Ollie the pit bull was the victim of what Hollywood Florida police call the most vicious animal abuse case they have ever encountered.  Beaten and stabbed 50 times and left to die in suitcase, he was heard crying by two passersby who notified police and was taken to a local animal hospital for two surgeries, wagging his tail and kissing the staff as he clung to life.  Since then a  neighbor came forward with her account of hearing  the gruesome attack, of Ollie's screams and cries, Grateful Paws Rescue of Ft Lauderdale assumed stewardship over him and raised nearly $100,000 to pay for the surgeries and reward for information leading to the abuser.  After the second surgery, Ollie's heart gave out under the weight of the trauma.  Thousands prayed for the capture of the killer and justice for this poor, loving pit bull, and the eve before Thanksgiving, the police arrested the perpetrator.  Grateful Paws volunteers conducted a memorial service was held on December 10 at a local Presbyterian church, attended in full force by animal lovers and activists.  

We are here together for one reason: love.

 We are here because we are not, like so many others, able to read a news story, say, “Oh that’s horrible,” turn the page, and go on with our day.

 We are here because we are not, like so many others, able to reconcile an incomprehensible act of violence with the simple and very  unsatisfying explanation that “evil things happen in this world.”

 We are here  because to us, a moment of silence to honor a brutally murdered being is not enough of gesture to pay respect to the sanctity of all life.

 We are here because we are unlike most others.  We are the ones who don’t sleep at night.  We hear Ollie’s cries.  Our minds unleashed imagine the active scene.  We are the one who have not had a restful night since October because we cannot bear the sorrow and the hurt.  How many of you have held onto your dogs and sobbed and how many times have you done so since you heard about Ollie’s attack?  I know that night I gathered my three in a group hug and cried in gratitude to the universe for their safety and prayed for the safety of all others.  And I know I was not alone. You all did the same, for your own animals, for the shelter animals, for the rescue animals, the fosters, those without voice, those without power. And Those prayers were heard:  the killer was arrested the night before Thanksgiving.  THIS is significant.  This is Ollie’s answer to us from higher planes.  through tragedy, he unites us in the mission to teach others to honor the sanctity of life,

The greatest gift you can give someone in grief is PRESENCE.  The greatest gift we can offer one who is dying is presence.

We are the ones driven by compassion and unconditional love to gather today and fortify our prayer.  We meet on a higher plane.  I think of Mattthew 18:20: “Whenever 2 or 3 gather in my name, there am I with them.”


Who says that prophets or angels or saviors must take human form? The only culture that discounts animals as divine messengers is our western culture– and look at the condition of our world. 


Where is it written that sacrifice for the greater good is a role assigned specifically to humans?  WE who are here know better.


Ollie, along with Cecil the Lion, also brutally murdered, almost 2 years ago, was and is a divine messenger sent to show the barbarism of the world and  drew us in to aid in delivering that message.  How much money was raised internationally?   Look at the attention this has gotten around the world and the thousands that were raised on his behalf.  Who would dare say this was a random circumstance and not a great lesson with which the indifferent world must grapple?  And we are blessed to be part of that sacred circle that seeks to spread that message.

We are here through Ollie’s invitation and our large and powerful presence says that reflects our conviction that all life is sacred and we by vitue of divine presence, will continue lighting the way for others to see that.


Every religion elevate the animals and though traditional churches and synagogues do not make it practice to include this in their services and sermons, it is there


Job 12:7

"But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you; And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you.


Elisha, starving in the wildnerness, was fed by crows.

The concept of ascension is symbolized throughout the Bible by eagle’s wings, with God saying, “I will take up on eagles’ wings.”

Biblically, the connection between animals, humans, and God creates a circle.

Native Americans know animals are our teachers as well: “Every animal knows more than you do” and the Lakota understand our connectedness:

In the Buddhist teachings, animals are not lesser or “other.”  


With that understanding we know Ollie has returned to the Light, where all souls return. Whether you   call it heaven, consciousness, Native Americans call it the great void, metaphysicains and spiritualists all or Light,  , l but a blinding light so overpowering that he had to look away.  Whatever you call this place where the seat of divinity rests, Ollie is there. I was able to see him three days after he passed.  He is fine. He is well.  He is loving.  He is grateful.   He has brought no darkness of experience or with him into the light.  The light always overcomes the dark and he wants us to spread that light.  Whenever  you breathe, consciously breathe in light.  Fill in all the dark spaces around you.

I know that all of our prayers all the light we sent in the month after his death illuminated the space around the killer and exposed him so the police could make

We are blessed to be here engulfed in the light that emanates from this beautiful, loving boy, Ollie , whose tail continued to wag after the butchery.

Remember what you did as a child when you awoke from a nightmare in the middle of the night.  You turned on the light.   This is what Ollie has done.  He has awakened us in the middle of the night.  I pray that we continue sharing this light so that the world  never needs another reminder.

I was looking for a conclusion to this and this morning I saw this quotation by L.R. Knost  on Facebook.  There are no accidents.  “Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break. And all things can be mended.  Not with time, as they say, but with intention.  So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally.  The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.”



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