See You Later, Snoopey. Thanks for Everything

This picture is of Snoopey taking a nap on my arm some time ago.

Today Snoopey left us and went into the Hands of God. It was very sudden. She was fine this morning, ate her full breakfast, went outside as usual, and then came back in for her late morning nap. When I called her to go outside again about 12:30 p.m., she didn’t come. She looked peaceful, still napping, but when I touched her, she did not respond. She had passed in her sleep. No sign of pain or distress. Just rest.

For the first time, I did CPR on a dog. To no effect. I am in total disbelief. We believe it was a heart attack. It was so quick.

Snoopey came to us when she was almost 2 years old. We don’t know much about her first 2 years except that people always seemed to be trying to get rid of her. She was great with people, but not so much with dogs. She could tolerate other canines at a distance and that was about it.

When she came to us, I made her a promise that I would never re-home her. By the grace of Almighty God, I was able to keep my promise. On this earth, she was never again re-homed. Until today. This home going is the one that will last forever.

What can I say about Snoopey?

She loved sunbathing and hated the rain. Sadly, this entire week has been cloudy and rainy, and she was not able to sunbathe a single time. I tried to keep up with minute to minute forecasts so that she could go outside during the thin windows of time when it was not pouring rain.

She loved her collar. Some time back, I went to buy her a new one and took the old one off to measure it. She just about went nuts until I put it back on her. A neighbor told me that some dogs feel vulnerable and naked without their collars. Snoopey was one of those. I left her with the pet cremation people this afternoon. The last thing I did was to take off her collar. She won’t need it or miss it anymore. She’ll never feel naked or vulnerable again.

She and Tiger were enemies. True enemies. The ‘Don’t you come over here! I’ll tear you up!” kind of enemies. Both had difficult pasts. Today, after I was sure that Snoopey had gone, I brought each pack member to see and sniff her body. I kept Tiger back until the last. I wasn’t sure what would happen. When Tiger approached Snoopey’s body, she sniffed her face and front feet. The other bulldogs started to bark, and Tiger hunched down protectively over Snoopey’s head and barked back. She stayed there for a few minutes until she started to snip at Snoopey’s hind legs. I pulled her away at that point. I don’t know if she was trying to play with Snoopey or provoke a response from an old nemesis. Tiger is still sniffing around the room for her.

Snoopey was best friends with a cat. Odd for a bulldog. She and Moon the Cat got so close that Snoopey allowed Moon into her crate. No fighting. No hissing. No biting. No scratching. Just friendship. I don’t know what Moon’s reaction to Snoopey’s death will be. Moon was here in the house alone almost 8 years ago when my little Corgi, Susie, laid down and breathed her last in the utility room. I came home from work to find Susie’s body still warm. Moon did not enter the utility room for 6 months (which was awkward since that was where Moon’s litter box was).

Snoopey has been my bed buddy for the last 15 months. She is the first dog that I ever allowed into my bed. When we got up in the mornings, most times, she would sit up and lean against me and I would throw my left arm around her shoulders. They say that dogs don’t like to be hugged, but Snoopey never seemed to mind. I think that I may have been one of the only humans who ever showed her that kind of love and acceptance.

Snoopey and Stella were sisters. Stella knows that Snoopey is gone. She knows more precisely than any other member of the pack. She was sighing and crying quietly this afternoon when I returned from the pet cremation place. LORD God, God of all comfort! Comfort all who mourn and grieve for whatever reason. You Who Are Love, You Who Love Your Creation! Love each of us in the deepest place of our need.

Snoopey was the Pack Leader. Tiger wanted to be, but Snoopey watched over the others. She always checked on them every time she came in from outside.

I confess it. I am a Christian. These words give me hope and encouragement, even in the loss of a dog. God cares for His creatures.

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat on the throne said, Behold I make all things new…” (Revelation 21:4-5 KJV)

Please hug everyone you love tonight one extra time, even if it is in your prayers and not with your arms. Tonight, when I go to bed, Snoopey won’t be there to hug. But Stella and the others will be.

 

 

 

Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Jump for Joy

Had I turned around three seconds later, I would have missed it. Isn’t that the way with so many things in life? A couple of seconds here, a minute there, and the event is over . Done and gone.

Doodlebug and Miss Sweetie cut loose with a mad puppy dash around the den and kitchen. Mind you, each of these “puppies” weighs sixty pounds. At this point, they  are more of an imitation of Sherman tanks on the roll, much like their adult counterparts when they are so inspired.

I corralled Doodlebug and, as I was leading him back to the calm of his crate, Miss Sweetie roared out of the kitchen at a gallop. Not a trot, not a run – a full out gallop.

And then she did it. Her four bulldog legs launched her body into the air. She kicked her hind legs flat in a bucking bronc move. A bucking bulldog. The leap flew her 18 inches off the floor. She landed with her full galloping stride unchecked. She slid to a stop in the utility room, turned, and continued her bolting run back toward the kitchen.

By the time I caught up to her, her tongue lolled to the right side of her mouth and her face wore a satisfied look that declared, “I did what I came to do and it was great.”

Her leap was a jump of pure joy.

It would not have scored high marks at the Olympics. Nobody will base a dance craze on it. And since I had no camera rolling, no video of it will go viral.

But I smiled. And I grinned when I saw her bulldoggy face and the satisfaction written all over it. Thank the LORD for jumps of joy.

So many tears have been shed. For so many reasons.

But then there is joy.

“…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”  (Psalm 30:5 KJV)

 

Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.