Our friends, Jim and Marilyn are looking for their dog. The little rascal scooted out the door yesterday and has not been seen or heard from since. How is it that these creatures are able to bind themselves so readily to our hearts? They quickly become members of the family, and nothing seems right until they are safely home once again.
We had two dogs as children. The first was a Scotty, named "Inky". She was hit by a Jewel Tea truck and killed while we were in school across the street. I always believed I heard her yelp that day as I sat at my desk in the first grade classroom.
The second was a wiener dog (a dachshound) named "Lady". This one was high strung as purebreds are wont to be, and thus was crabby at times. My sister, Martha, carries a scar on her face where the dog bit her on one of those crabby days. (That gash even required stitches, as I recall.) The member of the family that Lady loved the most was, of course, my father, and he tolerated her at best. My parents, not animal lovers in particular, got the dog for the five of us girls.
My younger sisters bonded with the dog more than I did. I'm more like my parents in that respect. Animals do not move me in any particular emotional way. In fact, once, when my same aged cousin (we were about 10 years old at the time) was visiting us, our canary escaped. Fully three days later we spotted her yellow feathers in the neighbor's tree. The whole gang of us kids went screaming down the hill in the backyard, excited to find the bird alive and well. The bird, of couse, panicked, flew into the side of the neighbor's house, bounced off the siding and landed on the sidewalk right in front of my cousin, Ruth, whose next step unfathomably landed on the bird, smushing it underfoot, and drilling the poor thing right into the pavement. Ruth burst into uncontrolable tears at the horror of the whole thing, and will never forgive me for my immediate reaction. Falling to the ground in a hysterical fit of laughter, unmindful of her suffering, I rolled around on the ground and laughed until my sides ached. Tragic? Yes. Did I cry later? Probably. But at that moment it was the funniest thing I had ever seen in my life. Starting with the pack of us, excited, full of hope, and ending with Ruth's tennis-shoed foot smearing that bird into oblivian. What were the odds?
Anyway, back to dogs. There is a little boy on talk shows right now who has written a book called, "Heaven is For Real," describing his time in heaven. Perhaps you have seen his story. (One of the things he reported was that the people in heaven were mostly all at a young adult age. He says he met his great grandfather in heaven, but didn't recognize pictures of him until he was shown a picture of that grandpa as a young adult.) This boy also reported seeing lots of animals in heaven. I found that very interesting. I had never heard that said before.
I remember when our dog died one of my sisters asked my father if our beloved dog would go to heaven. My father answered, "If you need Lady to be in heaven in order to find perfect happiness, than Lady will be in heaven."
We are praying that Jim and Marilyn find that precious pooch, but if not maybe she will find them....in heaven.