ORANGE — As I write these words for today’s column, I am in the throes of mourning the loss of our pet dog. He was a West Highland terrier a.k.a. “Westie” named Icy. We purchased him at the time of the great ice storm here in Orange in the winter of ’97. He would be 16 years old come Thanksgiving Day. We are deeply saddened and grieved although we knew this day was coming very soon. It came too soon.
I know there are those who have just read the first paragraph and are thinking, “that’s the silliest thing I can think of…crying over a dead animal…after all, it was just a dog.”
Yes, I know it was just a dog but anyone who loves a pet of any kind and as deeply as it is possible to love them understands that their loss is almost the same as losing a child or other loved one. Unbelievable, but true.
I can’t say with any degree of certainty that people who lived in OT or NT times grieved over the passing of their pets. I find nothing in Scripture that leads me to believe we will have pets in Heaven. That belief may provide some degree of comfort if it was provable. This I do know: The Bible is clear that God is a source of great comfort. In fact, the Apostle Paul calls Him, “the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation [trials], that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble [including the loss of a pet—that’s me talking] by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
God’s understanding and compassion about our heartbreaks and heartaches touches every area of our lives.
If anyone can understand that tears can copiously flow at a time of grief and sadness it would be David. Listen to his lament: “I am worn out with grief, every night my bed is damp from my weeping; my pillow is soaked with tears. I can hardly see; my eyes are so swollen from weeping caused by my enemies” (Psalm 6:6,7 GNT).
However, here’s the best of all, Revelation 7:17 says, “For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”