For various reasons, I decided to have Chester put down rather than take him to the humane society. Once I made that decision, I sensed/God gave me the sense that it was right.
We took Chester to the vet yesterday. Mom and Dad were with me, and that meant a whole lot. Before going into the vet's, I walked Chester briefly by a lake behind the building. As we walked, it began to sprinkle rain. Rain is my favorite kind of weather, so I received that as a gift and a comfort. We sat with Chester at the beginning, then left the room for the last part of the procedure. I went outside to walk a bit, and I was surprised but deeply thankful to find myself filled with praise. So I praised and thanked God. There have been tears and sadness, and there will be more, but yesterday and this morning I am filled with peace, joy, love, and gratitude. They are a wonderful gift from God, and I sensed him holding me tightly all day yesterday, just as my aunt later told me she'd prayed. I also sensed other relatives and friends holding me up in prayer.
Mom, Dad, and I went from the vet's to Goddard, where my brother's in-laws gave a special spot on their land for Chester's grave. Brad's father-in-law also built Chester a perfectly-sized coffin, dug the hole, and chose a stone, which I love, to use as a marker. That's right - this man built a coffin and dug a grave for his son-in-law's sister's dog. Wow. He led us in prayer afterward, and then I spent a brief moment alone at the grave, where again I felt joyful, thankful, and sad, but couldn't keep from smiling. When I left I was filled with peace.
Later I took Oliver to the humane society. The staff commented on how well-behaved he was in the lobby while I filled out paperwork - good job, Ollie! :) Hopefully, his anxiety will soon pass and he will be found by a fun family who will take good care of that fun and loving dog. I will miss his "kisses" on my leg after every dinner - he'd finish eating, come to me, and lick my lower leg once. Perhaps just wiping off his tongue, but I chose to see it as a "thank you." :)
Last night I sensed Chester with me for a few minutes. This morning I woke up happy. God has more than answered my 10-year prayer, and I can barely express my gratitude, awe, and love.