Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

Happy Tail: Do dogs have souls. Two Mickeys help answer

Peg takes on theological question: Do Dogs have souls, and cites scripture and Robert Louis Stevenson to prove her points. She tells the stories of a dog named for a Russell County Judge Executive; and another tale of a Mickey II, found with a puppy and kitten dropped off in the middle of Sparksville Road.
Click on headline for complete Happy Tail. Then to continue reading more Happy Tail columns by Peg Schaeffer, including the next previous ones, scroll beyond the end of this column and links to others will appear. Each time you read another column, that list changes to allow continuous read as far back as you wish.

By Peg Schaeffer
Founder, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue

In May of 2010 I received a call from someone at the Jax's station in Russell Springs. They said there was an old chocolate Lab wandering in the parking lot. Customers were feeding him but people were worried he would be hit by a car. Could I pick him up? When I got there several people at the convenience store told me they remembered a young chocolate Lab that used to visit the store years ago. They said he was very healthy but they hadn't seen him in a long time. Could this be the same dog? Who knows? Maybe he was the same dog and old age had caught up with him. Whatever, he needed some TLC now.

He looked like he might be injured plus he was so emaciated I thought it would be in his best interests to take him to a vet to be examined. He stayed at the vet's for a few days and they found no serious problems.

We named him "Mickey" (Mickey Garner was the Judge Executive in Russell Springs at the time.) Mickey was a kind old man. He was arthritic and had a hard time motivating. He was a chow hound and in no time he gained weight and got a healthy glow. He spent most of the summer lying in the grass soaking up the warm sun on his old body.

As the summer ended and the cooler weather came in Mickey would spend most of his time in the house and when winter came he would lay on a blanket in front of the heater. One morning I got up and Mickey wasn't on the blanket. He had somehow managed to walk to the front gate and couldn't find his way back to the house. He'd been lying on the cold ground most of the night. He couldn't walk so I carried him back to the house and laid him on his blanket in front of the heater. He slept all day and I checked on him often. I could tell it was time for him to cross the Rainbow Bridge. That night I slept on the floor alongside him. He awoke several times and I was there to comfort him. In the morning we took him to the vet and eased his pain.

Mickey II
In September of 2013 I was awakened by a phone call at 3 am. A neighbor said our dogs were out in the road. I got up and went to check on it. There in the middle of the road lay a large dog with a smaller dog standing beside him. As I walked towards him, his eyes glowing in the dark, he uttered a low growl. I starting talking to him and his little buddy came up to me. I picked him up and he licked my face. As I continued talking a cat came out of the grass and rubbed my leg. Apparently this threesome had been dropped off. After a little more coaxing the larger dog warmed up to me and followed me back to the gate.

I brought the dogs to the house. (For the cat's safety I left him out in the grass and got him the next morning in the daylight.) The larger dog was a chocolate Lab and the reason his eyes were glowing was because he had cataracts. He was a senior dog and very kind and gentle. We named him after our first "Mickey" and he became "Mickey II".

Mickey II, another senior, loved his food. He would eat in a crate and if any of the other dogs came anywhere near him he would let them know in no uncertain terms that this was HIS bowl and HIS food. He always cleaned his bowl.

He also loved to sleep in his crate. When the colder weather would come the other dogs often would crawl into a crate to sleep. Mickey II would come up to either Keith or me and he would "woof", a low woof but very persistent. It was his way of letting us know that someone was sleeping in HIS crate. So we would wake whoever was in his crate so Mickey II could go to bed.

The other day Mickey II didn't finish his food. The next day he didn't even try to eat. He was very lethargic. The following morning I found him on the front lawn lying next to the wading pool. He could hardly walk. I brought him into the house and called the vet.

After examining him he was diagnosed with renal failure. His kidneys had stopped working. So I had to make the decision to have him euthanized. He lifted his head and looked me in the eye almost as if to let me know he was glad I was ending his pain. I brought him home crying the whole time.

The senior dogs are so kind. They depend on us more than younger dogs and are so appreciative of any attention. I love all of the dogs but the seniors are my favorites.

I was friends with an Amish family and one day when I was at their house the mother commented about all the dogs I have. I reminded her that she had a lot of children. And I told her I loved my dogs as much as she loves her children. She agreed BUT she said there is one difference - animals don't have souls.

Of course I wholeheartedly disagreed with her but it wasn't until I was at the Bread of Life one day and I saw a picture of a magnificent deer that I had proof. Under the picture was this caption below from Job: Chapter 12, Verse 10: "In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind."

So I got my answer and I know when my time comes the two Mickey's and all my other four legged companions will be there at the Rainbow Bridge waiting for me.

"You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us" - Robert Louis Stevenson.

- Peg Schaeffer, President and Founder, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue

Contact us if you would like to help.

Peg Schaeffer, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue,
860 Sparksville Road
Columbia, KY 42728
Home telephone: 270-378-4521
Cell phone: 270-634-4675

This story was posted on 2015-01-18 05:14:39
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.

Fred, best dog at Sugarfoot Farm, available for adoption

2015-01-18 - Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Peg Schaeffer.
Meet Fred. He's probably the BEST dog we have here right now. I think he gets overlooked because he's just a plain dog. He's not a fancy breed, extra large or extra small. He's not fluffy. He's just a dog of no special breed. He's well behaved, gentle, kind, great with kids - he NEVER does anything wrong. He loves to go for rides and sits quietly. Whenever people come to the farm looking for a dog to adopt Fred walks up to them and quietly wags his tail. It's almost like he's saying "please adopt me, I'm a good dog" Because he's such a good dog he needs a great home where he can be part of the family. He's young, maybe 1-2 years old, has been neutered and is up to date with his shots. He will be microchipped when adopted. If you want a great dog and can offer him a forever, loving home please call Peg Schaeffer at Sugarfoot Farm Rescue. 270-378-4521. - PEG

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.


Quick Links to Popular Features

Looking for a story or picture?
Try our Photo Archive or our Stories Archive for all the information that's appeared on


Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270.403.0017

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia! Magazine and D'Zine, Ltd. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.