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.


Anonymous said...

You make me missing my dog Tom, I live in such an urban area that I cannot take him with me where I live right now.

ps- I love your post as always (and I didnt try to 'stroke your ego' as you term it earlier :) ...I really mean what I said ) Have a good day!

Mizohican said...

Rover - The most COMMON Mizo dog's name back then :)

Lucy In The Sky said...

Ui hi ka la neih ngai loh vang nge, ka hlau deuh tlat thin. An han bauh phei chuan ka kaihza tha a za mer mer zel haha. Kan thenawmte hian ui lian deuh an nei a, Min hmuh hi chuan min chhaih a, min bawhthlu thuai zel a. Ka hlauh rilruk tehreng nen, min han chhaih vel hian ka lawm rilru ang lawi sia. Amah zawk nge lawm zawk phei chu ka hre law :)

AlmostUnreal said...

still remember our dog Jenny?still remember when she came home all the way from Chawnpui at night

manoj said...

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Yogi said...

Hey! Dogs must have a soul! Because "Heaven" would not be heaven when my dogs are not there! I know katholic christians which do believe all animals have souls! Actually I believe it so much that I just can´t eat any meat.

Jerusha Mary said...

Love dis post!! Oly bcos I want to see my dog back.. I loved him so much.. And was happy dat we both ve same names and same love towards dogs!! Kuddos!!

Celestial Urbanus said...

I love dogs as well! They are so pure and transparent. Even when they try to hide something they can't help feeling guilty, and they cower their heads and do that snarling smile. Of course they have souls! If we do then they do as well. Anything with life has a soul. After all, the soul is the essence of life. Their souls are in the animal realm, and I like to believe that every soul moves up to the next realm when it is ready. So maybe you and I were once dogs, and now we're in the human realm. Until we conquer our fears and attain the lessons and experiences necessary we will remain in this realm, above us is the real mystery.

madhvik said...

Aww such a lovely post. I agree, how can we exclusively claim heaven when such wonderful souls exist on this planet.

claytonia vices said...

Dogs not having souls is the most unfair thing I have heard. Unconditional love is what I think dogs know better than humans do.

If heaven existed I believe there would be more dogs than humans there. LOL

Jerusha said...

Late reply but here goes anyway :)

Z - sucks not being able to take our dogs with us wherever we go. Where do you live, if it's okay to ask? And as always, thank you for your kind words :)

Mizopa - haha I know. There were several Rovers in our neighborhood alone at that time

Lucy - I inhmeh lo e, ui duh deuh hmel I pu asin hehe I la neih ngai loh vang mai mai nih chu, nei la I hlauhna chu a go away veks mai ang

Jerusha said...

Almost - Jenny khami trum kha chu ka rilru la khawih ngawih ngawih.

Manoj - yeah dogs kick ass!

Yogi - totally agree with you. They would make heaven feel more heaven-like :). I'm protestant but that's still the general belief where I am from so it's pretty sad.

Jerusha said...

Hi Jerusha! Always good to meet someone with the same name, esp if it's one as uncommon as ours :)

Celestial Urbanas - it's so good to see so many dog-lovers. I don't know about my previous life/lives but I wouldn't mind being a dog in my next life for sure.

madhvik - and who are we to claim it just for ourselves when these amazing creatures to whom heaven is apparently denied are actually the ones teaching us how to be better?
And thanks for dropping in :)

Clay - long time! :) And I agree with you, I think every single dog will get into heaven. At least I hope they do.

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