“Wolves and lambs will eat together; lions will eat straw, as cattle do, and snakes will no longer be dangerous. On Zion, my sacred hill, there will be nothing harmful or evil.”
– Isaiah 65:25 (Today’s English Version)
Recently, I had to put my beloved 14-year-old dachshund, Oliver, to sleep. I’d adopted him from a local rescue organization in 2010. It took us a while to get used to each other, but we eventually established a comfortable, familiar routine.
Oliver made me laugh with his quirks, and his sweetness brought tears to my eyes. In April, he suddenly got quite sick, so I took him to the veterinarian. By the end of the day, he’d deteriorated to the point where the most humane thing to do was put him to sleep. It was a painful decision. I held him in my arms as he passed away.
What is it about pets that brings us such joy? Is it the fact that you can step out of the house for 10 minutes and, upon your return, you are lavished with unconditional love and excitement? Is it that they accept you no matter how bad of a day you’re having? Is it the fact that they are vulnerable creatures that the Lord created and entrusted to us? I think it’s all those things.
Not everyone is a pet person, but I have visited many frail, elderly persons whose only companion was their beloved cat or dog. Young or old, we all need to love and be loved, feel valued and be at peace. Pets fulfill that need for many of us.
Here’s a few stories about how animals are enriching the lives of Good Samaritan Society residents and staff members across the country:
I’d like to believe that I’ll be reunited with my beloved pets, including Oliver, again someday. Do you think Isaiah 65:25 means that there will be animals in heaven?
By Marya Burns, CMSW, MPA
Rehabilitation/Skilled Care Consultant