Friday, December 19, 2014

Being Frank About Dogs

Not long ago the Pope was confronted by a little girl who was concerned about her dog. Her beloved pet had passed away and she was concerned about his eternal destiny. 
The Pope listened to her question and then assured her there is room in paradise for all of God's creatures. 
This time of year we tend to think of family and friends and that includes our four-legged chums. 
I can't say if dogs are in Heaven but when I remember the dogs I have known and loved, I wouldn't be surprised. 
I think that if dogs have souls it came about something like this. 
When God was creating the creatures of the Earth, He decided to create that most noble of animals, the family dog. 
While he was preparing the first ancestors of our pets, He happened to mention to one of the angels who was assisting Him that He had in mind to also create very special creatures -- a man and a woman. 
They were to be created in His image and he was going to breathe eternal life into their nostrils and give them souls so they might be alive with Him forever. 
"But Lord," the angel interrupted. "You created us and we have the ability to serve you or reject you. Will they have that ability, too?"
"Of course. What good would it be for me to create them if they could not love me? And love is always a choice."
The angel thought about that for a moment and watched as God spoke into existence the first noble dog.
Before the pup was transported from Heaven to Earth in those ancient days, the angel played with the animal and they became great friends. 
The angel decided that if man and woman were going to be as special as his dog friend, they must be very special indeed.
When the day came for God to breathe His own spirit into the man before setting him in the midst of the Garden of Eden, the angel spoke to the Heavenly Father.
"Lord, may I have a word with you?"
"Of course, what is it I?"
"You know how much I enjoyed that dog you created."
The Lord smiled broadly. 
"Yes, you really love that animal, don't you?"
The angel nodded. 
"He loves me, too, Sir," the angel said. "I remember what you said about love being the greatest gift one person can give to another. The way you and Jesus and the Holy Spirit love each other. The way you love us, your angelic servants." 
"Go on," the Father said. 
"Well, if that dog you created could look at me with those big brown eyes the way he does, and nuzzle my hand and curl up next to me. Doesn't that mean he loves, too?"
"Go on," God said. 
"Well, I want him to spend all eternity here with us when his time on Earth is over." 
And, that, very well, may be how our wonderful pets found an eternal home. 
I hope if you have ever loved a dog and that dog loved you that you look forward to a reunion in Heaven one day. 
In the meantime, Merry Christmas to you and all your friends -- two-legged, four-legged and otherwise. 

Frank Phillips is a reporter for The Brazil Times and a freelance writer. He can be contacted at frank.phillips@gmail.com