When Life Matters Most…

Last night, I lost my almost 13 year-old English Mastiff.

I knew he was dying.  He told me so in his own words.  He wouldn’t move.  He wouldn’t eat.  He wouldn’t drink.  He cried.  But only because he wanted me by his side–not because he was sad or fearful or in pain.

I often wonder if dogs know when their time is up.  Having watched two of my pups die, they get a look in their eyes that says, “Momma, it’s time.”

I sat with him last night until I could take it no more.  He knew I was there.  That’s all that mattered to him.

I woke this morning and first thing I checked.  And I knew instantly…

The vet called this morning.  I made my husband answer the phone and tell her.

I am only consoled by the life he led.  It was good.  REAL good.  God put this creature in my life to care for and I did.

He was my misunderstood dog.  Big.  But afraid of people.  Loving.  But only to his “pack”. Demanding when it was time to eat.  Quiet and content otherwise.  No one else wanted him.  But I did.  And it goes without saying: loyal to the end.

He was a good, good dog.  He will forever be missed.  But he will forever be in my heart–with me wherever I go.

He’s with his sister now.  They are running and playing together again.  Awaiting me to join them. But having all the patience in the world…

I know he is happy.  Content.  At peace now.  And loving me from above.  I love you, my sweet, sweet pup.  Forever.

48 thoughts on “When Life Matters Most…

  1. My prayers are with you. Our animals are family and we love them & miss them. Here is a poem you may have seen before but I still love to read it. Hopefully it may help you some.

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

    Author unknown…

  2. So Sad. I assume you know about RainbowsBridge.com, a pet loss grief support community. You are in my prayers. We lost our 19 year old cat 6 weeks ago, so I know your pain.

  3. I am so sorry you lost your sweet pup. They are part of our famlies and bring us so much love and comfort. I’m sure he had a great life with lots of love from his “mamma”. Hope you find comfort knowing how kind you were to him and he loved you as much as you loved him. Wishing you blessings for a peaceful nice summer. Thanks for all you do to help us understand these lessons.

  4. Oh, my heart hurts so much for you. It is like losing a human part of your family. He knew he was loved and he loved you back. God’s blessing to you during this time when you have lost a dear family member.

  5. We can all salute your noble mastiff:
    His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Matt 25:23
    It’s easy to see your heartbreak over such a loss, but as far as how you cared for your loyal friend:
    Well done, good and faithful AtoZ Mom!

  6. I am sorry for your loss, however, you will never lose your fond memories. I am confident your pup is with our Lord. I too, have lost two precious Cocker Spaniels in recent years.

  7. I cried today for your baby pet…I’ve been following your blog for three years. I had to reach out and tell you how sad I was. Just came in from throwing the ball for my 5 year old poodle Beau. I hugged him.

  8. I cried as I read your post. It brought back memories of the pets I have loved and lost. May God’s peace be with you.

  9. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved pup. Our pets bring us so much love, comfort and companionship. We will see them again, I am sure. You gave him a good life, and rest easy in knowing this. God bless you and your family, and may your dear pup rest in peace.

  10. My heart goes out to you at your loss. I know Our Great Comforter The Holy Spirit will not only heal your pain but continue to help you with your loss. God truly gives us a great job in caring for our four legged babies and I am sure that he see and knows what a great Mom you were and has seen that your baby is happy and complete now.

    God bless you and please continue to keep up the good work you are doing with our BSF lessons. I love to get them. I will be praying for you. Thank you. Maddie

    1. What a sweet message, Maddie. As you know, I lost Benji, my 10-1/2 year old Min. Schnauzer, last week. Maddie drove us to the vet to put him down. He had cancer. The Lord was faithful to answer my prayers that He would show me when it was time. There was no doubt in my mind that morning. God gave him to me for a season. Praise His Holy Name! My prayers are with you AtoZ Mom in your loss.

  11. I am sorry for your loss. I do believe that animals know when they are about to die and are real clingy toyou at that time. Almost like::” please stay with me fo I am
    about to die and need your love and attention.”
    Rest assured that he is at rainbow bridge waiting for you.

  12. What a beautiful dog.  I’m so sorry for your loss.  Prayers for you, that God would hold and comfort you right now, as you mourn his leaving you.

  13. It’s so sad to lose a family member and that’s what he was….just the four legged kind. He’s up in heaven running in a young body with a free spirit and free of pain.

  14. My heart breakers for you. I know how it hurts when you lose one of your faithful companions. I will be praying for you.

  15. I am so sorry for your loss! We have lost 2 ourselves and when i seems too soon, we hurt even more. Our most recent was a 11.5 year old border collie mix. She was my wife’s close companion while I traveled the globe for work and knew where my wife was at all times and protected her from all aggression even mine though not real. Funny though when it came time for her to cross that Rainbow Bridge, it was me who held her and stayed by her side until she passed peacefully, quietly, and knowing full well that she was loved by both of us. (My wife was recuperrating from surgery at the time.) May God Bless and comfort both you and your beloved pet!!

  16. Your pain is very real and is shared by all of us. He is a beautiful boy and knew you loved him; you are blessed to have had him for so many years! Think about the great memories and happy times and allow the peace of our Lord to bring you much joy in these thoughts. I pray for comfort as you grieve and mourn with you. Grace.

  17. Thank you for sharing your love, your joy, and your pain. A true and loyal unconditional love like our Father has for us. Peace and Comfort in His Name.


  18. I am so sorry about the loss of you dog. Thank you so much for sharing your BSF insights. They have helped a lot.

  19. Beautiful!! I have an 11 year old golden with cancer. I am awaiting that look in his eyes also!! That was so well said!! Sent from my iPhone


  20. So sorry for your loss. Losing a loving pet is almost like losing a family member.

  21. Sorry for your lost. I love animals. I just lost my cat, and I dont understand why because he wasnt sick. But I know he in heaven with all the animals of God creation. My.heart goes out to you. Your faith will carry you thru this.

    Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S™ III, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

  22. I’m sorry for your loss. I am going to be there very soon and your thoughts helped. Thank you for sharing BSF too because I learned so much from you.

  23. We are so sorry for losing a forever friend. We too lost a Great Pry name Sugar Bear and we miss her still. We pray for you in this time and send love and blessing. (We loved your BSF notes) Thank you. Tom and Darlene Lund

  24. I am so very sorry to learn of your beloved dog’s passing. As the companion to 7 Seeing Eye dogs now and having lost 4 of them, I know the incredible place a adored furry companion plays in our heart. I personally love to reflect on the poem “The Rainbow Bridge.” This gives me great comfort and I believe it would do so to you as well. Just google it and you’ll find it without a problem.

    I shall keep you in my prayers as you grieve the loss of your treasured friend. Thank you so much for sharing your from-the-heart account.

    God’s blessings upon you always,


  25. Hugs…he is in God’s care and will meet you at the Rainbow Bridge when you day is done. Always hard to say farewell to our fur baby earth companions. They teach us the true meaning of unconditional love….how God loves us!

  26. So sorry for your loss…..as with the others who have posted, we have also lost precious pups and kitties way sooner than we wanted them to go. I know your heartache, and we all know it lasts forever. I loved seeing the wonderful memorial of photos of him and your sweet comments.

  27. You are truly loved from so many! He had many good years with you and you with him. God has him now and he is still being loved. You will be with him someday. Don’t be sad, God took him. He was a gift from God. *HUGS*!

  28. They ask so little and give so much . When we are down they lift us up . They are a God thing . Sorry for your pain . Thank you for sharing .

  29. Beautiful tribute to your loving dog. Thank you for sharing that. My special dog just had her 15th birthday and as the days go by, I think more and more of the day I will have to say goodbye to her. I’m not sure how I will have the strength but I am praying for it. She has only shown me love and loyalty, gentleness and comfort. It amazed me over the years how she always knew when I was down and to this day she never fails to bring me joy, especially when I can’t find it anywhere else. God Bless you my friend. I will pray for your lonely moments and tearful memories.

  30. Sorry for your loss but he looks content and loved. Dogs are really one of our best friend, especially when they know we need their love.

  31. I’m so sorry for your loss. These animals are so special to us. I too lost 2 dogs this year. One in January and one in February (our 17 year-old). The emptiness was so hard. Last week we adopted a 3-year old white Pomeranian. She was from an abusive home, kept in a basement with 11 other dogs in filth and feces. She had never been outside, nor had any human affection. She now has a smooching Mom and a Dad that she adore and 2 siblings. Although we only have these angels for a little while-there is always another one somewhere that needs all that love that we have to give them.

  32. I gave my testimonial at Share Day today at BSF. I felt my heart racing, but I took a BIG breath and spoke calmly. As a almost-60-year-old woman raised in the Jewish Faith and raising my child to be a Bar Mitzvah, I felt myself an anomaly, and for that reason wanted to share.

    I am sorry you lost your 13-year-old dog tonight. I hope he is resting in peace. It’s so hard to lose a loved one, particularly one who regarded you as the center of his life. Sorry you have to go through this separation too. Now your Sister is blessed with companionship. I believe you have touched my life to the point I can now reach out to you.

    I wrote a poem entitled “Ode to A Favorite Cat” when she was put to sleep 9 years ago. Now that BSF is over, you have some “me” time. It might help you to write. Let me know if you get inspired.

    Sister in Christ,

    Marilynn Hopman The Woodlands, TX 77381

  33. Yes we love them because they were so innocent and did nothing to deserve to have to die. Romans 8:22. All creation is groaning because of death. I think many wonderful surprises are waiting for Gods children in heaven. We lost our 16 yr old dog at Christmas time. It was very sad but good to be with her and she appreciated our total care painful as it was. There was something sacred and almost, may I say, holy about it all. I’m sure you also feel it was a sacred time God allowed you and prepared for your beautiful buddy that you could be by his side for him

  34. I am so sorry for your lose my dear. I know how it feels I too lost my very true friend Timber a few years ago.

  35. Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement. It’s been one week and although we have adjusted it’s not easy. He used to be my alarm, getting me up earlier than normal so I could feed and water him without the other dogs. It is definitely quieter around here without him. He is dearly missed!

  36. I am so sorry for your loss. I know how painful it is. It’s been 3 1/2 weeks since I lost my baby boy Foolish. He had just turned 12. He was a beautiful, smart, sweet, Dalmatian full of love. I am single and he was my one and only. The house is so quiet. Adjusting is so hard. I built this house around him. I moved in 9 months before I brought him home. I dread coming home because he is not here. I miss him so much. The tears still flow each night. He was loved by everyone who knew him or knew of him. But nobody loved him more than I did. I did everything to give him a happy well lived and loved life. He went peacefully in our bed surrounded by love and peace. He decided when and where and he chose the place that was ours.

  37. My heart hurts for you. We had to put our baby(4 yr old) Pitbull down she had lymphoma. Everyone loved her including the neighborhood children. She was kind and loving and will be deeply missed. My heart hurts for you.

  38. I have been out of touch for awhile and am just seeing you sad email. I am so sorry for your loss. Our pets touch our hearts and when it is time to let go, it is not easy at all. My heart hurts for you and your family. Our kitty, Winston, is not well and just hanging in there. We pray he will not suffer. We will love him and care for him as long as it is God’s plan. know that our prayers are with you.

  39. We lost our Gabby of 11 years+ 6 months ago. We are still devastated. I hope you have been able to soften your grief. Gabby was an amazingly gentle and friendly spirit.

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