Same job, different uniform.

Monday, October 10, 2005

All Dogs go to Heaven

Or that is the cherished hope of every dog lover.

Tonight we put our beloved family dog to sleep. She had a wise face that did not lose its nobility in death. A Border Collie, she was exceptionally smart. There are too many examples of this, but the most obvious (and familiar) was her ability to anticipate our walks. Even the simplest dogs understand the word "walk" in English. We tried communicating it in French. She understood. We spelled the word. She wagged her tail and perked her ears. There was no deceiving her.

She knew how to get our attention, too. Her equally loving but less bright son would perch by the sliding glass door hoping we would walk around the kitchen counter that obstructed our view of him, subsequently notice him, and open the door.

Not Ariel. As my mother recalls, she would position herself in the yard in clear view of the kitchen window so anyone who happened to look out would spot her.

When we walked outside to feed her, she would turn in happy circles. As I try to remember the moments spent with her, this recollection is one I cherish.

She was an incredible jumper. The fence into the backyard was close to six feet high. In thunder storms she would jump the darned thing. (We tried to train her out of this but often ended up just bringing her inside.) She would have made a champion hurdler. As it was, this bad habit undoubtedly led to the hip and joint problems later in life.

Until recently she didn't seem to age. We noticed the advancing white hair a few years ago and the "any day now" speculation started. But her youthful energy defied death. Though it may seem counterintuitive, I think the sole litter of pups she had just six years ago kept her young. Two of the three that survived were given to good families; one we kept. My sister named this lovable mutt with the crooked tail "Bono."

The dogs were affectionate--he seemed to draw her out of herself, provoking her to bark at the squirrels, play and fight with him, prance around on the kitchen floor when they heard the jingle of dog leads. I wonder how he'll fare without her.

I know she was a talking dog. I thought she might give up the game at the end but she did not.

She was my dog for half my life. With a quick flick of the doctor's hand, she is gone.

A couple years ago I read a short sermon by a man answering the question of whether or not our animals "go" to heaven. I have reason to believe there will be animals in heaven. There were animals in Eden after all. And why not my animal?

Anyway, as he pointed out, if our animals are going to heaven, what good will it do us if we do not avail ourselves of arriving there as well?

Rest in Peace, sweet old dog.

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Blogger ihearttexas said...

I can't tell you how many times over the years I've heard people say that it's easier to lose a family pet once you've moved away from home. I'm here to tell you all that statement is a crock. But I have to admit I never imagined I'd feel our sweet dog's death as deeply as I am. I was 7-years-old when we got Ariel, so I have very few memories of my life without her. My favorite quality of hers was how she was so protective of young children. This is why we always knew she'd be a good mom, and I'm so glad she was able to experience that in her life, and that we were able to see her go through it. I'm also so thankful she was able to spend her last days with the two women she loved the most, girlfriday, and our mom. Our mom has always claimed she's not much of an animal person, but she loved Ariel like she was her child. And in a way, I feel like I've lost a sister, because she was a part of our family for so long. I didn't get to say goodbye to her in person, but I told her over the phone that I loved her and will miss her. And I will. Rest in peace, sweet girl.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Blogger Sky said...

I am so sorry. I lost my doggie 4 1/2 years ago. I still think he will be at my parents house when I go visit. They aren't just a part of the family, they ARE family.
Rest in peace Ariel, you are well loved!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Blogger Lois E. Lane said...

Ariel was the best dog ever ... period. We were never the kind of family that dressed up our dog in Christmas get-ups or made sure her teeth were in as good condition as ours. But we loved the heck out of her. Such a sweet face with smart, knowing eyes. I remember conversations with Leslie about us living far apart, or beloved relatives growing older and so on. But we always said, "now when Ariel goes, THAT will be sad." And it is. But we sure were lucky for 15 years!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Blogger IansMommy said...

I am so sorry. I know that pain all too well. Big hugs to you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Blogger VT Mrs said...

"Lord, make me the kind of woman my dog thinks I am."

Thursday, October 13, 2005


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