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Chinook

Is Chinook The Ferret Waiting For Me In Heaven

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Chinook the Ferret passed 2-22-12. In my heart I felt I should have put him down a few months back but I felt he still has some earthly pleasures, eating, snuggling, and so on even though his behind legs were going out. The day he died, I knew I had to put him down the day before but we both knew. I remember I took a week off work and my last day, I was praying for God to take him because I knew I could not handle it,. I remember crying and Chinook crawling to me and licked the tears off my face. The worst day of my life and I pray for my life to end to end the pain in my heart,

Fast forward almost an year and half later, and the sting of his death is still with me. I keep on telling me, this soon will pass and I think of Nikomi, my other ferret and even though I am sad, it is not grief stricken like Chinook. Chinook was always my favorite and I supposed it is my fault for building my life around this wonderful critter and now he is gone.

The worst part, I am now being exposed to more and more people in my life that state animals do not have souls. Nothing is written in the Bible and I quote scriptures such as "and the Lion will eat with the sheep in harmony" which suggests there is a place in Heaven for God's creatures and then I get these people that say, you have to be reborn again, believe in Jesus, etc etc and animals have no concept of God so therefore they are here on earth to entertain us and to be eaten and that is it.

So what is the purpose of dying or going to Heaven if my Chinook is not going to be there, I have lost family members in my life and I have grieve for them but I also know the Bible teaches we will be reunited in Heaven,

I am so lost and cry and cry more and more but always in private because the people in my life are tired of hearing about Chinook the Ferret and for obvious reason why I do not have another ferret, It is almost welcoming to be separated in my relationship so I can get another ferret but I know that will not happen. No other ferret or other animal for that reason can replace my Chinook.

I am so lost.

Would like to share this short video I made on You Tube that sums up how I feel in this post.

Thank you for listening.

:(

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My dear Tim,
Your YouTube video is absolutely stunning! Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us. I've added a link to it on my Pet Loss board on Pinterest, here: http://pinterest.com/griefhealing/pet-loss/ .
I'm so sorry to learn of your struggle with this question of whether your precious Chinook is waiting for you in Heaven.
I'm by no means a biblical scholar, and I cannot point you to any passages in the Bible that address the issue of whether animals go to heaven, but I can tell you that you are not alone in asking that question. Many bereaved animal lovers struggle with whether they'll be reunited with their beloved pets in the afterlife. Whenever we are confronted with a significant loss, it is absolutely normal for us to question the spiritual beliefs that we've held all our lives — the big ones, like "Is this all there is?" and "What is the meaning of life?" and "Where do we go when we die?" There is no denying that death is a very spiritual event. When one of our cherished pets dies, it is evident to us that the pet's spirit is no longer in his body. So where did that spirit go? What happened to it? Is Chinook's animal spirit okay? Can you still communicate with his spirit in any way?

As a grief counselor, I've worked with many bereaved animal lovers over the years, and of course they all have their own spiritual beliefs. Some take great comfort and peace in the belief that their animals are okay and being cared for in a different realm (see, for example, the Animals' Eden and Rainbow Bridge stories on my Grief Healing web site; you can find them by going to my Comfort for Grieving Animal Lovers page and scrolling down through the writings you'll find there). Others believe their animals may come back and be reincarnated in a different form. Still others experience a crisis of faith, questioning everything they ever believed before. This is what I consider to be one of the great Lessons of Loss, that such a profound life crisis forces upon us an opportunity to re-examine our basic values and beliefs and pushes us to grow.
I encourage you to think of Chinook's death as an opportunity to explore your own values and beliefs, in your own way, in your own time. Don't let anyone (relatives, friends, neighbors, co-workers, minister, priest or rabbi) tell you what you should believe or even what brings you comfort. We can look to others and their beliefs as models to learn from, but in the end we each must discover and clarify our own beliefs. We can find comfort in them and let them serve us.

I can also tell you that there are a number of books out there about this subject, which in itself tells you that you are not alone in your search for an answer to this question. Some are better than others, of course. I happen to prefer children's books, because their message is simpler and less preachy, they are so beautifully illustrated and they bring me more personal comfort. But there are books directed at adults as well. Here are just a few of both types that I happen to have in my own personal library:
All God's Creatures Go To Heaven by Amy Nolfo-Wheeler with illustrations by N. A. Noel

Will I See My Dog In Heaven? by Friar Jack Wintz
Bill at Rainbow Bridge by Dan Carrison

There is Eternal Life for Animals by Niki Behrikis Shanahan
I'm sure you could find one or more of these at your local library or corner bookstore, and I know many of them are available online at Amazon.com. If you click on any one of the titles above, you can read Amazon's description and reviews of each. Be sure also to visit some of the wonderful sites I've listed on my Memorializing a Pet page.
Have you ever considered working with an animal communicator? You'll find some listings here: Animal Communicators. A place for you to start might be this: "Do Pets Go To the Afterlife?" ~ Bob Olson's interview with Danielle Mackinnon (video). See also Maylissa's post here: http://hovforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?/topic/7862-do-pets-go-to-the-afterlife-video-interviews-parts-i-ii/#entry69023

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Thank you Marty for your kind words and advice. I got a good cry at your words and at the same time feel a little better. I am honor you are showing my video and will check out these resources. God Bless

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I am sorry for your loss and I truly believe you will be reunited with your ferret. I feel so angry with misguided people that spout off their ill formed opinions that serve no purpose but to cause further unnecessary upset to the bereaved. The Bible says there will be animals in heaven, and you tell me why God would create new ones to inhabit it but not bring our beloved pets! That doesn't even make sense! How do people know if animals have souls or not! Heaven is where my beloved pets are.

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Hello Tim,

I empathize with the pain you are feeling over the loss of your best friend, Chinook! Tomorrow will be the one-year anniversary of the day I made the decision to release my precious Puli, "Seraphim." Like you, I prayed during Sera's thirteen years of life that the Lord would painlessly and mercifully take her when the time came. I did not want to make the decision I ultimately made.

On the early morning of June 9th, 2012, Sera and I sat in the garden outside the animal hospital (200 miles from our home) to enjoy a few last moments together. Sera saw our car in the parking lot. She walked to the car door, wanting desperately to come home. It broke my heart not to oblige her final wish but multiple doctors told me there was a good chance that with her congestive heart failure she could not survive the trip home because of the change of altitude. As I hysterically said goodbye to her, she looked at me with her expressive brown eyes, begging me, I know, to let her remain with me longer.

To this day, I feel guilty and I regret my decision. There must have been another way to let her die peacefully and naturally. And, as you want to be reunited with Chinook, I want nothing more than to be reunited with my Seraphim, my husband, and our previous Puli and Beardie who preceded me in life eternal.

Marty has shared some wonderful resources with you. Please let me share a couple of verses from Scripture that reinforce my belief that our God is a loving God Who loves ALL He has made and desires the suffering of no one!

In the first chapter of Genesis, God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures".... then AFTER creating the animals, God said, "Let us make man in our image after our likeness." And God saw everything He had made, and indeed it was very good (Genesis1:31).

In Genesis, before the great flood, God told Noah to build an ark and bring with him every living thing of all flesh: birds, and cattle and every creeping thing that moves upon the earth, "so they may abound on the earth, and increase and multiply on the earth."

Following the flood, God again spoke to Noah. "Behold I am establishing my covenant with you and with every creature with you: THE BIRDS, CATTLE, AND ALL THE WILD ANIMALS OF THE EARTH.... Then the Lord said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between Me and you, AND EVERY LIVING CREATURE WITH YOU, for perpetual generations: I am setting My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth, the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh." (Emphases mine.)

What do these references mean to me? They mean that God loved and valued the animals so much that He included them and all creation in His covenant! And, this covenant with the animals, creation, and us is but one proof of the value, and purpose, and eternal nature of ALL creation! Nothing God has made is disposable or useless. Nothing that IS, or nothing that happens, is without meaning, eventhough we can't see it at the time. All we have to do is open wide our eyes to see that all people, the entire universe, AND ALL ANIMALS are evolving and becoming!!!!! How glorious is that?

Scripture abounds with reassuring references but let me close with another that I find comforting. "Take delight in the Lord, and He shall give you your heart's desire. Commit your way to the Lord and put your trust in Him, and He will bring it to pass... Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him." Tim, just as I believe that the sun will rise tomorrow, I have faith that if I put my trust in the Lord, He will give me my heart's desire. And what is my heart's desire? To be reunited with my family in, and for, eternity.

In closing, your video tribute to Chinook is a beautiful and enduring testament to your love for Chinook. It brought tears to my eyes! When my Sera died, I added a tribute to her and our previous Puli, Pawsha, on the Puli Rescue Trust Memorial Wall. If you click on Seraphim's and Pawsha's photos, you can read my memorial tribute to each of them. http://www.pulirescue.org/apps/memwall/memorial.asp On the anniversary of each of their births and deaths, I make donations to the Puli and Beardie Rescue/Charitable Trusts. It's my way of honoring their memories. I also donated memorial icons of the above creation verse and Noah's ark to my local veterinarian. Hopefully, these icons will help others remember how much our God, like us, loves the animals of this world. And yes, I still grieve. Yes, I still weep. But I have hope and faith in the future!

God bless and comfort you!

jr

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jr,

I so agree with you and wish you comfort in your losses. I, for one, look forward to being reunited with my husband, father, niece, nephew, grandparents, eight dogs, two parakeets, and 13 cats that I have lost over the years.

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Chinook

I am so sorry for your loss and pain. My heart goes out to you. I have had 5 ferrets 2 dogs and 2 chinchillas. Each death was painful, but impacted me differently. I miss all of my little ones greatly, but like you with Chinook i had my Remmie. She was my shadow girl. I don't know your exact pain, but have the pain of still missing her greatly. I was closest to her and my chinchilla Spritie. Only lossing my partner/the love of my life was worse. I didn't know how to carry on or get closure after they were gone. I personally believe that there is a safe beautiful place for everyone-including animals that they go to after their bodies die. I am not a religious person, but i can see how you would feel so torn. People here do give great references to articles and such and i hope those are some help to you. Your Chinook is with you. We don't have to completely let go of them. I haven't and now i am able to smile at pictures and memories of them. It's hard when people you love and trust go against what you may feel, but feel it. Believe it. You'll be with them again :)

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Hi Tim,

First off, I want to say your tribute to Chinook had me in tears as well......soooo deeply touching, beautifully and creatively composed, and echoing several of the same feelings of loss and longing now a part of my own life, too. :unsure: But also a reminder to me of the significant and many signs I've personally received from my own kidlets' continuing lives since their transitions....including several through cloud formations, rainbows and the like.

There is much I'd love to talk about in response to your post, but I'll focus mainly on your deep questioning and distress over the insensitivities, and I'd add, ignorance, shown to you by those particular people:

  • From what I've observed over the years, most grieving animal parents have also been subjected to such insensitivities and (erroneous, I'd say) "old world" paradigms that discount nonhuman beings to lowlier positions than humans. And this causes enormous amounts of pain to us (and to the animals themselves, of course), just as Kay has expressed so succinctly. However, from a spiritual perspective, as Marty suggested, these are often turning/growth points for us, ones which our own souls may have "pre-ordered" as opportunities for an expansion of our consciousness (including universal consciousness) -- the 'silver lining' of such painful periods, as it were, painful as they may be.
  • What jr made the time and effort to share with you was wonderful, imo, and I recognized many of these same biblical passages from my own research efforts into the subject of the souls of nonhuman beings. (side note: thanks much, jr, for saving me the time to recount those ones myself! ^_^ ) I have several of the books Marty listed, including the Christian-based one by Niki Behrikis Shanahan (which I bought expressly for the purpose of countering what I call these ridiculous claims against the existence of animals' souls), and would like to add some related information I discovered years ago (which Niki discusses as well), plus one more passage from her book. Whether you share any of this information with those who sought to discount Chinook's soul, or not, at least you'll have this knowledge to integrate into your own journey:
The original Hebrew verses used the word "nephesh," which encompassed the meanings of "creature," "life," and more. "Nephesh" was later morphed into the word "soul," but "nephesh" was actually a much more comprehensive term. Of note, nowhere in those texts was there a differentiation made between this term in regards to either humans or nonhumans. (you can always Google the word for many discourses on it, but one fairly comprehensive page can be found here: http://www.pickle-publishing.com/papers/soul-and-spirit.htm )

And from Niki's book, another biblical passage that is key:

" But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this? In Whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind." - Job 12:7-10

She further makes the point that "the original Hebrew word translated as "of every living" is "chay" which means "every living thing, man and animal."

  • A "Humane Religion" website I've also often referred to and which is animal-focused, is:
http://www.all-creatures.org/hr/hragod.htm

On the particular page above you can read an article about "God's Covenant with All Creatures."

  • Another wonderful book in my collection, but not included in Marty's list is 'The Soul of Your Pet: Evidence for the Survival of Animals After Death," by Scott S. Smith:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Soul-Your-Pet-Evidence/dp/1558184023

The first Customer Review, when you scroll down, gives a very good synopsis of it, and I highly recommend this book...along with Kim Sheridan's.

  • I had a brilliant quote by someone stored for reference, but the webpage doesn't exist now and I can't find the quote again online. However, it was a woman who said something about heaven not being heaven to her if her animal loves weren't there. The logic behind this struck me as key point, that being, despite what anyone says about their souls, if ours are part of the Divine and we wish to be reunited with whomever our loved ones are, then wouldn't it stand to reason that, if nothing else, our wishes would be honoured?

Aside from all this, and mainly because of my own experiences with signs from my kidlets, and trust in how the Divine imparts things of import to me, I could talk for days about all the apparent evidence of why I believe my furkids' souls still exist, still connect with me, and remain a part of my life, and also of my own soul, merged together with theirs forever. (yet the missing them in the physical still isn't easy!)

In fact, I have also come to believe that there isn't actually any difference between "nonhuman" or "human" souls. By that I mean, souls are souls are souls, all of/from the Divine/Source/whatever you may call It, and with no speciesism or humanly-contrived separation existing at all to differentiate between one soul and another. In other words, I don't believe there is any "heirarchy" of souls. (and even beyond that, my soul FEELS, and I've experienced clairvoyance w/this as well, that my fur-boy and I were also once human spouses in another lifetime)

Logic dicates that if this were not so, it would make a total mockery of the spiritual teaching that "All IS One." It's akin to erroneously thinking the Divine forgives you for everything.....but that one unkind remark you made back in Grade 3! ;) To my mind (and more importantly, to my heart, the "seat of the soul"), All couldn't be One except for THIS thing or THAT, this living being or that. If that were so, there IS no "One," as the whole idea of One would, by It's own nature, have to emcompass everything and everyone, all at once, and as a whole. Many people think that's "radical" or "extremist," but frankly, I don't care what anyone else may think of it. To my soul, that's how it feels and how I sense it to be, and what the animals have taught me as well. And I truly and deeply believe it's because of my sacred relationship/soul-bond with my kidlets that I evolved into this perspective. If not for them and their brilliant souls..... :wub:

Of course we each have to walk our own paths, and in our own ways, but I hope I may have provided at least some food for thought, or just as importantly, some small comfort to you in your days of mourning and spiritual inquiry.

And of course no one could replace your beloved Chinook, as we're ALL unique, soul-wise, even whilst being drops that make up the ocean. Might I suggest you ask, and allow your fur-boy to guide and teach you that which you most seek to know? He may well be your very wisest teacher of all. :closedeyes:

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I want to thank everyone for taking the time to share your own experiences and wisdom,. This forum is such an blessing. I have picked up one book on AMAZON and just started reading it now. I guess you always feel your pain is unique but we all go through it. I have re-read everyone's comments 3 times since my first response, it is the reinforcement positive thoughts and love for a complete stranger is overwhelming and most welcome. Thank you all. Thank you Marty for being here for us all.

Respectfully

Tim Smith

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Oh...What a beautiful tribute to Chinook.

I believe with all my heart that we will be reunited with our fur babies when we pass on. How arrogant is for those that interpret the bible so strictly and profess that they somehow now that the creator only valued humans as worthy of entering heaven. Why not animals? They are "innocence" in its purest form, and they are capable of all the range of emotions we are.

Bicky (my dog) was perhaps the most civilized and loving being I have ever known...

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Hello Tim,

Your video of your dear Chinook was so touching. As an animal lover I so believe that all living things enrich our lives.

I believe what Marty told you: “We can look to others and their beliefs as models to learn from, but in the end we each must discover and clarify our own beliefs. We can find comfort in them and let them serve us.”

There is so much good information to read that those on our forum chose to share with you. How lucky we are to have this wonderful discussion group. Anne

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Hello Tim,

I believe that all life has awareness.

I believe awareness is how life interacts with, shapes, creates, and experiences existence.

So there are at least 7 billion or so views of existence, just counting humans and not counting whales or pine martens or ferrets.

You and Chinook shared spirit. That does not come undone by a simple thing like death. And Chinook's idea of Heaven may well be curling up his spirit right beside you. :)

As a sane human, it may be that you only will dream about Chinook, but you may feel the sparkle of his spirit sometimes as well.

Do not listen to those poor souls who have never had a furry spirit around to love and who loved them, poor people.

I think Chinook is a super name for a ferret, by the way. :)

*<twinkles>*

fae

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