That lasted a quick minute.
I went out of the door as I typically do, and the eyes which meet mine every morning were not there. It was day one of not seeing that sweet face of a dog looking back at me.
My husband followed behind a bit later.
After having wiped tears I shared with him, we needed to take care of AJs things and move Tika into his kennel. I needed to see a face in there, and believe fully ~ God brought Tika into our family because He knew this day was coming. He agreed.
We moved his little dog house out and I cleaned and tucked his bowls inside his dog house. I can't part with the house, I don't know why. I suppose because it's his.
We had built a dog kennel for Tika, as we knew we'd need something when we found out she was going to have puppies. I built her dog house while Jeff was away hunting. It's a cobbled up stout thing, which I'm proud of. It's not fancy, however, it was made just for her and the puppies. Oh and did I mention, I made it large enough I could fit in it with her? It's comical now, seemed pretty legit when I was building it!
We took apart the kennel and my husband used the tractor to lift the doghouse and move it to its new place. It was an ordeal.
Both Tika and Ruby roamed around and saddled up next to me the entire time we were working on it. Completed, the dogs and I took a walk.
Upon our return, I put Ruby away and told Tika "Kennel up" as she knows that means feeding time and go to her bowl. The poor thing walked over to where her dog house and bowl were and looked back at me, walking back to me with a puzzled look. I walked into AJ's kennel and she followed. She sat down outside the gate and looked at me.
I walked inside and I poured her food out. And I told her (yes, if you read me often, you know I talk to my dogs) "AJ is finding us the good trails in heaven, he wants you to smile at me in the mornings when I open the door. Can you do that?" She began to wag her tail, I suspect to tell me she promises to do her best! She goes in and eats, as I close the gate behind me.
Today when I walked out the door, just like I had hoped for, two sweet eyes were looking back at me, one tail was wagging and two tears dribbled down my face. It wasn't AJ, it was Tika.
Tika, who God put on our path in April, knowing then, in November I would need her.
This morning Tika, Ruby, and I had a very good morning playing and walking. We laughed and I wiped a few tears. The "gang" got a new name. We are no longer "The Three and Me". We are now "The Best Girl Gang" Which is a pun, because we live on Best Road! I shared it with my husband and told him we needed matching necklaces (Collars) or something and he should know no boys allowed. We laughed a little, he told Ruby she was in charge now and I said good luck with that!
My husband and I have for years joked about who's dog is the best. Truth is, we loved them all so very much and when one hurt, we all did. Today, we are all healing together.
Each day will be a little less hard.
Today, was not easy. It was a tiny bit easier.
I am grateful beyond words for the blessing of my sweet AJ. I'm abundantly grateful God knew what was coming and gifted me Tika. I do not take my blessings or the timing for granted.
My world is a better place because of my dogs ~ I am a better person because of them. And Heaven, heaven got one of the best this week, and it too is better for it.
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” 1 Corinthians 2:9 ESV