Forgive me today as I take a side step from talking about Hep C and share what has recently occurred in our family.

From my heart to yours---My friends, during this last week our family has experienced a dark vigil waiting to see if our beloved dog, Sassy would rebound from a recent illness. She spent the last week of her life not well. After courses of IV fluids, and medicine, she was able to come home to our waiting arms and care. Her health continued to decline and Monday afternoon she suffered a severe seizure and with what we believe followed was a blot clot in the brain.  It was with great necessity and overwhelming sadness we knew the best decision was to put her down and end her suffering. She died in our arms.  I think my heart stopped that day.

I can barely type these words for the tears. My friends, our hearts and spirits are broken and crushed. The loss and grief we are experiencing is overwhelming. If you have ever loved a pet with all your heart, you know they are more like your child than a pet. They are part of your family. They hold a very special place like no other.

Sassy was my constant companion. She was my sidekick. My very best little friend. She was my little girl, my wabby. She was with me 24/7. At home, at work, at the ranch, she was always there.  She was with me through great ups and downs, trials and triumphs, thick or thin. She never left my side even when I dealt with Hep C and treatments, we nicknamed her, Nurse Sassy. She loved on us through deaths in our family. No matter what we faced.  Through it all, unconditionally, she was there.  Life will never be the same again, at least not now.

There are measuring scales for earthquakes, tornados, and natural disasters. But when a death occurs, the devastation is beyond measuring. I say this not to diminish the value or what we feel for our human family members, but to be perfectly honest, I haven’t felt this level of pain since both my parents died 3 ½ weeks apart from each other.

It was Tennyson who wrote, “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” This is true. We are very blessed that God chose to wrap his unconditional love into a little dog named Sassy and fill our hearts with love and joy than cannot be expressed into words.

During the night, I awoke with tugging on my heart from the Holy Spirit. Through my grief and tears, repeatedly, I felt this whispered in my heart, “Go, go to that place where pain and sorrow meet with the Savior.”  I wanted to hold my sweet Sassy, but I went to the one who could hold both of us.

These words spilled over the keyboard through tears at 4 this morning. These words are not mine. They are a sweet message of hope from the Savior who cares for our breaking hearts.

“Go, go to the place where pain and sorrow meet. There you will meet Jesus, your Savior. For where your broken heart, tears and grief are gathered, so is the Savior, your Shepherd.  ”I will heal the brokenhearted." Psalm 147:3

Go to the one whom you have entrusted your cares, your little one. There in His arms you will meet your comfort. The same one who loving cares for you, cares for your little one. “I am he who comforts you.” Isaiah 51:12.

Go to Him who comforts your sorrow--lean into His everlasting arms. For with one arm He draws you close, the other is wrapped around the one you love, close to his heart. “He tends his flock like a shepherd, He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart.” Isaiah 40:11

“I have made you and I will carry you.” Isaiah 46:4

Pain and sorrow are not forever, but love is. God’s plan is forever and joy will come again.  “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.” Luke 6:21

“What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.” Isaiah 46:11

Friends, no matter what label is on your pain, may I echo those same words of comfort to you, “Go, go to the place where pain and sorrow meet, there you will meet the Savior, Jesus. ”The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18


My heart reflects these words in my sorrow, “I called your name, O Lord, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: ”Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.“ You came near when I called you, and you said, ”Do not fear." Lamentations 3:55-57.

Life is more precious when it is filled with love, for human and pets alike. We are loved by Him who made us and “we love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

May you give those special ones in your life extra love today. And may I ask for your prayers for our family in these coming days as we walk through this dark valley of pain and sorrow. Thank you dear friends, you are loved!

This entry was originally published on Life Beyond Hepatitis C, September 7, 2015. It is reprinted with permission.