Laura Lane of Harvest Lane Cottage says
You brought tears to my eyes and memories to my mind.
God comfort you.
I saw your photo of Snoopygirl on the Live Free Thursday linkup, and I was immediately drawn in. I have a grandbeagle, my son’s dog, named Marty. And yes, dogs are one of God’s most special creations. I was greatly saddened by your girl’s passing, but it brought joy to my heart to know how well she was loved. And, how much she loved you. There is something very special about the relationship between a human and a dog – I like to think of it as an *echo of Eden* – when we feel that special communion that God originally created in the Garden. For now, on this side of eternity, we live with the awesome hope and promise that God will one day restore it again. I happen to think that we will once again see these precious pets.
I learn so much about God and my relationship with Him through Marty. In fact, just this week I featured him on my blog. I’m grateful for the utter joy he brings to my life, and how he reminds me to indeed *live the Christian life*…
Hi, Patti, I’m so sorry for your loss! I loved your twitter quote at the end, though. How true! Thank you for sharing this touching story with us last week at Grace and Truth. 🙂
Jen @ Being Confident of This
Beth Willis miller says
Tears flowing…for you, your family, and your sweet snoopy girl, and for me and my family, and our sweet dogs who have been so loved and have passed…our precious beagles now who comfort us and love us with the unconditional love of our Abba Daddy ❤️
Janelle@The Peaceful Haven says
Thank you for sharing your heart! I could identify…I had a beagle named Yoder that saw me through some tough times!
Sherry @ No Minimalist Here says
Patti, I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Snoopygirl. I can imagine how hard this was and my heart goes out to you.
Kelly Balarie says
🙁 Sorry for your loss. I loved the pictures though. Thank you for sharing this with us today. We are all touched. Cheering you on from the #RaRalinkup on Purposeful Faith.
Lisa Tucker says
I’m so sorry about Snoopygirl. what a beautiful, sweet girl. We still talk about our Bucky every day. What a blessing these wonderful animals are in our lives.
Having had to take a similar journey with a family pet, my heart hurts for yours as you remember the good-bye, and rejoices in the powerful beauty that a gift that pets bring into our lives.
Thank you for sharing.
Jann olson says
Patti, Snoopygirl was dfenately a gift from God! It sounds as though you were her gift as well. This story touched my heart. Saying goodbye to a beloved pet is a hard thing to do! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
Joan @ Nicer Than New says
We lost a beloved dog last july so I feel your pain. I posted a tribute to him here. http://www.nicerthannew.com/2014/07/saying-goodbye-is-never-easy/
We have a new, lovely dog but each pet holds a special place, captured in the time capsule they occupied. My condolences to you and your family.