Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance

From Un-packing Baggage to Dogs in Heaven



Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was: “(un)pack.” Use “pack” or its opposite in your post. Have fun!

It’s hard not to plan a little, though one of the rules for SoCS is minimal planning. The minimal planning takes place between when I read the prompt earlier on Friday afternoon and now sit down to write the post Friday evening while watching the pack of democrats debate. I haven’t watched the other debates, but figured I better tonight and there are no really good movies on.

Earlier I thought about writing about how our close friends, spouses, partners help us unpack our baggage, as in family history baggage, like my codependency for example. It  gets processed over and over at deeper levels with my husband. But there is healing as I let go of some baggage and accept that there will always been remnants in those zipper compartments of my luggage. But that’s okay. Progress is the goal, not perfection.

baggage unpacking

Maybe I’ll come back with examples. Probably not because I want to write about something else.

Dogs are family. They love to be with the pack.  I’m glad this is understood better now than when I was a kid. We didn’t always let our dogs in the house when I was a kid. Now, I can’t imagine not having a dog in the house. When Mary Moo’s gone, I’ll be traveling to see my grand dogs.

I finally got to see the movie, A Dog’s Purpose, on TV. Good thing I saw it on TV and not at the movies, because at the movie theater I would have to hold back my sobbing. There were hard scenes when the dog dies, bringing back memories. But the good news is that the dog comes back into as new dogs. In the movie, you get to see different lives the same dogs lives and how he or she is loved and part of a pack most of the time, but not always. It brought back some sad memories from my childhood.

There were also good memories like waking up early when I was about 9 or 10 and running with a pack of dogs around the neighborhood who had been turned lose overnight.  That brings us to my idea of heaven. I’ve written about it before, but the more we write about something, or speak about it, the more likely it is to happen, right?

When I get to heaven, I will say hello to my family members, hugs and smiles, and Jesus of course. But what I really want to spend most of my time running with my pack of dogs through the woods, diving into a lake, sleeping under the stars, or maybe in a log cabin. My husband can come there, too. Good thing he likes dogs, loves dogs. We’re going to have a big pack!  Here are some of our heavenly pack members who will be waiting for us.

Beep oreo (2)Doodle w foot on head

Jesse swimming (2)DobbsSarah Sandy   Mary Kaye and LoboHoppy



Why do I long for the dogs more than the people in the afterlife? Maybe because the dogs had such short lives, along with my sister (who is pictured above with Lobo in 1974.) We have unfinished business. Or maybe I just love dogs. A Dog’s Purpose Explains why. The love and the laughs are worth all the tears.  And dogs will help you unpack your baggage.

For more streams of consciousness, details, and guidelines, visit Linda Hill at:

Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Jesus follower, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again as well as the short version: From Loneliness to Love.

42 thoughts on “From Un-packing Baggage to Dogs in Heaven

  1. I enjoyed your story using pack. I would also love to meet my pack of dogs in heaven again.

  2. Original use of the prompt word. Well done

  3. A heartfelt and lovely post, JoAnna. I loved this film and watched it at home with tissues. I am sure your sister is running with the pack in spirit. ❤

  4. Wow, the first part of your post is eerily similar to mine….great minds think alike!!!

    I have worked out so much of my family baggage within the context of romantic relationships, and know there will always be pockets of unhealed areas.

    • You have described the process very accurately, Jami. Your blog post dives deep. Yes, I think there will always be pockets of unhealed areas, but with the work we’re doing, those areas get smaller and lighter a like those little lint balls – remnants – that remind us how far we’ve come.

  5. I love so much about this post JoAnna; the baggage analogy, dog packs, and the movie trailer. I definitely want to see this movie. Happy packing and unpacking with your pack. 🙂

  6. Yet another powerful SoCS post: sincere and heartfelt. Thank you ❤
    Unpacking "those zipper compartments of [our] luggage" can be quite painful. I've been doing quite a lot of that lately with my new writing project.

    • Thank you, Rosaliene. It’s affirming to know you felt this way about this post. Writing Trust the Timing was painful for me, but more so for my husband since it included his history and he had a lot to unpack. (Having been a therapist for so many years, I was more familiar with the process.) I think it’s important to take breaks from unpacking by using mindfulness in the present moment. I hope you have some moments of joy and peace in your days.

  7. ❤ Yes dogs definitely help unpack our baggage. Mine are better than medicine for controlling high blood pressure.

  8. Nice job with the prompt, Joanna. I miss my dogs more than some people.

  9. I loved seeing your heavenly pack! Thank you for sharing these beautiful pooch pics with us. My sweet doggies each have a piece of my heart.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed my heavenly pack. There’s a meme with a quote that goes something like: every dog I’ve ever lost takes a piece of my heart, and every new dog that comes into my life gives me a piece of their heart. And if I live long enough, every component of my heart will become dog and I’ll be as generous and loving as they are.

  10. Thank you for sharing!!.. 🙂

    Do not stand at my grave and weep
    I am not there, I do not sleep
    I am a thousand winds that blow
    I am the diamonds glints in the snow
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain
    I am the gentle autumn rain
    When you awaking in the morning hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight
    I am the soft star that shines at night
    Do not stand by my grave and cry
    I am not there, I did not die
    (Mary Frye)

  11. I have yet to see the film A Dog’s Purpose, and would no doubt end up in tears…
    Pets hold such unconditional love and we all of us could do with learning about the word Pack.. and Unify our hearts together..
    Loving my catch up, Its been a while… Sending Love ❤

  12. I’m reading “Paws and Pray,” by my fellow blogger, Leila Grandemange. It’s a book of devotions, mostly about dogs and what they teach us about God. I think you’d like it. 🙂

  13. This seemed like a very fun post, being a part of a group of people writing with prompts. I’d love to be a part of that.

    • Thank you! Feel free to join us! Linda Hill gives us a prompt every Friday and we let our stream of consciousness take it from there. It’s hard not to edit sometimes, but always interesting. Thanks for stopping by!

  14. Aww…I can’t wait to see my sweet boys again – Shadow and Buster – Shadow just passed 4/3 – devastating! I almost feel guilty going out with Wilma but yet it is so therapeutic to be out exploring and she loves it! Glad to connect with dog lovers who understand….such a painful loss!

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