And there sure are going to be some awesome ones waiting there to greet me. Just yesterday my friend at Tails of a Foster Mom shared this quote:
“If there is a heaven, it’s certain our animals are to be there. Their lives become so interwoven with our own, it would take more than an archangel to detangle them.” -Pam Brown
I am quiet in my faith, not one to get into loud arguments, or nit-pick at interpretations from verses in the Bible, but one thing I stand firm on is my belief that God loves all of his creations equally. Be it a human, a dog or cat, or a little snail crossing the side walk: God created them, and in my eyes, He loves them. If you know me well enough, you know that this is why I always choose to root for the underdog. The “ugly” dog that is missing an eye. The boy in the lunch room that talks funny and no one will sit next to. These are the people and creatures I have always sought out and done my best to befriend. Because, who am I to say that they aren’t beautiful or deserving of love? God chose to create them that way for a reason. I may not understand it, but who am I to deny that He placed them here?
I struggle with understanding how God can allow any of His creatures, human and non human alike, to be treated in some of the terrible ways we all know exist. And why does it always seem to be the most innocent among us that are abused the worst? Little children that are molested, our elders that are neglected in nursing homes, or dogs like Holly that are starved and denied even basic medical care by the very ones that are supposed to be caring for them. I will probably never understand how He lets this happen, but what gives me solace in all of these injustices, is the fact that I know, deep in my gut, with all the fibers of my being, that one day they will be happy in Heaven.
And when the time comes for me to join them, I have a lot to look forward to. I’m quite certain that Maddie, the sweet Lab my parents had when I was born, and undoubtedly the reason I am an animal lover today, will be the first to greet me, ready for a game of fetch. I will never get the image of finding her dead in our pool out of my head, but I know that when she greets me, it will be with a big grin and sloppy kiss, no evidence of her violent end in sight, just happiness.
And Corky, the first dog I ever really rescued, will come racing up behind her on her short, goofy Basset/Beagle legs. I found Corky when I was in kindergarten and thanks to her I had my first experience with sh!tty dog owners. You see, after Corky was impregnated by their giant Bull Mastiff, they decided they didn’t want her anyone. I told my mom this after taking her on a walk around the neighborhood and meeting her former owners. Like any good mother would do, mine didn’t believe my story, and marched me right over to their house to find out if I was in fact telling the truth. Turns out, I was, and they just really didn’t care what happened to her. She was my best friend and moved all the way from Florida to Nebraska with me. When she comes to greet me in Heaven, it will be with all the exuberance she had in her younger years.
And then Sara will come over, after stopping to sniff all the other dogs’ butts along the way, to give me all the kisses I can handle. I got Sara when I was 13 after hearing through a family friend that her owners decided they “didn’t feel like dealing with her anymore.” My second experience with just how heartless people can be. Sara came from a champion bloodline (she was a Brittany Spaniel) and despite the fact that she won Best in Show numerous times, was about as dumb as a door nail. She was goofy, and weird, and usually not all there, but I loved her nonetheless. When I was 16 Sarah went downhill fast and my parents told me since she was my dog, it was my decision what to do with her. I called the vet, loaded her in my car, and took her to be put down. I felt, and still firmly believe, it was the humane thing to do. She had lived a good, long life, and I owed it to her to die with a little dignity left. My dad still talks about watching me pull into the driveway after doing that all by myself and how he had never felt so equally heartbroken but proud at the same time. Sara too will be restored to her former glory and will surely provide me with an eternity of entertainment.
And these are just a few of the dogs that I know will meet me, right at the gate. I believe all of the abused, neglected, unwanted, and otherwise wronged creations of God will be right there, with big grins on their faces, because finally they are free. Scars, both physical and emotional, will disappear and they will be restored to the condition God intended them to be in: happy, safe, and loved, just like they should have been from their first moment on Earth til their last. And if your beliefs says otherwise, I respect that, but I hope you’re wrong 🙂 Because really, who would want to spend eternity without our beloved family members?
Rest In Peace sweet Holly. When the time is right, we will meet again. Until then, look for Maddie, Corky, Sara and all the other dogs I’ve sent to Heaven. You’ll be fast friends.