I was going through old documents and boxes tonight and found this from the 5th grade, 30 years ago. I was writing about my dog Oliver, who my father brought home when I was 5. He was a poodle, but he had some other breed in him, too. I need to share that because I want to be clear that he didn't look like those weirdly groomed poodles. I tend to get oddly defensive about his appearance for some reason like I don't want anyone to think he was a sissy.
I loved Oliver so much. He had curly black hair and was sweet and playful. He slept with me often. Once my dad caught me letting Oliver brush my teeth with his tongue. He said I was French kissing the dog. I was an odd child.
Sometimes as an adult, I see Oliver in my dreams. Once I woke up crying hysterically. Usually I just feel lucky when he visits me.
Today, now in my early forties, I have Daisy and Max who have lived with Dawn and me for 8 and 7 years respectively. Daisy was three months old when we got her and since I work from home, I've been in her presence for about 95% of her life. In fact, she's leaning up against me as I write this. Daisy is too smart for her own good, and for ours. She's my version of Daddy's girl. Sometimes I hold her tight and remind myself she will only be part of a time of my life and that I need to enjoy her and love her every moment I can. I always get emotional when I consider a time without her.
We brought Max home when he was about one year old. That was six years ago. The first thing he did was hump my arm. The second thing he did was bite me when I caught him digging under the backyard fence and tried to push his head back under the fence with my hand. Stupid on my part.
Max is sweet as can be. He's simpler than Daisy. He loves belly rubs and prefers to sleep in late. He sleeps under a blanket and when he wakes up he's always warm and cozy. We say he's like a cookie fresh out of the oven.
Max had been found on the street before we rescued him. We aren't sure what life was like for him over the course of the year before we brought him home. But he tends to scare easily at noises, and sometimes has issues with eating that make us think he might have been mistreated in his past. That thought hurts my heart.
Since Dawn and I don't have kids, we spoil our dogs. We love them desperately. We never want them to be in pain, or hungry, or alone. When we do leave the house, or travel, we always feel good knowing they have each other.
I have always felt that dogs are special. And I feel closer to God around them. My dogs have been my friends and companions. My confidantes. They teach me about life and about myself.
I really have no idea what heaven is like. I don't want it to be perfect and easy; that always seemed boring to me. But there are relationships I hope to find again. My grandparents. My Aunt Dolly who used to cut my hair and taught me how to hug. My Oliver. And one day Daisy and Max. Yes. I hope I see my dogs in whatever comes after this life. That would be heaven indeed.