Echoing Love in Eternity

This morning I dreamed my dog was being sick in my bedroom–she sleeps by my bed–turns out, my husband had said, “she’s throwing up, again” it and the words invaded my dreams before they entered my consciousness. I awoke to find him taking the first turn at what became a bad morning/afternoon of cleaning up after Alle, who seems to be a little more settled now, and is able to take some hydration.

The vet says tomorrow, we’ll know more. Meanwhile, I think my husband is bringing home a wet/dry vac, or something.

The worst thing about being a parent is watching your kid deal with the pains and pitfalls of life and not being able to do anything for them.

And the worst thing about loving a pet is actually pretty much the same, except the pet can’t even grouse to you. And with dogs, even while they’re sick, they’re trying to please.

Yes, it’s upsetting. I’ve had people ask me if dogs go to heaven, if animals are reunited with us in eternity. I don’t know. I’m sure strict theologians say no, that animals have no souls, so they don’t have an afterlife.

But theologians are only humans. There’s always more we don’t know. God does, we know, draw all creation to Himself.

Last night, my husband decided to do a thorough cleaning of the fish tank, including the boiling of rocks, houses, etc. He accidentally cooked a fish he’d had for nearly ten years. That sounds humorous, but he was really upset. It was a pretty, speckled fish, and he felt terrible for ending its perfectly livable life simply because he’d been careless. My Elder Son, who happened by, was equally sorry, and even Buster–who’d just texted about something–expressed sadness. We’d had the fish almost half his life.

Everyone regretted losing the fish; I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like over here if Alle can’t pull through this episode. She is the best dog, ever.

I know, every dog owner thinks their pooch is “the best” but Alle has always been so joyful and sweet and stupidly, passionately loyal and almost terrifyingly smart. And sensitive – if anyone in the house is sick, Alle is right beside them. She’s the nurse/escort. If you’re ill and stumbling into the kitchen for water, she’s with you. If you run into the bathroom to be sick, she’s at the door, anxiously wondering if you’re alright.

If you’re swimming in the pool and you’re splashing a little too excitedly, she’s at the edge, making sure you’re not drowning.

If you’re sad, she’ll snuggle all 75 pounds of herself up beside you, and kiss you happy.

Dogs are such perfect beings of unconditional love it’s hard to believe that heaven is not full of them. With no poop-scooping, because it’s heaven.

I am not at all anxious to find out about heaven or eternity or infinity; our lives are blink-brief in the scope of it all. But is it so bad to think about burping fish and romping dogs and cats on the periphery of all that infinite “gathering in” that Christ is about?

Speaking of things Eternal and Infinite, the Future of Catholicism Week is still going on, and we have a late entry from Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, who has contributed some timely observations about where the shepherds will find their sheep.

And, co-incidentally fitting right in with my theme, today’s Summa This Summa That Symposium showcases two of my favorite females touching on all that is beyond our limits. Kathryn Jean Lopez and Julie Davis do the honors. You’ll want to go read what they have to say!

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