Tag Archives: pets

Do All Dogs Go To Heaven? El Día de San Francisco de Asís.

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¡Benditos sean los animales en la día de nuestro San Francisco!

Happy Feast Day to Saint Francis!

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For the record, I vote yes!  All dogs go to heaven.  Or, at least they can.  I haven’t come down on any one side with regard to the finer points of animals entering heaven, but I’m pretty sure Saint Francis would agree with me. Certainly, any animal is as able as the next being to make it into heaven.

I know Saint Francis, Patron of Animals is one of the best-loved saints for a lot of people as children, and I really appreciate his role.  In a way, Saint Francis seems to bridge the gap between the differing realities of childhood and adulthood.  From childhood to adulthood, we transition from a world where animals, nature, and the world in general, is far more sentient, to a world where it may cease to be so.  

When did a beloved pet, or a stuffed animal, or a special spot on the playground become just an animal, a toy, or a patch of scraggly trees?  Was it when the humans around us became more fully “alive” to us?  When we started paying more attention to the feelings and behaviors of others?  When the words and actions of others began impacting us much more intensely?  Did people just begin to take up all the imagination-space on some ant-like march toward reproduction?  Was there ever a time when the non-human world around us was as fully alive as it was in childhood, while the human world around us was as fully alive as it is in adulthood?  

I realize that Saint Francis probably didn’t ponder over these bittersweet questions, but in some ways, his life seems to have given us a hint.  He calmed a wolf and integrated it into a village (though I expect the villagers and the wolf probably always had a bit of tension in their relationship!).  He preached openly to birds.  He kept his connections with the human and the non-human worlds alive.  He accepted that the worlds existed as one, and he encouraged the humans (and probably the animals, too!) to allow the worlds of human and non-human to intermingle and to find peace.  

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St. Francis With Animals

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Legend of St. Francis of Assisi and the Wolf

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St. Francis of Assisi preaching to the birds

 

We are more the inheritors of Saint Francis’ kind spirit than we perhaps realize.  For most of us, to varying degrees, the live and tangible connections we feel with the non-human world, especially animals, aren’t acceptable in public, or even among acquaintances.  But, I think many of us never lose those connections.  We still coo to our dogs, check in with our betta fish, plead with our computers, and make the passing comment to our plants.  Many of us (I believe, or rather, I hope) say a prayer for the departed souls of roadkill, catch spiders to put them outside, and just generally hope that creepy-crawlies would stay out of sight, so we wouldn’t feel the need to crush them.  The connections are there, even if with varying degrees of social acceptability.  

In many spiritual traditions, the connection between humans and animals has a champion.  Hinduism, for instance, has Ayyappa, an incarnation of Shiva and god of forests and wild animals.  The Olympian pantheon held Artemis as the protectress of wild animals.  In the Catholic tradition, we are blessed to have Saint Francis of Assisi.  He reminds us that there is space, in our hearts, our imaginations, and our actions, for the worlds of humans and animals to both be endowed with sentience and spirit.  

So… ¡Gracias tan mucho, tan mucho, a nuestro san Francisco de Asís!  I can tell my godchildren with confidence, if Saint Francis has any say in it, all dogs can go to heaven!  But, I must also tell my godchildren that we’re not there, yet!  Right now, we’re all alive–human and non-human–together, on this earth.  So let’s love each other, maintain our connections to each other, and strive for peace on our path to heaven together.

And, blessings to my three lovely pets on today, the Feast Day of Saint Francis:

Outsourced (betta fish), Boniez (betta fish) – R.I.P., and Bhombolina (greyhound).

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Things My Greyhound Has Taught Me So Far

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a) Dogs seem to like to chew on cords, in general.
b) Our greyt doesn’t go for synthetic chew toys, EVEN when flavored.
c) She’ll chew for a LONG time on real bones and meat products.
d) We read that we should budget for the month. But our darling greyhound has taught that that, nope, we should budget for the hour! (so far, she costs ~$1/hr)

And, at this very moment, whilst eating a frozen beef bone, my grey baby is teaching me that, to suck the very marrow out of life, you really do have to drag it around and keep chewing.

Late Post…But New Greyhound Fur-baby!

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Darn, two weeks almost without a post?  There goes my Post a WEEK thing, right?! Booo….  My fantastic excuse, of course, is that classes have started and we moved and best of all…
…we adopted a retired racing greyhound!
(remember the post about obsessing over the pictures? Yep, we got one of our own to obsess over now!)
Our “Gotcha!” day wasSeptember 22, 2011.  After meeting our new fur-baby the Saturday before that at a GreyhoundsOnly Meet&Greet at PAWS animal shelter in Chicago, we knew she was the one!  Our awesome adoption rep helped us through the hours-long process (lots of info and encouragement!).  Then, we had a good dinner, a late night walk, and lots of treats!  Then…we slept really well!!!  The next morning, I finally got around to taking some pictures…
New Greyhound, Same Old Fiance

Now I've got two late sleepers in my life...a new greyhound and the same old fiance!

I guess our adoption rep was right on…our greyt knew *exactly* what she was doing with her racing career!  She ran four races…and trailed in all of them!  At just over two years old with an average, healthy lifespan of 12-14 years!), she is a “retired” greyhound!
Now all this pup has to master are two flights of stairs and the urge to eat mama’s tuna-salad!  Oh wait…she also spends 16-18 hours a day (NO exaggeration – greyhounds are a wonderfully lazy breed of dog) perfecting her “roach” position, where she sleeps with her feet up in the air.
Yep, *this* sure is the life (for all of us)!

Tuesday Evening Greyhound Fantasies

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Aw, I almost made the #PostaWeek2011 promise this week, but…I’m two days late. 🙂  I want to describe my newly amazing wedding cake-making skills, thanks to my little sister’s recent nuptials, but that’ll have to save itself for a little later.

An adoptable greyhound named "Easy"
It would be so “easy” to fall in love with this guy! Click for his profile on GreyhoundsOnly!

For now, I’m fresh (yeah, right!) off the plane, already missing mi familia, and here’s what I’m thinking about:  greyhounds!

I’m SO excited to move into new digs and adopt a retired racing greyhound through GreyhoundsOnly, a local Midwest organization.

I had my phone interview with Joy, a kennel manager, tonight on the phone.  She was really informative, and seemed really excited about having my fiance and I as soon-to-be greyhound owners.  I admit, I did try pretty hard to seem on top of my stuff (especially since I have tried pretty hard to BE on top of my stuff, re: greyhound adoption!).  I think she liked that, though B totally noticed the change in countenance.  Still, he said he’d have acted the same way – he reaaaally wants a greyhound, too.

So of course, I’m perusing the adoptable greyhound lists again (ahem, for the billionth time) instead of writing my research as I know I should be.  It’s making me a lot happier, though! 🙂

Here’s my current dream-dog, named–what else?!–Easy!  Life might not always (ever?) be such, but here’s a boy that could make life a lot more fun!  Plus, one of his parents is named Flying Hydrogen (how cool is that for a physicist?!), and the other is named Ale Aivas Memory.

Sigh.  My heart melts.  Well, part of it.  The other part of me is sitting her like Elvira (?), the old cartoon character that would chase around little helpless animals, screaming like some quasi-toddler-imp, “Oh he’s soooo cute! I just wanna hug him, and love him, and squeeze him…!”  Beware, my someday-dog, beware.  I will cuddle you till you’re so tired of it, you’ll consider switching diets from Purina Proplan…to una Latina con Leche. ^_^  <insert oh-so innocent laugh>