Annisita and JuanitaDogs are mentioned forty times in the Bible – usually as being dead. Only once is it possible to see their verses in a positive light (if at all):
For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion. (Ecclesiastes 9:4 KJV)
That’s not much of a compliment, is it? The thought came to mind today because I have lost two dogs, Annie died Monday night in her sleep and we have an appointment for Juanita at the vet this morning.
Not quite twenty years ago, Second Daughter had two children who would be headed for college someday. As others before her, she thought she could raise a bit of extra money by raising puppies and selling them. She picked up a beautiful black and tan Chihuahua baby and named her Ramona. She fit right into SD’s purse as we headed off to spend money buying the comforts a puppy needed. Too soon we found that one of those comforts was a vet, who would save her life.
For the next eighteen years, Ramona brought pleasure into our lives. Before two years were out she also brought her mate and three puppies into the home. Two of the puppies were sold (as planned) and SD’s heart was just about broken when they left, even though one went to her brother and she’d see Max often over his lifetime. The third puppy she gave to her father – we had just lost our own poodle to old age -- and we named her Juanita.
The next litter was worse. One of the pups was born with a bad heart. She had problems at birth, and Grandson took her, warmed her and called her Lucky. She had what we thought were seizures, couldn’t breath and her tongue would turn blue. The vet gave us the bad news and Lucky was put to sleep. Her littermate was sold to a little girl whose mother turned around within three blocks and returned the dog. The girl had began sneezing in the car, couldn’t stop and assumed an allergy to the dog. Children come first.
SD gave us the third puppy and we named her Annasita, ending up as Annie. SD kept her three for several years, then found homes for the two guys. Ramona, Juanita and Annie shared a dog run in front of our house – until last winter. Ramona’s health began to fail, she had experienced a couple of strokes, and she passed away sleeping in the sunshine.
Now, not a year later, we must let our girls go, too. Juanita has dysplasia, is almost blind with cataracts and is deaf, too. Annie served as her guide for the doggy door and helped her around the yard. They’ve been inseparable since Annie’s birth. I was always concerned that Juanita would go first and Annie would be heart broken. Instead, Juanita is left alone without her seeing eye sister. It’s time for us to let go and provide both comfort and peace.
Do “All Dogs Go To Heaven”? Bible doesn’t say either way. Only man is mentioned as having a spirit. One day we’ll know. Until then, it’s in God’s hands, and I thank Him for the gift of unconditional love these little ladies have shown us all of their lives. And I thank you for understanding our loss.