Do Dogs (and other pets) Go to Heaven?
I had written a blog some time ago, 9/18/11 (http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=6018430237930848742#editor/target=post;postID=7795776760108965644), where I posted an article I had written about the question whether animals have souls. Father Murphy and I held a conversation about it and although we “disagreed” he gave me a very thoughtful and respectful answer. The blog/story had generated interest, being picked up by the Chicago Catholic News and other sites. It is a very interesting question and through the years I have heard a multitude of opinions and explanations.
I now have an “update of sorts” and it addresses the question whether animals go to Heaven.
A few weeks ago my wife and I were having dinner in the church rectory with three of the priests from the parish. Being in the company of these men of the cloth, I related the story about my discussion with Father Murphy about animals having souls and his responses to me.
Father Mair, the retired pastor of the parish, then responded to me. Father Mair has a kind, loving nature about him and an easy going demeanor. He is beloved by the parish. He told me that Father Murphy never really liked dogs and everyone laughed at that revelation. He then went on to tell us the way he handles the question when asked if animals do animals go to Heaven. He said that if you have loved your pets then they will be part of your Paradise and will be in Heaven with you. How can it be Paradise if you are not with the ones you have loved in life?
Father Mair’s word really do ring true. For those of us who love our animal companions, it would not be Paradise without them. I still contend that they do have souls, however, but if they do not, it will not be Heaven without them so they will still be there.
There are all sorts of stories and poems about how pets in WILL be in Heaven and I will share a few, one about a dog angel, a tribute to a deceased cat, and finally a classic story based on a Twilight Zone episode (with a link to the actual episode on youtube).
A Little Dog Angel
High up in the courts of heaven today
a little dog angel waits;
with the other angels he will not play,
but he sits alone at the gates.
“For I know my master will come” says he,
“and when he comes he will call for me.”
The other angels pass him by
As they hurry toward the throne,
And he watches them with a wistful eye
as he sits at the gates alone.
“But I know if I just wait patiently
that someday my master will call for me.”
And his master, down on earth below,
as he sits in his easy chair,
forgets sometimes, and whispers low
to the dog who is not there.
And the little dog angel cocks his ears
and dreams that his master’s voice he hears.
And when at last his master waits
outside in the dark and cold,
for the hand of death to open the door,
that leads to those courts of gold,
he will hear a sound through the gathering dark,
a little dog angel’s bark.
Noah M. Holland
(A great quote, that is so true is, “A dog is the only one of God’s creatures who loves you more than they love themselves.”)
Not to leave out cats…..
SHADOW’S SONG (on the death of a cat)
I’m not gone…not really.
I haven’t gone away…I’ve only gotten bigger.
My eyes, so bright, now shine among the stars.
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.
I come to you in dreaming, on feet grown dreamtime soft,
And lay my cheek against yours, and whisper:
“Peace be with you.”
Someday we will play again together, you and I, among the stars.
‘Til then, fear not to love, for your love gave my life meaning.
And I return that love to you…a hundredfold…a thousandfold…
Copyright © 1996 by Audrey E. Nickel
And a final story…….one of my favorites….
“No Dogs In Heaven”
– Story is based on an episode of The Twilight Zone by Rod Serling
The youtube video of the actual episode. http://youtu.be/_ipDvK1BElU