On November 14, 2020, Sharon and I had to say goodbye to our sweet Sophie. She was 17 yrs., 4 months and 8 days old – a Parson Russell Terrier – basically a longer- legged version of a Jack Russell Terrier.
I have had a week to think about it and I am still at a loss for words in that, there are too many for here.
But I feel compelled to say something so I will simply say this: Sophie was our “daughter” and the love of our life. Our world revolved around her and her world around us. It was mutual.
From the time we received her at 8 weeks age, we learned a lot about Sophie and her engaging personality. She was loyal, obedient, inquisitive, playful, energetic, fearless and intelligent. Like most dogs, she was color blind when it came to people. Mostly though, she taught us love. Not just reciprocal love but unconditional love. Pure love.
We never knew how much we could love a dog and how deeply sorrowful it would be to say good-bye. Yet, we have no regrets. Despite the pain, we would sign on for it again in a heartbeat. A.A. Milne said “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” So true. Sophie left this world 17 yrs. later – the way she came to us….In our arms.
When you lose a pet and even long before it, you begin to wonder and hope that you will see them again. We believe that we will. God commands us to love everyone. But those who never received such a command do it better than us. Dogs! Perhaps other pets as well but I can only speak to dogs.
I saw someone wearing a shirt once that read “Lord, help me to be half the person my dog thinks I am.” A simple but profound thought. Indeed Lord, help me!
It is difficult to imagine, nearly impossible to believe there is not a place for such love in heaven. When asked “Do dogs go to Heaven,” Evangelist Billy Graham answered, “God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in Heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he’ll be there.”
The Bible promises that at the end of time, God will bring about a new heaven and a new earth where “The wolf will live with the lamb….and the lion will eat straw like the ox.” So, you know there will be animals and if there are wolves, lambs, lions and ox, would God exclude the most loving animal of all…a dog. I think not!!
Perhaps more important is whether we will make it there. I believe our dog Sophie’s ticket is already punched so to speak. The challenge left for us, make sure we join her.
Oh, one last thing. God spelled backwards is “dog.” Just sayin!!