07 May 2012

To all the dogs I've loved before

One thing I really really really want is for dogs to have souls. You know back when I was a kid and I would ask Sunday school teachers and general adults who were always assumed to be wiser, if animals, particularly dogs, have souls, the answer would always be 'Nay, human beings are the only creatures to be blessed thus with souls. Aye, t'is so.'

But this has never stopped me from wishing that dogs would have souls. For as long as I can remember. And who knows? Who can really tell right? Heaven might very well be teeming with beautiful dog souls. Damn, I even loved Lord Byron more just because he wrote that dog poem.

If I were to die and go to heaven, there's no one I'd look forward to meeting more than all the dogs I've had and loved in my life. Rover, Gus, Bozo... my eternally beloved friends. I feel guilty saying this when I think of the many also beloved relatives that have died. And I would love to meet them all. But oh, to scratch Gus' ears and smell him in all his divine doggy smell, to see his white and brown body running up to meet me...to romp around in the fields with Rover, and to fall asleep with Bozo's wet muzzle on my shoulders...

I saw this cartoon once somewhere, and it brought tears to my eyes. I found it easily enough ("dog in heaven cartoon" search term on Google). Now this one would be me and Rover, the dog I named after a dog in my lesson book when I was in Kindergarten. The dog that always followed me and my friends around whenever we went exploring the hills and streams nearby. My memories of him are so hazy now but I remember him rustling around in the bushes always :)

Gus who was the little runt of the litter that nobody thought would make it but who instead turned into a big, beautiful, healthy dog, always kind and gentle. They gave him to me for free because they thought he was too weak. All his siblings made the owner a lot of money I'm sure because they were German shorthaired pointers, a rarity in Mizoram at the time. My only pedigreed dog. Gus because of whom my green school uniform always looked a bit like they were interwoven with tiny white threads. Gus who was always scared of firecrackers.

And then the crazy, neurotic, yet the most loving and loyal dog I've ever known, Bozo. Bozo who couldn't care less about firecrackers.

I have no doubt that if allowed in, all of them would do heaven proud. All dogs would do heaven proud, most humans would not, I'm sure. And yet we dare to keep heaven only for ourselves! Just like Byron wrote

...The poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his master's own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonour'd falls, unnoticed all his worth--
Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth:
While Man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,
And claims himself a sole exclusive Heaven.
(This one stolen from 9gag)

I really miss my dogs tonight.