Monday, November 11, 2019

General is in "Dog Heaven"

General and Frankie

There is the sweetest book called "Dog Heaven" by Cynthia Rylant . It is a book about what Heaven is like for "angel dogs". It begins with how angel dogs don't have angel wings because "God knows they like to run best." It talks about all the things they do in Dog Heaven: God makes funny shaped dog biscuits. He makes squirrel biscuits, kitty cat biscuits, and ham sandwich biscuits. When it is time to sleep, they turn the clouds upside down and walk around and around until they find the perfect place to curl up to sleep. All dogs are good dogs in Dog Heaven and sit when angels say 'sit'. All dogs have a home in Dog Heaven, even if they didn't have a home on Earth.

The book ends with how every once in a while, an angel will take them for a walk invisibly around their own home and back yard. Checking everything out to make sure all is well, even checking on the cat next door. It finishes by saying how they will be waiting for their old friends to get to Heaven.

A dear friend bought us this precious book when our dog Ruby Leigh passed away in 2016. It was a great way to help our son, James, process the loss since he was only two.

Unfortunately, about a month ago we had to bring out our "Dog Heaven" book because our sweet old General died of cancer. Watching him deteriorate as he lost the battle with cancer, was one of the hardest things I have ever witnessed. Every day he lost more weight and slowed down a little more. He had the strongest will to live that I could have imagined.

By the end of his life he looked like a skeleton. I'm sure he was suffering but he was so brave. I don't know if he was holding out for me because I wasn't ready. Or if he was worried about Frankie, our Vizsla puppy we got a few months ago, who is still learning the ropes. . But he was such a fighter. He got so skinny, I actually put his pumpkin costume on him because it broke my heart seeing him like that...

James had such a sweet reaction as we read the book after General passed away.  He said, “This is a magical book because now General is in it.”  Then he wanted to “find General” as one of the dogs pictured in the book.  We did find a dog that looked like General and it gave us both some comfort. I love seeing things from his point of view.

It gives us all a little bit of comfort knowing he is no longer in pain. He is now in Dog Heaven swimming in the lakes and barking at the fish and birds. He was the best dog and will always be missed and remembered. We love you General!!

Please say "hi" to my mom too. I miss her every day...