Serena J. Cavanaugh :: Blog

January 30, 2010

Finally Proof that All Dogs Go to Heaven!

Filed under: Cultural Rants — serena @ 9:09 pm


“Did the dinosaurs know God?”


My four year-old niece, Rachel, asked this perfectly legitimate question. By her simple logic, their size alone must have made them pretty darn close to the Man Upstairs. The bigger the better… the closer to God, of course.


But her mother, my little sister – so I have the right to totally judge her — quickly put a stop to that burgeoning philosophy. “Only people know God,” she said and just to make sure she forever ruined the poor child’s love of nature, she added, “And only people go to heaven.”




She said this right in front of my dog. Obviously, she missed the papal concession that all dogs go to heaven.


I’m not sure who was more damaged by this exchange – the dog, the four year-old, or me — but I think by the time I was finished with my errant little sister, she was.


Because animals – and definitely dogs – certainly know God and if you know God, not just of him like the human schmucks, then that’s a free ticket straight to paradise. Trust me: it makes sense and I’m about to prove it in a logical, coherent, even mathematical way that even a four year-old could understand.


The first axiom is that bigger is better. Now don’t start arguing yet. Four year-olds are ultra-grounded so they can only talk in terms of the concrete, hence Rachel’s focus on the physical size.


But we aren’t four, so we don’t have to focus on size.


Let’s dissect the meaning of the word “bigger.” When we say a person is being a “bigger” person, we mean they are being strong and doing what is expected of them. What animal does anything besides what is expected of them? Even when a dog is being naughty, as in barking at the cat on the fence, or digging in the garden, he’s doing exactly what God intended. And when he sacrifices those small pleasures for us, he’s being strong. Either way — he’s earning his way to Eden.


Dogs, I think, are still enjoying the Garden of Eden. Isn’t that what a dog is all about? In exchange for obedience, we feed them and take care of them, which is exactly the exchange God wanted with Adam and Eve. 


The other thing about “bigger people” is that they don’t sweat the small stuff. They keep their mind on the simple, not the complex and convoluted. When faced with confrontations, they choose the path less trodded upon, one that is higher, perhaps narrower, perhaps straighter… oh, that would be the road leading straight to the pearly gates.


I’m going to go on a slight but important tangent here to prove that faulty logic is also better and necessary. Faulty logic belongs to those that are simple minded and simple people are bigger people and bigger people are better people… and if you are still confused Rachel will explain.


So, back to my faulty but better logic…


It has been established that simple means better means higher means heaven etc.


And what can be simpler than a dog, stretched out on the sunny part of the carpet, or hopping through tall grass with a gait that freezes at the top of the jump’s arch, or snapping at gnats in the dusky evening, or enjoying that good scratch behind the ears?


Nothing…except maybe a four year-old asking whether or not dinosaurs know God, on account of their size and all.




December 3, 2009

Raising Teens

Filed under: Cultural Rants, Parenting — Tags: , , , , — serena @ 3:23 pm

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: teens are God’s way of helping mothers let them go. It’s not that they are bad, it’s just that they aren’t likeable. (more…)

November 22, 2009

Literary Flings & Affairs Episode 4

Filed under: Cultural Rants, Literature — Tags: , , , , — serena @ 6:55 pm

The Rebound/ Spin Off 

Andrew  Jones  of  Penn  St  and   Mike  Tisdale  and  Calvin  Brock  of  Illinois   contest   a  rebound  during  the  game.   picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/ Darrell   Hoemann  .....................

We read a book that sweeps us off our feet and into another world that we never want to leave. But it doesn’t leave us a choice. The End happens, just like that.


We feel empty, hollow, and worst of all needy. Then the Spin Off comes along, promising us everything we got from that special novel – we get to see Mr. Darcy again! Or the DeWinters! The idea alone gets our hearts all a-flutter. (more…)

November 12, 2009

Greener School Lunches

Mason Jars Replace Boxes, Bottles and Smelly Thermoses

So we’re all trying to live greener and healthier. Then there’s the school lunch. It offers a green-living, food-purist some serious issue.

Even before I endeavored to be green, I had a problem with the school lunch what with the difference between a 100% natural fruit drink, 100% juice and 100% fruit juice and natural flavor versus no artificial flavor. Then there was the question of high fructose corn syrup… and finally, landfills. (more…)

October 28, 2009

Strange and Unusual: Cat Fight!

Filed under: Cultural Rants — Tags: , , , — serena @ 10:29 pm

catfight450.jpg cat fight image by zboytony

It wasn’t one of those things on my bucket list, but today I got in a cat fight with a complete stranger.


October 24, 2009

Odd Couples, Episode 1

Shakespeare and the Swine Flu 



It seems like an odd couple, but not when you really think about it. Imagine: you are locked in your house, unable to venture out into the healthy world. Two sick kids, who tend to complain and moan much louder than you, have commandeered the TV with the DVD player. What to do?

Well, naturally, you read. (more…)

September 24, 2009

The Writing Life

Filed under: Cultural Rants, The Writing Life — Tags: , , , — serena @ 10:46 am





This morning I awoke with a sense of dread. I just finished the first draft of my second novel – meaning I finished a few weeks ago. Hundreds of the novel’s pages are stacked on my desk, out of order, with tons of edits and suggestions scrawled along the margins – products of writing group comments and various family reader-helpers. The book is about 10,000 words short and I didn’t have the foresight to organize it by chapter. Ick.


So what do I do? I take a long bath. Then I (more…)

September 4, 2009

Literary Flings and Affairs, Episode 3

The Short Story



There was a time in my life when all of the sudden, short stories were all I read. Granted, they always had their place: say in school for Literature study purposes and in the doctor’s office, just to kill time. But this particular period of my life, I actually purchased volumes of collections and read one after the other.


My husband, in his younger years, suffered something similar. We call them compulsive one night stands. (more…)

August 3, 2009

Literary Flings & Affairs, Episode 2

Filed under: Cultural Rants, Literature — Tags: , , , , , — serena @ 5:24 pm

Bodice Ripping Romance

I read my first bodice-ripping romance at fourteen. Don’t judge me: I did mature early, blooming into a full fledged reader a couple years prior with Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Gone with the Wind and Grapes of Wrath secured tight under my belt. So I was ready and willing.

Imagine the intrigue when I found, at the home of the children I babysat every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, a ten foot closet shelf double packed with paperback novels. The covers depicted hard muscled men literally tearing the bodices off voluptuous women, all in historic costume. (more…)

May 27, 2009

Literary Flings and Affairs, Episode 1

Filed under: Cultural Rants, Literature — Tags: , , , , , — serena @ 12:36 pm

       Dark Seduction        


            I don’t usually read Science Fiction and Fantasy, but I have a little brother (and no matter how much taller he is than me, he’s still little) who devours the stuff.


             Several years ago, he got me involved with a fellow named George R.R. Martin. Utterly helpless within the forceful grip of his story, I succumbed completely and with abandon, to the seduction of his characters and the foreign world they inhabited. By (more…)

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