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Over Rainbow Bridge To Heaven

by Elsie Schuett Flynn  
2/09/2011 / Pets

God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to produce offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground. Genesis 1:25-26 (NLT)

(Journal log, 10 June 2010)

Dylan, my German shepherd dog, turned 10 years old the other day. He is a gorgeous boy, classic black/tan/red sable/saddle-back, semi-plush coat, and up until a few months ago, had very little gray hair on his muzzle. Although the gray hairs have increased, black is still the dominant color. His ears are generally erect. If you compare to the hands of a clock, they are typically standing at 10:10, indicating a relaxed mood. When something has his attention, then the ears assume an 11:05 position. On Tuesday, his birthday, his ears were at 2:55. This means only one thing: he has an earache. Poor boy, he has so many aches and pains these days.

Dylan was diagnosed with hip dysplasia in both hips at eight months old. The right hip socket is too shallow to support the ball end of the leg bone. Hip replacement surgery was not an option because the left hip, also very shallow, wasnt able to support the extra weight. Like me, he doesnt know life without pain. Unlike me, however, he never complains. Hes such a trooper. He runs and plays, and has the highest play drive Ive ever seen in a dog.

The average life span of a German shepherd is shorter than other breeds. Our remaining time together is short. I hope, and have prayed, that God takes him, sparing us of the gut-wrenching, heart-breaking decision to end his life. I so do not want to do that again. Ten years ago, we had our other bubby euthanized. On his final Friday, he was doing okay, and by Monday, he could not move his hind legs. He also stopped eating and drinking--that was the sign he was ready to go.

Accompanying our beloved companions to Rainbow Bridge is, for many, a part of sharing life with an animal. We are stewards of everything we have, including our pets. It is our responsibility to take care of the masters possessions, as he would care for them. Showing mercy to a suffering animal by releasing their spirit from their broken body is by far the hardest task. Just like humans, their bodies are only temporary vessels, or tents, that house their spirits while they are here on earth. Our beloved pets, and people, are not the visible bodies; they are the invisible spirit that the body holds. Euthanasia releases the spirit to go on and then receive its permanent new body. When the Lord calls us to join Him to live in the Eternal City, we will have new, perfect bodies that will never die. I believe animals, our pets included, will too. I wonder, will we be reunited with them on that glorious day?


In that day, the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all. The cow will graze near the bear. The cub and the calf will lie down together. The lion will eat hay like a cow. Isaiah 11:6-8 (NLT)

And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They sang: Blessing and honor and glory and power belong to the one sitting on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever. Revelation 5:13 (NLT)

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