Saying goodbye to another dear friend and companion


Not quite a year ago I had to let Kelly, my therapy dog, go to the Rainbow Bridge. We had been together over 10 years and had weathered many a storm.

I immediately began the search for a successor dog I could train for therapy work. Finally, the day after Thanksgiving, I brought Lady home. I knew at the time it might be a very short time together but was willing to take that chance. She was a senior Hospice dog, not expected to live very long.

The longer I had Lady, the more I was convinced she had service or therapy dog training and had probably worked in that capacity. I began dreaming of those days when Lady and I would be a therapy team.

Her health seemed to improve. She would initiate a ball game in the living room. She spent time on my lap seeking all the love she could get and licking me to fully satisfy that need.

Then, those things stopped – the ball games and the hours spent on my lap as well. I guess I chose not to believe she was losing ground so soon. A tumor she had surgery for before I brought her home began growing again. X-ray and further examination resulted in a diagnosis – lung cancer.

Within the past week, decision time came. She lay comfortably on her orthopedic mattress in the living room all evening. At bedtime, she made her outdoor trip and went to bed. She went to church Sunday as usual but was limping so church people who love her took her to the sanctuary (about eight stair steps) via the seldom used elevator.

Then, Sunday night, she just couldn’t get her feet under her.

Knowing her vet was out of town for a few days, I was deeply concerned, but on Monday morning I called anyway and learned she had gotten home in the night.

I stayed with Lady during examination and treatment but she still wasn’t progressing well enough to bring her home. She stayed with her vet overnight.

This morning, I called …

The news is not good. We will give her a bit more time and see if she can win, but the expected end is to put her to sleep so she doesn’t suffer. She has been such a joy to have in my life! It’s hard. But as I have watched her health deteriorate, I have prayed for “the best thing for Lady” rather than to satisfy my desire to keep her.

So, I will once again have to say good-bye to a dear friend, knowing we did all we could for her in her last days. It’s what we do for loved ones.

When it is a family member, we also strive to be sure they know the Lord personally. Do you know Him?