As long as I can remember animals have always shared my life. Growing up in my family home by city standards was like growing up in a small zoo. I learned to walk by holding on to the family dog, my homework was supervised by a myna bird named Joey, we had a cat, fish, turtles, several newts, an african frog and even an alligator. So when my parents scrimped and saved to afford my riding lessons it should have come as no surprise that as soon as I was married to an animal friendly man we would immediately buy a farm. Animal ownership to me came as natural as breathing it was simply woven into my DNA by my creator for reasons yet unknown to me. Much like music is to a composer and painting is to an artist.my passion has always been animals. Growing up my stuffed animal collection superceded any need for dolls, my favorite t.v. show was wild kingdom, my favorite book charlotte’s web and my favorite movies were all animal based. Animals and nature have always been a gift given to me by God and it is something that I am most thankful for.
Now when I became a Christian it wasn’t long before I became aware of an issue that was hotly debated by some, do animals go to heaven? My opinion has always been that if Christ has gone to prepare a place for me and remember this is a creator that intimately knows me, I have to believe that the animals that have shared my life would be there. To me it just made sense. But like everything else in life, situations can make you question even strongly held convictions of faith and that’s what happened when my I lost two german shepherds in a row to cancer. The first dog Jake was my protector , the buddy that I had left home with for the first time. A once in a life time dog that made me feel needed and loved, and shared all my adventures . I didn’t see it coming he showed no signs of being sick he was just five years old and in the prime of his life. I just came home one day and found him collapsed on the floor from internal bleeding. His spleen had burst and we operated on him but the vet came and told me he was full of cancer and I held him in my arms as the vet put him to sleep. My whole world was shattered and it hurt just to breathe. The worst was watching my other dog Buck grieve for him he didn’t eat for days it was just awful. After some time had passed I got another german shepherd named Cooper and he became the baby of the family to both me and Buck and we were happy again. I got married to my sweet heart and his german shepherd ( a brother to Cooper) and married life was sweet but the peace was to be short-lived. Cooper began crying in pain everytime he bent his head and I just knew it was cancer. He was just four years old when we found out he had bone cancer. We went to Guelph University paid for cat scans and they decided he would have to endure extensive radiation treatments to shrink the tumor growing from his skull, than a complicated surgery was to follow. And even if he made through all of that they couldn’t guarantee that his brain cells might start dying off leaving him with brain damage. Needless to say we choose not to operate and we had one more month with him before we had to say goodbye. It was during this time that I poured my heart out to the Lord in prayer and I simply sat with a closed bible in my hand and I had prayed the following. Lord I know that I have to put Cooper down it’s the right thing to do but please I need to know one thing just between you and me do you save animals ? ( and I meant will I see him again in heaven ) I need to know straight from you to me, is it true you save animals. And with my eyes closed I opened the bible put my finger in the book and when I opened my eyes my finger was on a line in the psalms that said God saves animals. Now I know some will pooh-pooh this but the chances of me opening that book and putting my finger on that exact line would have been like winning the lottery and for me its a done deal. I asked him a question and I believe he answered it and I have no reason to doubt him and in the end I guess only time will tell. But untill I go to meet my maker I will always believe that our animals will await us in heaven in a place that was designed and set apart for each one of us
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I am a freelance writer and poet that writes poetry and commentary on my christian life. I live in northern Ont. on a small hobby farm with my husband and an assortment of dogs, cats,horses,donkey and goats. I write to glorify my savior.