I'm sure that I will shed more than a few tears as I relate this story. You see, I had to put our beloved dog Kuria to sleep a few days ago. It was a heart wrenching decision to make. Her teeth and jaw had become so bad, despite our best efforts, that it infected her nasal cavity, which caused her to constantly bleed from her nose. There was a constant weeping from her right eye as well. She had lost weight the last month or so, and we noticed that she had a hard time just standing anymore. She would swagged like a drunk person. Breathing became more and more laborious for her. I would hear here fighting to breathe in the middle of the night. We just couldn't bear to see her suffer anymore.
So the day we so dreaded arrived. I spent the morning hours with her. She seemed to sense that this day was different. She would sit and stare at me for minutes on end. She came up to me at one point and i reached down and placed her in my lap. She would not sit in my lap for any length of time the last few months, but now she laid on my lap, placing her head on my leg. The time for the inevitable last ride was fast approaching.
I had built a box especially for her, which would have enough room for her and nearly all of her toys when the time came. Soon it was 3:00 pm. Time to go. She sat up front in the passenger seat and I let the window down so she could lean out, but she would not press her face into the passing air this time. We had planned for me to stop by where my wife worked on our way to the vets. I had been able to keep my emotions reasonable in check up to this point. But when my wife said goodby to Kuria for the last time, I broke down. Our hearts were being torn apart.
We got Kuria, a pure bred Jack Russell Terrier, when she was eight weeks old. She was so tiny, i literally put her in my shirt pocket on our way home from her birth place in Pennsylvania. She was simply beautiful, inside and out. And she was so smart! I would take her for runs with me in the Maryland countryside. She loved to swim! She had lived in three states with us, She has run, kayaked, camped, swam, and lived life to the full with us. She would have been seventeen years old this November.
We arrived ten minutes early at the vets, so we took one last walk. Then it was time. I will spare you the details, as I cannot bear to retell it. They brought Kuria to me after they had put her to sleep, wrapped in a blanket. I took her warm, still body in my arms and gently placed her in the box I built for her, laying her in her favorite bed. Then the long, tear-filled drive home. Her last ride home.
During the ride home, through my tears, I asked God why it hurt so much. Why did it feel like my insides had been wretched out of me. This is what He said to me; "Now you know what I felt when My Son was put to death." I never thought of it before; the pain God must have felt when He saw His only Son make His last journey to Jerusalem, knowing that He would die there. The sheer agony when He saw His Son suffering, then dying. God does have feelings. He feels anger, anguish, and yes, deep sorrow. In a way, God has allowed me to experience this heart-wrenching experience to understand how He felt giving His only Son.
I have been changed by this experience. I loved Kuria with the kind of deep, passionate love only another dog lover could understand. And Kuria loved me deeply and passionately in return, accepting me for who I am, warts and all. Kuria's life may have ended here on earth, but her love continues. I carry it with me. So it is with God. I love God with the kind of deep, passionate love only another real Christian could understand. And God loves me deeply and passionately, accepting me for who I am, warts and all. Jesus' earthly life may have ended, but He is alive, and His love continues. I carry it with me.
Some people believe that we'll see our pets in heaven. I don't know if I can make a theological case for that. But I do know that I will see My Lord and Savior one day, and He will wipe away every tear from my eyes. Until that day, I will remember a great friend and companion, and yes, weep an occasional tear. Selah.