Do Dogs Go To Heaven?

westieNow, about Rover, the dog—though for roving, I hardly remember him away from my side! …I almost believe that at one period, had I been set to say who I was, I should have included Rover as an essential part of myself. His tail was my tail; his legs were my legs; his tongue was my tongue!—so much more did I, as we gamboled together, seem conscious of his joy than of my own! Surely, among other and greater mercies, I shall find him again! —George MacDonald, The Flight of the Shadow

We had to put our Westie to sleep last week. Partially blind, deaf, mentally confused and in pain—it was the kindest thing.

In her last months she seemed bewildered, dogging our steps, never allowing us out of her sight. If I left the room she followed me and found a place on the floor near my feet. She was “an essential part of myself.” 

I mentioned several months ago, while recovering from back surgery, I exercised by walking up and down the hall. Dolly, though arthritic and in pain, trudged after me dutifully as though we are on our outdoor walk. Her loyalty and unconditional love tugged at my heart.

I wonder, will there be dogs in heaven? The simplest answer is: Why

not? One day there will be a new heaven (sky) and a new earth (Revelation 21:1). If a new earth, why a dead earth, like the moon, rather than an earth filled with trees, mountains, rivers, and flowers like our present world? Why would God allow plants and flowers and other aspects of this world, but not animals into heaven? Would He take from us there what He gives us here for our joy? I think not. C.S. Lewis’ speculated that in heaven we will be “between the angels who are our elder brothers and the beasts who are our jesters, servants, and playfellows” (That Hideous Strength).

More to the point, will my dog be in heaven? Again, why not? Someday, “the creation itself will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). Since God will populate the new earth with redeemed human beings, wouldn’t we expect him to include redeemed animals?1 Scripture seems to affirm this: “Thy judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O Lord” (Psalm 36:6).

C.S. Lewis thought so. He believed that our animals are saved because of their association with us. They achieve heaven because they are caught up in our lives, an essential part of ourselves (The Problem of Pain). In another of his works, The Great Divorce, Lewis describes a woman in heaven surrounded by a gaggle of young children, angels, birds and beasts.

1 Animals do not have a sin nature and do not sin. Nevertheless, all creation fell into ruin when Adam and Eve rebelled. The “whole creation labors and groans until now” waiting the redemption of our bodies. But some day, “creation (all nature) itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Cf. Romans 8:21-23).

“What are all these animals? A cat—two cats—dozens of cats. And all those dogs… Why, I can’t count them. And the birds. And the horses.”

“They are her beasts.”

“Did she keep a sort of zoo? I mean, this is a bit too much.”

“Every beast and bird that came near her had its place in her love. In her they became themselves. And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them.”

Would God, who created animals, who preserved them through the Flood, who promised to redeem them, who made us with the capacity to love them and grieve them when they’re gone—would he revoke his decision to put animals once again under our care? I think not. Perhaps then, among other and greater mercies, I shall find Dolly again!

David Roper

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14 Responses to Do Dogs Go To Heaven?

  1. Nancy says:

    Amen! The unconditional love of a pet is surely akin to the unconditional love of our God and Savior! I do expect to see my four legged friends when I get to heaven!

  2. Pets are definitely a gift from God and an example of His love for us. No questions asked. So sorry for your loss.

  3. Mark Seguin says:

    Sorry 4 your loss – look forward to u introducing me to Dolly some sweet day and being able to pet her…. 🙂

  4. Michele Delgado says:

    The word of God is full of accounts of His animals here and in heaven, He knows even when a sparrow falls to the ground……The lion will lay with the lamb……..Jesus will come back riding a magnificent horse………
    Do you know why dogs give unconditional love? ……….What’s dog spelled backwards?

  5. Grace says:

    Love my fur babies and know they will be there too 😄😄

  6. Mary Marinkovich says:

    I totally agree with you! We have a Westie and he follows my husband around “just like yours did”! We are currently caring for Catone because of an ulcerated eye, and poor thing, has been in the “cone of shame” for close to 2 months now…but, things are on the mend and the eye is healing. We had another Westie we had to put to sleep because of old age and we trust he is waiting for us in our eternal home.

    Mary M.
    Hobart, IN

  7. Joy Smalley says:

    Love this viewpoint of dogs and such being in Heaven…I still remember crying painfully when my Nannie told me “no dogs in Heaven only humans”.

  8. Tim says:

    Dogs in heaven? People eat dogs.
    I wonder if my children will be there or if my grandfather made peace with God before he died. I wonder if my neighbors will be there or if my Muslim friends will be there.
    We have a faith that teaches us that humans can die and go to hell and you are worried about a dog?
    If your dog is in heaven and my son is in hell, well, let’s just say I find this propensity for the trivial one more reason Christianity is so hard to take seriously.
    I really don’t care about your dog and I don’t want to step in his shit in heaven.
    Now I’m wondering if bad dogs go to hell.

    • Tim, your response is totally inappropriate, insensitive, and irrelevant.
      It’s all pointless drivel on your part and, quite honestly, very mean-spirited of you to behave like such a dick when others are exposing their hearts and expressing their hearts’ desires.
      You’re not engaging in meaningful dialogue – you’re ranting like an obstinate adolescent.

      You can wonder all you want as to whether your grandfather, neighbors, muslim friends, son, or dogs will be in Heaven or hell – along with the dog excrement – but it won’t enhance your relationship with God (or people) one iota, nor will you learn anything because you’ll never know the answers until after you yourself are dead.
      Instead of asking about the fate of all those other people (and animals), you would fare better if you heeded the words Jesus spoke to Peter toward the end of the Gospel of John:
      Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?”
      Jesus replied, “…what is that to you? As for you, follow Me.”

      • Mark Seguin says:

        2nd this: “Tim, your response is totally inappropriate, insensitive, and irrelevant.” But it might take a person with some sort of people skills to understand that… LOL 🙂

    • Michele Delgado says:

      We personally know our creator, and so can you, Oh, how he loves you, He holds the most amazing, unconditional love for all of His creation, and paid a great price for our redemption.
      There is no pain or suffering in heaven, there is no shit in heaven.
      Brother, don’t take our word for it, you want to know the truth, go to the creator, and ask Him, with a sincere heart, to show you the truth, The word of God states that if you seek Him, with all of your heart, you will find Him, I pray you will.

  9. Sandie says:

    It broke my heart somewhat to see such insensitivity expressed, until I realized that it most likely springs from deep hurt, frustration, loneliness, guilt, anger….only Jesus can heal those wounds.
    I too wonder about the people in my life – if they have used their free will to make choices leading to Jesus – and remember how many times my choices led me away from Him – yet here I am, so I have hope.
    As for my beloved dogs, I too believe I will see them again. ALL Creation groans and expectantly waits for the completion of salvation’s promise…the Word mentions no ‘except for’ in that promise.
    I pray for the balm of God’s love through Jesus to do its healing work.

  10. Wine Runner says:

    As already stated in above comments, there is plenty of evidence in scripture indicating there will be animals in the new heavens and the new earth. But, regarding our present life pets, that is an entirely different question. Do animals have eternal spirits? I find no evidence to support this. Jesus’s death was atonement for humans that have an eternal spirit and free choice. Last year we had to put down our 15 yr old toy poodle that was dearly loved. I have empathy for all people that have wonderful pets. But, in my opinion, I think it unwise to build a doctrinal position on this subject when there is so little biblical evidence to support it. It is best left in the “unknown” box.

    • Sandie says:

      Definitely an ‘unknown,’ but one that is based, for me, on the immense love God has for me. When He created me “in His image,” there was placed in me ALL my love and care for the people around me AND my devoted pups. When He created them and placed in them their capacity for loyalty and devotion to us as humans…I don’t know, but somehow I feel there is some kind of eternal bond. If you knew me you would know I am accused of being rational and pragmatic by those (especially Christians) who wish I was less so. Only time and arriving Heaven will tell, but right know I find comfort in hoping to see my pets again. Blessings.

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