The True Value of Companionship
Came in from a rainy Thursday on the avenue
Thought I heard you talking softly
I turned on the lights, the TV, and the radio
Still I can’t escape the ghost of you
What has happened to it all?
Crazy some’d say
Where is the life that I recognize?
A couple years ago, a friend of mine lost his pet of 18 years. He was telling me that sometimes at night he sees her run across the room. That made me think of the lyrics from the Duran Duran song, Ordinary World (1993).
More than three years after she crossed the Rainbow Bridge, I still see Lucy. I used to think I was whacked; but, my friend is not the first person to tell me about seeing a pet after it left this world – and none of them have spent time in a psychiatric hospital, except me. So, while I may be a little crazy, I know they aren’t.
My evangelical Christian father would have declared Lucy a figment of my imagination since only human beings have souls that live on after death. Even at the evangelical Bible college I attended, one of my professors pronounced that our beloved pets would not be in heaven because…you know what’s coming, don’t you…they don’t have souls.
Will Rogers once said: If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go to where they went. Even though I don’t believe in the Christian idea of heaven, I embrace this sentiment with open arms. If we do live forever, what kind of hell would that be to face eternity without the pets that made our lives complete during their all-too-brief time with us.
Mark Twain said: Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in. How could dogs be excluded from any heaven, when they deserve to be there more than we do? Would a benevolent deity deny entry to the very creatures that many believe epitomizes that god’s attributes of love, acceptance, loyalty, selflessness, service and, forgiveness?
Robert Louis Stevenson wrote: You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us. Anthropologists posit that early humans created devils and demons to explain natural disasters and other misfortunes. In modern times, some believe that the idea of Satan is perpetuated by people who need to believe that there is something in the universe more evil and pernicious than humans.
So, anyway, sometimes at night I see my Boston Terrier, Lucy. Maybe she is a figment of my imagination. Maybe she is still with me. I hear her bark during the day and, very often when I’m driving, I experience an overwhelming sensation that Lucy is right there beside me. I look at the doggy car seat on the passenger side and I’m always surprised not to see her sitting there, watching me.
Even though I know she cannot possibly be there. Or can she? What do you believe?
That’s one True Value of Companionship.
A good dog never dies. He always stays. He walks besides you on crisp autumn days when frost is on the fields and winter’s drawing near. His head is within our hand in his old way. – Mary Carolyn Davies
Want to read more?
Rauser, R. 31 October 1912. Are demons responsible for natural evil? Retrieved online at: https://randalrauser.com/2012/10/are-demons-responsible-for-natural-evil/
Hamilton, M. 07 July 2013. What does it mean to live in a fallen world? Retrieved online at: https://thepagenebula.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/what-does-it-mean-to-live-in-a-fallen-world/
Geggel, L. 02 October 2016. Where did satan come from? Retrieved online at: https://www.livescience.com/56341-where-did-satan-come-from.html
Kiger, P. The devil: Understanding the root of evil. Retrieved online at: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/the-story-of-god-with-morgan-freeman/articles/the-devil-understanding-the-root-of-evil/