RosieDo you have a pet? Those who have pets understand they are far more than just an animal. They become part of your family.

Our dog, Rosie, has always been a member of our family. There were some days I think she thought she was part human. Last night, we said goodbye to our beloved Rosie girl. She brought us over eleven years of joy and happiness; however, after multiple violent seizures in a row, we knew we had to let her go.

We were a train wreck last night, clinging to one another to make it through. This morning as I walked through the house without hearing the pitter patter of her in the kitchen, a flood of memories came pouring in- our time together and the many, many lessons she taught me. I thought I’d share a few today.

1. Life is serious enough; take time to play. In Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”  Rosie would make sure I knew Take time to playpart of that “everything” was play. She was always grabbing a toy and bringing it to me or a rag or my foot. Whatever she found handy at the time. Its in the times of play, filled with laughter, that we release a great deal of stress from our day. When was the last time you paused to play?

2. Loving someone means doing things you may not enjoy, because they enjoy doing them. [Luke 6:31]  It was common knowledge in our family that Rosie hated the water. She didn’t like baths, playing in the ocean or the lake, but she would go swimming Swimmingif we jumped in because she wanted to be wherever we are and she put our needs ahead of hers. What have you done for someone you care about that you wouldn’t have chosen to do on your own.

3. God answers prayers. [Jeremiah 33:3] Sam Norris begged us and God for a dog for years. He never backed down from his request from either of us. After a couple of years of working on us all, at eight years old, he got his prayers answered. We picked him up from Scout camp with the cutest little fur ball he’d ever seen waiting inside the truck. Dogs tend to choose their master from those around them. While Rosie was my dog from day one, Sam never ceased to remind her he was the reason she was in our family.

SAMSUNG4. Doing what is right isn’t always easy, but its always necessary. [Esther 4:16] Making the choice to say goodbye to my sweet Rosie was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. She brought so much joy and laughter to our family.  Our family memories are filled with stories about her, like the time she just sat there looking at us as we frantically tried to deal with the snake that had found its way in our kitchen. You can read about here.

This summer, she started having seizures and the doctors couldn’t do anything to stop them. As they increased in frequency and severity, we knew we would be forced to choose between what we wanted and what was best for her. We loved her too much to allow her to suffer.

Roe Roe

It is going to take some time to get used to the quiet in the house, because with Rosie around, there was always something going on to keep life interesting. She was more than happy to greet anyone who entered our home and make them feel welcome. She was full of unconditional love and consistently found a way to brighten my day. If people would learn to love like dogs, our world would be a better place.

We love you, Rosie Norris. You made our world a better place.