Thursday, August 22, 2013

Do All Dogs Go To Heaven?

They say, "All Dogs Go To Heaven."

That's hard to argue with given the innate love, loyalty and acceptance that is found in dogs.  A love very similar to that of Jesus himself.  

Some will tell you that it is simply not possible, that salvation is for humans, and humans alone.  That humans have been set apart, we are different than angels, or demons, or any other creation, and the only ones to whom salvation is offered.  

I believe it is God's intention to redeem all of creation.  I believe this is biblical.  And I believe dogs are a very, very special part of God's creation.

I believe that we are called to live a life like Jesus did.  To follow his commands and to love like he did.  And I believe that my sweet, sweet dog Hank did this better than any human I know.  

He was my baby before I had babies and from the get-go he stole the heart of all he met.  He was as playful as playful could be, yet somehow sensed exactly what was needed from him.  He met you where you were and loved you unconditionally no matter who you were or what you may have done. 

I can remember taking him to the park when he was just a puppy (a 100 pound puppy, but a puppy non the less).  He would run and run and run, it was a beautiful thing to watch him in a full out run across the park, chasing whatever poor thing was running for his life.  Hank never caught anything of course but he sure had fun trying.  

He would tug on his leash for all he was worth when we went for a walk, but as soon as a child asked to hold his leash he would stand stock still and only take a step if thechild took a step.  He did the same thing once we had babies.  He would tug, tug, tug on that leash unless it was attached to the stroller than he would stand right by it walking at the pace of the stroller.  When my older two were in half day kindergarten Hank insisted on walking them to school each day he would sit outside attached to JT's flimsy little umbrella strolled all by himself while the kids and I went into school and waited.  If we dared to leave him behind he he would take matters into his own paws and walk himself down to school! Sitting right outside the doors until we came out.  That happened more than once!  

Hank was loyal to the entire family.  He accepted each of the kids unconditionally from day 1.  As they grew so did his responsibilities, if they headed over to a neighbors house to play, Hank would walk them there, wait outside until the left, then walk them home.  It got trickier once they started riding bikes, but he still wouldn't tolerate anyone being left behind!  

Hank brought immense joy, unconditional love and fierce protection to our family and he will be dearly, dearly missed.  In the early morning hours this morning Hank had a stroke.  He died peacefully in the arms of my husband around 8:00 this morning.

Do all dogs go to heaven?  I honestly don't know.  I only know that mine did.  

I can't wait to see you running through the fields of Heaven sweet Hank.  Rest peacefully until then.