High up in the courts of heaven today
a little dog angel waits.
with the other angels he will not play,
but he sits alone at the gates.
«For I know my master will come» says he,
«and when he comes he will call for me.»
And when at last his master waits
outside in the dark and cold,
for the hand of death to open the door,
that leads to those courts of gold,
he will hear a sound through the gathering dark,
a little dog angel’s bark.
A Little Dog Angel (Excerpt)
Noah M. Holland
Our mother had a book that documented my sister and my progress from birth.
I remember that she noted that I had answered to the question of who my best friend was as “Blackie”.
Blackie was a Boston terrier and a killer. This breed is generally hyperactive, but friendly. Not Blackie.
He used to cross the road separating our beach house from a farm and killed the goats there. He also ferociously bit my cousin that lived next door and the mailman among others.
The interesting fact was that he also slept in my bed, managed to cover himself with the sheets and placed his head with mine in the pillow.
I also remember that once he got a hold of a piece of candy that stuck to his palate and with our parents looking on in fear I, six years old at the time, stuck my hand in his mouth and took the candy out without any biting or displeasure from this little assassin.
We had two Boston Terriers, a male Blackie and a female Betty. They bred and we always kept two, a puppy Blackie and a Betty to continue the generations. When we moved to the city, the dogs were given to my aunt who kept all of them until we left Cuba.
After the Terriers I had a beautiful German shepherd and later a Bull dog that was stolen with our house and personal property by Castro and his henchmen soon after we left Cuba in search of liberty.
My wife was afraid of dogs because of the fear she had of a neighbor’s big one, when she was a young child.
After many years married and three children, I finally convinced her of buying a Siberian husky puppy. We have had a dog since that time. Three Husky’s and a mixed Lab later, we now share our home with a Shih Tzu that was rescued and so hurt that needed over two months at the Vet clinic. Our small pet named Max is so attached, literally, to us that we could call him scotch tape. At any given time, he runs to the door and starts barking.
To our command to stop because there in no one there, he just looks at us like “of course, I scared them away”. This little one has a strong belief that he owns the house, and our role is to just cater to his whims and/or wishes.
I have learned through my life with dogs that they all have different personalities, assets and liabilities, but they all share those feelings that humans aspire to, but frequently lack. Eternal love, loyalty, compassion, understanding and inability to discriminate are some of these.
They ignore race, sex, wealth, and comforts. They accept the punishment we might give them without rancor, and express happiness and gratitude to whatever we give them.
Unfortunately, they have time limited lives, and we must share ours with many of them. In these days of Thanksgiving and religious Holidays, a question arises, is there a Heaven for them? Some believe not, but as far as I am concerned there is no after life without the union of our souls with all these pets that gave us so much wisdom and that we loved so much.