all dogs go to heaven

2 Aug

i definitely was missing this last night.

yes, this too.

it was hard coming home last night and having the couch to ourselves.

but i am very blessed to have friends and family who understand that an animal is not just an animal, but a family member.  an angel in disguise who can only be with us briefly.

thank you all who sent texts, emails, facebooked, called, and prayed.  i really appreciate it and i know the boyfriend does too.

it was very surreal not waking up to opie grunting to let us know it was potty time, but we woke up anyways to go for a run.

i’m not an overly religious person and couldn’t tell you the last time i was in church.  i can tell you that every time i run i reflect.  i think about what today will bring, how hard i’m going to work at de-cluttering my desk, how hard i’m going to work at building stronger relationships with friends, family, and the boyfriend.  i think about what i’ve been given.  no matter how depressed i become with bills and deadlines i can appreciate that those things don’t define me.

today i thanked the Lord for the time i got to spend with opie.  for bringing such a wonderful dog into my life to teach me responsibility, patience, and understanding.

the Lord works in mysterious ways through dogs who chew up carpets and couches.

this morning i recalled reading an ann landers letter about dogs going to heaven.  i couldn’t remember exactly what the letter said so i knew i wanted to re-read that letter and share with you today.

thanks again for your warm wishes and prayers.

(this is from nuggets and doozies by ann landers)

Dear Ann Landers: A long time ago, you ran a letter from a boy whose dog had died.  He wanted to know if dogs went to heaven.  It would be a big help, he said, if he were sure that when he died, his dog would be up there waiting for him.

As I recall, you consulted several clergyman.  Most said animals do not have souls, and therefore, they do not go to heaven.  One kind Congregational minister replied that he wasn’t sure but he didn’t see anything wrong with telling the youngster that he would probably see his dog in heaven because everything up there is “perfect.”

Several days ago, I read a column on that very subject by Rev. Dale E Turner, a columnist for the The Seattle Times.  I am sending a condensed version in the hope that you will print it. –A Seattle Reader

Dear Seattle:  Thanks for a real heart-warmer.  I loved it.  Here it is:

Looking back across the years, I see how important dogs have been in my life.  I had been an ordained minister only a few weeks when I received a call from an 8-year-old boy.  His dog had been killed by a car.  “Mr. Turner,” the lad sobbed, “do you do funerals for dogs?”

I didn’t know quite how to respond, but I recalled the Scriptures’ affirmation of God’s knowing when even a sparrow falls.  I replied, “Why not?” and I conducted a little ceremony for the boy’s pet.  He was very pleased and then asked, “Is my dog going to heaven?”  I wasn’t prepared for that question, but my love for animals got me through it.  I’m sure I made the child feel better.

Several years later, I had my own personal experience that provided the answer I had never been sure of.

Our wonderful dachshund, Gretta, died and we were eager to bring another dog into our home.  We went to the pound to get a dachshund whose photo had appeared in the paper.  By the time we arrived, it had been claimed.  Another puppy, sensing our mission, poked her nose through the wire fence.  The look in her eyes seemed to say, “Please pick me.”  We did.  And we named her Pick.

Whenever I came home Pick was there to greet me.  I’d say, “Pick, you’ve got it made.  Other animals work for their keep.  A canary sings, cows give milk, chickens lay eggs, but you don’t have to do anything but hang around.”

After 14 years, Pick became very sick and there was nothing to be done except put her out of her misery.  With a heavy heart I drove her to the vet’s, who did what had to be done.  I then went back to my study and wept for hours.

A few days later, a parishioner who knew of my grief sent me this poem.  It healed my sorrow.  Perhaps it will help others.  I’d like to share it:

I explained to St. Peter,

I’d rather stay here,

Outside the pearly gate.

I won’t be a nuisance,

I won’t even bark,

I’ll be very patient and wait.

I’ll be here chewing on a celestial bone,

No matter how long you may be.

I’d miss you so much, if I went in alone,

It wouldn’t be heaven for me.



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