For the Love of Charlie

Today is a very sad day for us.

Our beloved Charlie went to heaven. That is good – for him, yet beyond sad for us.

Why do I think he went to heaven? I’ve read Bible verses that I could interpret as that but I don’t have any one verse that says “Thus saith the Lord – all animals go to heaven.”

But I will tell you about something that happened to me that makes me believe it is true.

Seven years ago almost to the day, our farm dog Bailey – who was an incredible Golden – so much like Charlie had to be put down. It was excruciating. As I grieved over this critter I had a dream. This dream was not an ordinary dream.

Two days after Bailey died my dream was in full color and had clarity more than usual.

I saw a field of tall grasses with a few wild flowers scattered throughout. Just beyond the field was a row of trees – some taller than others with a few spaces in between. The sky was bluer than blue. The wind was softly blowing the long grass.

I saw Jesus – my version. He laughing and had a yellow ball in his hand. He flung it out into the grass. At the receiving end of where the ball would land was Bailey. He was crouched down with his butt in the air, tail wagging in anticipation for the ball. Bailey ran towards it, caught it and brought it back to Jesus. He then took off running to get in position for the next throw.

I woke up after that and I felt like I had just been given a glimpse of heaven. I truly 100% believe I did. It gave me peace.

Call me crazy or whatever – but there’s more.

Fast forward seven years – close to the same day.

I went to see the movie The Shack – awesome movie. Anyway, in this movie (spoiler alert) there is a scene where the main character gets to see his little girl. He sees her through a waterfall. When the water parts it opens on the EXACT scene of my dream minus Jesus and Bailey. But exactly as I saw it in my dream. I almost gasped out loud. I kept looking back and forth from left to right and it was 100% my dream.

I haven’t told too many people about this because I’m not too sure why it all happened. I can guess. Perhaps God was getting me ready for Charlie’s leaving to remind me of what awaits him. I’m not sure.

Then I thought, maybe I read the description in the book years ago and it was planted in my mind and then I dreamt it. Not so – for two reasons. There was no description to match in the book and I read the book after Bailey died.

For me, it reinforces my theory.

The day after I saw the movie I stopped to see Charlie. I loved on him but when I left I knew he would soon be joining Bailey. That was Saturday.

My son called me this afternoon and asked if I was coming straight home – I could hear in his voice what he was going to tell me. I told him I would be home shortly and went straight to his house.

Charlie was outside with the other dogs. Tail wagging yet so thin and you could tell he was struggling.

When he came in his breathing was more labored. I wrapped my arms around him and sobbed. I just buried my head in his neck and told him I loved him. I held his head in my hands, looked him straight in the eye and promised him he would soon be feeling better and could play ball in a beautiful field with Bailey and Jesus.

After I loved on him and poured every ounce of love I could into him. I held his face again and said I would see him again someday and left.

Grieving is painful. And, I know he was “just a dog” but not so for us.

His story has touched so many people over this last year. 

Son #2, daughter-in-law and granddaughter just stopped in. The vet agreed to open Charlie up before putting him down to be sure there was nothing else that could be done. His liver was six times the size it should have been and full of cancer. The vet thinks the spleen was cancerous and once removed the cancer attacked the liver and went rampant.

The fact that he had cancer softens the decision to put him down – definitely the right choice. It also proves (and the vet confirmed) that this has absolutely nothing to do with the accident that happened a year ago.

Thank you all for all your prayers, concerns, comments and well wishes on behalf of Charlie this past year.

If you make it to heaven before I do, find Charlie and tell him we miss him but will be there before he knows it.

Charlie and Zues.jpg