Poetry, musings, reflections, life

No Guarantees in Life Except…

Yesterday was not an upbeat day. B.J., our old Welsh Corgi, reached the end of his life. Approaching thirteen human years, that translates to ninety-one dog years; his old body was just worn out and could not take it anymore.

We had struggled with having him euthanized for several weeks. It was a painful decision. When you enjoy pets, especially dogs, as we do, it is hard to let go. They are, in fact, a member of the family. B.J. was a member of this family all his life. 

But it was also painful watching him attempt to get around. The lower part of his body was fast deteriorating. To get him outside was a major feat.  His little legs were at a point of not cooperating with his brain. When his brain said move, the signal did not reach them.

His front legs would move and drag his rear end across the floor. But on a laminate floor, he mostly just slipped. We sometimes placed a dining room chair behind him and gently pushed. This avoided his grouchy side and a response we might not enjoy.

We bought several rubber-backed rugs and placed them around the room in order to give him a bit of traction as he tried to move. He tried desperately, and though grouchy at times, he never seemed to complain, at least not so we could understand. Although certain words we say would trigger a response, barking or whining.

Apollo was B.J.’s roommate. Apollo is a Standard Poodle, and sometime mischievous. We have a habit of playfully calling him “despicable”. B.J. took offense at that and barked every time we repeated it. He seemed to be saying, don’t be calling my friend, despicable.

Both enjoyed a bowl of ice every afternoon. During the day, they resided in what we call the “spa room”. In the afternoon, when we allowed them into the main house, Apollo would rush to the refrigerator and wait impatiently for the sound of the icemaker dispensing ice. B.J. would come struggling along. When B.J. arrived, Apollo sort of moved out of the way. Kind of like he recognized the pecking order for ice.

Yet, they both delighted in emptying the bowl and not allowing the other to get any ice. B.J. would protect the bowl. When Apollo saw an opportunity, he would get several pieces in his mouth and run to the rug where he would dispense the ice in a pile and run back for more to keep B.J. away from the bowl.  But there B.J. would be, guarding the bowl.

B.J. was overweight to say the least. We discovered earlier on, that he was not only eating his own food but was also devouring Apollo’s. When we found out, we bought a raised stand for Apollo. But B.J. figured out that he could reach the food and continued until we placed obstacles in front of the food. Apollo could then reach over the obstacles, yet B.J. could not.

We often wondered if B.J. was part snake. Lounging around in the living room watching television, we would look over and B.J. would be licking the air as a snake does with his tongue. It was eerie.  

He was quite a nester. Somehow, he would maneuver his backside under the table legs or in a corner in such a fashion that removing him became a major effort. He usually reclined in front of a doorway, never moving out of the way and with his rear end facing the room. I suppose he was giving us his best side.

There are many such stories I could relate about dear old B.J. The best I can say is that he was a devoted companion in the family. If you have pets, use their time on this earth with a mutual enjoyment. They deserve it. 

Will B.J. go to heaven? I do not know. I hope so. He certainly brought about a lot of joy on this earth. It seems only fair to me that he bring that joy to the hereafter. But as I said, there are no guarantees.

In the human realm, most believe in a heaven where with the right frame of mind, one can reach those golden shores. I believe that with my personal knowledge and understanding of  Jesus Christ, I can achieve that destination. I hope you believe that as well.

Have a great day.                                                                                                                                      © Pete Robertson

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3 thoughts on “No Guarantees in Life Except…

  1. jackie turner on said:

    What a sweet story about a very sweet friend that will be missed for quite some time, I am sure.
    I think there is a dog heaven. And I think they are with us on the other side. I just don’t think the Lord would create something so good for us and not let them be there as well.
    Whenever I have a dog that is not feeling well, even before the factor shows up, I seem to have clear remembrances and stories of some of mine that have passed on.
    Whenever one of those memories and feelings of that dog being near come about, I am now quick to check to see how the ones still here are doing. So far, that has never failed me.
    God bless, and how special you are to those dogs still with you and also to those that have passed on. I think there are special places in heaven for people who are so good to their animals.

  2. David Seals on said:

    Sorry about your loss, Pete. It’s always hard to loose a pet. We become so attached to them that we do grieve their passing. They in fact become members of our family. I believe it was Mark Twain who said something to the effect that “if life were fair then our dog would get to go to heaven and we’d stay here”. Not to diminish the saving work of our Lord, but I think that the meaning of this quote, at least for me, is a that a faithful dog’s love for us is often more unconditional than our love is toward each other.

  3. Jennie Robertson on said:

    My precious Pete: You could not have been more right on in your description of my precious old dog, B.J. He and I had a lot of good as well as dark times together. It was like he always knew when he needed to be by side during a crisis. He was a great dog. It was sad, however, when his “daddy” died (Gaylon). It was like he never got over grieving him and kept slipping away mentally. I suppose that is when his quirky nature started taking over his sharp mind.
    He will be missed a lot. I think his buddy, Apollo, is missing him something terrible. That will pass with time too.
    This was a very beautiful tribute to a big piece of my life that has left me.
    If dogs go to heaven, See ya there, B.J. !!!!!
    Love ya,

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