Monday, March 24, 2014

All Dogs Go to Heaven

Ever since I was four years old, I wanted a dog of my very own.  I would dream about getting my own puppy. I begged my parents, and every year for Christmas, I would ask Santa Claus for a puppy.  Six months after Gabe and I got married, my dream finally came true.  Gabe's parents let us choose a French bulldog from a litter of puppies they had. I chose Jimi pretty much right after he was born. He was the runt of the litter, but also the chubbiest, with one little brown spot right above his bum.  I immediately fell in love! It took Gabe a little longer. :) Jimi immediately became part of our new family and we loved him so much!  Around April of last year, Jimi started to act lethargic and had a lot less energy than he usually did.  I told myself I was reading too much into things.  But once we moved to back to California, Jimi rapidly got worse.  I took him to the vet, and they said he was completely fine. I forced the vet to do every test he could on Jimi. The vet said everything was normal.  I knew something was wrong, and after going to two different specialty vets, we ended up at a Veterinary Neurology office.  They did another round of tests and found that Jimi had inflammatory brain disease.  They told us he needed to have chemo done for two days and lots of meds. They also told us that only twenty percent of dogs fully recover from inflammatory brain disease.  We tried to stay optimistic, but two weeks later, our little puppy passed away.  I can honestly say that it was the hardest thing that I have ever gone through.  Jimi was like a child to Gabe and I, and we love him like one.

I was searching through my computer when I came across a short essay that Gabe wrote for one of his classes.  He had to write about something he believed in. He wrote about how he believed all dogs go to heaven. It was the sweetest thing and it describes how we felt about Jimi so well. It also reminded me why I love my husband so much. 

                                    I Believe All Dogs Go to Heaven

          Sooner or later, every dog lover finds himself or herself faced with the reality that their dog may not be with them for much longer.  I’ve had to face this reality recently. Luckily, for me, I believe that all dogs go to heaven. Whether animals go to heaven or not is a hard thing to figure, but for me, it’s simple.  My dog, Jimi, taught me about compassion, unconditional love, mercy, patience, understanding, and forgiveness. I don’t think my Heavenly Father would make my family and I live without him in the afterlife.
         Canine loyalty and affection put human fidelity and affection to shame. I feel if anyone deserves a place in heaven, there should be a place reserved for dogs. Dogs are happy when people are happy. There’s nothing they want more than to please you. It’s like having your own personal happiness machine. A dog is always there when you need him most. He or she will never judge you, they only love, and when a dog says they will love you forever, they mean it. Dogs bring out the best in us, and their loyalty is never-ending. They feel your pain and know exactly how to comfort you.
          I don’t know about your picture of heaven, but mine is filled with the wonderful people and animals I’ve lost throughout my lifetime. I consider my pets my family just as much as the people in my life, so why wouldn’t they be included in my eternal family? My dog, Jimi, was three and a half years old when he passed away due to inflammatory brain disease. We spoiled him during his short life, but he also spoiled us with more love than we could ever give. 
          It all happened so fast for us. We had just moved back to San Diego, California from Boise, Idaho. We started to see signs that Jimi wasn’t his usual self. We took him to different veterinarians almost every day, trying to find some sort of cure for his sickness. Then came the time when I had to face the reality myself. I knew that Jimi wouldn’t be with us much longer, but my wife and I still did everything in our power to save him. 
         When Jimi passed away, we buried him in our backyard. Before we covered him up, we placed some of his favorite toys in his grave with him and said goodbye. Jake, our yellow Labrador, picked up a tennis ball, and dropped it in the grave with his friend, Jimi, to say goodbye as well, but somehow, in the midst of all of the sadness, we knew we would all see him again, and then would come a time of great happiness.

1 comment:

  1. Gabe couldn't have said it any better. I imagine all my doggies I've ever had growing up sitting at heavens gate waiting for us all to come home :) thanks for sharing Katie!