Last week my friends Eric and and Meg had to do what every pet owner dreads - Saying good bye to Dakota, their 14 year old Golden Retriever. Having been there done that more times than I care to remember, I can empathize with them and my heart goes out to them. I was going to send the following article to them hoping to offer some comfort and maybe some understanding why God created dogs, but then I thought there may be others that would enjoy reading it. I first wrote this back in November of 2001 for our church newsletter, so for some it might seem familiar.
As to whether all dogs go to Heaven, I don't have a clue, but I can't imagine God giving us such precious gifts here in an imperfect world and then taking them away in a perfect Heaven. Just doesn't compute.
For those who might want to see Eric's posting on this event and pictures of Dakota when days were better, the following link will take you there.
VIEW FROM THE RIDGE
Have you ever wondered why God made dogs? There are hundreds of varieties: hunters, retrievers, guarders, herders, heelers, big, little and in-between, all kinds of hair types and lengths, colors and patterns. Some are yippers and yappers, others are quiet. But no matter what kind of dog it is, they all have a common trait; they are loyal, devoted and will love us beyond our comprehension and understanding.
Our dog, Quincy, provides Jeri and I with a lot of enjoyment and entertainment - well, most of the time when he is not being a virtual pain in the derriere. I remember when we were between dogs for about 18 months and our walks were not as much fun. I missed the companionship and love that a dog provided when I worked on projects around the farm. The dog hair, muddy feet, barfing on the carpet and barking at coyotes in the middle of the night are just the cost of all the pleasure. Yet God has used dogs to show me how He loves and how I should love - unconditionally.
What other animal can you train so easily to do humiliating silly tricks time after time just for affection and a stupid snack or chase balls for hours? Or protect you against threats from other animals or people? Or love you when no one else will? Or do almost anything for your attention and approval? Dogs love us no matter what we look like, how we are dressed, what our social position is, what our jobs are (or if we even have a job), whether we are good or bad, happy or sad, and even when we don’t treat them as we should. They love us despite ourselves and no matter what happens. Any hints where this is headed?
I think a little self examination is needed. Do we love our spouse, our children, our extended family and our neighbors as much as a dog would? Do we love unconditionally no matter what they look like, how they are dressed, the length or color of their hair, how they talk or act or treat us? Do we love or care about them as much as we do about ourselves? Do we love our pets more than we do people?
God’s love for us is unconditional, and He tells us to love the same way. It’s not easy for most of us, but the Holy Spirit gives us that unnatural ability to do so, if we allow Him. It would seem to me that we, being superior in intelligence than dogs, ought to be able to demonstrate God’s love better than we do. Not just to our close friends and family, but to all those we come in contact with. It doesn’t mean that everybody has to be your best friend, but it does mean that we can be kind, civil and respectful to everyone.
Do you suppose there is any significance that dog spelled backwards is God? Is it just a coincidence that of all the animals the dog has the most capacity to love humans, and to express that love in a way that God does? What are the odds--------