Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Lord Gave and the Lord Has Taken Away

My precious, beautiful Kona died this morning at RIVER.  I was not able to be with him at the end, and it breaks my heart that he died alone.  I wanted him to know that he was deeply loved and that he had a forever home.

I didn't get to talk to the vet because she was going into surgery on another dog, but she thinks he had distemper.  Apparently it would explain his symptoms.  Unfortunately, no one knew how serious it was, so I didn't take my phone to bed or I would have gotten the call when Kona suddenly deteriorated about 3:30 a.m.  I could have been with him before he died about 5:30, and my main prayer for him would have been answered.

This all raises many thoughts that are tumbling about in my head, but several things are perfectly clear.

The vets and staff at RIVER did everything they could for Kona.  It was clear that their hearts were captivated by him, too.  Special thanks to Becca, who first helped pull so many ticks off Kona; to Dr. Sprinkle who cared for him when came in the second time and who gave him his transfusion; to Dr. Arnold for the days and nights she cared attentively for him; for Dr. James who tried to call me numerous times last night so that I could be with him; and to all the others at RIVER who gave Kona loving whenever they treated him.  We gave Kona every chance at life, and although it is small comfort, it is what we have.

Whoever let a tiny puppy get into such a starved, tick-encrusted state and then abandoned him on a country road is the one who is responsible for Kona's suffering and death and our terrible grief.  God is not to blame.

My son Jim sent me this verse in one of his emails asking about Kona (and Siobhan):
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?  Romans 8:22-24
Whenever I see a little animal that has been killed on the road this verse comes to mind, but I hadn't thought of it in relation to Kona.  It is very apt, though, because Kona's suffering was indeed part of waiting for God's redemption of His creation.  And sadly, people who throw away innocent puppies are also part of this fallen and unredeemed world.  By God's grace, there are others like the vets and the rest of the staff at RIVER who devote their lives to caring for God's creatures.  They are one glimmer of the hope of redemption that God allows us see while we wait.

In His goodness God sent Kona to us to get the only love he was to have in his tiny, brief life.  I don't understand, but I accept His gift.  I trust that Kona is with Him in whatever place He has for the animals He created and loves.  I hope that Kona has met Zephyr and is busy exchanging stories with her and telling her I still love and remember her, and then they will run off to play together, happy and whole.

Kona was amazing, adorable and precious.  I've never--ever--known a puppy who loved with his whole heart, body, mind and soul the way Kona did.  His entire little body would wag along with his tail when he greeted whichever one of us walked in.  He would jump up from the lap where he was sleeping and beg to be picked up by the newcomer for some mutual loving.  He looked at us with his soul in his eyes.  I've never had a dog who would gaze into my eyes the way Kona did.  When we picked him up, he snuggled into our arms like caramel melting.  When I first picked him up on the road, he burrowed into my heart and claimed me for his own, and it was clear that he knew I was his and he was mine.    I don't understand why his little life, so full of potential and so much love to give, had to end so tragically, but he will always be in my heart.  While my heart is breaking right now, I know that our lives are so much richer for having had Kona come to us.

I'm grateful to Jenny for taking so many great photos of Kona last weekend when they were here.  She took the above photos of Kona in the back yard a week ago.  She also sent me this VIDEO of Tai and Jean-Marc praying for Kona.

The title of this post comes from Job 1:21:
"The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.” 
Kona was indeed a gift from God.  The last two photos show the way I will remember Kona, with his heart-full of love shining from his eyes and his tail wagging (you can see the wag from one photo to the next).  I love you, precious Kona.


  1. Bawling for you. Hang in there, beautiful puppy taken way too soon. Thank you for what you did for him.
    Carol K

    1. Thank you, Carol. You're so sweet, and it helps.

  2. I am so very sorry for your loss. He was a beautiful little guy.

    1. Thank you, Lanita. He was beautiful inside and out, one of the most beautiful doggie souls I have ever met.

  3. So sorry. :-( He really was a beautiful little guy. I don't understand people who mistreat animals, either. Hugs to you and your family.

    1. Thank you, Deann. He was so dear and precious!


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