This is a serious and, much to my surprise, not a settled theological idea. Do dogs, cats, horses, etc. have souls that survive death and if so, will they be in Heaven? Now, I’m not a theologian, but I have stayed in a Holiday Inn Express lately! So here goes…
I have this theory that we imprint on our dogs and certain kinds of pets so much that they become some sort of sentient being. Well maybe. But I hate to think of Heaven with no bird dogs and no Dachshunds. I mean how can you know you are eternally happy if there are no dachshunds warning of hell’s hounds while they are still still asleep? How will we know happiness if there are no demanding bird dogs barking at you when you stop to rest? How will we know happiness if there are no coon hounds and in fact no coons to tree? These are the questions that keep me awake at night.
Dogs like Bill and Verley Dotson’s Yorkshire Terrier, named Prince Hairy, are the stories we love so much. Well, Prince Hairy plays a major role in it, but the story is their marriage and the beautiful life they built together. Unfortunately Bill passed away in 2020, but Verley and Prince Hairy are still carrying on his memory and trying hard to care for his beloved gardens at their beautiful lakeside home in Harbor Club. Unfortunately, Bill and I never met because it seems we would’ve had a good time together, telling tall tales and part truths. From 1999 to 2014, Bill was the GM over at Harbor Club. Verley, as many of you may know, was and still is the driving force behind Greene County Schools serving as a media specialist and so much more in the district for the last 20-plus years. It’s hard to find residents from Greene County and those who went through Greene County Schools who don’t just beam when you mention Mrs. Verley!
But now Prince Hairy is another story. It seems Presbyterians love to bring dogs to church. Maybe there is a theological reasoning behind this. Here again, this story involves First Presbyterian in Greensboro, where Prince Hairy is a proud member with his own name tag, proudly displayed on his Sunday go-to-meeting outfit, and even his own chair in the Sunday School classroom. Prince Hairy is so revered for his service and comfort for Bill as he was dealing with Alzheimer’s. The members of First Press welcomed Prince Hairy as one of their own. (I am nothing if not an obedient son, so someone please send me a story about another church and a dog!)
To top it all off, Prince Hairy was also given his Army Aviators wings by Col. Vince Mancuso (Ret.). They are sewn on his very own bomber jacket! If that don’t beat all I don’t know what will! You got to admit, a Yorkie that is a member of the First Pres, cared for his owner while he was dying, and loves Verley like he does, stands a pretty good chance of having his ears rubbed by ol’ St. Peter himself as he passes thru the pearly gates.