Tuesday, February 15, 2011

We said goodbye to a faithful friend yesterday, our grandsons dog River was put to sleep. He came into their lives and filled it with the happiness that only a dog can give. Devoted, River never met a stranger and wagged his tail to welcome all. He shared his life and his dish with Seymore, never noticing that Seymore was a cat. He was always up for an adventure and overcame his fear of water to ride with the family he loved so much on boat rides. River dedicated his life to ridding the world of his nemesis the squirrels. RIP dear Rivey, you will be greatly missed.

All Dogs Go To Heaven
Inspired by a story by: Earl Hamner Jr.


An old man and his dog were walking down a dirt road with fences on either side. The country they were traveling through was strange to them and a little unsettling. On both the left and right the man saw a magnificent panorama of fields,streams, hills and valleys - just the sort of country a man and his dog can only dream of - but all along the fences on either side large "NO TRESPASSING - KEEP OUT" signs were posted every few feet, so they walked on. Soon the two companions came to a magnificent gate chased with gold and encrusted with precious stones. An imposing figure in a flowing robe of the purest white stood there beside it. "Welcome to Heaven" the man in the robe said.
 
The old man was stunned beyond words. He hadn't even realized that he was dead! At least, he thought, his hound, the closest friend he had in all the world, had made the trip with him. With a sigh and a smile, the old man started through the gate with his dog at his side, but  the gatekeeper stopped him.
 
"Dogs aren't allowed." he said. "I'm sorry but he can't come in here with you. He'll have to stay out on the road."
 
"What kind of Heaven won't allow dogs?" asked the old man. "If he can't come in, then I won't either. I'll just stay out here with him. He's been my friend all his life. I can't walk away from him now."
 
"Suit yourself," said the robed figure, "but I have to warn you, the Devil's on this road and he'll try to sweet talk you into his place. He'll promise you anything to get you inside, but the dog can't go there either. If you won't leave the dog, you'll spend Eternity on this road. There's no room in Heaven or in Hell for a man's dog." 
So the old man and his dog went on their way. In time, they came to a rundown fence with a gap in it - no gate, just a hole where a few boards had fallen off or been removed. Another old man, humble in appearance, was fishing in a pond just inside the fence. The man and his dog stopped at the gap. "Excuse me, Sir", the old man said. "My dog and I have been on this road for a long time now. We're getting mighty tired. Mind if we come in and sit for a spell?" "Of course!" said the man inside the fence. " Come right on through.There's some cold water under that tree over there. He gestured toward a huge old oak tree with majestically spreading branches. At it's roots a bubbling spring rose, cool and refreshing. "Make yourselves comfortable. You're welcome to stay as long as you please."
 
"You're sure my dog can come in, now?" the old man asked.
 "The man down the road said dogs weren't allowed anywhere around here."
 
"Would you come in if you had to leave the dog?" asked the fisherman.
"No sir, I would not!" the old man replied. "That's why I didn't go to Heaven back down the road. The man there said my dog couldn't come in with me." He shrugged and continued. "We'll be spending Eternity on this road, I suppose, just the two of us. A glass of cold water and some shade would be mighty fine right about now, but I won't come in if it means my friend here has to wait on the road."
 
The man behind the fence smiled a big smile and said, "Welcome to Heaven friend."
 
"Hold on, now! You mean THIS is Heaven?" asked the old man, quite surprised. "Dogs ARE allowed? How come that fellow down the road told me different?"
 
That was the Devil back there." St. Peter replied, for indeed, the old, ordinary seeming man behind the fence was none other. "He gets all the people who are willing to give up a lifelong companion for a little comfort. They soon find out their mistake, but by then it's too late." "The dogs can still come in here," he continued, " but the selfish people stay back there. God wouldn't allow dogs to be banned from Heaven. After all, He created them to be man's companions in life, how could he separate them in death?"

A smile that went from ear to ear broke out on the old man's face. He reached down to his side, ruffled the fur on his dog's head and said,"C'mon, boy!" And with that, the two of them passed through to the other side of the fence. The two of them walked up the gentle rise to where the shade of the oak and the cool water from the spring awaited their coming.

12 comments:

  1. I'm surely sorry to hear about the loss of River. Our Border Collie, Wilma, passed away last month after 15 years of loving us as only she could do. I understand the loss.

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  2. Losing a pet is losing a loved one indeed.

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  3. i hope your grandson is doing ok. River was a beautiful dog. sorry for your families loss.

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  4. Joycee,

    My heart breaks for your grandson's loss. River sounds like a beautiful dog and friend. We had to put our beloved 14 year old beast of the east (Buster the cairn terrier) down this winter. The hardest thing we've ever done. River will be waiting for all of you when you are called home. The only problem with owning a dog is their lives are too short.

    Your Friend,
    Deborah

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  5. It is always sad to hear when someone loses a beloved pet. I am so sorry for your grief but glad for all the joy River brought into your lives.

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  6. I'm so, so sorry that y'all had to say "Goodbye" to River. It's heartbreaking.

    That's always been my vision of heaven. Gold streets and pearly gates are lovely, I'm sure. But being in a green meadow with a bubbling brook and my Gracie by my side as we talk to Jesus - well that's just heavenly!

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  7. Joy, I share this with you from the bottom of my heart and am so sorry for the entire family's loss:

    "...Grieve not nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you...I loved you so...twas Heaven here with you..."

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  8. It sure is hard losing those pets, isn't it. Lovely story.

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  9. Thank you so much for all your kind words, lots of pet lover out there that know the heartache of losing a dear, faithful friend. River was such a good dog, he made many trips to my house and always was well mannered and on his best behaviour. I will remember just how much he loved riding with us on the boat in the summer, he would sit with his family and let the breeze blow his ears! He will forever be in our hearts...

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  10. Oh, I'm sorry for the loss of your dear friend, River.

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  11. I know how sad you all must be without that darling dog, River. I almost lost my Chloe a few months ago but God decided to let us keep her a little longer for which we are grateful. I am sure he is in a happy place... watching over his master from above.

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  12. I'm so sorry for your family's loss. The grief you feel is so real and painful. Take care.

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