Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Do Dogs Go To Heaven?

Horace- 1982 - 1998

Yes.  Yes, they do.

How do I know?  When my 16 year old Pomeranian Horace died in 1998 the pain of losing "my little buddy" I felt was so unbearable the only way I felt I could survive was the knowledge knowing that I would see him again someday.  




I bought Horace from a pet store in Philadelphia, PA.  I was on my way to lunch and I happened to see him in the store window playing with other dogs much bigger than him.  Bill and I had previously owned two Pomeranians.  I had no plans to buy a puppy that afternoon but I made a big mistake by going into the pet store and asking "how much?"  The store clerk said "Here, hold him."  See the way Horace is looking at Bill above?  That's the way he looked at me.  I bought him on the spot, $300.00.


When Bill picked me up at the train station at the end of the day I had a "little surprise for him."  Bill said "take him back!"  But then I asked Bill to hold Horace.  That did it.



Horace at home in Bill's lap.

In my whole life, all of my previous dogs both with Bill and my family always chose someone else.  Horace was different, he CHOSE ME!  




This is me and Horace and our first Christmas card picture, 1982.  Me and my buddy Horace.

Horace went everywhere with me.  I could never even thing about my car and Horace would know. He HAD TO GO!



We usually took a short ride over to my parents in my '80 Honda. Horace always in the driver's seat.



Here I am in my parent's kitchen with Horace and his daughter Babydoll.  Yes, we got Horace a "wife." His daughter and his wife did not like to travel but Horace did.  As you can see Babydoll is anxious to go home.



Here is my Mom holding Horace but he wants to be with me.  What a good feeling to have an animal who wants to be with you and only you.  Horace and I had a very special relationship.



Here's the whole family; Horace to the right, "T" in the middle and their daughter "Babydoll."

Pomeranians usually live to be twelve years old.  Oddly their daughter died first.  She was only eleven years old.  "T" died next, she was fourteen years old.  Horace lived to the grand old age of sixteen and died in September of 1998.



Horace near the end.

When he died for the first time in my life I experienced the devastating feeling of total loss.  The only way I could ease my pain was with the knowledge that I would see him again someday.  That's when I began to believe in Heaven.  

Why didn't we get a new dog?  Bill can't take the loss anymore.  He said if I got a new dog he would leave me.  When his dog "T" died Bill had to undergo psychiatric care for two years.  I'm not allowed to even mention our dog's names nor display their pictures.  

I was reminded of this kind of loss today this morning when we visited a 92 year old friend of ours.  His name is Bart and he lives by himself on a nice parcel of land abutting the woods.  When we have visited him before we were always greeted with a "Yap! Yap!" of his small mongrel dog.  This morning there was no greeting.  The first thing I asked Bart was "Where is your dog?"  Bart said "He died two weeks ago.  I miss him terribly."  


I asked him "Are you getting a new dog?"  He said "No, I'm too old and I wouldn't want to die before the dog.  I wouldn't do that to a dog."  



He then pointed out to a small bush at the far end of his back yard.  He said "That's where I buried him."  



I could see the sadness in his eyes.  

Do I believe dogs go to Heaven?  You're damn right I do.  We will see you soon.




22 comments:

  1. awwwwwwwwwwwww, poms are cute! I know I will see sydney, kelly, and steven again too. and it is hard to lose a fur child.

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    1. Poms are my favorite Anne Marie.

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  2. Our pets are very special. They love us unconditionally. No games, no deception, no lies... just pure love. That is why they are so special in our hearts. Your fur family was gorgeous. I want to believe their energy is still part of you and they will wait patiently for you and Bill.

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    1. Nadege,

      "just pure love"....that says it exactly.

      Ron

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  3. Anonymous1:50 AM

    Ron,

    Horace was my fathers name. He also died in 1998 and his birthday was September. My divoted dog was Chipper and his sister.
    Couple of mutts that were born to two stray " Delaware pack dogs" that stopped at my place one very cold week for food and shelter
    under my steps. They never left. Evetually, the male "Shaggy" would come inside and lay next to the door until one night I woke and
    realised he was laying next to my bed. That was the switch. He had adopted me. Later I moved from Frankfort, De up to Millsboro
    near Georgetown shaggy jumped in the car ready to go - he too loved to ride. His girlfriend wouldn't come any closer than 30 feet.
    After moving I returned each day to feed and give her water and left the rear door of the station wagon open. Then on Sunday
    she ate as usual but then trotted over to the car and jumped in the back and laid down and looked at me as if to say " well let's go
    I'm lonely down here" ! So off we went and when I pulled in the driveway of the new place she was barking and Shaggy was barking
    and running in circles around the car. When I let her out they both took off running and jumping and "you know"....makin whoopy !
    So that's where Chipper and sister Nellie came from plus six other great pups. Sold all but Chipper and Nellie. Nellie had 40 puppies
    in her life. Some were lost soon after birth but most survived and were sold ( a local pet store wanted puppies that were mutts and
    could sell cheap for folks who couldn't afford a pedigree dog. In 1996 Nellie came home one Sunday morning with her front leg hanging
    by a thread of skin. The vet told me it was a gunshot wound. Later that year Chipper also was shot, twice in fact. Hunters after deer
    in the off season shot the dogs when they made noise and chased the deer off. I learned this the day I moved from a neighbor across
    the street who was there. But Nellie went on to live to 14 and Chipper to 17. They are buried under a young live oak tree in the back
    yard. When Nellie died Chipper laid there and watched me bury her and didn't leave for two days. I went out finally and carried him
    inside and he ate, drank water and slept a long while. After that he started laying at my feet or by my bed. He was a good ole boy and
    I miss him terribly too. Since I have made friends with the crew at animal control and often I see the dogs there and think about another.
    But I had an Ultimate pair of dogs that were a "gift" to me so I've decided to stick with that. I did rescue one blue Pit Bull - Tyson for a
    young friend of mine who had lost his brindle Pit Bull . Tyson was a gentle old man. He lived his life out in good company.
    Stuart in Central Florida

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    1. Stuart,

      What a lovely and heart warming story. Did you know you just wrote a blog posting? Thank you so much for sharing your experience with your canine friends. What a coincidence that your father's name was Horace and he died in 1998.

      I know someday I'll get another "little friend" like Horace. My life seemed complete with him. Sometimes the best things that happen in our lives are unplanned

      By the way, your response is one of the main reasons I like writing my blog (other than my own "self-therapy"). In addition to making new friends that I otherwise never would have made, I get to hear wonderful stories like the one you just shared with me.

      Thank you,

      Ron

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    2. I agree Ron. Anonymous' story is just heartwarming. I know you will get another pet one day Ron!

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    3. I believe that good pet relationships enrich lives. There is a constant giving on both sides. And it can broaden and deepen emotions. I witness it in the people around me who take great joy in their pets.

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  4. Ron,

    I agree with you. If you want to read my take on animals going to Heaven, which I wrote a couple years ago, here is the link. http://lemserious.blogspot.com/2013/01/do-animals-go-to-heaven.html

    It is a bit longer than usual because I combined four posts together into one. The story at the end is based on a true story as they say. It is autobiographical despite the main character being a young girl. The gender switch was done to please an editor.

    Lar

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    1. Lar,

      I'll check it out. Thanks!

      Ron

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  5. "A dog has no use for fancy cars, or big homes, or designer clothes.
    A waterlogged stick will do just fine.
    A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb.
    Give him your heart and he will give you his.
    How many people can you say that about?
    How many people can make you feel rare and pure and special?
    How many people can make you feel extraordinary?"

    (John Grogan) from Marley and me.

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    1. Stan,

      I saw that movie "Marley and Me." Loved it!

      Ron

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  6. What a great story and fantastic photos. Horace was a real beauty and if there's a Doggie Heaven he's there for sure. I never fail to be amazed at how competely humanlike pets can become. They are so intelligent that they can fully relate to the people they live with. They understand our habits and emotions with incredible insight. They become an intricate part of ourselves.

    Cats can be as loving and sensitive as dogs (cats often get a bum wrap for being "insensitive"). After my Mom died my cat Kitzee (also known as Scratch) wouldn't leave my side. She stayed on my lap constantly. And she would sleep on my Mom's bed every night. I've never seen a more affectionate cat. She's now eight years old and showing signs of cat asthma - which has me worried. I have no doubt that it's from this cursed Texas dust.

    It's always heartbreaking when someone loses their beloved pet, like your 92-year-old friend.

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    1. Jon,

      I absolutely agree with you that cats can be just as loving as dogs. I know. I like them both and someday hope to have another go round with them as pets.

      Ron

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  7. Boy, are you ever prolific. Love the commentary and the variety of photos. Nice pictures of Bart and Bart and you also. Some of my co workers' dogs have visited the office. One in particular was, a Border Collie, (Angus) to patrol the parking lot during the time Canada Geese begin to nest. In the past a couple of geese would take over a portion of the lot which we then had to barricade in order to protect them - yet the male would hiss and chase away anyone whom he thought was a threat. Because of the dog the birds chose a more isolated and grassier spot for location. Of all the dogs I've met I must admit to having a partiality to Jack Russells (like Eddie from Frasier). They are so darned cute and so full of energy.

    Thanks for your blog, Ron.

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    1. Pat,

      I love to write! Been doing it ever since I had pen pals when I was 13 years old. This guy has written a lot of letters in his lifetime and I continue to write on my blog. It's my thing.

      Ron

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  8. I've had dogs since I was in first grade. Well, the family had dogs, though I spent more time and energy with them than anyone other than my mom. When I moved out, I didn't have a pet for many years until I wound up with a 14yo boy one day (not as a pet). He wanted a cat. So I became a cat owner. A couple of years later, I got a dog. Bear was around for 12 years, until cancer got him in 1998. I lasted 12 days shy of a year before I went on the hunt and came home with Bullwinkle. Another 11 years. (The cats slowly disappeared over those years, thank God - there was a total of 3.) Totally awesome dogs. But now, I'm not sure I want another. Bill's reasoning makes sense. I could go before the dog does. That would be hell on the dog. And I don't think I could deal with putting another dog down. The suffering up to that event is bad enough, but having to "do it", never again.

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Jay,

      For some reason I was always the family member asked to take the family dog (both mine and my Mom's) or cat to the vet to have them put down. I've lost count (or don't want to count) the number of animals I've "helped" into the next world.I seem to be the only one who has the strength to do this without breaking down. Still, it affects me but I believe during their last moments, it is best for the animal to have the comfort of being with someone they know. I was even with a pet chicken I had put down. They all went peacefully. I hope I can have the same comfort when I pass.

      Ron

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  9. You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us.
    --Robert Louis Stevenson

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    1. YOu got that right Robert Louis Stevenson!

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  10. Ron,

    The only time my husband, a retired United State Marine, has ever cried was when his miniature schnauzer "Little Jimmy" died.

    There is a little indentation on the back of the couch where Jimmy would lay and we keep as a reminder of a true and loyal friend.

    A.

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    1. Arleen,

      I understand. Actually, the first time I ever really cried in my life was when Horace died. I thought I had cried before but not like I cried when I realized I would never see Horace again. The pain was so deep, the only way I could relieve it was convincing myself that I would see him again someday and I'm not even religious!

      Thanks for sharing your story The "little indentation" was especially touching.

      Ron

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