Toby and I wandered all over the place together - through the woods and meadows around my grandparents' house; down to the brook on hot summer days.........I once heard my grandmother say that if they couldn't find me, they just called the dog. He'd come running with me not far behind.
Toby was at least 18 when he died. I remember that my family was surprised at my seeming lack of sadness at the time. Of course I was sad but I couldn't tell them that I knew Toby was going to go; I knew his time here on Earth was up. Toby told me that himself! I was prepared. He didn't want me to wail and gnash my teeth; he wanted me to let him go in dignity and serenity. He wanted me to know that he would always live on in my heart. I was afraid to say that aloud. In fact, this is the first time I've told anyone that Toby spoke to me.
I don't know why I'm on a roll about passed pets this week...............Maybe they're all visiting me or something. I know this, though....once you've loved an animal, it's part of you. Forever.
For those who love dogs, it would be the worst form of a lie to call any place where dogs were banned "Paradise." Certainly no loving God would separate people from their canine friends for eternity.