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'God's angel' comforts girl who lost dog Mary Jacobs, May 9, 2007
SAN ANTONIO - Meredith Scrivener, who wrote to God inquiring after her dog, sits in a field of bluebonnets.
By Mary Jacobs Associate Editor
You may have heard this happy story by way of an e-mail circulating the Internet. You'll be glad to know that it's true. And it came to light thanks to a United Methodist newspaperman who shared the story in his column.
Last August, Greg and Joy Scrivener of San Antonio, Texas, had to put their beloved 14-year-old dog Abbey to sleep. The dog had liver cancer. The couple had found the orphan dog and adopted her before they were married.
The couple's three children were upset, especially Meredith, then 4, who cried most of the day after Abbey died. Ms. Scrivener and Meredith made a memory book together, but Meredith still cried, so much that the pictures were blurred by her tears.
The next day, Meredith brought her mother a pen and paper and asked her to write a letter to God. Ms. Scrivener wrote as Meredith dictated:
Will you please take care of our dog, Abbey? She died yesterday and she is in heaven now. We hope that Abbey is OK now and that she isn't sick anymore. We love you for letting us have Abbey even though she died. We are sending pictures of Abbey in the little envelopes so that you can see what she looks like and you will know her when you see her.
Love, Meredith Claire
P.S. Mommy wrote it after Mer told her the words.
The letter was addressed "To: God in Heaven," and included the family's return address. Meredith added extra stamps, given the distance.
Mother and daughter walked to the post office and dropped the letter into a mailbox. "I thought that would be the end of it," Ms. Scrivener said.
Two weeks later, the family returned from a Labor Day holiday and found a package wrapped in gold on their front porch, addressed "To: Mer."
Inside was a copy of a book, When a Pet Dies, by Fred Rogers, the late Presbyterian minister who hosted the children's television program, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
And there was a note:
I know that you will be happy to find out that Abbey arrived safely and soundly in heaven. Having the picture you sent to me was a big help! I recognized Abbey right away!
You know, Mer, she isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me, just like it stays in your heart-young and running and playing. Abbey loved being your dog, you know. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets! So, I am sending you your beautiful letter back with the pictures-so that you will have this little memory book to keep.
One of my angels is taking care of this for me. I hope this book will help. Thank you for your beautiful letter. Thank your mother for sending it. What a wonderful mother you have; I picked her out just for you.
Signed, God, and one of his special angels who wrote this letter after God told her the words.
Ms. Scrivener shared the tale in an e-mail to Cary Clack, a columnist for the San Antonio Express-News and a longtime member of St. Paul UMC in San Antonio. He then wrote about it in an October column.
"This is a little story about a little girl who lost her dog and found an angel," the column began.
Soon, the story began circulating via the Internet. After receiving several inquiries, Snopes.com, a Web site that investigates urban legends, confirmed the story's veracity in March.
Despite all the coverage, no one has stepped forward identifying himself or herself as the sender of the package. The Postmaster General's office contacted Ms. Scrivener, but she declined to help find the "angel."
"I felt like the person didn't want to be known," she said. "She had a lot of opportunity to come forward and decided not to."
The Scriveners attend an Episcopal church, but Ms. Scrivener says there's a lesson here that people of all denominations will appreciate. "I felt very impressed of how strong the faith of children is," she said. "There was no doubt in Meredith's mind that her letter was going to heaven.
"When she received the package, she was happy, but she wasn't surprised. That's such an important lesson to remember, that God is always listening to us."