Eclectic, quirky, and sometimes edgy…this is how things look from my front porch.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I haven’t been able to write about this for a few weeks, but our beloved malamute, Francis, died just before Christmas.

Francis was a special boy who appeared on an exit ramp while I was driving home from work on the proverbial “dark and stormy night.” We really don’t know how old he was, perhaps five. He was sitting in the middle of the ramp, so I got out of my Jeep. As I talked to him, he calmly walked past me and jumped over into the passenger seat. And that was that.

We named Francis after St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and after Frank Sinatra, because our Frankie also had blue eyes. He was so beautiful, even in old age, that people frequently stopped us to comment on him. He had a creamy white chest and big, snowshoe paws.

Francis was a very vocal dog and we always knew precisely what he wanted. He was a picky eater of epic proportions. We had to entice him to eat kibble by adding other things, but he clearly preferred people food. Or road kill.

Croissants were among Francis’s greatest loves, along with meat loaf, Spam, (eeeeww) and canned chicken. Last year, he realized that there were croissantsin the fridge and “talked” to me for 45 minutes about them until I broke down and handed them over.

Francis had slowed down during 2008, but he still loved his walks, his croissants and chicken, and his family. He was very kind and often put his big, puppy head down in my lap when I was troubled. He had a little spot near the fireplace where he spent most of his days and it comforted me to see him there.

It is a cruel irony that dogs only live for about 12 – 15 years on earth. One of the things I most look forward to in heaven is that I will never have to say goodbye to a dog again. I firmly believe that I shall see Francis again, along with Lupa, and our beloved Alex.

As I heard Chuck Swindoll say, “Anyone who doesn’t believe that there will be animals in heaven will have a hard time with the big, white horse Jesus comes riding on.” The Psalms say that the Lord protects both man and beast. All creation sings the praises of God.

I was reading in Jonah yesterday and noticed two things I hadn’t noticed before. Scripture says that God himself spoke to the great fish and asked the fish to um “get rid” of Jonah. Actually, it is said a little less delicately in the Bible.

In Jonah 3:8, Amplified version, the Word says, “But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth and let them cry mightily to God.” Animals and people can cry out to God. I know God is watching over Francis and that his hips don’t hurt anymore. And I can’t wait to see him again.

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