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September 21, 2023

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Relationships with pets important; lifelong friends

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy. It has also been a week of many conservative scandals and foolishness in our nation and of all places Canada.

This is red meat to a liberal like me. It’s also almost Thanksgiving, but that column has been done by everyone, including me this past year.

This week, I want to tell you about the wonderful relationships I have had and many of you have had. These are the relationships with our pets.

I have two fur babies, [yes, I said it].

They are a couple of darling little mutts named Sadie and Lola. They are two years old and they are truly treasured in the McKenzie household.

Lola was my wife and daughter’s dog and she quickly became mine too. She needed a buddy though and Sadie was soon added to the family.

After some fighting, they truly became sisters who love, cherish and depend on each other. I love them with all my heart.

Before my beloved Lola and Sadie, there were three dogs who captured my heart as “my dog.”

I put it in quotation marks because in truth all dogs capture my heart; they are just not mine. Tippy was my dog growing up and she was fantastic, well-mannered, sweet and beautiful.

After Tippy’s passing from cancer, Farina came along. Although Farina was her name, Rini was what she was almost always called.

She was half Boston Terrier and half Pit Bull. She was the light of our house and was my ailing mother’s unbelievably faithful companion. She lived through cancer twice before succumbing to congestive heart failure at 10 years old.

After Tippy died when I was a teenager, my mom asked me crying if I thought pets go to heaven. Stupidly and callously I said no.

Not only did I fail to comfort my agonized mom, I now feel I was 100 percent wrong. Why would our pets not live in the Kingdom after their life? I believe that our pets only want two things out of life: to love and be loved.

That is pure, that is good and that is walking with God.

This brings us to the third in equation; my dad’s Beagle Lulu. Lulu was adopted when my mom was critically ill to cheer her up.

My mom only got to spend two weeks with Lulu, but she loved her mightily. My Dad, sister, brother and I fell in love with her as well.

She was adopted from the Humane Society at six weeks old and she has been a family staple ever since.

She was there as I moved away, as my dad became ill, as my sister got married; through it all. She became my niece’s doggie as well; as she was born only six months after we adopted the sweet hound.

Lulu wanted nothing but love and gave her share right back.

This past week, my sister called me in tears. It was bad news; Lulu is now in terminal renal failure. The average beagle lives to be 14, but Lulu will most likely not make it to eight.

Soon, it will be time to say goodbye to our beloved Lulu. This is heartbreaking and depressing.

She truly is a spectacular dog. I cannot think about her being gone.

Unlike the 16-year-old me, though, I know I will see my sweet Lulu again. I will also see my sweet Tippy and Rini. I now know that our pets go to heaven.

Something so wholesome and sweet does not just die; no, their spirit lives on.

We can learn from our pets. As they only want to be loved and give love; we should follow their beautiful example. That is how our spirit will live on too.

On this Thanksgiving break, hug your pets and tell them how special they are. They will know how you feel and that is a beautiful thing to behold.

Respond to Paul at

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