I Really Hope All Dogs Go to Heaven

I lost my best friend, my black lab Varjo, a year ago today. I miss him every day, still. There will be times that I forget he’s gone and I go to put food in his bowl. Then I see the empty spot where I kept his food, and the empty place where his bowl was, and I remember all over again. He was a great friend, and I really hope that I get to be reunited with him again one day.

I adopted Varjo when he was about a year old. He wasn’t a puppy anymore and the family who had gotten him from a breeder decided he wasn’t cute anymore now that he was so “big.” I don’t know what they were thinking, labs aren’t known for being small dogs. But their stupidity was my gain, because Varjo (which means Shadow in Finnish, which seemed to fit him because he went everywhere with me) and I bonded immediately. I mean, dogs are so great. They just love you no matter what. You can be funny looking or tell bad jokes or smell, all things that might put off other humans, but your dog loves you and misses you with their whole heart even if you’re gone only for a few seconds. Sometimes the best part of my day was seeing Varjo’s face at the window and his tail wagging while he waited for me to get out of my car and come into the house. He and I went through a lot together over the twelve years we had each other.

I’ve bene thinking lately about maybe adopting another dog. I think about all the dogs in shelters looking for good homes and how I was a pretty good owner for Varjo, and it just makes sense. It is a little hard, knowing that I will probably wind up in the vet’s office (hopefully many) years from now, in the same position I was in with Varjo, but then I think about all the good times we had before that. And it just makes me feel like it is something I should do. And if there’s another furry friend waiting for me in heaven, that wouldn’t be so bad either.

How could you not love something that thinks you’re probably the best thing ever next to food? Anything with a heart that pure, that so able to love without condition, deserves to have something great happen in their next life. Or the afterlife, or whatever you believe. Personally, I believe in a heaven, the kind with the harps and the heavenly choir and the family reunions and the serene peace. And I really do hope that we’re reunited with not just our loved ones who have gone before us, but our pets too. Personally, I don’t think it will be heaven without him. I know a lot of people would agree with me on that, too. Do you?

If anybody is worthy of eternal love and happiness, it is a dog.