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  Believe In You:   June 6, 2013 Edition  
     Good day to my earthly pals! I look so forward to writing to you, the people who were such a part of my life while I was at the Boardman News! I still can not believe how quickly my days passed while on earth. I have plenty of time now to reflect on my thoughts and I so enjoy sharing them with you. I know so many of you have lost pets that were so dear to you, but if you could only see them here, you would be comforted to know that we all take care of each other. You would be so amazed at the talks we have and what knowledge we possess, after watching our masters and the people around us deal with their everyday life, filled with joy and also hardships.
      I am on my way to meet up with a few of my heavenly friends. I am standing on top of a hill overlooking the scenery below. The flowers blooming below, all blend together in a blanket of flowing colors. I missed so many of these aw-ha moments on earth, too busy to take the time to stop and enjoy the beautiful gifts God gave freely to anyone. Oh wait I see my cat friends Lucky and Squeeky. They are chasing butterflies through the meadow. I prance down the hill, with my head in the air allowing the breeze to blow through my fur! Lucky notices me and they come running over.
      Where are you going Gretta, Squeeky asked. I told Rasta and and Kachina I’d meet up with them this morning, have you seen them? No, we haven’t noticed them down here, but we’ll walk with you and help you find them. As we were walking we heard a faint cry wondering where it was coming from. Lucky said look over there, I see Rasta and Kachina with another dog. As we came closer we noticed they were with a brown lab.
      Hi, I said what is wrong? Oh this is Cocoa, said Rasta. We heard him whimpering and thought we’d come over to see what was wrong. Cocoa explained to us that he feels so alone, and wishes he could fit in with the other dogs. He was always a small lab, short legs and just never fit in while on earth. His brother was a big beautiful lab and was the choice of the litter. No one would pick Cocoa when they came to choose their puppy, so his masters kept him, along with his brother.
      He said his masters were kind to him, and he would always do what was right, listen to all the rules, never chew any shoes, never have an accident in the house, but no matter how perfect he tried to be, he just felt he didn’t measure up. His brother was a show dog and won many awards and his masters were so proud of him. Cocoa said he died never feeling that he was ever good enough. He still carries those feelings, even here in doggy heaven.
      Kachina added, If each of us could learn when we are young, that we are unique in our own way, for God gives each of us a special gift, to use while on earth. Lucky said, we all are guilty of allowing others to give us our identity, our self worth. If we would remember that there is no one else like us and that we each must believe in ourselves and the talents we possess, and not to compare ourselves to others.
      I said, hey Cocoa, you are not judged here. You are loved for who you are. Your legs may be shorter than other labs, but what matters more is how you treat others and the kindness and love you hold in your heart. This is what will bring you the greatest fulfillment and inner joy. You do reap what you sow, and look where you are! Look around at the beauty here, the love that surrounds you, the acceptance of who you are. You’re here with the big dogs and cats now!
      Squeeky said, there will always be unkindness, unfairness, rejection, and others who seem greater than you, but you must hold your head up and continue to live your life as you know is right. Your final reward will be living in this world of doggy heaven, without regrets as to how you treated people or lived your life, and that you can hold your head up and enjoy the place you have come to rest in peace.
      Cocoa raised his head, and said thank you for your words. As he shook his body and stood up straight, he glowed with joy. He knew in his heart he was a good dog and was now in a peaceful heavenly place. Kachina said, come on you can walk with us. We all turned and started back up the hill, Cocoa had a new energy to his steps, and yes, every tail was a waggin!
      Gretta, a Golden Retriever, spent almost 15 years
      at The Boardman News.
      She greeted all who entered with a wag of her tail!
      She died in November of 2012.
      Send your animal tributes/stories to: The Boardman News, 8302 Southern Blvd., S2A, Boardman, OH 44512
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