miranda lambert dog waylon

Miranda Lambert Fights Back Tears During First Live Set Since the Passing of Rescue Dog Jessi

Miranda Lambert posted a sweet eulogy last Thursday (July 29) on social media after the passing of beloved rescue dog Jessi.  Lambert returned to the stage on Saturday (July 31) in Guthrie Center, Iowa, where the recent loss of one of her best friends drove her to tears during a performance of deeply personal fan favorite "The House That Built Me."

Jessi and her brother Waylon—a reference to Jessi Colter and her late husband Waylon Jennings— were rescued on the side of the road in Oklahoma back in January 2008. Waylon passed away last October.

"Today we had to say goodbye to our sweet Jessi," Lambert wrote on social media. "I got to love her and be her mom for 13 1/2 years. I found her and her brother Waylon on the side of the road in Oklahoma in Jan 2008 in the middle of a sleet storm. They were 6 weeks old. My mom was in the truck with me and we were listening to the I Am Jessi Colter album. That's how they got their names. We lost Waylon last October but we got to have Jessi just a little longer. But the truth is they belong together. They always have. I know she missed him terribly and we are so thankful to have had extra time. Today they are reunited at the rainbow bridge. We sent her off with the song 'Storms Never Last' from the same record she heard playing the first time I put her in my truck. I can't put into words what a dogs love does to a heart. But if you have one you already know."

Jessi pictures shared by Lambert include one which shows the family pet getting a smooch from her dad, Brendan McLoughlin.

Country artists offering their condolences on Instagram include another Colter namesake, Jessi Alexander.

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Lambert and her mom, Bev, founded nonprofit organization MuttNation in 2009 to help animals at local shelters find forever homes.