Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Old Dogs and Children

Two of my better friends each lost their dog just this past week. Those losses brought back memories and reopened wounds that had long since scabbed over. One died in her Mom & Dad's arms at home of old age while the other; old likewise, was with those who loved her but at the Vet's having to be put down. It was hard for each of them to say goodbye, as it was hard for me to drop each of them a note of condolence and offer what thoughts as I might. At various times I have been in each of their shoes myself.

Over a year ago Barbaro was put down and I referred to it in a post. People are either animal people or they're not. I am.

I've always found compassion and love in animals while it has not often been so in people. That's probably why I identified with my friends' loss and why it was so important yet difficult to say the right thing. But, I'm fairly certain each appreciated my comments. To often we hear: "It was just a pet, get over it." But only from one who has not been in relation with one of God's creatures.

I feel compelled to post the words of George McDonald, the Scottish poet, writer and Christian minister:
"I know of no reason why I should not look for the animals to rise again, in the same sense in which I hope myself to rise again--which is, to reappear, clothed with another and better form of life than before. If the Father will raise His children, why should He not also raise those whom He has taught His little ones to love? "Love is the one bond of the universe, the heart of God, the life of His children: if animals can be loved, they are lovable; if they can love, they are yet more plainly lovable: love is eternal; how then should its object perish? Must the love live on forever without its object? Or, worse still, must the love die with its object, and be eternal no more than it? "Is not our love to the animals a precious variety of love? And if God gave the creatures to us, that a new phase of love might be born in us toward another kind of life from the same fountain, why should the new life be more perishing than the new love? "Can you imagine that, if, hereafter, one of God's little ones were to ask Him to give again one of the earth's old loves--kitten, or pony, or squirrel, or dog, which He had taken from him, the Father would say no? If the thing was so good that God made it for and gave it to the child at first who never asked for it, why should He not give it again to the child who prays for it because the Father had made him love it? What a child may ask for, the Father will keep ready."
Now, y'all go home, hug your pets a little tighter and give them a treat. They deserve it.

4 Comments:

At 6:29 PM, Blogger Samantha said...

Daddy,
In regard to your post and difficult times like the ones you write about, I have always loved these words. I know you know them well.

"A dog does not live as long as a man and this natural law is the fount of many tears. If boy and puppy might grow to manhood and doghood together, and together grow old, and so in due course die, full many a heartache might be avoided. But the world is not so ordered, and dogs will die and men will weep for them so long as there are dogs and men."
-Ben Ames Williams

Love to you and your friends,
Sam

 
At 10:59 PM, Blogger William said...

amen!

(to both)

 
At 2:52 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Isn't the complete title to this post "...and watermelon wine?"

I love that quote from Ben Williams, too.

The animals in our lives give us unconditional, unreasoning love. How could heaven be heaven if love was not there?

 
At 5:44 AM, Anonymous The Former Curate said...

How I needed to hear these words...we had to put #1 kitty to sleep last Friday. Thank you!

Love from New Jersey :)

 

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