Monday, June 15, 2009

Duke Gets a Stay of Execution

We had an appointment today to have Duke euthanized. We couldn't do it earlier because we found out there is a required ten day rabies quarantine waiting period after a dog bites someone. This morning Duke and I shared his "Last Breakfast". I sat on the back porch with him and fed him the crusts from my peanutbutter toast.
While I spent time with Duke and contemplated life and death, Psalm 103 and whether animals go to heaven, my wife finished digging his grave in our pet cemetery in the corner of our yard.
We took him to the vet and Kristi asked us if we'd be willing to look at other options. She knew of a dog rescue that takes biters and difficult dogs but because they are hard to place the shelter didn't have any openings at this time. While we waited for an opening, in the meantime the vet was willing to send a dog behavioral therapist to our house for two free sessions to evaluate Duke for his potential for rehabilitation. She said the trainer would be honest about whether he needed to be put down or not. So, we came home with our dog, and a little hope that the fallen world perhaps has not yet claimed another life.

11 comments:

elizabeth said...

Lord have mercy. I am really glad that God cares for all the details of our lives and goes with us through them.

orrologion said...

I can't remember where I read it now, but I was surprised when I read that the Orthodox Church believes animals to have souls, but not spirits. This makes sense to me. There is something definitely sentient about animals in a way similar to humans, but there is a distinction. The fact that that distinction is in the spirit, in the nous, etc. seemed fitting - more fitting than arguing humans and animals are the same because one gorilla could use basic sign language. That seems strong proof for a soul, and for respect, while spirit and the capacity to worship, to commune with God, etc. is strong proof (for me) that humans are yet different.

ryan said...

After reading the Duke saga, I really wish there was a "verse" for the situation. We adopted a golden retriever who was neglected, fortunately not beaten, from a friend of a friend. He has become a formidable, if needy, companion. My empathy... and some hope and grace to your family, and to Duke.

s-p said...

Orr, If you can find the source I'd love to see it. I recorded a podcast yesterday morning on "Do Dogs Go to Heaven" (yes, is the short answer). I have a lot of thoughts that you touched on that will be a blog post in the next day or so. In the present moment, I'm glad to still have my dog.

Michael said...

In The Spiritual Life and How to be Attuned to It - St. Theophan the Recluse says:
Letter 9 - Just what is the spirit? It is that force which God breathed into man when He created him. The earth bore all species of earthly creatures by God's command. From the earth also came every kind of living creatures soul. The human soul, although it resembles the animal soul in its lowest part, in incomparably superior to it in its highest part. That it is this way in man is because of it's bonding with the soul. The spirit, breathed by God, combined with it and raised it far above every nonhuman soul. That is why we note within ourselves, in addition to what we see in the animals, that which is peculiar to the spiritualized soul of man, and even higher, that which is peculiar only to the spirit.

orrologion said...

I'm pretty sure St. Theophan was what I was thinking of as I usually love anything and everything by him. (That book in particular is very, very good.) Thanks, Michael!

s-p said...

Thanks, Michael! I've read the book but it was a looonngg time ago and such discussions were way over my head at the time. It solidified a lot of my "intuitive thinking" on the subject.

Anonymous said...

Hello Steve and fellow builders, Yes indeed animals have souls. See kallistos Ware "The Orthodox Way" page 48. Yours, Tom in CT

s-p said...

Thanks, Tom, I'll look that one up too. How is work in CT? It seems to be picking up here a little.

DvntWriter said...

I hope for the best for Duke Sub Deacon. May God help the trainer find that loving and loyal pet we know is in Duke, but that he is too afraid to show.

David T said...

I've been out of town...glad to hear this good news.