In her latter years, she became our little old lady. I called her Ms. Pebbles. After 16 years living in our household, we recently had to say goodbye to our kindhearted dachshund. It is in these times that you curse Adam and Eve for sinning which brought pain and death into the world. It hurts to see a lovable pet grow old and wither away. The bright puppy eyes of the first day you bring them home become old and weary. If you are a pet lover, you understand the grief that is associated with losing a pet. Although it is not the same as losing a human, the pain of losing the face of unconditional love still hurts.
We bought Pebbles from a breeder during our first year of marriage. We placed her in a box and took her home. During the drive home as we were deciding upon a name for her, she let out her first little whimper. We decided on the name Pebbles. That cute little whimper became more frequent and louder in time. The only way we could keep her quiet was to hold her or for one of us to lay our hand in her bed while we slept. During a time when I had to drive my wife to work, Pebbles fit into my coat pocket to stay warm during the commute. Pebbles grew into a good natured dog. Our male dachshund, Max, soon learned that he would no longer be the boss. They got along fine though. They ran circles inside the house. In the later years in the life of Max, he lost his eyesight and Pebbles became his eyes and was a comfort to him. She loved to play with balloons and her favorite treat was marshmallows. She looked like Ms. Pac Man when she would eat the marshmallows off the floor. I could go on and on about her but if you have had a pet for several years, you know there are many memories that you treasure. Today I find myself a bit lost without Pebbles to care for. She required more care in her later years but I never once complained about doing it. Now that she is gone, it is an empty feeling.
Every time we lose a pet to death, we ask ourselves the same question. Will we see our pets in heaven? For many years, the answer was a simple, blunt: No. The reasoning was that since pets do not have a soul and can't receive salvation they cannot go to heaven. After further review, I am not so sure.
Romans 8:19-22 tells us that ALL creation awaits the day when we are freed from the bondage of decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. If this had only be referring to mankind, it would have said it. Creation includes all of God's created beings. If you study this more in-depth you will find more evidence to support the fact that pets have a place in heaven. Don't you think God will recognize the love we have invested in caring for His creation and reward us for this in heaven? I think we have an unrealistic view of God if we limit God in his love toward us.
Would heaven be a wonderful place if our pets weren't there? For many, the answer is "no" and obviously, God knows this! We can't place restrictions on what can or can't be in heaven; no one has brought back a report of what's in heaven, and sooner or later we're all going to find out anyway. In the mean time, on the issue of whether pets go to heaven or not, we are free to believe what we choose, based on our understanding of God and His love for us and our love for the animals he has entrusted to our care.
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