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For Sebby, Stew, and Other Great Dogs… wait… February 29, 2008

Posted by gregquill in Uncategorized.

Stew lost his dog to cancer three days ago. Here are some thoughts phrased much better than mine. Responding to a dying old woman’s inquiry, James Herriot, the late British author/veterinarian noted:

“If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty
and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of
humans. You’ve nothing to worry about there.”

He goes on to note, regarding animals
joining their masters in the afterlife: “I do believe it. With all my heart I believe it.” ( James Herriot “Dog Stories”, chapter The Card Over the Bed)

In a similar vein:

An old man and his dog were walking down this dirt road with fences on both sides. They came to a gate in the fence and looked in. It was nice – grassy, woody areas, just what a ‘huntin’ dog and man would like – but it had a sign saying ‘no trespassing’ so
they walked on.

They came to a beautiful gate with a person in white robes standing there. “Welcome to Heaven”, he said. The old man was happy and started in with his dog following him. The gatekeeper stopped him. “Dogs aren’t allowed, I’m sorry but he can’t come with you.”

“What kind of Heaven won’t allow dogs? If he can’t come in, then I will stay out with him. He’s been my faithful companion all his life, I can’t desert him now.”

“Suit yourself, but I have to warn you, the Devil’s on this road and he’ll try to sweet talk you into his area. He’ll promise you anything, but the dog can’t go there either. If you won’t leave the dog, you’ll spend Eternity on this road.”

So the old man and his dog went on.

They came to a rundown fence with a gap in it, no gate, just a hole. Another old man was inside. ” ‘Scuse me Sir, my dog and I are getting mighty tired, mind if we come in and sit in the shade for awhile?”

“Of course. There’s some cold water under that tree over there. Make yourselves comfortable ”

“You’re sure my dog can come in? The man down the road said dogs weren’t allowed anywhere.”

“Would you come in if you had to leave he dog?”

” No sir, that’s why I didn’t go to Heaven; he said the dog couldn’t come in. We’ll be spending Eternity on this road, and a glass of cold water and some shade would be mighty fine right about now. But, I won’t come in if my buddy here can’t come too, and that’s final. ”

The man smiled a big smile and said “Welcome to Heaven.”

“You mean this is Heaven? Dogs ARE allowed? How come that fellow down the road said they weren’t?”

“That was the Devil and he gets all the people who are willing to give up a life-long companion for a comfortable place to stay. They soon find out their mistake, but then it’s too late. The dogs come here, the fickle people stay there. GOD wouldn’t allow dogs to be banned from Heaven. After all, HE created them to be man’s companions in life. Why would he separate them in death?”

Author – Earl Hamner
The Twilight Zone

“You think dogs will not be in heaven?
I tell you, they will be there long before any of us.”
Robert Louis Stevenson

“That would be a low-grade sort of Heaven,
And I’d never regret a damned sin
If I rush up to the gates white and pearly,
And they don’t let my Malamite in.”
Pat O’Cotter – A Malamute Dog

The poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still the master’s own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonour’d falls, unnoticed all his worth,
Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth,
While man, vain insect hopes to be forgiven,
And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.

Lord Byron
Inscription on the monument of his Newfoundland dog, 1808

If I have any beliefs about immortality,
it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven,
and very, very few persons.
James Thurber

“If there are no dogs in Heaven,
then when I die I want to go
where they went.”
Will Rogers, 1879-1935


The curate thinks you have no soul;
I know that he has none. But you,
Dear friend, whose solemn self-control,
In our foursquare familiar pew,
Was pattern to my youth — whose bark
Called me in summer dawns to rove —
Have you gone down into the dark
Where none is welcome — none may love?
I will not think those good brown eyes
Have spent their life of truth so soon;
But in some canine paradise
Your wraith, I know, rebukes the moon,
And quarters every plain and hill,
Seeking his master… As for me,
This prayer at least the gods fulfill;
That when I pass the flood and see
Old Charon by the Stygian coast
Take toll of all the shades who land,
Your little, faithful, barking ghost
May leap to lick my phantom hand

“Heaven goes by favour. If it went by merit,
you would stay out and your dog would go in.”
Mark Twain

“The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his
heaven, not man’s.”
Mark Twain, letter to WD Howells 1899

“Can’t find God in the usual places …
churches, books or preachers’ faces?
Keep on searching and don’t give up,
You may just find Him in the eyes of a pup. Author: Richard C. Call

Save a Homeless Puppy, Rescue an Older Dog

Sometimes he sits at your feet looking into your
face with an expression so gentle and caressing that
the depth of his gaze startles you. Who can believe
that there is no soul behind those luminous eyes!”
Theophile Gautier

Once a dog has entwined himself round your heart
he is not only yours for life, but you are his.
When he is gone, his place is forever sacred.
Other dogs are just as precious
but they all have their allotted spot in your
affections kept for them or their memory.
A heaven without one’s dogs
would not be the heaven we hoped for.
A dog is always man’s best friend.
Written By: anonymous

Pope John Paul II:
‘Animals Possess A Soul’

Pope John Paul II declared in a public audience
in 1990 that “also the animals possess a soul and
men must love and feel solidarity with our smaller brethren”.
He said, too, that they are the “fruit of the creative
action of the Holy Spirit and merit respect,” and are
as near to God as men are

The Pope went on to say that, “animals have the breath
of life and were given it by God. In this respect, man
created by the hand of God is identical with all living
creatures. … The existence therefore of all living creatures
depends on the living spirit/breath of God that not only
creates but also sustains and renews the face of the earth.”


I wish someone had given Jesus a dog
As loyal and loving as mine
To sleep by His manger and gaze in His eyes
And adore Him for being divine

As our Lord grew to manhood His faithful dog
Would have followed Him all through the day
While He preached to the crowds and made the sick well
And knelt in the garden to pray.

It is sad to remember that Christ went away
To face death alone and apart
With no tender dog following close behind
To comfort its Master’s Heart.

And when Jesus rose on that Easter morn
How happy He would have been
As His dog kissed His hands and barked its delight
For The One who died for all men.

Well, the Lord has a dog now, I just sent Him mine
The old pal so dear to me
And I smile through my tears on this first day alone
Knowing they’re in eternity

Day after day, the whole day through
Wherever my road inclined
Four feet said, “I am coming with you!”
And trotted along behind

Written By: Rudyard Kipling

author Dick Neville, last modified November 8, 2006



1. Stew - March 1, 2008

Greg, hey just wanted to say thanks for the nice words and thoughts. Sebs was about the only one that you DIDN’T meet(!). She was a great friend.

Love that Kipling poem. I’ve never seen that one (no idea how that could be as I love Kipling).

Jen says “hi”.

2. brenda - March 2, 2008

Greg, your compilation comforted me.

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