Every human life has value.

R.I.P. Crash Monster (1999-2013)
crashy2.jpg

Like most people, I’m sure, I had hoped that my dog would die comfortably and peacefully with me at home. But he had other plans.

As long as he didn’t appear to be suffering terribly, I kept putting off bringing him in to have him put down. But, no matter how many times I told him it was okay to go — begged him to, prayed for him to — he refused. He just slept. And slept. And by Monday morning it was clear that he was going to force me to bring him in. He wasn’t just sleeping peacefully anymore and I knew that I could not let it go on any longer.

“Dammit, Crash. Don’t you know that I am against euthanasia?”

“Yeah, for humans.”

Brat.

As terrified as I was, I made myself stay in the room with him when they did it — after they let me have a lot of time to get the courage to finally let him go…for good. And, naturally, it was every bit as heartbreaking as I always feared that it would be.

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Here lies Crash. He was the best of dogs, he was the worst of dogs. And he died the way he lived: stubborn — right up to the very end.

I’ve read several stories of doggie loss over the years, many of which wax sentimental on the various lessons of life and love that their faithful canine companions taught them. I’m not sure I have anything like that to offer about my Crashy.

I suppose if he taught me anything, it was patience. Lots of patience. We called him Crash Monster for a reason. He was constantly getting into things he shouldn’t get into. Mostly trash or any food that was mildly within his reach. And he never met a pair of dirty underwear he didn’t like.

Ahh! But he did manage to bring me considerable happiness and many joyful memories, despite his monstrosity. He was my baby boy, my handsome man, my fuzzy valentine and just a major part of my life for the past nearly 14 years. It’s so hard adjusting to the fact that he’s really gone.

Our first and last pictures together:

December 1999 — in the hospital shortly after my car accident.
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October 2013 — one of his last days.
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One of his favorite things:

Lazy afternoon dog break. Another one of his favorite things:

Spoiled Rotten from Chelsea Zimmerman on Vimeo.

“The Church teaches that there are no animals in heaven, since the beasts lack immortal souls. Far be it from me to question the doctors of the Church, but I cannot help but wonder if their reasoning is sound. Would God deprive a man of the companionship of his favorite hound, a dog the man raised from a pup, an loved? I sometimes wonder if, in the same way Christ gives part of his divinity to us to elevate us beyond the state of mortal men, we men, when we love the lower animals, grant something of our soul to them, so that God can make a way to keep them with us in the next life. But this is merely speculation: there may be something better—I know not what—than even this.” -John C. Wright, On the Garden of Paradise

For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. -Colossians 1:16-17

More Crash:
Say Hello to My Little Friend
My Valentine
My Fuzzy Valentine
Prayers for Crashkor the Luckdragon

October 23rd, 2013 at 10:49 pm
3 Responses to “The Best Worst Dog That Ever Lived”
  1. 1
    Adrienne Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend. Our “fur babies” can be a huge part of our lives. He’ll be waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge…

  2. 2
    Paladin Says:

    I’m sorry, Chelsea; God give you comfort and strength in your grief!

    For what it’s worth: I agree completely with Mr. Wright on this point. Every last living thing has a soul (including plants). It’s true that only those who have intellect, will and memory have *immortal* souls “by nature” (i.e. all other things being equal, they’re the only ones *expected* to live forever without additional aid/miracles from God); but C.S. Lewis mirrors Mr. Wright’s idea in “The Great Divorce” and “Mere Christianity”:

    “In the same way the Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose. It is even doubtful, you know, whether the whole universe was created for any other purpose. It says in the Bible that the whole universe was made for Christ and that everything is to be gathered together in Him. I do not suppose any of us can understand how this will happen as regards the whole universe. We do not know what (if anything) lives in the parts of it that are millions of miles away from this Earth. Even on this Earth we do not know how it applies to things other than men. After all, that is what you would expect. We have been shown the plan only in so far as it concerns ourselves.

    I sometimes like to imagine that I can just see how it might apply to other things. I think I can see how the higher animals are in a sense drawn into Man when he loves them and makes them (as he does) much more nearly human than they would otherwise be. I can even see a sense in which the dead things and plants are drawn into Man as he studies them and uses and appreciates them. And if there were intelligent creatures in other worlds they might do the same with their worlds. It might be that when intelligent creatures entered into Christ they would, in that way, bring all the other things in along with them. But I do not know: it is only a guess.”

    For my part: I believe that what we’re called to leave behind on Earth is precisely what would prevent us from loving completely in Heaven (e.g. making idols of hobbies, pleasures, and even other people); but I see no reason why our beloved pets would necessarily be in that category (except accidentally… which could happen with humans, too–such as the mother in “The Great Divorce” who was so fiercely possessive of her son that she would rather have him in hell with her than set him free). I think rather the opposite: loving a pet is one of the great training schools for selflessness while we live in Earth. That, I think, is something which would be welcome in Heaven.

  3. 3
    bmmg39 Says:

    I’m so sorry to learn about Crash Monster. For what it’s worth, I say a little prayer for a four-legged creature. There’s an introduction from whatever website I found it on, dealing with the question of animals. I do the one entitled, “A Pet Blessing.”

    Prayers and Blessings for Pets and Animals
    Catholic Prayers & Blessings for Cats, Dogs, and Other Pets and Animals

    St. Francis said, “those who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity will deal likewise with their fellow man.” The Catholic Tradition respects animals as God’s creatures, worthy of our care. While the Catholic Church has no dogma about the ultimate fate of animals, some theologians have speculated that all creation, including animals, will be made new in the end. These pet prayers and blessings are either from, or in the spirit of, the Catholic Tradition.

    A Prayer for Our Pets

    O God, you have redeemed all creation
    through the incarnation of your eternal Word;
    Protect our pets, your creatures,
    who provide us with joy
    and nonjudgmental companionship;
    Give us respect
    for all of your Word-redeemed creation,
    that we may care for creation
    as just and humble stewards;
    We pray this in the name of the same Word, Jesus Christ,
    who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
    one God, now and forever.

    David Bennett.

    A Pet Blessing

    Dearest God, Heavenly Father
    maker of all living creatures,
    we ask you to bless (name of pet),
    who brings so much joy into our lives.
    By the power of Your love,
    enable him (her) to live according to your plan.
    May we always praise You for all Your beauty in creation,
    who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit.
    Blessed are You, God, in all Your creatures!

    Basilica and Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation.

    Prayer of Saint Francis for Animals

    God Our Heavenly Father,
    You created the world
    to serve humanity’s needs
    and to lead them to You.
    By our own fault
    we have lost the beautiful relationship
    which we once had with all your creation.
    Help us to see
    that by restoring our relationship with You
    we will also restore it
    with all Your creation.
    Give us the grace
    to see all animals as gifts from You
    and to treat them with respect
    for they are Your creation.

    We pray for all animals
    who are suffering as a result of our neglect.
    May the order You originally established
    be once again restored to the whole world
    through the intercession of the Glorious Virgin Mary,
    the prayers of Saint Francis
    and the merits of Your Son,
    Our Lord Jesus Christ
    Who lives and reigns with You
    now and forever. Amen.

    St. Francis of Assisi, additions added later