I love my pets. I have two blue Weimaraners and an orange tabby cat - my boys. The three get along just fine and want to be at my side all the time.
I grew up with Weims and for me, a home does not feel right without at least a dog in it. Better to have two - they are pack animals, you know. But in the absence of a pair, they come to form a pack with us.
A former client contacted me and asked if I would do a photo shoot with their Shih Tzu. One of the sad things in the life of someone who loves their pet is when it is time to say goodbye. As with humans, death is a part of life for every living thing, but that does not make it any easier for us. It is hard to see that entity in our lives who has loved us unconditionally, who has been there for us when we are sad and when we are joyful, who made us laugh, who protected us fiercely (even if it was against the meter reader), and who brings us to smile - it is hard to see them grow old. And know we must say goodbye.
But will we see them again?
I think so. Let me explain.
I am a Christian - a Roman Catholic. As one, I do not think animals have the same souls as we do. It is not that they have no souls . . . they don't have human souls. I am not a theologian but the point of this post is not about debating the topic. I am telling you what I think.
"In the beginning . . ." Those are the words that begin the Book of Genesis. And shortly following those words comes the text that tells us that God created the animals - and God saw that they were good.
How good? So much so that after creating Man in His image, God set Man not as the oppressor, nor as the dictator, but as the steward over the animals. God wanted Man to be a caretaker to His creation. And God wants Man to emulate Him. So God is, then, a caretaker of Nature.
Let us keep reading and soon we come to the story of the Flood. Man had rebelled against his Creator and so God opened the heavens to let it rain 40 days and 40 nights to flood the Earth . . . but not before He had a righteous man, Noah, build an ark and take two of each animal into it, to save them.
Let's step ahead to the New Testament. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is speaking to His disciples about their worth before the Father. And He says to them: Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
So God is so concerned about His creation, the animals, that He can take the time to notice when a sparrow dies?
Now will you tell me that when our pets die, they receive no reward for their service?
Knowing that God loves all of His creation, I have to believe that He takes care of the animals when they die, and especially those who served His children during their time on Earth.
And today I heard something interesting.
When the serpent spoke to Adam and Eve in the Garden they were not surrpised.
And maybe that is because the animals all spoke in Eden.
And so if we achieve Heaven after our deaths, we may well be met by our pets who went before, to greet us with "I am so happy to see you again."
So for all of my dogs - and one cat - that have left this Earth, I believe you play in the fields of Heaven.
And wait for me.
A big thank you to this little sweetheart for coming to my studio today.