Flash started braying on Saturday, the first time in a long time. I know it's because he is lonely and is wondering where his companion, Penny, went. It was a sad, sorrowful sound.
Since Penny arrived, Flash had become quite content and quiet. He is such a social creature, and he loved having a friend out there with him every day. It seemed there was no need to call us to the fence for attention anymore....he was happy as a clam with that pony by his side.
The loss of my little horse and her foal this last week kind of knocked the stuffing out of me. Neither Tom or I thought anything like this would happen. And I won't go on and on about losing my animals, I promise.
But anyone who has ever lost a pet knows how you grieve, often unexpectedly, for the creatures that blessed your life - even for a brief time. I remember how I bawled my head off for days (ok, maybe longer) after each of our dogs died. Dear Lord, half the time I'd been annoyed by all the shedding, the barking, slobbering, the under-footedness of their existence. I was busy with real-life issues - work, kids, responsibilities - and they had seemed like *just another thing* to take care of.
Until the time came to say good-bye.
And then the sadness hit me hard. I did not expect to grieve for dogs. I did not expect to miss them slobbering all over the windows and tracking dirt inside.
But I did.
And I suddenly remembered all the love and sweet memories they gave me. How they never cared about anything but being a good companion, and wagging their tails at me, no matter how grumpy I was. And I feel grateful for that unconditional love - and the life lessons - that have come my way from these creatures that have been in my life.
Over the past couple of days, I've been touched by the sweet emails, comments and Facebook messages from people who understand that, although our pets aren't people, they are important parts of our lives.
Several of you mentioned that you believe that our pets go to heaven...and I wonder if I could open up the comments and let you share your thoughts on this.
Do you have a special pet that has touched your life?
Do you wonder about what happens to them after they die?
Does the Bible say anything about it?
Does it matter?
I'll be honest, I have not given this a whole lot of thought or theological research. But I have always believed that God cares about the creatures on this earth, and there are scriptures to support this. I would love to know your thoughts - and would love to have a thoughtful discussion about it.
Yes, maybe this is a #firstworldprob, and I know it is far less important than some of the horrific issues in the world. But perhaps this is something that we might talk about anyway. I'm curious.
What do you think? Do pets go to heaven? What is their purpose here on earth?
Please share, if you would like. I'd love to know your thoughts.