I have dreaded writing this post for a whole month. No, I have dreaded it longer than that, maybe for years.
Stella passed away one month ago today. She went fast, quietly, in her sleep. Her legs were relaxed.
Had she been standing, they would have been in a running position, the way they always looked when she would chase a squirrel.
Later that day, I came across a cartoonish sketch I had made of her years ago in the same running pose. The caption read, “Flying Stella: I can’t feel my feet touching the ground.” And I realized that had become for her quite literally true. Fly, girl, fly. See you later.
I am Stella, Queen of the Olde English Bulldogges. Lady Human is being quiet. Too quiet. Swat a fly! Tell us to “cut it out!” Say something!
Me: Sorry, girl. I was just thinking about someone I used to know.
Stella: A human? Do I know them?
Me: No, he went away long before you came. I learned last night that he has passed away and he was a young man. I’m pondering.
Stella: Passed away like Wiggles passed away?
Stella: Are you sad? You feel to me as though you are.
Me: Yeah, a little. Mainly over missed opportunities. It had been so long since I saw him or spoke with him and I thought my feelings now are silly at this point and don’t really matter. But I was reading about grief last night from a book by C.S. Lewis. He said, “Whatever is matters.” It helped me.
Stella: C.S. Lewis…was he a bulldog? He sounds like one.
It has taken me two full days to get up enough gumption to tackle this and write about it.
At 10:08 a.m. on Friday, March 4, 2022, Wiggles passed from this earth, exactly one week after her 8th birthday.
Wiggles loved the outdoors. She came to us when she was just over a year old. She had been a country dog. The man who owned her decided that he wanted a motorcycle and selling the dog would help him get to his goal faster. My son’s friend put them in contact with each other and my son bought Wiggles. About two weeks later, Wiggles’ previous owner was killed in a one-vehicle accident while riding his new motorcycle.
Everybody liked Wiggles, even non-bulldog people. That was not always true of other dogs. Wiggles never picked a fight, but she never backed off from one either.
She was active and quick. She loved to sunbathe on pleasant days.
Recently, she had started standing for a long time and staring, but I thought nothing of it. There is a lot to stare at outside. Then, on Friday, she suffered a huge seizure. Her whole body was trembling.
I stared into her face. Her eyes were closed. The trembling stopped. She opened her eyes, looked at me, then closed them again, and went. It was so peaceful that it took me a few minutes to realize that she was gone.
“One last look,” as my son put it.
I believe in God, the Creator of all. I also believe in the revelation of heaven and eternity as presented in the Bible. There was a time when I did not think that applied to animals. I know better now. God is not an annihilator. He used the bulldogs to teach to teach me that. (I am a slow learner.)
I also believe that the LORD restores. The next time Wiggles looks at me, we will both be fully restored and there will be no more last looks.