12+ years ago, a sweet shepherd mix dog decided she wanted to live with us instead of the lady who had adopted her. We named her "Katie" after one of Chris's favorite movies The Sons of Katie Elder.
She was a beautiful, loyal, docile, loving dog. She was Chris's dog until John was born. After that, she became the kids' best friend. Katie was always there to greet with a tail wag and a rub. She let the children hug her, pull her hair, sit on her back. She even knocked on the back door when she was hungry. She loved to chase flies and frogs. And she thoroughly enjoyed escaping the back yard to go visiting every once in awhile.
A few months ago, I discovered a tumor on her side. That along with a few other symptoms led us to determine that she had cancer. Then a few weeks ago, she developed the mange. It became very bad very quickly. So, with very, very heavy hearts and lots and lots of tears, we decided to put her down.
As hard as it's been on Chris and me, it's been even harder on John. Sarah announced that she knew that Katie was feeling much better now and that she was sure that Maggie, her grandma's dog, was waiting to meet her when she got to Heaven. It wasn't quite that easy for John to accept. We've talked a lot in the past few months about the difference between mammals and people, that we are all mammals, but that people were made in the image of God and God breathed His own breath into us. We've talked about how people have a soul and are required to accept or deny Jesus as their Savior before they can be "saved." So when it was stated that Katie was in Heaven, John immediately informed me that she couldn't be because she didn't have a soul. While it does make me proud that he's understood this fact, it hurt my heart that he had such a pessimistic view of things. I told him that while I wasn't sure if animals were in Heaven or not, I was pretty certain that God would reward our special pets, our special friends in some way because He knew how special they were to us. And Grandma pointed out that if God thought the animals were worthy of saving from the flood, then He surely thought they were worthy of reward when they died. He seemed to accept that fact. It still hurts, though. So, here are some pictures in tribute to our beloved Katie. Rest in peace, sweet girl.