It’s been almost two weeks since we made the decision to cease treatment for Lexie and there is no doubt that that there is a huge void in our lives. Janet and I can’t believe how much we miss her. I know that to some folks it sounds crazy to profess your love for a dog, but we had almost 11 years of joy with her that added a wonderful dimension to our lives.
Lexie provided comfort, especially to Janet, during some very rough times in her life and when I travelled out of town, Janet didn’t worry about anyone bothering the house with a Doberman running around the place. And like pet owners all over the world, we got used to her being around; her habits, like and dislikes – all her idiosyncrasies that made her unique. You know, the things that endeared her to us and made our lives more complete with her as a part of our family.
And now, as has happened with numerous pets throughout our married life, the end has come and we are dealing with mourning Lexie’s passing. Granted, thank goodness, it isn’t in the same universe as the loss of a person, but the pain is real and eventually things will get better. We have been down this road before…
But this time, something is different. As Janet put it, it gets more difficult to lose a pet the older we get. As we have more disposable time than we did years ago, Lexie was more a part of our lives that some of our previous pets. We got used to going on daily walks and running errands with her. An empty feeling has taken over where happiness and joy once were the norm.
One of the things that Janet and I have been discussing is whether we will get another dog. For now, the answer is a resounding, “NO!” Neither one of us thinks that we could once again go through the loss of a pet. If you think about the average life expectancy of our dogs, it is around 11 years and that would put us in our late seventies when we had to deal with another loss. Since Janet has already commented on how tough things are getting compared to years ago, we are asking that age-old question. Is it better to have loved and lost – or never to have loved at all? The jury is out on the answer…
For the past week or so I have been thinking about how fortunate we are that God didn’t feel the same way way that Janet and I do. After all, He was faced with the ultimate decision – whether or not to sacrifice His own Son for the sins of the world – and that includes all of us. God chose to let His own Son die… There is no doubt that God loved His Son – more than we can ever imagine. So He made the call that it was better to have loved and lost… and He did that for us… Because He loved us as well and we could never pay for our own sins – that burden was borne on the cross by Jesus.
The outcome of the sacrifice of Jesus is that we have the opportunity to have eternal life. Our verse for tonight is the most famous one in the entire Bible – from the apostle John. We are told, in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (KJV) My encouragement this evening is that Jesus and His Father love us more than we can possibly imagine. My prayer is that we may all take the risk to love and lose rather than suffer the consequence of never having loved at all. Janet and I are working on that but we aren’t there yet. In the meantime, have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…
Yes, it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. But with Jesus things are at a whole other level–praise the Lord–because with HIM, they will never be lost at all. Wonderful.
Scott, I’m sorry for your loss. Your posts on this have been timely as I recently lost my cat – my first pet ever. The sadness I have felt has felt out of proportion to what I felt I should have had. When we first brought Q home, she was scared to death of us. By the end her life, she waited for me to wake up to feed her, to come home to feed her, and to sit on the couch in the evenings (in case there was a snack).
I wish you many happy memories of Lexie. Her unique love for you and Janet will never be replaced. I would just observe that the blessings that new people and pets bring to us when they are near, and that they leave us with later, far outweigh the sadness when they depart. Peace to you.