Tag Archives: Dogs

Letter to God

September 9, 2021

Dear God,

My belief in you is muddled as I don’t know if you exist as most religions believe, or, what people think of as you is something else. But days like today, I want to believe in you so I can be angry with you.

Why God, did our beloved Mabel—one of Your cherished creatures who show us humans what true love is—have to get sick and be put down? What good did it do for her to die after only three years with us when she loved life and us so much?

Sure, she had her issues; barking at people and especially other dogs walking by and couldn’t be quieted unless forced to the back of the house. Her dislike of her kind except for her house sister, Piper. And her resistance to being picked up. Those things weren’t Mabel’s fault. Whoever had her before we were gifted with her company made her that way.

But being the biggest cuddler made up for those drawbacks. All of Your dogs that have lived with us liked to cuddle, but Mabel took it to extremes. If we sat on the couch or in the recliner, she demanded to be lying beside us. She would dance in front of us tapping her feet while backing up several steps before making the leap into our lap. If You were going to put her in our lives for such a short time, why make her so loveable, wanting to be wherever we were? On walks she pulled her leash taunt eager to explore where we were going. And just a few months of being with us she began licking us while being petted, or nudging our hand when we stopped petting, showing us she appreciated being our dog. She also learned that one quick bark signaled she needed to be let out or it was time to eat.

Some believe You are like a puppeteer, manipulating what happens to us. Others, myself included, usually, believe you sit back and don’t interfere, letting our freewill take us where we may, controlling what we experience. If I truly believe that, I can’t be blaming you for creating the cancer that caused Mabel’s death. It’s been documented that spaying dogs late in their life can cause it. Who I should be blaming is us humans for creating that awful disease. It’s one thing to create something that kills off so many of our own. It’s downright awful that it also causes the death of our faithful companions who had nothing to do with its creation. Maybe her previous masters smoked and she breathed their second hand smoke. Or that smoke gave her emphysema as a diagnosis of cancer couldn’t be confirmed. But she labored to breathe and ending her misery was the humane thing to do.

We humans have the fallback position of needing someone to blame when things don’t go as we want. Since I don’t have someone I can say caused Mabel’s early death, I lower myself into the group that points the finger at you for everything bad that happens. I doubt this was your fault, but my misery needs to criticize someone for taking Mabel so soon.

Why, God, put dogs in our lives who constantly shows us how to love without conditions, yet you give them a short life span? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Since they are so faithful, loyal, and teach us humans so much, why do you rob us of them so soon? If we had more time with them might we become better at not worrying about what we have no control over? Or not be prejudiced? Or work so hard to collect things which we eventually discard? Or blame others for our own shortcomings?

I know many would roll their eyes at my pain as Mabel was, “only a dog.” Those who think that way have never been loved by one. There are also thousands dying everyday from this awful pandemic. They would judge their angony more severe than mine. Yet their families too probably question why their loved one was taken from them the way I’m questioning Mabel’s death. They too must blame you, feeling you had the power to prevent their death.

Which reminds me of the question I’ve had throughout my life. Why do the good ones have to die early? The world is full of people it seems we would be better off without. A lot of them are in positions of portraying themselves as working for the people but are only working to gain or remain in power. There are also those so selfish they don’t give a damn about preventing this pandemic and could care less that their actions are causing the sickness and death of others. Why couldn’t a few of them pass away today and spare Mabel and the others of her kind who are with you now?

Some say we should never question your actions. But I’m asking again, why Mabel? Why couldn’t she have had a few more years with us?

I realize there are lessons to be learned from Mabel’s death. Love like there is no tomorrow. Appreciate every moment. Cherish the love someone freely gives without any conditions. Be grateful we gave Mabel three great years after what we suspect were rough ones before us.

I know these things subliminally. Since I’ve experienced this misery five times already I know eventually it’ll pass. Soon I’ll remember Mabel for the joy she gave us. But today, needing someone to blame I question why you can be so unfair.



P.S. If Mabel is standing before you, tapping her feet eager to jump into your lap, please accept her and hug her for us. Trust me, Lord, you won’t regret it.

Hunter’s Journey

IMG_0386[3697]In a blink, my pain is gone. I have the energy of a pup again.

I hop to my feet like I would have years ago to look for a toy.

A light, as bright as the ball in the sky, catches my attention. I can’t look away from it.

A figure begins to take shape. As the being becomes more defined, it’s apparent it’s another dog. There’s something familiar about this canine. Is that… “Casey?”

The dog fully materializes. “It is you. I haven’t seen you since Becky and Dana took you in the car without me. You never came home after that. Where you’ve been?”

Casey looks the same as the last time I saw her years ago. Her face, which had been predominately white, hasn’t aged a bit.

She stares at Becky and Dana’s bed where Becky lays alone. “Thanks for looking out for them after I left.” She wears the smile I feel I portray when Becky and Dana come home. Then she looks to where I’m standing.

A motionless Golden Retriever lays on the floor near my bed.

Is that… me?

It can’t be. How could I be looking at myself? Then awareness comes to me. “Have I gone where you went?” I ask.


Somehow, I knew that. “I’m going away too?”

Casey doesn’t answer. She doesn’t have to.

“I can’t go. I haven’t felt good for a while and I don’t have the energy I had, but they still need me. Charlie loves them, but he doesn’t follow them around the house like I do. How will they know they are loved? He’s sick and may not be with them much longer. Who will look out for them? Greet them when they come home? Show them they were missed? Who will keep them company when the other is away?”

“Those are all questions I asked myself too,” Casey says. “Yet, it worked out.”

The longing need to jump on the bed and get petted is dwindling. I’m coming to realize, I can no longer show them they are loved.

“Will I see them again?”

“Yes,” Casey says. “Time is meaningless where I’m guiding you to. Before you’ve realized they’re not with you, you’ll see them again.”

“How can that be? I already miss them.”

So many regrets flash through my head. “I wish I could thank them for rescuing me. For all the walks we took in the woods with all the interesting smells. That I didn’t mean to make them upset when I rolled in deer or goose poop, but couldn’t help it. For taking me with them in the camper instead of leaving me with strangers. For letting me sleep with them. And most importantly; for showing me my love for them was reflected back unconditionally.”

“They know,” Casey takes one more look, than walks into the light.

I take a last look at Becky. “Wait, Dana’s away. I need to see him before I go.”

“Follow me.”

The room changes to a bedroom I’ve never seen. Dana sleeps in one of the two beds. Is this where he goes when he leaves for several days?

While we stare at him, he opens his eyes, then closes them.

Casey sighs, then walks into the light.

“I turn to follow her, then stop, taking a last look over my shoulder seeing both of the beds they sleep in. “I don’t want to leave them?”

“It’s okay. They’ll be sad for a while. They’ll miss you. In time, they’ll find peace in knowing you aren’t suffering. They’ll never forget you. You’ll always hold a place in their heart.”

Casey wouldn’t lie to me.

“Come on” she says. “Ella’s got a ball I know you’ll love.”

“Ella? She’s here too?”

Charlie’s Story Improvement

ImageCharlie here, I’m Dana’s other dog. Recently while he was away on a trip I pawed through one of his novels and had to shake my head. Not the ear flapping shake I give it when I wake from a nap, but a slower one. There isn’t a single mention of a dog in the story. After living for years with Hunter and me you’d think he’d know how much better a dog can make a story.

Here’s a short passage from one of his stories. Afterward I’ll show how much better it could be if he’d put a faithful four-legged companion in the story.

A movement outside the glass doors leading out to the pool caught Kyle’s eye. He stared, but didn’t see anything. Was he seeing things because he’d had a long day?

When he flipped the switch for the lights out back, blackness greeted him. Had the circuit breaker popped? A kid in the neighborhood might’ve sneaked over to use the pool and unscrewed the bulbs. That had happened once before.

He swung the door open and stepped out. Before he was fully through the door, he sensed more than saw movement coming at his head from the side. His Kung Fu trained reflexes took over. He leaned back, letting the punch fly past him, and latched onto the attacker’s arm.

He lurched forward, twisted, used the arm as a lever, and propelled the guy to his knees.

He kicked the extended arm hard enough to cause pain but not break it. If it was the neighbor kid, he only wanted to teach him a lesson, not cripple him.

The arm belonged to a black-clad man who wore a ski mask. The guy cried out.

Clothing rustled behind Kyle. He spun and landed a heel kick into another masked guy’s stomach.

Attacker Two let out an “Oomph” but grabbed Kyle’s leg.

Kyle launched a palm strike at the man’s throat. Before he connected, Attacker Two touched his leg with a device.

There was a flash of blue light and pain raced through his body. Kyle yelled and crashed to the patio, twitching with seizure-like spasms. His limbs seemed to have a mind of their own.

As if from a distant place, he heard Attacker Two asking One if he was okay.

“Fucker might’ve broken my arm.” Attacker Two grabbed Kyle’s ankles and dragged him towards the pool.

Kyle’s shirt rolled up. The concrete tore into his skin. He squeezed his eyes shut against the pain. The majority of his twitching had subsided, but he was powerless to squirm away. He lay quivering at the pools edge.

Assailant Two leaned down. “Stay away from Stacy Herren. If we find out you’ve talked or met with her, your next warning won’t be as gentle.” His gravelly voice suggested he was a heavy smoker.

He rolled Kyle into the pool.

Now see how much better this scene would be if he’d included a one-hundred-plus-pounder like me.

Charlie began to growl before movement outside the glass doors leading out to the pool caught Kyle’s eye. He stared, but didn’t see anything. Was he seeing things because he’d had a long day? No. Charlie didn’t get riled easily.

When he flipped the switch for the lights out back, blackness greeted him. Had the circuit breaker popped? A kid in the neighborhood might’ve sneaked over to use the pool and unscrewed the bulbs. That had happened once before and Charlie had chased him off.

He swung the door open and before he could step out, Charlie bolted barking with that deep bark that would scare off the jackals from hell.

“Ahh,” a man yelled out.

Charlie had clamped in his teeth the hand of a figure clad in black. Faithful loyal Charlie gave the hand a vigorous shake.

“Get him off me! Get him off me!”

Charlie must’ve smelled someone else as he let go and turned to sink his teeth into the wrist of another man. An object fell from his hand and clattered on the patio.

Kyle picked it up and touched it to neck of the first guy Charlie had taken out.

A flash of blue light lit up the night accompanied by a buzzing noise before the guy fell to the ground and lay quivering.

Kyle twisted and touched the second man with the device. He also collapsed.

“That’s enough, boy,” Kyle said giving Charlie a pat.

Charlie let go and looked up into his master’s eyes.

“What would I have done without you, big boy?”

If you think the second scene is better than the first, let Dana know. Maybe he’ll start putting one of my brethren in his stories.