All Dogs Go to Heaven

A few months ago, a friend told me dogs don’t have souls and, therefore, don’t go to heaven. While there is probably a ton of theology that proves me wrong, I absolutely refuse to believe she is right.

You see, my family has owned dogs consistently since I was 7 years old–The year Poppa Higg placed two Golden Retriever sisters (Honey Lynne and Sassy Sue) in my bed to wake me up the morning of my birthday. Those Goldens were the absolute best. Even though they clogged our vacuum regularly.

A few years later, Momma Higg introduced us to Lucy Jane, a Bichon Frise. Poppa Higg quickly declared, “That dog will NEVER sleep in my bed,” but about a month later Lucy was his best napping pal.

In college, I wanted a dog badly and my family gifted me with the Bichon Frise, Sneaker. Unfortunately, roommates who “promised to help take her out,” did not keep their word and my schedule proved that I couldn’t handle a dog after all. So my wonderful family took in Sneaker.

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Right after graduation, Kingsford, a Miniature Schnauzer walked in my life when I was riding horses one evening. This poor, neglected, and beaten dog looked in my eyes and begged me to take her home. So I did.

 

And just this March on my daily walk, a full-bred Jack Russell Terrier, Frio (aka Nunca Frio—because she is “never chill”) followed me home. I couldn’t find her owners so I adopted her.

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I never had sisters, but I have dogs. I’ve had six incredible dogs in my life. Dogs that have been with me through a Bachelor’s Degree. A Master’s degree. PhD coursework. Three states. Eight houses. Break-ups. Celebrations. Transitions. New jobs. Picking up the crumbs I left from dinner. Waking me up for early walks.

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I’ve had dogs that, NO MATTER WHAT, have been excited when I walk in the door. Do you know how good that feels? To have something so excited for you to be home that they wag their tail so hard you think it’ll break? To have something that knows when you’re having a bad day and cuddles up next to you no matter what?

Dogs are good for the soul. Dogs make me complete. I believe God made dogs to remind humans that unconditional love and grace are so real.

My parents went out of town last week and I’ve been taking care of Sneaker. Over the weekend, Sneak hurt her back and re-flared some neurological issues in her back legs causing them to be lame. Unfortunately, our family had no choice but to put her to sleep yesterday. This was not the first dog we’ve had to say “Goodbye” to, but this one may have been my hardest.

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Thankfully, I have an incredible vet, amazing friends, and wonderful family who supported and reassured me throughout the entire process.

Sneaker was an awesome dog and I don’t believe God created her without a soul because, if I’m being honest, she had more of a soul than several humans I’ve met (and haven’t met for that matter).

I believe Honey Lynne, Sassy Sue, Lucy Jane, and Sneaker Lynne are all on a mountain of Beggin’ Strips chasing tennis balls together. I believe all dogs go to heaven. Because if they didn’t, who would be there to greet and bark at you when it’s your time to knock on the Gates? You don’t think Jesus needs dogs to bark and let Him know when folks are outside??

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I can’t wait to see you again, girls. And if I didn’t tell you enough, you made my life more full. And I love you for that. And to my girls who are still here, Kings and Frio: You continue to remind me of unconditional love and that life is so much better with a tail wagging close by.

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Boston during the Revolutionary War: The quick and dirty

This is for my two dear friends who hate museums and boring history. We’re heading to Boston ( my favorite city) soon and  I wanted hit the highlights without boring them to tears:

Key Players:

Revolutionary War: America’s Fight for freedom vs. Britain.

King George: King of England. Never set foot on American soil. Punk.

Paul Revere: All-around bad ass.

George Washington: Virginian-born (not ‘Virgin’), general of the rebel army, 1st US president.

Rebels: Today’s average American.

Redcoats: British peeps with bayonets.

Underlined words: Locations we’ll see. SO MEMORIZE IT. Or I will push you into the cranberry bogs.

America…it’s been around forever, right?

  • No. Lots of peeps were here before us, but we act like that never happened
  • Columbus found this place when he sailed the ocean blue in 1492 (ie Florida)
  • Then the English set-up shop via the Mayflower in 1620 (re: the Plymouth Rock south of Boston)
  • Who? Mostly, English Settlers that were adventurous or looking to find religious freedom made their way to America–BYE, Church of England

Everything was gravy untilll….

  • Stuff went down. Re: The Stamp Act (1765). So, Britain said, “Hey, we want your money and you can’t say anything about it so suck it.” Colonists were like, “WTF?”
  • Enter no taxation without representation (ie Colonists had NO say in what money Britain took from them)
  • 1770–Colonists are pissed. Britain sends soldiers to get the colonists in line and it gets out of hand when British soldiers kill five colonists for NO DANG REASON (Boston Massacre at the Old State House)
  • Paul Revere gets SUPER patriotic and starts getting rebels (colonists/Americans) super pumped about hating the British

Can you pass the sugar?

  • Fanueuil Hall–A place where all sorts of town meetings happened. It’s also where they talked a lot about taxes, because Britain was greedy
  • 1773–Britain sends tea (per usual) to America and rebels say, “Screw you.” Tea, meet the ocean. Enter: Boston Tea Party
  • “Oh snap. It’s on,” says Britain
  • 1775–Americans readied themselves for the British to crash the party
  • Lanterns were to be hung in the North Church  to let citizens know if/how the British were arriving. “One if by land, two if by sea.” PS: They hung two lanterns
  • Battle at Bunker Hill: The British won this early battle in the war but Fun Fact: it was actually mostly fought on Breed’s Hill

Seventeen. Se.. se.. Seventeen. Se..se.. Seventeen Seventy Six.

  • Our Founding Fathers created the Declaration of Independence (re: 1776…July 4th-ish)
  • America says, “Bring it on, Britain pansies”
  • And it’s on. George Washington begins the fight in Boston and tried to hold down the fort with a bunch of stinky Americans (men didn’t like showers or laundry…that was women’s work). He set up shop at the Wadsworth House near Cambridge

October 1781

  • Battle of Yorktown: Defining moment because we crushed the British. The war was pretty much over after this point. Yay! This happened in Virginia, so yeah. We won’t see that

I know I didn’t catch everything so comment on any history highlights I missed. Get ready, Boston-Here we come.

60 Minutes with Doyle

I have an old-man friend, a “College Station Grandpa,” if you will. Doyle is a Texas A&M graduate (Class of ’42) and is one of my favorite people on the planet.

He watched me grow up because our families shared the same hunting lease for more than 20 years of my life. It’s important to mention that I adored his wife, Tillie, and she truly molded many of my childhood memories–cooking breakfast, playing cards, and taking long walks on the ranch.

When I was in college, I visited Doyle and Tillie as often as I could. Since I’ve returned to College Station, Tillie has passed on and I try to visit Doyle at least once a month.

When Doyle was a student at Texas A&M, he worked at the Dairy.

 “Cows didn’t milk themselves, Megan, we didn’t have all those machines back then. Holidays. Snow. Ice. You name it, I was there.”

Additionally, he served our country in World War II. He worked for Texas A&M Extension for most of his life and has the very best stories.

I could listen to Doyle’s stories for hours (and I have). Often, after minutes into telling a story, he says,

“Well, to make a long story short…”

I always smile after he says this because I know it means at least ten more minutes.

Today, Doyle lives in College Station at a very nice retirement home. I visit Doyle on Tuesdays because, after dinner, we play “Ninety-Nine” with his friends. I won’t waste words here explaining it–just click the link to learn), but I will tell you that it’s so much fun and kind of hard to keep up with his 80 and 90 year-old friends. Fortunately, I got lucky last time we played and won quite a bit. Don’t worry–we only play with nickels, so I’m not cheating anyone out of their retirement.

After playing Ninety-Nine, Doyle and I always go back to his apartment and talk about life for a few hours. And by “talk about life” I mean, he tells me wonderful stories and teaches me more about life than many ever have.

Doyle is my constant reminder that:

  1. A full life is spent doing what you love with the people who make you happy.
  2. There are no hand-outs in life–and there shouldn’t be. Work hard, always.
  3. Kindness is an invaluable quality.

I know our talks won’t last forever–he even jokes about it…he can be kind of morbid like that, but he’s had such a full life that he’s able to laugh about it.

But until that time comes (which I hope is far, far away), I will still spend my Tuesdays with Doyle and his friends–beating them in Ninety-Nine and soaking up every moment with my dearest, old-man friend.