My Heavenly Family
A Fictional Account of What it is Like for Animals living in Heaven
My home is no longer and earthly one, but I still visit from time to time (although most humans don't see me), or sometimes I just gaze longingly down upon it before I close my weary eyes and begin to dream. Even though I'm way up here in heaven I still watch over my family down below. I do my best to protect them, and I pray that we'll all be together soon. That's because that's what I did when I lived down there and I know my family and friends still remember and love me. I sense this when I hear them softly whisper my name whenever they are alone, or when they glance at my picture, still hanging on the livingroom wall. And when they gaze at the heavens, somehow I know they see me, watching, smiling, waiting...
I was first adopted by a couple who lived next door. However, I was a tiny creature, and they owned a big dog who did not like me very much, so I cried and cried. That's when they locked me out in the car so they could not hear me (Animal Cruely, ASPCA.org, 2010). I was cold and lonely out there, so I cried even harder.
I cried for three days and nights, until finally the door was opened and a big calloused hand reached in to scoop me up. I was really scared then, but I was so cold, hungry, and weak that I could not fight or even cry any longer. I did not know then that this would be the best day of my life because this couple, who were my new adopted parents, took me in and loved me as no other.
I can still remember going on long walks in the woods or out in the yard with my dad. Oh, that was fun! Then he got sick and his legs became so weak that his steps slowed and he would sometimes stumble and fall. When this happened, I would run all the way home to tell mom what had happened so she could come and help me get him back on his feet.
I can remember helping mom pull weeds out in the garden, too. She would point them out to me because I could not tell which were weeds and which were flowers. Then I would pull them out with my teeth.
But best of all, I remember the little cubbyhole inside the wooden headboard of mom and dad's huge bed. It was just big enough for me to curl up inside and lay my head on their pillows, safe and happy, knowing that they loved me.
However, it wasn't long before I became ill again, this time with Parvovirus, a dibilitating and highly contagious illness that attacks the gastrointestinal, or cardiac system, in dogs (Vetmedicine, 2010). Even though mom and dad tried to help me, they could not, and finally I became so weak that mom had to carry me out and lay me in a box filled with soft bedding. She then placed this box in my favorite sunny spot on the front porch. And there, I fell sleep, feeling her warm hand stroking the fur on my neck and listening to her softly humming.
At first, I was very frightened when I awoke. This was not my cubbyhole, nor was I lying in my comfortable box. And where were mom and dad? But then a sense of peace came over me as I looked around. There were sock toys and juicy basted beef bones (my favorites) lying all around. This was the biggest dog house I had ever seen, with golden trim and a wide and sunny front porch. And there was a huge bed with a cubbyhole, just like the one at home. There was no fence in the back yard. It had been replaced with rolling hills filled with Cyprus and Oak trees (just like the woods where dad and I used to walk), and gardens filled with weeds and flowers.
But still I was lonely, until a big black dog, with brown spots above her eyes and on her floppy ears, walked up to greet me. She said her name was Lassie and proceeded to introduce me to several others of her extended family. When I asked how she came to have such a big family of not only dogs, but rabbits, cats, birds, and even fish, she laughingly replied, "We are all your brothers and sisters. We are all the ones mom and dad adopted and loved throughout their whole lifetime, and we are all watching and waiting for mom and dad to join us, just like you."
Now I'm getting ready to go out and explore my new home, with my new family. Lately I have been thinking that maybe I can teach them how to pull weeds, or how to play chase the way I did with dad.
- ASPCA: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Visit the ASPCA website to learn how to fight animal cruelty, read expert pet care advice, and view dogs and cats available for adoption.
- Parvovirus (a.k.a Parvo) Infection in Dogs
Parvovirus infection is a serious disease that affects the gasstrointestinal or cardiac systems of dogs. Parvo is a highly contagious and often sudden viral disease; puppies are particularly susceptible. Learn about the clinical signs, diagnosis, tre