Have you ever felt like you’ve had the wind sucked right out of your lungs? Or that you’re suffocating under the weight of your heart breaking?
It all happened so fast I didn’t have time to think or prepare in any way.
Jag was a working dog. He was a handful as we started training. He was full of tension and didn’t always deal with it in the most appropriate ways. I struggled to figure out ways to help him.
But, his heart was so big and he had so much try I just couldn’t give up trying myself.
[Tweet “A wonderful bond develops when a person weather’s a storm with someone else.”] I discovered through Jag it can include animals as well. We had been through the fire together and the bond formed through it was amazing!
Border Collies are a stoic breed by nature. So looking back it doesn’t surprise me that he never let on he was in trouble. We were moving sheep for several hours and I noticed he started to favor a hind leg. Yet he still didn’t want to quit. When he was still favoring it the next day I raced him over to the vet.
It’s amazing how fast things can go downhill. I wasn’t prepared. My heart wasn’t ready for what happened next. I’m not sure it ever is. We discovered he had a tumor strangling the main blood vessel into his heart. He was bleeding out internally and despite my vets best efforts we were unable to save him.
So many people tried to tell me he was “just a dog”.
I suppose if you’ve never felt the loyalty of countless hours spent together it would seem that way. My heart felt like it had been ripped out and stomped all over. I had been cheated and on top of the hurt, anger soon followed suit.
Yet in the middle of it all, God met me. As I was crying out to God in anguish I could almost audibly hear a scripture reference whispered to me. I raced to look it up and sobbed tears of release as words I’d read many times took on new meaning.
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Only God! He’s there for us even when it feels like our world is falling apart. He loves us in the hard places when we have doubts. He holds us up when we’re struggling to move forward.
[Tweet “We don’t have to stay mired down in hurt we can let God in to help.”]
There were still valleys of heartache to travel but I was grateful to feel God’s presence with me in those valleys. He wants to strengthen and hold us up in this life. Let’s allow Him in to do just that!
It has been several years since Jag went on ahead and every now and then I still shed a few tears. More often than not though I smile over the memories and am reminded of how faithful our God is in the hard places!
I want to share a poem with you I have always loved. It sums up the love and loyalty God gifted a dog with so beautifully.
God summoned a beast from the field and He said, “Behold people created in my image, therefore, adore them. You shall protect them in the wilderness, shepherd their flocks, watch over their children, accompany them wherever they may go – even into civilization. You shall be a companion, an ally, a slave.
“To do these things,” God said, “I endow you with instincts uncommon to other beasts: faithfulness, devotion and understanding surpassing that of people. Lest it impair your courage, you shall never foresee your death.
Lest it impair your loyalty, you shall be blind to the faults of people. Lest it impair your understanding, you are denied the power of words. Let no fault of language leave an accord beyond that of people with any other beast – or even people with other people. Speak to your people only with your mind and through your honest eyes.
“Walk by their sides; sleep in their doorways; forage for them; ward off their enemies; carry their burdens; share their afflictions; love them and comfort them. And in return for this, people will fulfill your needs and wants which shall be only food, shelter and affection.
“So be silent, and be a friend to people. Guide them along the way to this land that I have promised them. This shall be your destiny and your immortality.” So spoke the Lord.
And the dog heard and was content.
I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~
I got all teary eyed reading your story. I’m sorry for the loss of your dog. A dog is never, “just a dog”. They are so special. You’re right…God’s presence in this life allows us to heal from our heartaches. I’m so thankful for HIm. Visiting today from #RaRalinkup
Thanks Dawn! You’re right they are so special. So glad you could stop by today. Blessings.
oh you really plucked my heart strings on this one..what a gorgeous tribute to Jag, to love, to loyalty, to God, to dog as woman’s best friend. That poem is astounding! It captures the depth of our love for our pets a gift from God no doubt. May your memories of Jag always comfort, what a teacher he was to you..and now to us. Blessings from #testimonytuesday!
Thank you so much for your kind words! I love that poem. Gets me every time I read it. Blessings to you as well!
I’m very sorry for your loss. It sounds like you had a special bond and God certainly cares about all that matters to us!
Thank you! I’m so glad it all matters to God.
What a beautiful story Laura! This is proof that God cares about every aspect of our lives – who else but God would have comforted you as you mourned for your four-footed friend?
So true! Thank you for your encouragement. Blessings!
I think its great when you find people who write on similar topics. My weeks blog post was where is God is times of trouble. My conclusion: holding and loving us.
I agree, that’s always fun! So glad you stopped by. Blessings.
I loved your graphics for this post.
Thanks! Jag was always so photogenic.
Dogs are never “just a dog”. Even if they’re not working cattle or sheep, all dogs are ‘working dogs’ because the work they have is to be our very best friend, loyal to us to the end.
Wonderful story, poem and wonderful Bible verse. It came on a day I especially needed it.
Thank you and God bless!
The loyalty of dogs is amazing! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Blessings!
Dear Laura, I am so sorry for the loss of your Jag. To lose a working dog that you are around in the hard stuff and he with you makes the loss even more difficult, I would think. I am glad you had him and have precious memories of your pal. Yes, God is faithful to be close and hold us to His heart. I am so thankful for His tender mercies day in and day out.
Caring through Christ, ~ linda
Thank you Linda! We had definitely been through the fire together and the bond was amazing. So grateful God faithful. Blessings to you.
I’m so sorry for you loss, Laura! What a precious way for God to comfort you by whispering the verse you heard. He is our strength in times of need. Thanks for sharing!
Yes He is! I’m so grateful for His comfort. Blessings!
I am so sorry you lost Jag. Grateful for the joy he brought you. It’s amazing how quickly we become attached to our pets and how much they become a part of us and our families.
Thanks Hope. He sure brought so much joy to my life!