I never take it lightly when someone tells me that they have lost a beloved pet. I’m partial to dogs, cats make me sneeze. If it weren’t for an allergy I might like cats, but I guess I’ll never know. I am sure, though that cat owners and dog owners and any other kind of pet owners really do love their pets with a deep love.
That’s why we’re horrified to learn of animal torture or of animals being made to fight one another. We have laws against neglect and we prosecute those who would bring harm to an animal.
Today my mom had to say goodbye to a piece of her heart, her little dog Remee. As much as it hurts me, I’m sure it hurts her more. Although he was only about 5 years old, he had a painful back problem that would not respond to therapies and over time it became a source of constant pain. About a week ago I saw him yelping as he tried to eat a snack … so I knew it wasn’t long. Today we held him and loved on him and watched him fall asleep forever. That hurts a lot. However, it was the humane thing to do for a beloved canine.
We’ve been reading for a long time the studies that suggest owning a pet is great for our mental and physical health, even adding years to our lives. I think we learn a lot from our pets. Unconditional love and trust are demonstrated by our faithful pets. The expressions of love that we receive and give are enriching to our emotions and I think even to our souls. I do regard pets as a gift from God.
I don’t judge those who turn their nose up at the idea of owning a pet – it’s a human right to make that decision. For some the cost, care, and commitment are just too much to ask. No one should have a pet who doesn’t desire one. They are hard work sometimes – and can develop into expensive and difficult situations. Even then, saying goodbye is not easy.
“No matter how close we are to another person, few human relationships are as free from strife, disagreement, and frustration as is the relationship you have with a good dog. Few human beings give of themselves to another as a dog gives of itself. I also suspect that we cherish dogs because their unblemished souls make us wish – consciously or unconsciously – that we were as innocent as they are, and make us yearn for a place where innocence is universal and where the meanness, the betrayals, and the cruelties of this world are unknown.” ~ Dean Koontz, A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog
So our hearts are hurting today but we will adjust in the days to come. I don’t have theological answers about the eternal security of dogs. They certainly do not need to be saved, as I cannot regard them as sinners. Do they have souls? Ask any dog owner if it seems to them that there is something deep within their dogs that they believe may be a soul. My opinion is that if we loved our dogs here, God may see fit to let them be with us there. What would heaven be like for a dog? No fleas, no fences, no limit on snacks and the return of table scraps. I can’t say for sure, but I’ll choose to think that our best and favorite pets will be with us in our heavenly homes. If not, I’m sure we won’t be thinking about them once we see what God has prepared!
Saying goodbye to pets is hard to do. This kind of hurt is a testimony to the love we offered to a dependent creature who desired nothing more than to be cared for. So we did.
Have you said goodbye to a pet? Why don’t you share about them in a comment?
Thanks for reading, JD.