He preserves both man and beast

July 27, 2016 | My Jottings

This is a panoramic photo I took of my bedroom with my newer iPhone. It’s taken from the plaid, overstuffed chair I sit in to read and pray. It’s the view I have most days at some time or another.

Do you see the little furry beast on the bed? If you can’t quite make her out, click the photo to enlarge it. That’s Edith, our oldest schnauzer.

Edith’s earthly life came to an end last Saturday, and every single one of us is feeling her absence in huge ways. Sara and I were with her when the vet sent her flying off to Jesus and Daddy. (I know that animals don’t have souls like humans do, but there will be sheep, wolves, leopards, goats and lions in the hereafter, so I ask you — why not schnauzers? If you’d like the reference about this, it’s Isaiah 11:6).

My dear friend Pat comforted me with Psalm 36:6, which says,

Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
    your judgments are like the great deep;
    man and beast you save, O Lord.

So until I know otherwise, I’m thinking that God loves His creation, and that we could see Edith again. Michael loved Edith so much he saw her in his Lewy Body Dementia hallucinations even when she wasn’t there with him. And Edith loved Michael so much she held quiet and faithful vigil under his hospital bed as he lay dying in February of 2015.


I was telling my daughter Carolyn that one of the ways I know life is so profound and powerful, so precious and to be vigilantly protected, is that even when the life of a small beast ends, that void is felt so deeply. It almost resounds. How could an 18 pound ailing dog leave such a hole in this house, our hearts, if there wasn’t some kind of beauty and very weighty value to her? I can’t explain it, but I can surely feel it.

Millie, Edith’s younger schnauzer sister, is really noticing that Edith isn’t here anymore. She is so subdued, tries to make eye contact with me all the time, and has her ears back, which always means she’s unsure.

Our fosters miss Edith. Our whole family misses what a patient, faithful pet she was for almost 15 years.

I had intended to dig a grave for Edith, but we’ve had some issues here in our beautiful city. A terrible storm tore through early Thursday morning, ripping thousands of trees from the ground and causing power outages that are still not all restored. And it was hot, hot, hot, while all this was going on. I was in no mood to try to dig a grave. So I reluctantly decided to have Edith cremated, and when her ashes are returned to us, we will hold a little ceremony and spread the ashes over Michael’s grave. That seems so appropriate.

As Millie looked at me longingly this morning, trembling a little, touching my leg with her paw as if to say, “What do we do now?” I thought to myself, another loss…..  But losses only hurt when there’s great love. So for the great love I shared with Michael, for the great love I had for my little Edith, I give thanks to the Lord this day.


  1. L. says:

    One wants to do cartwheels in your bedroom, it’s so spacious. But, obviously, not at this sad time. I do see Edith and say farewell to her. We are blessed to have so many people and animals to love deeply. Still, I am sorry for your sorrow.

  2. Just Julie says:

    Thank you so much, Leah. Your words are always a blessing. xoxo

  3. Helen in Switzerland says:

    So sorry to hear about Edith. You have dogs and I have cats and well, no two ways about it, they are important members of our families. No they can’t talk to us but they do have a sense of what is happening and they do love us in their way and we them. I am sure that you will feel the hole for a long while to come,- and who knows where their souls go, but maybe we do all end up together one day. I like to hope so. You are in my thoughts and prayers Julie, Helen xx

  4. Just Julie says:

    Thank you for your kind, comforting thoughts, Helen. You have been on my heart every day for weeks! Sending my love… xoxo

  5. Kay says:

    So, so sorry, Julie.

  6. Just Julie says:

    Thank you Kay. I have been praying for you and Alan…. Hugs to you, dear friend. xoxo

  7. Ganeida says:

    I too believe our pets return to the Lord who gave them life & they will be waiting for us with Him. It will be so wonderful. As it was in Eden so it will be again & we will be able to communicate with them in ways this world does not allow.

    In Genesis 9:10~17 you can read that God established a covenant with ALL living creatures. Some translations also seem to indicate there is some sort of judgement on animals [in the context of taking a man’s life].

    Be blessed my friend. I know you are hurting but our God is still good & He comforts those who sorrow.

  8. Just Julie says:

    I had forgotten about the covenant with all living things, Ganeida. That made me sort of inwardly leap when you reminded me of it. Thank you for your kindness and love… xoxo

  9. Sue Denney says:

    So sorry, Julie. It is so difficult to say good bye to a well loved pet, they become such an integral part of our families, and bring such joy to us. I will be praying for you.

  10. Just Julie says:

    Thank you for your prayers, Sue! We are missing her, and so is Millie. We are relieved for her though… xoxoxo

  11. Janet Skoglund says:

    Dearest Julie, I am so sorry to hear of Edith’s passing. Your sharing of Edith’s life and her faithfulness to stand by Michael has has touch our hearts. Pictures that you have posted have brought joy and sadness as we have watched her be so much apart of your family. I will be praying for you all including Millie.

  12. Just Julie says:

    Janet, I was so tickled to see your comment here. Thank you for checking in, and for your prayers and compassion, dear friend. xoxo

  13. Ember says:

    Animals do have souls like humans. The word ‘animal’ means ‘ensouled’. After Noah’s flood, God made a covenant with all living creatures – all the creatures of the earth. It would not be possible for God to enter a covenant relationship with beings that had no soul, because God is Spirit.
    Edith (and Piggeth with her) brought much joy. xx

  14. Just Julie says:

    You have given me a whole new way to think about this, Ember. I never thought about what you’ve said here, with God’s covenant with all creation. I called my friend Pat right away (who lost a beloved dog recently) and she and I were so happy as we pondered what you shared. God bless you and yours dear Ember… xoxo

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