Many ask me, will my dog go to heaven?
About half of the people I talk to every day have recently lost a canine family member, so with that in mind, I have been thinking about writing on this subject for quite a while…this is not a “FLAKEY” article, don’t worry…but for those of you who are open-minded, I dare you to continue reading….for those of you who have lost a companion…I hope this is a comfort to you…for those who have never lost a pet, I trust it will be a mind-expanding, enjoyable ride as you read. It may change your life forever…
“I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for “—Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
Dogs are not called “man’s best friend” for no reason, consider how attached some of us get to these wonderful creatures…they cuddle, they know when we are sick, they save us from life-threatening danger and diseases, they assist us in everyday living, they babysit our children…really, I think they are one of God’s coolest creations!
Since I was a child I have been drawn to and intrigued by dogs. My mom would not let us own pets, so I went from door to door in my neighborhood offering to walk everyone’s dog! I guess you can guess that I was a “true” animal person…no one taught me this, it was just in my blood.
When I purchased my first dog, I was smitten. I attached to her like nothing I ever thought I could. You could say my husband was quite jealous!
I want to open myself to you and share with you some things that are very close to my heart…if you do not wish to get to know me better, please, exit out of this page…but if you don’t mind “entering in” to this page with an open mind…I think you will enjoy it…bookmark this page and come back to it if you can’t read it all in one sitting!
I’ve been reading the Bible since I was just a small child. I love to learn, I love to study, I love to know the TRUTH…I absolutely HATE it when I can’t figure something out…its part of my personality (my husband says it drives him crazy!) But it is that DRIVE that leads me to try to find answers to life’s most difficult questions…I won’t bore you with them all…but this particular one is appropriate to cover on this particular website.
I’m always puzzled by those who don’t see a supernatural creator at the core of living things…all you have to do is watch the wonder of the process of birth to see the complexity with which everything functions. To think how a couple cells replicate to form all the complex organs in just the right place to form a living creature… To watch how, by nature, a mother dog knows exactly what to do with her pups when they are born, exactly when they are ready to be weaned, and exactly which one is which, by scent alone…isn’t it amazing? Now, I want you to know, from the get-go, that I won’t claim to have all the right answers, only God knows if our pets will truly go to heaven, but I hope that I can make you think about things you have never thought of before…and trust me, I won’t get “flakey, bizarre “on you.
“The average dog is a nicer person than the average person”–Andrew A. Rooney
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”–Anatole France (1844-1924)
“Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it”–Jesus Christ, Matthew 10:29
In Genesis, it talks about how God formed every “beast of the field…” God made a big deal about having Adam name all of the animals that he created. In fact, God may have thought that the animals were enough of a suitable companion for him…until Adam started belly-aching about wanting another human companion…up until that time, it seemed that God thought the animals were quite sufficient to fulfill Adams need for companionship! It wasn’t until after “the Fall” that suddenly our relationship with animals changed dramatically…and horrible ideas such as “eating” our animals (chickens, cows, etc) for dinner came about. I often wonder if animals were able to speak before the Fall…
There are numerous passages in the Bible that deal with animals…in fact, Proverbs infers that you can tell a LOT about a person’s character by how they treat their animals…God also included animals of particular cities in both his judgments and his blessings. And He includes them in the “new heaven and new earth” promised at the end of time…where the “lion will lay down with the lamb”…There is even one passage in the book of Numbers in which God sends an angel to rebuke someone who is being terribly harsh with their donkey! (Baalam was the mean guy!)
God even included the animals in the Sabbath:
“For every beast of the forest is mine… I know all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine.” –Psalm 50:10,11
Since we are made in the “image of God”, we feel sorrow, along with many other emotions that He feels…and I think that when we grieve over the loss of a beloved pet, it reflects the tenderness and sensitivity that God put in every one of us.
I remember being shocked at how INTENSELY I grieved over the loss of my dogs. I went through the same grieving process that I recall going through when my father was tragically killed in a commercial airline crash in 1985. Shocked they were really gone, wondering if they’d waltz in the door any minute and it was all just a bad dream…finding little reminders around the house that would launch me into tears. Interestingly, although I hate to admit it, I was reminded of ONLY good memories regarding the pets I lost. In contrast, when losing my father, I was also plagued with “regret” and heartaches in that relationship, in addition to the tragic loss.
I truly believe that part of God’s “being” and “character” are reflected in his creation of animals (just like us humans)…and I sometimes wonder if he did not save some of his better characteristics for the animals! In addition, I think the love they show us reflect some sense of the love of God. You know…they were not the ones to “screw stuff up” in the Fall…they were innocent recipients of the backlash of sin entering the world. I sort of feel like they got the ‘raw end of the deal,” by none of their own doing.
My comfort comes from believing that one day, as the Bible says, “many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake…”(Daniel 12:2) If God has the supernatural power to raise himself and us from the dead, then surely he has the power to raise our beloved pets as well! In Romans 8:19-23, it tells us that Jesus Christ will return to earth, and “the creature itself will also be delivered…” There seems to be hope that animals will participate in the deliverance, one day, from this fallen earth.
So I ask myself, with the concern and care God has for his creatures, is there not a possibility that they are included in the blessings God gives us, and the promise of a “new earth”, and “restoration”??? I mean, they didn’t need “saving” from sin, that was OUR problem…they certainly seem to deserve heaven even more than us…and could it be that they could be in heaven with us someday too??? Again, if God wants to do it, he could…the possibility surely is there.
“Man, do not pride yourself on superiority to animals, they are without sin, and you, with your greatness, defile the earth by your appearance on it, and leave the traces of your foulness after you–alas, it is true of almost every one of us!–Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) Ouch! (Right??)
One of the greatest miracles of all occurred over 2,000 years ago with God placed himself into the cells of the body of a girl named Mary. Jesus (God in the form of man) lived, suffered, loved, died, and rose from the dead. If God is that powerful, can he not also work the miracle of raising our little pets from the dead someday?
Some may ask, “if God cares so much for His creatures…why did he have the Jews slit their throats in sacrifices???” The Bible tells us that the “wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23) Isn’t it interesting that God chose to demonstrate the way of salvation through the death of the animals? Imagine the grief of the poor Jewish family who raised many cute little innocent lambs, only to send the most perfect one to the Temple for a sacrifice as God told them to do, demonstrating how blood must be shed to cover sins. Imagine the tears of the little children. Of course, the little lamb does not have a clue what is going to happen, he trustingly follows his owner to the temple…then after a prayer is made over the lamb…a swift slash of the throat and its over…I think sin is a real serious thing in God’s eyes…and thank GOD, he later sent another “Lamb” (of God) to take the place of these poor innocent creatures, and instead, he took upon himself, the sins of the world. Never again would the “creatures” have to die again for our sins. “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned, every one, to his own way, And the Lord has laid on Him the sin of us all” (Isaiah 53:6) The perfect sacrificial lamb came in the form of Jesus Christ.
God must have supernaturally created that special bond between man and the animals, otherwise, why would the dying of these animals be a “sacrifice” for the Jews?? If it had not created such sorrow, they would not have realized the gravity of their sin. This act must have had such a huge impact on the people, wanting them to turn away from their sins…to prevent such sorrow.
Jesus was the FINAL sacrifice. As hard as it may be when we have to make that horrible choice to “put to sleep” (euthanize) a beloved pet, it must have been so hard for God to send his only Son to go to earth to experience such a death. But he cared SO much, that he did it. He died so we could LIVE. He also rescued the “creatures”…and I believe they are so special to Him (after us) that He surely may allow them into heaven, after all, and He includes them in his “restoration of the earth”.
How should we respond to the Love of a God with a heart this big??
…realize we sin, and it separates us from God…since he is perfect. (John 3:16) Believe in Jesus, instead of relying on your “goodness” (boy I’d be in trouble if it were up to me!) God offers us forgiveness FREE…. Accept Jesus as the sacrificial Lamb, who died so you could LIVE…Live your life in such a way to please Him (I always say, if we follow God’s wisdom, we sure save ourselves alot of heartache too, we sure know how to screw things up on our own! Read a Proverb every day…there are 31, one for each day of the month! Read a Psalm every day. Then read one of the gospels)…you will be amazed at not only the common sense advice found here…but there is so much mind-blowing wisdom you will gain! And you will learn about the greatest man that every lived–Jesus.)
Then…look forward to heaven…and I believe, seeing your ‘little friend” again, possibly, someday…(Rev. 20;4-6)
At the age of 4 years old, I gave my life to God. It was the best thing I ever did. It does not mean I have not screwed up “royally” sometimes, but you know what??? God is always there with arms wide open when I finally realize what a mess I’ve made on my own. He forgives, He does not judge. (I love the parable of the ‘prodigal son” in the New Testament…what a great demonstration of the unbelievable love and forgiveness our Father has! Then he pretends He does not even remember our sin …”as far as the east is from the west” is how far he carries our sins away)
Now…where do you think these new “heavenly creatures” will come from??? (the lion that will lay down with the lamb…)..well, why would God not recreate the creatures already dead, and resurrect them? Certainly it is a possibility (but also, only God knows)
God knows what it is like to lose a loved one, so he can certainly understand your grief, right now, that you may be feeling, no matter where it is in life that this article finds you. Jesus lived 33 years on this earth, long enough to have experienced just about all he possibly could to understand us human beings. I take comfort in that…he can RELATE to us, He wants a relationship with us, otherwise why would He bother coming to earth in flesh, as Jesus Christ? Boy, I’m sure it was a real contrast to heaven…but he did it for US.
And remember, to God, you are more valuable to him than the “sparrows” (Matthew 12:12) Think of how important that little creature was to you…imagine how much more God must love you. God died for US (not the “fidos” of the world…they didn’t need Him to!)
Forget all of your “hang-ups” about religion…don’t cut off your nose to spite your face (so to speak). Some say, if God is not real, then you have nothing to lose when you die. If He IS real, then you have everything to lose if you don’t believe in Him and acknowledge his sacrifice for us.
Don’t blame God for the bad example people set in this world, that is THEIR doing, not his. Don’t let THEM keep you out of heaven either…that would be stupid. God’s Holy Spirit is drawing you right now…its no mistake that you read this article…this was a divine appointment…take the hint. Give your life to God right now. He wants to heal you, and give you a shoulder to lean on. Life can be tough. I don’t know how people can do it without God. Call me if you need someone to pray with you. I am here. 570-549-6700. I’d also like to know if you have given your life to God. The Bible says that when “one sinner repents”, the angels rejoice in Heaven (Luke 15:10)…and I want to join the PARTY!!
I hope to see you in God’s eternal Kingdom, and let’s check out that tame lion together, huh?…I’ll “pet” that one on the head!
This article was inspired by reading the book called “Will my Pet go to heaven?” by Steve Wohlberg. You can order it on www.amazon.com if you would like to read more on this subject…I have only scratched the surface. God Bless You.
In words of Melanie Daniel:
“…You know – I have to say that I have had that experience many times as I have watched my labs crashing into the water or looking at me with that “lab look” —- loving life 100% full up. I have felt it in the presence of these creatures who were taking such joy in who they were — doing whole-heartedly exactly what they were created to do without guile, jealousy, double-mindedness, rebelliousness or incompleteness. Seeing this was like observing an act of worship.
This may be something of what heaven is like. ”
I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive. ~Gilda Radner
This is one of the kindest things I’ve ever experienced. I have no way to know who sent it, but there is a kind soul working in the dead letter office of the US postal service: (I received this letter by email from an unidentified individual ~ Donna… get the tissues ready…)
“ Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words.
Dear God, Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her. Love, Meredith.
We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.
Yesterday there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed,’To Meredith in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers, called,’When a Pet Dies.’ Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note: Dear Meredith, Abbey arrived safely in heaven.
Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away. Abbey isn’t sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don’t need our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.
Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I am wherever there is love.
Endless Mt. Labradors