The great American author, cartoonist and celebrated wit, James Thurber wrote, “If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.” How lucky for God if he had to simply get animals into his heaven and not human beings with their rage and malice and greed. It’s the kind of heaven I dream about – breezes scented with jasmine and champa, wading pools with brightly coloured fish and cool pebbles, the noise of the ocean in the distance, lots of animals, lions and tigers and little chicks, soft grass, millions of books that appear and disappear when you read them so they don’t have to be dusted, orchards of easily reachable fruit, mangos and mangosteens, music that ranges from temple bells to jazz with a huge dose of Enya whose song ‘Only Time’ is my favourite, holograms of people who behave with love and intelligence but disappear when I want them to ! I am barefooted and longhaired and skirted… Back to my desk and office, alas.
But seriously, if dogs were to ask God some questions what would they ask? Here are some samples When we get to heaven, can we sit on your sofa..Or is it still the same old story? Will you give us whole toasts for breakfasts or is it always going to be soggy leftover corners We dogs can understand human verbal instructions, hand signals, whistles, horns, clickers, beepers, scents, electromagnetic energy fields, and Frisbee flight paths. What do humans understand? Will you cut my vocal cords if I bark in heaven ? Or put an electronic collar that gives me a shock when I bark ? Why do humans think I bark just to be a nuisance when I am actually trying to give them information they need. Why do I get the same food every day when my humans get to eat different things ? Why did my humans cut my tail and my ears ? If they wanted a smaller dog , why didn’t they just get one ? Is chocolate allowed in heaven or do we just get to smell it ? Why do humans force me to have children and then give them away ? Why do I get thrown out when humans have a
If they’re not going to take me to parties or introduce me to visitors, why make me learn to shake hands especially when I don’t insist that humans should rub noses or smell my bottom when we meet? When we get to heaven do we have to do that stupid sit up and beg to get in? Are you going to lock me in when you go out? Do you change my water twice a day? I really hate spit filled smelly water and I don’t want to drink from a potty Can I have my own bed? I don’t like carpets and cold floors or driveways Do I have to whine and stare at you to walk me when you come home or will you do it on your own ? Can I sit in your lap when I hear thunderous noises that frighten me ? Can I kiss you when I want to without you wiping your face and pushing me away?
baby? Am I not their child as well? Didn’t they take me forcibly from my own parents when I was a baby and adopt me ? We love old and sick people whom we comfort and put up with despite their smells, so when we get sick or old, why do we get ignored and even thrown out? Why don’t our birthdays get celebrated ? Can I dig up your garden ? Are we going to be tied up every time you have guests ? Where do you go on vacation and will you take me along? Do you have indoor games for bored dogs? Sick kids are never sent to the doctor alone or with a driver or guard so how come when I’m sick I’m sent off with them when they hate me? How come vets don’t keep treats and toys, the way paediatricians do? Can you please explain to humans that every bark, bite, lick and look does not spread rabies? . I hope you don’t have any kids around here who think it’s okay to pull my ears and jump on my back? Are all your parks open to us to run and play in the fresh air? We hate leashes and choke chains and cemented pavements. Sweets are fattening and constipating so how come people still get to have them while I’m not allowed any? Do you have any machines I can press and get my own biscuits when I want them ? You won’t pick me up by my front legs or cradle me upside down, will you ? I hope I don’t have to indulge your taste for silly games like fetch and throw? If they’re not going to take me to parties or introduce me to visitors, why make me learn to shake hands especially when I don’t insist that humans should rub noses or smell my bottom when we meet? When we get to heaven do we have to do that stupid sit up and beg to get in ? Are you going to lock me in when you go out ? Do you change my water twice a day ? I really hate spit filled smelly water and I don’t want to drink from a potty. Can I have my own bed? I don’t like carpets and cold floors or driveways. Do I have to whine and stare at you to walk me when you come home or will you do it on your own ? Can I sit in your lap when I hear thunderous noises that frighten me ? Can I kiss you when I want to without you wiping your face and pushing me away ? How come I give humans all my time and love and they give me their spare time, space they can spare and leftover love ? How come I get sold in markets ? Can I buy a human in one of your pet shops ? You won’t sterilise me or take my testicles away in the name of love, will you ? “ ‘Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains ‘unawakened’. Wake up all of you.