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Barbara Walking in the Valley
A weekly column for those who live and walk in Silicon Valley

by Barbara Dahlgren

All Dogs Don't Go to Heaven
Column for the week of March 3-9, 2002

The animated movie says "All Dogs Go to Heaven" but I don't think that will be the case for Hera and Bane. You may remember that these are the Presa Canrio mix dogs that mauled 33 year-old Diane Whipple to death in San Francisco a little over a year ago. Bane was euthanized shortly after the attack. However the lawyer owners of Hera managed to keep her alive for over a year through a court order. Hera was just recently euthanized. It seems there was some question as to whether the police officer who ordered the animal destroyed was the proper person to be in charge of her fate. Excuse me? This seems like a no-brainer. Dog participates in killing person. Dog dies.

I don't deny that dogs can make wonderful pets if they have the right master. They become like family members. Actually they are lot more loyal, faithful, and loving than some of our family members. Maybe that's why people tend lose their perspective when it comes to dogs and humanize them.

Do you know that they have doggie psychiatrists? They have doggie insurance. Dogs can be artificially inseminated. They have doggie pace makers. Dogs can undergo chemotherapy for cancer. They have doggie graveyards. They have (and I'm not making this up) a doggie chapel where all breeds are welcome. Yes, there are a lot of similarities between dogs and humans. They even have doggie clothes so doggies can look like humans, but they are still dogs.

Now, I'm not a dog hater. In fact, I love all kinds of dogs.

I love dogs from literature like Scruffy, the Pokey Little Puppy, Clifford the Big Red Dog, White Fang, Lad a Dog, Sounder, and Dick and Jane's dog, Spot. "See Spot run. Run Spot run."

I love comic book dogs like Little Orphan Annie's dog, Sandy, Garfield's pal, Odie, Dennis the Menace's dog, Ruff, and Dagwood and Blondie's dog, Daisy. I like Marmaduke and I love Snoopy. Who doesn't?

I like beanie baby dogs like Rover the red dog, Sparky the dalmatian, Pugsley the pup, Weenie the dachshund, Winston, Tracker, Woof, and Spunky.

I like cartoon dogs like the Jestson's dog, Astro, Underdog, Deputy Dawg, Huckleberry Hound, Augie Doggy, Scooby Do, and Mickey's dog, Pluto. I love Disney dogs like Lady and the Tramp. I can still hear Peg the sexy dog singing, "He's a Tramp but I love him; breaks a new heart everyday," while they are all in jail with that quartet of dogs howling in tune in the background. And I love all 101 of the dalmatians.

I love T.V. dogs like Tiger from the Brady Bunch, Rin Tin Tin, Sergeant Preston from the Yukon's dog, King. I can still see Sarge say at the end of each show, "Well, King, this case is closed!" I like the Little Rascal's dog, Petey, Zeus and Apollo from Magnum P.I., Freeway from Hart to Hart, and Roy Roger's dog, Bullet. And what about the greatest dog actor of all, Lassie, who was a boy dog playing a girl dog with the I.Q. of 500? I can still see Timmy saying after he fell in the well, "Lassie, run home and tell my folks I'm here. If they aren't there just get the keys to the truck and that big rope in the barn and drive back, tie the rope around the bumper and throw the other end down to me" and so on and so forth. What a dog!

I love dogs from the movies like Dorothy's dog, Toto, from the Wizard of Oz. "Well, Toto, I guess we aren't in Kansas anymore." I liked Nick and Nora's dog, Asta from the Thin Man series and the Shaggy Dog. I cried when Old Yeller died, I laughed at Beethoven, and I slept through Benji the Hunted, the most boring movie on the face of earth. It was so boring that my kids and their dog fell asleep. And who could forget Air Bud or Bud Light? Oh, that's a beer, isn't it?

Well, anyway, I like famous people's dogs like Nixon's dog, Checkers. I liked Lincoln's dog Fido who was stabbed to death by a drunk. Boy those Lincolns never did get a break, did they? I liked Joan River's dog, Spike and Phyllis Diller's dog, Fang. Oops! That was what she called her husband.

I love puppet dogs like Rowlf the piano playing Muppet and Shari Lewis' Hush Puppy. And in honor of dogs I've even been known to wear a Hush Puppy shoe, eat a hot dog, and sing, "There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name, O!" all at the same time. But dogs are dogs and people are people.

Even in the Bible God makes a distinction between dogs and humans. Matthew 7:6 says to not give that which is holy to the dogs. Mark 7:27-28 indicates that dogs can eat that which is left over from the table but your children and family are fed first. As much as I love dogs we have to keep them in perspective. And all dogs do not go to heaven. In fact, I'm not sure any dogs go to heaven, even the good ones!

©February 2002

Be sure to visit this page every week to read the next edition of Walking in the Valley. You can write to the author at bydahlgren@aol.com.



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