Our extended family lost an important and beloved member this week. Raven, who had been with us since around 1997, when she already was fully grown, died overnight between Sunday and Monday. She was buried Monday under a tree in a field where she loved to roam. Raven was a good watchdog, and she was one of the two smartest dogs I've ever known.
A couple of decades ago, I heard someone ask if dogs would be in heaven. My first thought was, why would they? Having known Raven and a very few other dogs, my first thought now is, why wouldn't they? I hope Raven has been reunited with one of her former owners, following along as he rides his ATV through the fields and woods of their new home. I normally don't like other people's dogs -- they're okay, but I'm not a dog person -- but some force me to make an exception. Raven was one.