Copyright 2020 by Bonnie Crandall
Photo by Hudson Hindze on Unsplash.
died last night. She wasn't anyone important or even known by many.
She wasn't very smart, in fact she didn't even know her own name.
That might have been due in part to the fact that she only had a name
for six days. She had no impressive background or ancestors. We
didn't know where she came from or what her life was like before we
knew her. We only knew we loved her and now she is dead.
got her at the humane society - one pup among four in the pen. She
was the smallest, and every time we spoke to her she was stepped on
and over by the other three trying to get our attention. Finally she
went to the corner and just looked at us with the saddest and yet
eager eyes. They seemed to say “I just want to be loved...can
you love me?”
decided we could and would and she came to live at our house. The
first day was filled with exploring, yelping and tail wagging. It
wasn't that we couldn't love her; we couldn't stop ourselves from
loving her. But, Patches died last night.
slowed down. She didn't eat. There were numerous trips to the vet.
There were pills and shots and liquids and I.V.s and nothing helped.
Then the vet said we had to hospitalize her. Just as he spoke the
words, Patches lifted up the 4.8 pounds left of her tiny body and put
her little paws on my chest. With eyes that seemed bottomless in a
mix of love, despair, and pain, she looked directly in my face. I
couldn't take my eyes from hers. “Patches, don’t die!”
my soul screamed silently. “God, please don't take this little
puppy from us. We love her, and we want her to live. Give her young
life back!” The vet took Patches from me and started the I.V. As I
left, I felt Patches had a deeper knowledge of the situation and
had just said good-bye, but I refused to believe it.
night, I wept and prayed and begged. I couldn't understand my pain
over a little mongrel pup that I had only known six days, and only
one of those were healthy days. We once had a dog that I deeply loved
who died at ten years of age. I had not mourned for that dog as I now
did for Patches. But I knew that our old dog had lived a full and
good life. He had known the joy of chasing a ball, or going for a
walk, of tasting a piece of left over food the table. He had known
love. He had known belonging. And in that way he had know God.
Patches was only 8 weeks old by our guess, and she had know none of
this. Now that it was available to her, disease was depriving her of
even this. And I was not alone in my deep desire for Patches. As a
family, we all gave love as we eye dropped water and cleaned up
diarrhea and did all we knew to say “Get well. We love you.”
Patches died last night. We cried today. She is now buried in the
corner of our garden. Joshua, our youngest, took all his 8 year old
muscle power and covered her grave with dirt. We said a prayer and
gave her back to the Lord God who loves “all creatures great
and small”. Joshua calls his friends and tells them she has
died. He is carrying around her little collar that she wore only one
day. I find myself hearing her yelp and then realizing she is gone.
may you know that you were loved. Though your life was short, and
pain a real part of it, please know the we knew you lived and that we
love you. And know that you are of God.
asked me “Why? Why did Patches die?” We talked of disease
and showed him the obituary page in the newspaper, trying to help him
understand that death is a part of life. But I couldn't explain
death, especially the death of one so young. I couldn't explain away
the hurt and loss of someone he loved and wanted back. I couldn’t
decipher prayers seemingly unanswered. If I could, I would be God. And
then I would have no need for God...and I really need God right
now, for you see, Patches died last night.
Crandall is a clinical counselor, married to Ron and blessed with two
fine sons: Matthew and Joshua.
holds a BA in music and theater and an MA in counseling. Her primary
counseling focus is to help people understand they are children of
God and persons of worth. She also believes in applying the healing
power of laughter and joy, sprinkled with words of affirmation and
possibilities for all.
of the message
won't know where to send it.)
Another story by Bonnie
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