Pet Memories – Is There a Dog Heaven?

I’m really not a dog person, so why am I so weepy over a dog? Yesterday morning I took our old Buddy for his last slow walk around the block then helped him into the car for his last ride. Our vet was so kind to him – and to me – as she explained the procedure and administered the shot that put him into a deep sleep. With Buddy’s head growing heavy on my lap, I rubbed his ears and told him what a good dog he was. His relaxed snoring was a sweet lullaby that could not stop the pain in my heart as he left me.

Our beloved pets leave us with memories as precious as those of the people who leave us. Often those memories are quite colorful, definitely something to add to our life stories. Who doesn’t remember their pets from childhood – a puppy chewing up your toys…or your dad’s expensive shoes, a frisky kitten attacking your foot…or the living room curtains. I remember Puff pulling me in my skates across an icy pond, I remember being in my pajamas and chasing Tiger in the night to save a crying rabbit, I remember Tammy the cat pretending Charlie the hamster was her baby. Our pets grow up with us and often provide us with our first experience of death. That experience doesn’t get any easier when we become adults, rather our pets move from being playmates to being more like one of our own children. They give us stories that help complete our lives. Now I will remember Buddy’s wistful brown eyes, how he loved being buried in the fall leaves and snuffling in the snow. Most of all I’ll remember how all he ever wanted was to be loved.

I hope there is a dog heaven, and a cat heaven, and even a hamster heaven – yes, I cried when our hamsters died. I’m glad I have Cynthia Rylant’s beautiful Dog Heaven book to comfort me.

When dogs go to Heaven, they don’t need wings
Because God knows that dogs love running best.

Buddy, I hope you can run again, right into the arms of your new Master.

Feel free to share your own pet memories in the Comments. I can use some comforting stories.

About moonbridgebooks

Co-author of Cherry Blossoms in Twilight, a WWII Japan memoir of her mother's childhood; author of Poems That Come to Mind, for caregivers of dementia patients; Co-author/Editor of Battlefield Doc, a medic's memoir of combat duty during the Korean War; life writing enthusiast; loves history and culture (especially Japan), poetry, and cats
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2 Responses to Pet Memories – Is There a Dog Heaven?

  1. Kim says:

    Linda, I’m sorry for the loss of Buddy. It is amazing the impact a pet has on our lives. They don’t criticize us or expect any more from us than to be fed and loved. I was just noticing on the calendar that April 3rd marks the 6th anniversary of the death of our cat, Sassy. I like to think that she welcomed the Pope into heaven. We adopted her and her brother Max at the Humane Society. They were both loving cats and were happiest being held. How empty my lap felt after first she and then, a few months later, Max died. We now have a three year old small dog who often spends more time being held or carried than he does on his own four paws. My lap is empty no more.

  2. Linda Austin says:

    Thanks, Kim. I’m thinking dogs, because of their nature and higher maintenance level, leave a bigger hole in our lives – I mean, everytime I leave the back gate open (because I can now) I think of Buddy! Thank goodness I still have our two cats to cuddle, and our silly turtles to make me laugh.

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