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  • Writer's pictureAmy L Harden

God Spelled Backwards Is Dog

Updated: Jul 23, 2021

Sperry Christmas

In the past month on Facebook, I noticed several of my friends overwhelmed by the sadness of putting their dear fur companions down due to health issues or age. With each post and story of how these precious lives have helped, healed, comforted, demonstrated love and friendship, I can relate to how vital these cherished beings are to them. It is not easy letting a friend suffer or make the walk to the Rainbow Bridge. We mourn like we are mourning a human family member because they are one of the family. Sadly, we are among this group of people.

In March of this year, we had to put our sweet Sperry (Sperry Christmas) down because she had quickly declined in health from Lymphoma. She was 11-years-old and had been the calming anchor in our home. Her sudden health decline was not necessarily a shock, but having her not here has been difficult. The house felt empty returning from the vet. A hole in the atmosphere that she once occupied. The lack of her spirit gone became deafening and unsettling. Despite this altering of the universe, I have found a peace.

Sperry, from the moment she came into our home, was the definition of unconditional love. I truly believe God sent her to us to not only heal our hearts from the loss of two other cherished golden retrievers, Libby and Scout but to teach us how God feels about us. Sperry was one of His angels. She even had faint white markings on both of her shoulders in the shape of wings.

Sperry at 8-9 weeks.

As a puppy, she was devoted to all of my kids. She had no favorites. Sperry gave each one her time, love, and joyful reaction upon their return home. A calm, patient, and easy-going pup, she strived to please us. She had one accident in the house and was devastated she had had it. I couldn't be mad. She had gotten a urinary tract infection, and holding her bladder was difficult. Sperry's opinion on barking was that it was totally unnecessary unless absolutely needed, and even then, it would shock her when she released a bark. Her face was always apologetic or embarrassed.

Her devotion was all in her eyes and the way she looked at you or leaned into you. She made herself present. Sperry gave hugs by placing her head against your thigh or in between your legs.

Penny at 12 weeks

We now have another sweet Golden Retriever named MoneyPenny - Penny for short. We knew she was the one for us because she also has lighter golden fur on her shoulders that looks like wings. She is full of spit and vinegar and MUST be walked twice a day. She is a little bit of all the Goldens we have owned over the years. She definitely channels Sperry at times. She gives hugs as Sperry did by putting her head down and hiding her head between our legs. Penny loves veggies and melon - Peanut Butter is her favorite. She is a food-driven pup but will also bask in snuggles and a good ear rub. We are training and trying to break bad habits like; jumping up, being too rough with Buckley and Gidget, our two small Yorkies. The Zoomies are a thing that happens whether she has her walk in the morning or at night. She is so intelligent and picks things up very quickly. She knows Sit, Down, Watch, Waits for her dinner till told to go, walks on the leash well. When it is time for a walk, and we have to put her harness on, she runs to her sleeping place on the floor register and acts like we are taking her on the last walk of her life. As soon as we are out the door, you would think it was her favorite thing.

If you have lost a fur-friend or animal companion be gentle with yourself.

Give yourself time.

Allow yourself to mourn.

Believe it or not, after a period of mourning you can consider getting another fur-friend.

Our fur-friends are here for a season and each one brings us love and lessons we will cherish.

Losing Sperry this year in March was a hard thing. She was our angel girl. The hole she left behind was huge, and though we have another pup, we still see her everywhere we go and in this new fur-baby. I genuinely believe, at times, Penny channels Sperry just to reminds us everything will be okay. I would like to think God sends these messages in fur to show us He loves us and how to be to others - doG spelled backward is God.

Katie Vorhees

This blog post is dedicated to my friend and Sister in Christ - Helen Vorhees, who said goodbye to her sweet Katie this past week. They had many long years together, and Katie was her constant companion. May the Lord comfort you, Helen, as you learn to be without your dear Katie. I pray He brings you another Golden friend that will help fill the hole and share fun walks and excursions with you.

Numbers 6:24-26

1 Comment

Helen Voorhees
Helen Voorhees
Jul 24, 2021

Thank You Amy for such a beautiful story-about your Sperry! Also, Thank you for such a loving dedication to my sweet Katie- It touched my heart- I so identify with the unsettling quietness in the house as it is now void of "Katie's Presence" I have her ashes here now awaiting her final resting destination at one of our favorite spots we shared together.

I find myself coming into the house speaking out loud as I used to "Katie, Mommy is home"

only to find that dulling ache of empty- to which all I can do is let out this deep painful sigh. It does feel like a hole inside- Every day, God is helping me walk thoughtfully thru each…

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