My wife Carol got some wonderful news the other day. The Lions Foundation Guide Dogs program in Canada approved her request for a service dog to help her in the event she has a seizure.
Our joy was tempered, however, with the realization that our beloved Lahsa Apso dog Rusty, which we have had for 11 and a half years, would have to be re-homed. A service dog can’t be distracted by another dog in the house.
We were fortunate to find a loving home for our companion. Out of four offers, we were able to place him in a home that was similar to our own.
That difficult task complete, we started to feel the grief of losing a beloved pet, one who had given us love and acceptance for so many years. We were fortunate that we still had time with him, but as the days count down, the grief that we feel is growing greater, not less.
But it’s a grief without sorrow. Yes, we realize that we are readying ourselves for a loss. And that loss hurts – a lot.
But we know that Rusty will live out whatever time he has left in a home in which he will be as important a part as he has been in our home. It is a home in which, even with his blindness and increasing heart murmur, he has been longed for and anticipated.
Isn’t that the way we should think of the death of a loved one who is secure in the knowledge of God’s love and acceptance? “For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s” (Romans 14:8).