Monday, October 12, 2009
Are there dogs in Heaven?
I know that this is a much debated question in the Religious world and I am certain that I may get blasted for saying this but, it wouldn’t be Heaven for me without my pets/animals. This question has once again come up for me because our sweet Tippy went to Heaven yesterday and I choose to take comfort in the fact that she is now reunited with our original “gang of five.”
In what seems like a lifetime ago, I was a single, animal lover (or crazy animal person as my friends and family liked to call me) living with 2 wonderful dogs (Maggie and Gracie) and many other foster dogs coming in and out of my home. I eventually turned my love of animals into a pet sitting business and that is how I met my Hubby! He was a, um, slightly younger single guy who was an untapped animal lover! All he needed was a little persuasion!! Hehe!! He hired me to take care of his 2 wonderful dogs (Dingo and Cricket) and the rest is history! Hubby still claims that I married him just to get Cricket, who was such a little snuggly, wuggly, cutie patootey – oh sorry!!! Anyway, we married, blended our doggie family and moved to Florida. One of the first things I did was to get involved in a pet rescue group down there so I could start fostering again. Little did I know that our very first foster was to stay forever, giving us 5 dogs and one very upset cat!! Tippy came to us with 3 legs and just the sweetest personality and never left. She could wrestle with the big dogs, swim like a champ and climb doggie gates like, well, a 4 legged dog!! So there we were, no kids (yet!) and 5 dogs, oh yeah, and one very upset cat! We never, ever, in a million years, ever (you get the picture) dreamed that one day, the kids would outnumber the dogs! After our first child was born and totally wrapped us around his beautiful little finger, we joked about needing to have a kid for every dog (5) and everyone would just laugh – nervously!! LOL!! These days, they just kind of shake their heads and shrug their shoulders and laugh (nervously) when we joke about wanting another (kid or dog – hum????)!! Anyway, this gang of 5 that brought us together, brought us so much love and laughter and vet bills!! They were our first children and then they became our furry children. The kids started coming and seemed to never stop and the gang took it all in stride. They got a few less walks everyday but a whole lot more love from each new child that came along. When Dingo was sick with cancer, Christian’s bed was where he wanted to be – all the time! When the kids would eat, Maggie was always right there to clean up the floor and sometimes the kids!! When any of the children were sick, Cricket was more than willing to sleep right next to them as long as they needed her to. Sweet Grace was their constant protector and nanny and would get in between them and whoever was silly enough to try and close to her kids! And sweet Tip, Tippy was always a calm silky head to stroke, a gentle soul who loved to be loved but was never pushy about getting love. She was also an amazing source of inspiration that taught the kids so much about overcoming obstacles. I have often wondered if that is part of the reason that Lizzie was so attached to Tippy. She was definitely Lizzie’s favorite and the two of them seem to have an understanding. As Tip got older she really didn’t want the kids to lean on her quite as much or hug her too tightly. However, she never seemed to mind Lizzie’s extra attention. She never pulled away from Lizzie’s hugs, however tight they were and Lizzie seemed to know how to treat Tip. I am certain the extra treats Lizzie would give her helped too!! It was a beautiful relationship and I am so thankful that they got the chance to be friends. As the years rolled on, the gang got older and one by one, they began to pass on. Maggie first, followed by Dingo and then one month later, sweet Grace. Cricket hung on a couple of years after Grace but she finally joined the others about 2 years ago. Tippy was the last of that wonderful “gang” of dogs that so beautifully blessed our lives and it felt like the end of an Era when she died yesterday. I know, however, that they are all together again, playing and wrestling and barking, while Maggie looks at them all like they are crazy as she enjoys her treats!!! That dog would eat ANYTHING!!
So, here I am back to my original question. Are there dogs in Heaven? I believe with everything inside me that there are and that I will one day be with them again. I cannot believe that God put this intense desire in my heart to help animals, for nothing, that all the dogs and cats that we have rescued, cease to exist after this life. I do not put animals above people (most people anyway) and my passion for helping children occupies a very large part of my heart too, but I just cannot believe that these loving souls that bring so much joy, do not earn a spot in Heaven. I would love to hear some opinions but please, please be gentle!!!
We miss you sweet Tippy, as do Tazzie and Goose and even Memow (in her own way). Your stepping stone is now with the others’ and your gentleness will always be remembered, my little 3 legged red dog!!! The first thing that Lizzie said when we told her that Tippy had gone to Heaven was that, “she is with Gada now.” Yep, sweet baby, that thought comforts me too
The Original Gang of 5
A card for Tippy from Caleb
Tippy's stepping stone
Now it rests with the others'. Together again!
We love you and miss you all!!