Billy Holland | The bond of love we have with our pets

Published 6:11 pm Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Within two weeks of each other, my son and daughter-in-law took both of their dogs to the vet to end their suffering. Juno and Bishop were so loving and gentle. They were rescued a few years ago, but sadly they both had recently been diagnosed with cancer. It’s very difficult to go through this, but our sincere love and respect do not to want to see them suffer. When my wife and I would visit, Juno would always bring her huge chew bone for us to see and Bishop would wrap his legs around us like he was hugging us. Of course, my son and his wife are very upset, and we can definitely relate as we have also said goodbye to several dogs through the years. I remember our Boston Terrier Katy, and the sadness I felt when they put her to sleep. I was rocking her like you would hold a baby and she was staring into my eyes like she had done since she was a baby. I believe us being present in their last moments is very comforting to them and I cannot help but believe they trust us to do the right thing. 

A couple of weeks after I had written a rough draft of this column, we came home to find our beloved French Bulldog Sampson had passed away. We have taken it hard and miss him very much. I would kid around with my wife in the evenings when Sam would snuggle on the couch with us that he was the recipient of a lot of grand-baby love – ha! In fact, I do not even call them dogs, I admit I refer to them as “children.” When I say “let’s go to bed children,” they march to the kitchen for their bedtime treat and go straight to their designated areas for the evening. We do not have grandchildren yet, and our dogs are so spoiled it’s comical. You know, I’m sure that some will think I’m silly, but a pet over time becomes much like a close family member and to some people, the bond may be even stronger than any relationship they have with a human. 

No matter what we are facing or how difficult the situation is, our pets love us without questions or judgments. They are always there for us as a best friend should be. Sam loved to take turns sleeping in our laps at night and he would snore so loud, I would have to turn the volume up on the TV. He would follow us around and whatever we were doing, he just wanted to be with us. I have been asked if our pets go to heaven and though no one really knows for sure, there are several examples in scripture that confirm there will definitely be animals in the next life. I for one certainly hope that I will see them again.

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Dr. Holland lives in Central Kentucky where he is a Christian minister and author. Ask for a free copy of his new CD called, “Keeper of my soul” at