I lost my Bear dog last week.  He came down with meningitis, no known source, but was fatal.  He was a retired show dog (flashy standard poodle), but was a joyful and humble soul, always ready to have fun.  Bear used to make it a point to bite my friend Denise’s husband David on his rear end.  Not to inflict pain, just to make his presence known, I guess. Bear was my white shadow, following me everywhere.  I’m just trying to keep from crying, it’s just so difficult to think about him still.

When it became clear that humane euthanasia was the best thing for him, I held his head in my lap and talked to him, stroking his face while his breath subsided and eventually stopped.  The last thing I said before releasing him was a prayer — Lord, please just let me know that he’s with You now.  The thought of never seeing Bear again, here or on the other side was painful and sad.

I shared this prayer with no one except my Lord.

The next day was pretty rough.  It was so sad not to be awakened by him in the morning, to not have him nagging me to throw that tennis ball around for him.  Sometime after lunch, Denise dropped by (she was concerned), and told me she had a dream she wanted to tell me about.  She wasn’t sure she should tell me since the loss was still so new.  In the dream, Bear was running through an expansive, beautiful green meadow. His coat was snowy white, and he was barking.  Bear had a skin condition, and was “de-barked” before I got him, so he was never snowy white or capable of barking in this life.  I never shared the prayer with Denise — I know that the Lord answered my prayer — I know Bear’s with Him now, and he’s free (and loud).

Final chapter — the next time Denise’s husband was in the house, my other dog, Taylor suddenly bit him on the butt (something he’d never done before). Bear’s last nip.  Rest in peace, sweetie.  I was blessed to know you.

— Susan from Puyallup, WA