Dogs and Other Pets Go To Heaven

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My voice sings with the wind in winter, as I leap And dance among the tree tops. I stalk the blown leaves in autumn, and brush the Flowers gently in the spring. And I return that love to you…a hundredfold…a thousandfold… Forever. Search Lifelearn: Search Site:. Feb 28 Do Pets Go to Heaven? Do Dogs and other pets Go to Heaven? An old man and his dog were walking down a hot, dusty road lined with a beautiful white fence on both sides. As they walked along, the old man and his dog became very thirsty and tired.

Soon, they came to a gate in the fence where, on the other side, they saw a nice grassy, wooded area surrounding a cool clear pool of fresh water.

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Further on, they came upon a man in flowing white robes standing just inside a strong iron gate across a path that led to a beautiful, sunny meadow with a cool clear stream running through it. Mind if we come in and sit in the shade for awhile? You look thirsty and tired. The gatekeeper stopped him. He has to stay out here on the road. Better if you stay here.

Everything created for God's glory

Gradually, the fence became more and more faded and rundown until they finally reached a spot where the boards fell away completely leaving a gap. Another man dressed in old, ragged clothes sat just inside the broken fence under a shady tree. Make yourself comfortable. Can he can come in, too? Would you come in here and rest if you had to leave that dog? God knows. For now, "we see through a glass darkly. Let us be confident in the knowledge that whatever his plans for our animal friends, all will be perfection and light.


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When I was young and gnostic, I was certain that pets do not go to heaven. I didn't know I was gnostic, of course. I simply thought that life on earth was about bicycles and ice cream and books and not saying certain words or smoking behind the barn with my cousins.

Is My Pet in Heaven?

Heaven was about being with God and angels singing and seeing great-grandma again and not being in hell. You only got to heaven if you were saved, and I hadn't seen any animals go to church, let alone go forward during an altar call. In the old days, I was told, a nearby farmer used to ride his horse to church, where he'd hitch her up to the iron rail that still stood outside the one-room country church in Maine where my family worshiped.

I never imagined a horse coming inside to get saved. Yet the Bible teaches that God does save animals. For example, God brought Noah two of each kind of living creature in order to save them from the Flood. God chastised reluctant Jonah about the need to save not only the human inhabitants of Nineveh, but also its many animals. Such salvation is not, of course, quite the kind invited by the altar call. Even so, it should not be overlooked.

God not only saves animals. At times, his covenants include them. God's covenant with Noah included "every living thing of all flesh" Gen. In Hosea, God proclaimed a covenant "with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the creatures that move along the ground" , niv. When God made a covenant with one of his chosen ones, he often marked it by assigning them a particular name: Abraham, Sarah, Israel, Jesus, Paul.

God told Adam to name the animals and, in so doing, Adam reflected God's acts of naming. When we choose to take into our household creatures that share with us the breath of life and bestow them with names, perhaps we enter into a kind of covenantal relationship with them too. To echo C.

Dog put to sleep

Lewis in The Great Divorce, perhaps when we name animals, they "become themselves" and our salvation "flows over into them. I have put away my childish thinking about heaven. Scripture describes eternity not as an ethereal cloud-top existence, but as both spiritual and material, just as our life is now. It is a new heaven and a new earth 2 Pet. As foretold in Isaiah, animals will be there.

Do Pets Go to Heaven?

Perhaps God will honor my acts of naming the animals by bringing Gracie, Kasey, Myrtle, Peter, Oscar, and so many more there, too. Oddly enough, I was part of the animal advocacy community for several months before I took the question of whether animals have souls seriously. I had even written my seminary capstone paper on a biblical-theological foundation for animal welfare, and didn't feel compelled to address the subject directly.

When I heard others speak confidently of seeing their animal companions again, often "just over the rainbow bridge," I sympathized with their loss and the natural desire that arose out of it. But the hope of reuniting with our pets seemed more based in wishful thinking and eclectic spirituality than in a confessional hermeneutic. As a result, it seemed to compromise the clear scriptural calling, which does exist, to care for God's creatures. Just over two years ago, when one of our own cats died suddenly from an unexpected complication after an otherwise successful surgery, I found myself looking at the question of animal souls in a much more personal light.

Bubba had been a constant and beloved companion since we brought him home from an adoption center four years earlier. He was wonderfully affable, as his name suggests, and the perfect pet for our newborn son to grow up with.


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I took his loss hard, heartbroken as my wife and I said goodbye at the vet's office, and still sobbing as I buried him in pouring rain later that night. I wrote in my journal: "It's been a gut-wrenching couple of days ….

Do You Think Dogs Go to Heaven When They Die? Here's the Answer

I miss him everywhere I look in the house …. And I feel such a hole, especially not knowing if God has taken him back to himself for us to meet again or not. I so badly want to know if I'll see him again. It occurred to me from time to time in my grief that if God had made Bubba, and knew and loved him even more than my family did, he could very well have some desire to bring his own treasured creation back to life someday.

The same might go for many other creatures with which God has a relationship as their Creator and Sustainer, whether we humans happened to share in that relationship or not. After all, our Savior said that not even one sparrow is ever forgotten by him. But even if this is a reasonable conjecture, I have to come back to what the Bible does and does not say on the possibility.

We know that death of any kind was never part of God's original plan, and that animals will certainly be part of the new heaven and earth, where death and tears will be no more. What we don't know is whether these will be specific animals from the old creation, including those we've known and loved. In the meantime, it seems okay to ask God if his grace might extend that far, while doing my best to trust that heaven won't seem anything but complete regardless. Click for reprint information.

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Do You Think Dogs Go to Heaven When They Die? Here's the Answer

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