I opened my mailbox yesterday to find this surprise book from Joe and Mary Pryor Sherman. There was a sweet note enclosed, and the message made me remember that verse in 2 Corinthians (1:4) about how we are to comfort others in their affliction just as we were comforted in our own tough times. I just don’t think there is anything that happens in our lives – even the passing of a loved pet – that is off God’s radar screen.

And what a thoughtful gesture this book was…and a comfort for sure. The words on the inside cover sum it up perfectly. “If you have ever been lucky enough to have a special dog in your life, then you know there is a place called Dog Heaven.”

I would like to read you the entire book in hopes that you could be as comforted as I was by the whimsical illustrations and the  happy conclusions that author Cynthia Rylant records. Dog Heaven is everything you envision. Endless treats, fields to roam, no off-limit sofas or tables, an angel to pet them all day long, cats and squirrels to chase, poofy pillows for sleeping, and if a dog gets home-sick for his family, an angel will escort him back to earth for invisible visits just to make sure his family is well taken care of in his absence. When he is satisfied that all is well, the dog will return to heaven with the angel…(and this is clincher) “It is where dogs belong, near God who made them.”

I laughed and cried and hugged that book. I couldn’t helping remembering what my friend Pippa Jackson of Animal Rescue Foundation said to me at lunch on Tuesday. “If there are no dogs in heaven, I don’t want to go there either.”