When you came to us you were a little fearful and confused. You did not have a great start to life or a good first experience of humans. But soon you opened your heart to us and you loved us without reserve. You loved us with complete honesty and loyalty. You never lashed out in anger or got annoyed with us. You dedicated your whole being to us and trusted us implicitly.
You forgave me ever shortcoming and fault even before I failed you. But you never failed me. You obeyed and followed me without question even when you would rather run away from a bath.
I have learned so much about love from you but still I struggle to let all the lessons penetrate my heart. It is confronting going through this with you. It makes me feel small and insufficient. It forces me to stare heartache and pain straight in the face. It is so easy to be a coward and turn my face away but you teach me to be brave and honest instead. To make myself vulnerable to life’s pain. Being immune to pain results in being immune to real and deep love.
This is a pain that I don’t feel I can endure or digest. But maybe I shouldn’t be digesting it but let it flow through me to be consumed by God’s light and love. By God’s power. God’s power to see all, consume all, conquer all, judge all….love all. God loves you too Jet. He cares when a little bird falls from the sky. He sees you and cares about you.
You have transitioned to heaven now and you leave us behind with a hole in our heart filled with sorrow but I hope that when we have drained that sorrow with our tears, that that hole may be filled with the example and memory of your pure, honest and loyal love. That that love may grow in our hearts and teach us to love more, love more vulnerably and with greater capacity. That your love will have transformed us a little for the better. And that that would be your legacy and that we will honour that legacy in our love for each other.
Rest in peace Jet. Run in heaven, chase a few rabbits, eat all you want. May Jesus stroke your head for us. We love you!
Jet and fowl
Jet and the family
Actually, a few photos can’t really do his unconditional love and joy-giving life any justice…
Jet bravely and quietly battled a severe case of leukaemia for the last month – at times showing signs of recovery and then slipping back down again – but he never showed any signs of complaining.
It sometimes uncanny how things coincide. Just last week I read in David Holmgren’s “Retrosuburbia” how in some cultures people die peacefully at home, where the body merely shuts off from water and food. Meg McGowan also alluded to it in her post on “Why population matters”. That is exactly what Jet did – during the last 48 hours he just didn’t want to take any more food or water (or medicine either) and on the last day he sought out peaceful places in the garden to lie and wait it out. I hope one day when my time comes I will have the savvy, wherewithal and trust in God to be able to do it too, instead of desperately clinging on to some life support.
Love and best wishes to you and your family during what must be a very sad time. When I am travelling through grief I am always reminded that it’s depth is directly proportionate to how much love I have felt towards someone, pets included. This helps. <3
Thanks Meg – appreciate your heartfelt message. Yeah the kids are taking it heavy, but we have such amazing memories of his unbridled and dedicated love.
I’m so sorry Martin. Dogs are one of the family aren’t they? Unfortunately it’s likely that we outlive them. Douglas is still happy in himself – just very hungry as a side effect of his medication (just steroids). Take care.
Have you seen the film ‘never ending story’? We tell Douglas that when they die dogs become love dragons.
Thank you Nancy, I really appreciate your message. Yes, ours are so closely integrated – they even sleep with the kids, hence Jet is bitterly missed. I’m glad Douglas is OK – Jet was also on steroids for the leukaemia – he had an incredible appetite! Ah that was a beautiful movie – I don’t think our kids have seen it yet.
So sorry to hear that Jet is no longer with you. It’s not often you hear of a dog dying at home and I’m glad he was able to choose his own end.
Thank you Helen – I appreciate your message. Yes at least it was peaceful.