Do All Dogs Go To Heaven?

Jerry O’Dovero (disabled, quadriplegic, paraplegic)

Do you think all dogs go to heaven? My mind is so weird that it’s actually fun to live with. A while back my buddy Kip came down to visit.  He brought his dog Gwen. Gwen has short brown hair like a chocolate lab, but the nose and feet of a collie or something. She also has the temperament of a pit bull. A friendly loving loyal dog, but you wouldn’t want to see anyone try to hurt Kip. Gwen is like most dogs (I’m assuming) loyal to the end.

It reminds me of two jokes. A dog thinks his/her owner is God. The owner provides him his food and water when he barks for it. His owner takes him outside to go potty. The owner buys toys, collars, treats etc. etc. etc. the own takes him for rides in his car and walks on the beach. The owner is a God that provides the dog a universe to live in. A dog worships his owner. He loves to show it by licking his face, wagging his tail and jumping up and down with excitement every time the owner comes home. A cat on the other hand thinks that he/she is the God and the owner is there to serve and worship her. When she’s hungry she demands her food with a few cries. When she wants to go outside she stands by the door and no matter how comfy the owner is on the couch; the owner better get up and open the door. Then a minute later without even needing to go potty she wants back in, so the owner better open the door and fast. When she wants attention the owner better give it, but the rest of the time she wants her space respected. A cat thinks she’s the God and the owner is there to worship her!

The other joke is just a joke. If you locked your dog and your wife in the trunk of a car and came back hours later, which one do you think would be happy to see you?  Hint, one would jump up and down, lick your face and maybe even pee themselves because they think you saved them from hell.

It’s just a joke, but it got me thinking one day when Kip was down visiting with Gwen. Every time Kip would leave the apartment Gwen would wait for his return. When I say wait, I mean wait! She’d wait by the patio door like she was on guard. She’d stand or sit there for hours looking out the glass door.  It was like she felt liked if she’d blinked that Kip might not return. She knows the sound of his truck, so she can tell long before me when Kip parking his truck. Kip parked his truck just a few yards from my patio. As soon as she hears Kip parking his truck she starts getting excited. By the time Kip opened the front door Gwen would be moaning and squealing and jumping around. For the first few minutes after Kip walks into the apartment he has all he can do to calm her down. She’s licking his face and jumping on him. It happens every time he leaves for just a few hours she goes crazy when he returns. It’s a sight to see. The love Gwen has for Kip is second to none. It’s a sight I’m sure you dog owners know all about.

So it got me thinking. What if when some people die and go to be judged by God, he says, ‘’you forgot to confess to one or two of your sins and you weren’t very loving to your family. It’s not the end of the world and I want to let you in to heaven, but there are the rules. But, here’s your option, go to the other place, or go back to earth in the form of a dog. If you can show me that you truly love your owner I’ll let you into heaven.’’

They say God works in mysterious ways. What if not just dogs but all pets had the sole of someone trying to get into heaven? It may be a dumb idea, but the next time you look at someone’s dog happy to see their owner you’ll think of this dumb story.

Like I said many before, I’m amazed I’ve made it this far in life with the scrambled eggs I have for brains.

Clean Sheets

Jerry O’Dovero (quadriplegic, paraplegic, handicapped, disabled)

Do you make your bed every morning? For the first 15 years of living of here in California I did. Strangely, it’s when I felt my best. Now I highly doubt there’s scientific or medical proof that making your bed keeps you healthier, but I believe it does. Making your bed isn’t enough exercise to make you healthier. I doubt if putting clean sheets on once in a while makes a big difference, but when I did, I felt better, even healthier. The last couple of years have been a little more trying. My body is getting older. When you have a disability your body is going to age faster than the person next to you. It’s simple; you have to use other parts of your body more to compensate for the parts that don’t work. You use it, you wear it out. So the best advice I can give you is to enjoy life every day, especially when you’re young. If you’re lucky your body will wear out because your old.

The second reason I think making my bed made me healthier was it provided structure in my life. A routine if you will. Even though it’s just a bed, it’s something to believe in. When I’d go back into my bedroom later in the day and see my room nice, neat and in order I feel better about myself. Even though I’m single and no one is probably going to know. I’d still know. In my 51 years of life, I’ve dated a few women. Nearly all the time they were wearing sexy undergarments. And I’m laughing right now because the couple of times they didn’t, they’d apologize before we’d get to the time of night where I’d see what was underneath. Why do women spend large sums of money on lingerie and wear it to work under their clothes where no one at work will ever see? It makes them feel better about themselves. Your life is better when you feel good about yourself. No one went into a crowd and did terrible things when they feel good about themselves. Wearing sexy underwear doesn’t do it for me, but a clean apartment does. I need to get back to cleaning it more often.

For the longest time I used to keep my thoughts to myself. I just did what I thought was right or what I thought I needed to do to make me happy. But I’m getting older. Time is flying by like you wouldn’t believe. I think I’m waking up every day, but I swear I’m only waking up once a month, at best. Time is just flying by. I enjoy telling my thoughts here. I’m sure people are laughing at me for doing so, but at least their laughing.

Today’s thought was ”structure.” I feel my best when I have structure in my life. I spent the past three weeks mostly in my bed. I scratched my rear which isn’t good. Open sores can be dangerous for me. I either sit in my wheelchair or lay in bed. Even a small scratch can become a major problem if not watched closely. Than as luck would have it, I also burnt my finger. It very quickly became infected. I had antibiotics for a bladder infection so I took them until my rear healed. Then I went to see my doctor to get the correct medicine. My doctor was actually impressed how even though it was infected for long time it was that bad. But I kept it clean with drug store crap. A long story short, I’ve had time to think about life. I want routines back in my life. I feel my best when I have it. Talking to you has become part of it.

It’s important for parents to be a part of their children’s lives. It’s an important routine that starts at birth. Knowing that your parents are there for you gives you something to believe in. My parents haven’t talked to me in ten years. It’s time to tell that story. I will soon. I don’t want what happened to me to happen to anyone else.

Impossible?

Jerry O’Dovero (quadriplegic, paraplegic, disabled )

A few weeks ago I went sailing another time with Kip. This time my friend Jackie came along. Again it was in the BAADS’s keelboat. While I’ve known Kip for 10 years, I’ve known Jackie for more than 30. She’s from my home town. As luck would have it, Jackie and her late husband Mark moved just an hour’s drive from me 15(?) years ago. They’re both wonderful friends. I spent many a night visiting them up north. Several of them were for Christmas. It’s sad when you lose someone as nice as Mark, but then someone said that God doesn’t want the assholes in heaven. I guess that’s why the world is full of jerks.

Last week I went sailing again in the keelboat with Steve and Kristina. Kristina is also from my home town. Steve is from the east coast, but I don’t hold that against him. Just kidding! Actually I’m the luckiest man on earth. Some of you might look at my picture and see a wheelchair and say really? But yes I am! And when I tell you some of the betrayal that I’ve lived through, please remember, I’m still the luckiest man on earth.

The sailing was fun. Just like with Kip and Jackie, the America’s cup race was taking place. The U.S. boat, Oracle Team USA, was down in the series verses New Zealand. The team that wins 9 races first wins the cup (Americas Cup). New Zealand was up 8-1 at one point. But team USA battled back. They started winning races. But coming back from an 8-1 deficit is nearly impossible. Impossible? Life is funny. Just when you think all hope is lost, if you don’t give up, impossible can happen. A race that New Zealand is winning gets canceled because of high winds. Another race is canceled because of time. And before you know it its Sunday and Steve, Kristina and I are sailing on the San Francisco bay and the Americas Cup race is still going on.

The score is now 8-6. Yes, Team USA has won the last 5 races. When I booked the weekend for sailing I never expected to be watching the Americas Cup. I thought there would be a lot of San Franciscans crying in their beers. Also on the sail boat with us were Joy, Donna and the skipper Chris. Our vantage point to the race was near buoy 4. Both boats had to go around it twice. After the second time it was just a short dash line. You can never understand how fast those race boats go. They go from zero to more than 40 mph in seconds. Most of the time 95% of the boat isn’t even touching the water. If I remember right, they couldn’t race if the winds were over 25 mph. How can a sail boat being powered by the wind go nearly twice as fast as the wind?

Our Sunday sail was going to end in one of two ways. New Zealand wins the first race and the Americas cup and we sail around the bay enjoying the day. Team USA wins the first race and we are excited for it and stay near the course for race number two. Since we were buoy 4, we could see Team USA making the turn around it first. A little sailing around for a while and then it was watched to see who was leading on the return. Then it happened, Team USA leading. Soon and I mean soon Team USA made the turn for the finish line and won the first race.

Our sail around the bay just got postponed. And everyone on the BAADS keelboat was happy for it. We did go for a short sail while waiting for the second race or I like to think, only 2 wins away. I like to look at things in a positive light. Team USA doesn’t have to win 8 races in a row anymore. They only have to win 2 races to win the Americas Cup. On our leisurely sail, Chris points to an old vintage looking sail boat with two tall masts. The sail boat had to be more than 40’ long, maybe in the 50s. Chris points to it an says that that sail boat was a replica of the very first boat to win the Americas Cup. Sure enough, as we circled around the back of the boat I seen its name, America.

Race two started and we sailed back to our vantage point near the buoy. You should have seen the excitement on the sail boat when Team USA was leading. OK maybe it was just me, but I was excited. A while later and we see in the distance that Team USA had a big lead. They were going to win! They came around the buoy and headed for the finish line. A few minutes later the San Francisco bay erupted with the sound of boat horns.

Our day of sailing was going to end with smiles all around. It was getting late, but we all agreed to take a sail under the new Bay Bridge. First around Treasure Island, a manmade island for the navy, then under the new bridge and finally around Yerba Buena Island.

I’m the luckiest man on earth because I have great friends. Oh, before I forget, Team USA won the last race and the Americas Cup!