When Meredith was a just a baby, her parents got her a dog. Now, Abbey wasn’t just any dog. She was Meredith’s protector, playmate and friend. For years, they were inseparable with Abbey always following wherever Meredith would go. Like all dogs, Abbey got a little older…a little slower, but she was always there right by her best friend’s side. So it was only fitting that when Abbey passed away recently, Meredith was right there with her…by her side.
The loss of Abbey was devastating to little Meredith, but she knew Abbey was going to a better place. She would be able to run and play once again – just like when they were both young. So Meredith took it upon herself to write a letter to the one person she knew would love Abbey just as much as she did…God. She wrote:
Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in Heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.
I hope you will play with her. She likes to swim and play with balls. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.
Included in her letter, Meredith sent a photo of her beloved Abbey. She sealed the envelope and put extra postage – to make sure it got all the way to Heaven, as she told her mom. So a few weeks passed and little Meredith was still heartbroken over the loss of her dearest friend. She asked her mom if she thought God had received the letter she sent. Her mom said that she was sure that he did.
One day while checking the mail, Meredith’s mom found a curious package wrapped in gold paper addressed to Meredith. With no return address, she was a little concerned but gave it to Meredith to open.
As she opened it and began to read, Meredith’s mom watched her intently, wondering who had sent this package. From the box, Meredith pulled a book, Mr. Rogers’ When a Pet Dies. Meredith opened the book and read an inscription written on the inside cover. Her mom watched as she saw her daughter begin to smile like she hadn’t in weeks. “What is it?” her mom asked. As Meredith handed her mom the book, tears began to fall down her little cheeks. “Abbey’s okay, mom. She’s with God.” Her mom began to read the inscription:
Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help and I recognized her right away.
Abbey isn’t sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don’t need our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to keep your picture in so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.
Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I’m easy to find. I am wherever there is love.
For the next few hours, Meredith and her mom laughed and cried as they talked about and shared their fondest memories of Abbey. The first pet Meredith would ever have, and one she would never forget. After all, she was more than a pet. She was a part of the family.
You only get one “first”: one first friend. One first love. One first kiss. One first dog. And although they may have passed, the memory of them forever “stays in your heart.” Although Meredith still missed having her best friend around, she found comfort in knowing that Abbey was with God.
Please share this story with others. Maybe you know someone who has experienced loss or just someone that could use a little hope. This heartfelt story of love between a little girl and her dog is bound to bring a smile to someone’s face. Just knowing that God does hear our prayers can fill the heart of someone you love.