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Monday, May 19, 2014

Paws On The Bridge!

Losing a beloved pet to death is as hard as losing any other beloved family member. We have had several beloved dogs die, and it never gets easier. If your pet whether dog, cat, hamster, or bird is loved by your family, and well cared for, they are just!  There have been special fur friends in the years of our marriage that have had to leave us. Some were with us only a short time, others from puppyhood to elder. Our first Bassett Hound was a sweet girl that John named Flash. That's a parody on the slowness of Bassetts. Her death was unexpected. I let her outside in our front yard early one morning. She stayed in her yard, and then came to the door to come back in. This morning, Just as she went out my Dad called from the hospital to tell me he had cancer. At that moment, the neighbor girl, was ringing our doorbell. She was a new driver, and Flash had run out in the street. She tried to stop and couldn't. Flash was in the street, neighbors were coming out with blankets, and the girl was in tears. It was too late, our Flash died in my arms. I grieved, but I had a mother to take to the hospital, and a Dad to deal with, so grief was put on hold.

Later that day, my husband John, called me and said he needed to talk to me, so would I come down to the Hospital front entrance. When I got there, a tiny, adorable puppy emerged from his pocket. It was our new baby he had bought from friends. A tiny Reddish colored Chichuahua Pomerainian mix became known as Killer. He was joined by a brother, another Bassett Hound again named Flash. Killer and Flash were best buds, and when Flash learned how to nose the fence gate open, they both took off to tour the neighborhood. We always found them, always together  and equally guilty. Our routine was to let them out early morning. One morning in February, we let them out, brought them back in, and reset the alarm. When we got up, Flash was laying on the floor register in the bedroom. Flash was gone. He was only eight years old. The Vet said the cold outside, and then the heat may have given him a heart attack. We also learned Bassetts do not live much beyond eight years. We loved Killer then as our only fur friend. He was a sweet boy and we had him for many years until he got cancer. There was no warning, and by the time we got him to the vet, he had to be put down. I still cry sometimes for him. My Dad especially liked Killer. Right before Killer got sick, we went  to a farm in Iowa to bring home our first Fox Terrier. 

I wanted a Biblical name for this boy, so settled on Barnabus. The little girl next door promptly changed that to Barney. All John and I could see was a Purple Dinosaur. We changed his name to Samson. Samson, after Killer died, became our one and only. He went with us on short trips, he was always with us. He loved other dogs, but was very choosy about human friends. After 17 years he went as far into old age as he could, and we knew it was time. I had cared for him for a year as he declined. I know he hung on for us. A dear friend who is a Vet, gave him that final shot, as he lay in our arms. That was the toughest yet. We still miss him so much. That was a year ago. It was at that time, I did more research on the Rainbow Bridge.

The story is designed to comfort us. According to the story, our pets go to the Rainbow Bridge. They run, and play with all the others there, until God calls their owner (s) home to Heaven, then they run to the Bridge and walk across it with their humans, reunited for eternity. Although that is a beautiful picture, and offers comfort, I began thinking about Heaven. I know for fact, John and I will be in Heaven for eternity, because we have accepted Christ's gift and sacrifice on the cross for our sins. Jesus has saved us with His cleansing blood, so we can be with God in Heaven. But what about our fur friends? The Bible only gives us a possibility, and where the Bible is silent, we can not add answers we want.

What I did learn was that God owns all the animals, and the cattle on a thousand hills, Psalm 50:10. In Isaiah 11:6-9, God says in that day, the wolf and the lamb will live together. Job 12:10 says the life of every living thing is in his hand. Ecclesiastes 3:19-20 tells us the people and the animals share the same fate.... Both breathe and both die. Finally Romans 8:21 says creation looks forward to the day when it will join God's children in glorious freedom from death and decay. I believe God can raise up anything, including our fur friends. All things are possible with Him. God originally created animals to share our world. Heaven
is a place of undeniable beauty, peace, joy, no more tears, so it would make sense for Him to let us enjoy our pets again. We now have another Fox Terrier Molly. She is our world, and as special as her brothers and sisters that went before her. I know God loves His children, and He knows how much we love our fur babies. I guess we will find out when we get to our eternal home. In the mean time, my prayer is our pets will be waiting for us, tails wagging, paws on the Rainbow Bridge.