Love of Dogs

Mark (if I may call you that – I feel I know you after reading about Sprite)

I grieved with you, as I read your moving tribute to Sprite. It is always devastating when we lose our friends. I am sorry for your loss, but I am glad you were able to share Sprite’s life for even a little while.

I have had a variety of dogs, throughout my life. They have been my confidants, my best friends. Growing up in the military, they were very likely the most constant thing that I could always rely on. Right now I have two standard poodles and a doodle mix that I rescued two years ago.

Back when I believed the idiots who said dogs would have no place in our afterlife, “because they have no souls” (can you believe that drivel?) I stoutly stated that if my dogs weren’t in heaven, I didn’t want to go. Well, it was a painful lesson, but almost exactly twenty years ago, God vouchsafed me proof that our “furkids” go on, whether it’s a “rainbow bridge” we meet at, or when we “go to to light.” At the time, we were living in Florida. My mother, who lived with me, was up in Illinois, taking care of her mother, who had terminal cancer, while I stayed behind to care for our dogs. (We bred boxers at the time, and had five adult danes, as well.) One of our boxers got out and was run over by a pickup, but was being cared for at the veterinarian’s clinic, when my mother said I should fly up, if I wanted to see my grandmother again, while she was still alive. When I went in to see her, she said “I see you brought Jester with you.” Not one of the other dogs – Jester, whom she hadn’t seen in four or five years.

Since then, I’ve moved up to Illinois, and worked in long-term care for thirteen years. As people near the end of their time, they seem to see their loved ones coming and waiting for them, perhaps to escort them. It may merely be hallucination, but it seems to be fairly consistent. I am firmly convinced that I will be bowled over by a pack of wild dogs that have been waiting impatiently for my arrival. (Boxers are never good at waiting…) When I send my kids on, I tell them who to look for, and I let the ones remaining with me see their companion before I bury them (although I’m leaning towards cremation from now on – those holes are getting harder to dig…) This seems to give them closure, too. They may miss their pack-mate, but they don’t seem to search for them any more.

I hope this helps you a bit. I still cry buckets of tears, but I do have the confidence that I will see them again, their innocent souls shining brightly.

Deborah from IL