Kinlochleven Parish Church

Minister's Blog

February 2016 On the loss of a dear pet

A number of people in the village - quite a few - have gone out their way to offer me their condolences on the loss of my dear dog, Bonzo. He was beloved by so many people, and on my visits back to Edinburgh often people I knew would stop me and ask how he was, or if he was with me, speak to him. It has taken me a week or two to get to the point where I felt ready to commit anything to writing on my feelings. The loss of a pet is different to the loss of a person; through the teachings of our faith we have more of an idea about what is going on. That is not to say the grief is not intense, and hard to bear, when we lose a parent or friend or sibling. Jesus once told the story of a man who had a favourite pet lamb. I take from this that Jesus understands the place our pets have in our hearts. Somehow with a pet there is such innocence, dependence, love, and affection, that we cannot measure this being simply as another life form. The psalmist speaks of God taking away the life or breath of an animal and it dies; the breath in Scripture is the life. I have yet to form a settled view of animals and the kingdom of Christ, but I know that many such creatures have shown advanced and profound features of feeling, loyalty and service to others, and are of a high order and surely that is reflected in the abiding nature of God's realm. History gives us many examples of animals who did valiant things for others. They help us develop the finer qualities; and to my mind, are right up there, in the order of creation. And the experience of having such a creature, throughout its days, leaves me more reflective and thoughtful.




  • Lochaber Road
  • Kinlochleven
  • Argyll
  • PH50 4QW

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