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Do Dog's Go to Heaven?

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The question, it seems to me, suggests more the arrogance of Man than the worthiness of these virtuous animals. Consider for a moment, these personal observations of the dogs I have known and loved: Without exception, they savored life for all it could offer. They faced every one of their days with a sense of adventure and joy and good-natured spirit, a spirit tempered only by an overriding eagerness to please and love their masters, for nothing gave them more pleasure. Not to the smallest degree were they capable of recrimination, sarcasm, pettiness or treachery. They were, however, eminently capable of qualities to which Man can only aspire. "Unconditional love", for example, is a very modern term Man has coined to describe a paragon of loving...an all-forgiving love, a love without reward, expectation, or promise of reciprocity. Yet dogs, from time immemorial, have exemplified this ideal of love. What other friend, I wonder, would have not a flicker of care whether you were successful or an abject failure, whether you were homely or comely, clean or smelly-dirty, foolish or clever, beggar or king? Who else would judge you--not by your appearance, power, or money--but solely by the kindness of your hand and heart? Yet who else, I ask, would forgive a blow with a kiss to the offending hand? Come what may, he loves--no, adores--you, be you sinner or saint. And he will softly lick the sores and wounds the world gives you, and never ask (or worse, tell you) what you did to deserve them. And if Man is a dog's "God", what man serves God with such a thoroughly cheerful, immediate and unquestioning obedience as a dog serves his master? Show me a man who so delights in all the great bounties God has given him. Show me a man as gleefully grateful for his wondrous blessings as a dog is for a scrap of would-be garbage from his master's hand. Show me a man as trustful, as humbly devoted, as appreciative and joyfully submissive to God, as my brainless, souless dog is to me. Yes, show me this man, this saint, who so embodies all these abiding virtues. Then I will show you, my friend, a man with a soul as deserving of Heaven as the most meager of dogs.


-Roy Alan Wilson, Millburn, New Jersey, February 29, 1996

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