Most of us experienced the loss of a much beloved pet. In the hope that it will ease other people's pain and
provide them hope, I would like to share a personal story from my first loss experience.

My first pet, Linda, was a very devoted and "protective" little girl who loved me profoundly. I loved her dearly
because her affection was compensating void areas in my heart.

On September 01, 2001, I decided to get baptized. The pastor scheduled the baptism two weeks afterwards, on
September 15. During those two weeks, my life turned into a living nightmare. Everything went wrong. In the
shop there was a very large wall unit, from a client, needing to be finished. In spite of over sanding and cleaning
the surface, the lacquer kept reacting, resulting in a messed up finish. New jobs also suddenly stopped coming.
As a result of not getting paid and not being able to provide the funds at the closing, the down payment on a
property was also lost.

A few days prior to my baptism, my dear Linda refused to have her morning meal, which was very much unlike
her. She showed no signs of illness, she only seemed a little bit lethargic.  

In the afternoon she still refused to eat, which prompted me to call a friend veterinarian technician. Based on
an inner feeling, I told him I was afraid I would loose her. He assured me that dogs don't die so easily, and she
most likely just had a stomach bug.  

While her condition did not worsen, I was haunted by a feeling that she would be taken away from me. A few
hours later I called the emergency room and I rushed her at an hospital twenty minutes away. After about 10
minutes on the road, as the car passed over a rail track, Linda started to have difficulties breathing. I was
falling apart. I knew I was loosing her.  

A few minutes later, after making a painful hissing noise with every breath, she seemed to have passed away.
She remained motionless with her eyes and mouth wide open. I placed my hand in front of her nose but I could
not feel any breath. I quickly covered the sides of her muzzle with my hands and I started blowing air into her
lungs to keep her oxygenated.

The vet showed up about fifteen  minutes later. I was giving her mouth to mouth oxygen for twenty-five
minutes when he arrived. He took her from my hands and quickly checked her heart. It was still beating.
However, immediately afterwards, since she was no longer provided with oxygen, her heart ceased to pump
blood. The veterinarian told me that even if he would resuscitate her, she would have intense brain damage.  

I was overwrought and torn. The only being that taught me how genuine affection felt, was taken away from me.  

For the first time I wondered, and was desperate to know, if animals from this present life had a future in God's
kingdom. Having had a limited knowledge in the Bible at the time, I only knew with certainty that people are
offered a second chance. Besides legends and mythologies I had not heard from anyone about a Bible based
promise that animals have the same chance. (Based on what I know today; what foolishness to even place
ourselves in the same condition with the animals! They have never sinned, we sinned and we dragged them into
this misery! As I got closer and closer to God over the years, what He revealed to me about animals from His
Word is astonishing and puts us to great shame! Unfortunately I am not be able to expand on the topic on this
page because it would take me a sermon).

However, after Linda's passing I began searching the Bible randomly for answers. A task impossible to
accomplish without knowing and understanding the Old Testament in particular. Also the first four chapters of
the New Testament.

A few nights later, since studying the entire Bible could not be accomplished in just a couple of days, I decided
to ask God Himself. At my usual prayer time I asked Him if He could please let me know if I will make it to
heaven, will I see Linda again?  

As an affirmative answer, I inquired for a sign. I asked Him to have somebody call us in the middle of the night,
because the night is a time frame when people don't normally call. I told Him that I did not know if my question
was fit or if it wasn't. I told Him I had no intention to tempt Him in any way, and, if my question was
inappropriate, to please ignore it.

To my ex spouse I told that I asked God for sign, but I could not tell him what sign in particular because I
suspected he might have somebody call us to make me feel better. After taking my pills, I managed to fall asleep.

During the night we both got awakened by the phone ringing. It was sudden and unexpected. In the first moments
I completely forgotten about my prayer. Since we were called near 3 AM my first thoughts were about another
tragedy. While trying to get to the phone, I started to shake, my face turned pale and my lips blue. My ex spouse
rushed to the medicine cabinet to get me a pill while I managed to pick up to the phone.... However .... there was
nobody at the other end. Only silence. In that moment my prayer came to mind and I felt a sudden peace that
calmed me down instantly. I quickly checked the caller ID to see the number that made the call, but it read
"Unavailable".

I started to cry. However, besides tears of sadness, there were also tears of assurance mixed with joy! I was now
certain that I DO have the chance to see my sweet little girl again! I also realized once again how personal and
carrying God is!

As the time passed by and I got to know Him closer and closer, I learned that He is actually the ONLY source of
tender love. That even the love of our pets for us, and the love we have for our pets, is planted in our hearts by
God Himself. Even Jesus, God's only begotten Son, who was sinless, points to God the Father as the only source
of love and goodness.

"As Jesus was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him and asked Him, 'Good Teacher, what
shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?' So Jesus said to him, 'Why do you call Me good? No one is good but
One, that is, God the Father.' " Mark 10:17-18

God plants love, the enemy plants cruelty. It's that simple. If we love our pets and long to see them again, how
much more God, who created them and through whom they have their being, desires and longs to reinstate them
in the same condition they have been before sin entered the world and altered His creation. If we think our love
is great, in reality our love might have only reached the shore of God's infinite love.