What we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later. Romans 8:18
Happy Saturday. This morning I wasn’t surprised when our 135 pound Great Dane, Singer, was licking my feet, flipping my hand over her head and whining. She wanted to play and didn’t care that I had plans to sleep in. I knew my husband had already fed her, so I began to explain to her that we’d have to wait, only to find out she had not eaten. She was waiting to play first. So, I took Singer and Freckles, our Shih Tzu, out. Afterwards I grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down in my recliner. Freckles immediately curled up beside me to cuddle.
Our dogs are always excited to see us. They never want us to leave. They often give us reason to live. They bring us so much joy in life. Cuddling with Freckles, I realized he is about 15 years old now and won’t be with us too much longer. Earlier this year we said goodbye to our beloved Pom Pom (18 year old Pomeranian) and a couple of years ago we said our farewells to our sweet Mini Me (14 year old black Pomeranian). Over the years we have loved and lost many pets, and every time it’s been a bitter-sweet goodbye. So, the question becomes, do our pets go to heaven?
The Bible is silent on the issue. However, when we study the Bible, we find that even in Old Testament times people felt love for their pets. In 2 Samuel 12 Nathan told King David a story of a poor man, who only had a little lamb. The man cared for the lamb like it was his daughter, feeding it from his plate. The story says a rich man, who had a large flock took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for a traveler. The story angered David, but it was actually meant to teach him a lesson about himself. Regardless of the intent, we learn about the comfort pets provided people then.
So, how do we get into Heaven? John 3:16 says “whosoever believeth in him . . . [Jesus] . . . will have everlasting life.” So, we need to be able to think and make decisions to accept Christ as our Savior.
I have often wondered if pets have souls. I mean, can they think? Do they have free will? Do they have emotions? Well, a couple of weeks ago, our electrical power went out in the middle of the night. Singer jumped on top of me in the bed and was shaking uncontrollably. She showed fear.
What about beyond the basic instincts of fear, hunger and similar survival necessities? Well, whenever one of the dogs does something wrong, it’s easy to figure out which one, because they behave like someone who is guilty, hanging their head and slowly leaving the room. Whenever I am feeling unwell, they stay by my side, and whenever I am sad and cry, they often whine. Both of our dogs can follow instructions and know right from wrong. We can leave steak on the counter. Singer could easily eat the steak, because she towers over the counter, but she chooses to please us by avoiding it every time. Similarly, Freckles loves to go for walks, and although he could wander off, he chooses to stay with us, and come when called. We have had other pets who chose to disobey too.
They seem to understand what we are saying beyond common commands. A few years ago my sister gave me a Great Dane, that was just not a good fit for our family. Whenever I told my husband that we weren’t going to be able to keep her, she snapped her head around quickly and began behaving aggressively towards our other dogs. So, although it is not addressed in the Bible, I believe some pets have a soul. I say some, because I don’t have experience with exotic pets, like snakes. I’m not saying they don’t have souls. I’m just clarifying that we have only had dogs, cats, chinchillas, and guinea pigs.
The question becomes, can pets accept Christ? I really don’t know. Whenever I think of our pets, they seem like children in their thinking. Our Mini Me had to take a stuffed animal with him everywhere he went. It was so sweet and childlike. The Bible says in Luke 8:15-16 that Jesus let little children come to him. In the Old Testament David believed his son went to heaven (2 Samuel 12:15-23). Also, in 1 Corinthians 7:14, the Bible says that children are sanctified by Christian parents. I have no doubts that children go to heaven. They are not mature in their thinking and therefore God will take care of them.
So, based on all of this information, I believe our dogs, cats and similar types of pets go to heaven. I look forward to seeing all our pets who have passed before us, when I get there.
I hope you have a great day. Love all your pets and take comfort. God bless you and your pets!