Our dog for 11 years, until today. Now you belong to our Heavenly Father.
We’ll never forget when we first met you at the animal shelter. They found you near a dumpster at a Chinese restaurant. We knew you belonged with us.
We will always remember you for your warm greetings, often accompanied by wild dog runs. It didn’t dampen your enthusiasm when you lost traction and skidded across the hardwood floor and into a wall. You provided companionship to us. You never left us. You were a comfort when we went through hard times. Your love was unconditional. Your love was more enthusiastic when we had food to share or when one of us picked up the leash.
Jesus called himself the Good Shepherd, which assumes he loves animals. Secondarily, it means Jesus loves and cares for us in the same way. Animals were given to man to teach us to love and we can tell a person’s character by the way they treat their animals (“A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.” – Proverbs 12:10).
We know there are animals in heaven. It was one of God’s earliest and best ideas. God created animals and placed them in the Garden and it was good. The first man and woman’s job was to name and care for the animals in the garden. When man brought judgment to the earth, God told Noah to save the animals. It makes sense that the new heaven and the new earth spoken of in Revelation (21:1) would also include animals. Jesus is described as a lion of the tribe of Judah and a Lamb of God. Those metaphors have no meaning if there are no lions or lambs on earth and in heaven.
We hope you are reunited with Grandma Jane and Grandpa Bob, so you can bring a smile to their faces and they can hold you again. We hope we will see you again. We can’t imagine heaven without you. Until then, we will picture you in the arms of the Good Shepherd.