Dog Heaven

When dogs go to heaven, They don't need wings
Because God knows that Dogs love running best.
He gives them fields. Fields and fields and fields.
When a dog first arrives in heaven, he just runs.
Dog heaven has clear, wide lakes
Filled with geese who honk and flap
And tease. The dogs love this.
They run beside the water and bark
And bark and God watches them
From behind a tree and smiles.

There are children.
Of course.
Angel children.
God knows that dogs love children more than
Anything else in the world, so he fills Dog
Heaven with plenty of them. There are children
On bikes and children on sleds. There are
Children throwing red rubber balls and children
Pulling kites through the clouds. The dogs
Are there, and the children love them dearly.

And, oh,
The dog biscuits.
Biscuits and biscuits
As far as the eye can see.
God has a sense of humor, so He makes His
Biscuits in funny shapes for His dogs. There
are kitty-cat biscuits and squirrel biscuits.
Ice-cream biscuits and ham-sandwich biscuits.
Every angel who passes by
Has a bicsuit for a dog.

And, of course, all God's dogs
Sit when the angels say "sit."
Every dog becomes a good
Dog in Dog Heaven.

God turns
Clouds inside out to
Make fluffy beds for the dogs
In Dog Heaven, and when they
Are tired from running and
Barking and eating ham-
Sandwich biscuits,
The dogs find a cloud
bed for sleeping.
They turn around and
Around in the cloud.
.. until it feels just right,
and then they curl up
and they sleep.
God watches over
Each one of them
And there are no bad dreams.

Dogs in Dog Heaven
Have almost always
Belonged to somebody
On Earth and, of course,
The dogs remember this.
Heaven is full of memories.
So sometimes an angel will walk a dog
Back to Earth for a little visit and quietly,
Invisibly, the dog will sniff about his old
Backyard, will investigate the cat next
Door, will follow the child to school, will
Sit on the front porch and wait for the mail.

When he is satisfied
That all is well, the dog
Will return to Heaven with the angel.
It is where dogs belong,
Near God who made them.

The dogs in Dog Heaven who
Had no real homes on Earth
Are given one in Heaven.
The homes have yards and porches and there are
Couches to lie on and tables to sit under
While angels eat their dinners.

There are special bowls
With the dogs' names on them.
And each dog is petted and reminded
How good he is, all day long.
Dogs in Dog Heaven may stay as long as
They like and this can mean forever.
They will be there when old friends show
Up. They will be there at the door.
Angel dogs.

by Cynthia Rylant

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