The last several weeks, most nights Joey would wake one of us up in the middle of the night, whining to go outside. Somewhat ironically she didn’t last night. She’s lost 15 pounds over the last few months. She was only eating, maybe, a half cup of food per day. She used to eat four cups at one point.
We pulled up to the veterinarian’s office, and even in the car she was shaking nervously. She knew where we were. I’m convinced she could smell death. I hate that for her.
I exited the drivers door, walked around to the back passenger side and Danielle grabbed her leash, she carefully jumped down to the wet pavement. I left my glasses on the dash, partly because of the rain and partly because I was already wiping away tears.
I squatted in front of her, looked her in her foggy eyes, put both hands around her head and rubbed back on her ears. “I’ll see you later, girl.” I stood and Danielle walked her to the door. She seemed hesitant, but not as hesitant as she was a few days earlier when we visited for her “elderly” consultation.
I want to believe, while nervous, she was accepting. A greater good was taking place. “All dogs go to heaven.” I don’t know if that’s a fact, but I’ll choose to believe it in this case. Lindley, Joey’s sister was already there. Cooper, Joey’s former roommate, was already there. Aunt Ellie, Aunt Betsy, and her friend, Tweak. I’m probably forgetting a couple.
While nervous, she was accepting. God, this sounds silly, and mind you, I realize Jesus wasn’t a dog…but the similarity is in the loyalty. Joey was the most loyal. To me. To Danielle. To Mae, who she seemed to despise a lot of the time. To Lindley and Cooper. As she walked to her death she was loyal. It’s not what she wanted.
Jesus was loyal to his death. To the disciples. To Mary, and Mary. To the sinners. To us. And to the other two-thirds of the Trinity.
Death – It’s not what any of us want.
But we are all walking towards it.
How loyal are we?
We were the ones breaking her loyalty by having her on a leash, putting her in the car, literally taking her to her death. We were the ones. I so wish there could have been another way.
I’ll miss her for the rest of my life. I’m tearing up now wishing it hadn’t come to this. But it all comes to this.
The promise is that all things are being made new, even in my own disloyalty. And that’s where I’ll rest today.