Do Dogs Go To Heaven?
Sweet cartoon, isn’t it? What isn’t said – but is implied – is that Bobbie has also missed Rex for the last 50 years. I can relate to that. If you’re a dog lover, you probably can too.
So many people who have lost a beloved pet ask, “Are the souls of animals in heaven? Will I be reunited with my dog or cat after I die?” because they love them still, and miss them.
The short answer is “Yes.” As to why the answer is “yes,” read on.
People Are Animals
First off – and although this is petty it must be pointed out – human beings are animals. While for centuries – and even millennia – Church fathers argued that people were people and animals were animals, that just isn’t true. We are a species of animal. This is biology 101.
Furthermore, our bodies evolved from lower orders.
Biologists see this in the development of the human fetus, which passes through all our evolutionary milestones while in the womb. A famous example is the fact that every human fetus has Pharyngeal pouches which are related to Pharyngeal slits, the filter-feeding organs found in non-vertebrate chordates (lancelets and tunicates) and hemichordates living in aquatic environments.
The fact is, the development of the human fetus starts out exactly like the development of fetuses from other species. What I find elegant is that each child’s development, from fertilized egg to birth, mirrors the evolutionary path of our entire species. This means we can see how the human body evolved. It’s no longer guesswork.
In the first stage all the species look pretty much alike, as you can see in the illustration below. In the second stage of development differentiation begins and accelerates. (Here’s more on embryology and evolution.)
So, if it upsets you to know that 99% of your DNA is identical to the chimpanzee, I have no words of comfort for you. It is a fact that our distant ancestors were (in order) bacteria, worms, and fish before mammals ever evolved. So, if there is someone among your relatives who still acts like a worm, he comes by it honestly.
Animals Think Too
The next argument used to assert that people and animals were radically different was based upon the idea that people can think and animals cannot.
This idea had credibility because we did not have the tools of discovery we have today and lived in complete ignorance about the lives of animals. We also had not yet discovered a language that could bridge the gap between species and allow us to see that animals think and have a degree of self-awareness.
Thanks to the diversity of interest among us and ongoing scientific investigation, we now know that we are not the only animals who think.
The most well-known evidence to support the idea that we are not the only intelligent and thoughtful creatures on our planet has been gathered by those communicating with Koko, the world-famous gorilla, who was taught sign language and who has a sign language vocabulary of over 1000 words which she uses in complex statements and questions.
Yet, ask any dog owner if s/he communicates with his or her dog and whether that pet is aware and not only has emotions but seems to have thoughts, ideas and agendas of its own, and you will likely get a resounding, “Yes.”
So, if we are animals and we’re seeing evidence that other animals also think and are not so very different from us, then why would they not have souls? And why would those souls not return to their point of origin as we do after death?
The argument against pets going to heaven that the purveyors of “old time religion” will give you is this: that you must believe in Jesus Christ in order to “enter the gates of Heaven” and “be saved” and our pets do not swear such allegiances.
It is true our pets swear no public allegiance to Jesus.
While your dog may willingly die while defending you, the idea – that he has to conform to a specific dogma in order to be able to return, after he dies, to the Source from which he came – is foreign to him, and well it should be, for this is an invention of a fearful mind and not based in spiritual truth.
What Scripture Says
So, what does the Bible say?
Ecclesiastes, the writing of which is generally attributed to King Solomon and which was described by American novelist Thomas Wolfe as:
“…the noblest, the wisest, and the most powerful expression of man’s life upon this earth — and also the highest flower of poetry, eloquence, and truth… Ecclesiastes is the greatest single piece of writing I have ever known, and the wisdom expressed in it the most lasting and profound.”
offers us these insights:
“For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely, they all have one breath; man has no advantage over animals, for all is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 3:19)
“All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust.” (Ecclesiastes 3:20)
“Who knows for certain that the human spirit goes upward while an animal’s spirit goes down into the ground?” (Ecclesiastes 3:21) [modern translation]
Job 12: 7 advises:
“Ask the animals, and they will teach you… In God’s hand is the life of every creature, and the breath of all mankind.” [modern translation]
Yet, once a person is awakened to what is really going on in this life, the answer to the question “Do dogs go to heaven?” becomes obvious.
Our True Identity
The Bible talks about our being “behind a veil” in this life on Earth, and Jesus told his followers over and over that heaven was not a physical place, but was a state of being. [“Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21)] This is because our existence, first and foremost, is as non-physical beings.
We are individual strands of Source energy. Cut from the same cloth as God – created in the image and likeness of God by God – your true identity is that of awake, aware and individuated spiritual energy.
Note that, without this energy there is no life in any physical body. This energy, whether it projects into a human body or a dog body or a bug body, is the very essence of life.
So you project a part of your magnificent and infinite strand of Source energy into your body after conception takes place.
And so does your dog’s spirit project part of his Source energy into that little puppy body that is forming in his mother’s womb.
You both live; you both die.
When The Body Is Shed
When you are each finished with your bodies, you leave them.
You each withdraw your energy from your respective bodies.
You return your focus to where the Infinite You resides. We call this Heaven because it is a level of consciousness and vibration fully aligned with God’s love.
Your dog does the same thing, returning his focus to where his Infinite Spirit resides.
So, after you leave your body and your focus returns to that level, if you and your dog want to communicate love to each other, there will be no impediments to doing so.
Neither of you will have to pass by inspectors or show ID to get through what we call “The Pearly Gates.” When you die, you zip on back to that dimension of joy and love, perhaps scratching your proverbial head about why you wanted to project yourself down here in the first place if life was a misery for you, or marveling at the experience if it was challenging but fun.
For lack of a better metaphor, think of it in the following way.
Metaphor For The Experience Of Life
Just as a puppet master projects a part of himself (his hand) into his puppet and animates it, so do you project a part of your spirit into your human body.
This is not to suggest that you, in your human form, are a puppet of your soul. Think, instead, of your body as a medium of expression.
Just as an artist works with a medium, so is your soul working through the medium of your body. Your body is the medium, the device for soul expression and experience. It is, truly, a sacred container for expressing on Earth what you really are, which is pure Spirit.
Learning this and getting back into alignment with our Source energy – with God – as we live our physical lives, is the enlightenment toward which we are all striving. With such awareness comes peace, joy, and a return to love.
At full strength, and in full alignment, having that energy fill your physical being feels like heaven because – along with being your identity – it is a version of heaven, your version. [In my father's house are many mansions... (John 14:2)]
When you are not fully aligned or at full love power, you feel something less wonderful.
Yet, you as body and you as spirit are really one. Consider that you do not differentiate your hand from your body. Your hand, when all is well, works seamlessly with your mind to expand the scope of your experience and further your desires as a whole person.
As your hand is an tool to expand what the body can do, so is your body a tool to expand the scope of your spirit.
It is the same with your dog’s soul.
Bottom line, your dog came here to be happy. You came here to be happy. When love is flowing, the two of you help each other be happy.
So we are well-advised to pay attention to Proverbs 12: 10 which states:
“A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal.” [modern translation]
But you knew that.
In summary, dogs do go to heaven.
And don’t they deserve it? For above all the creatures we know, are they not the most capable of lifting us into love? (No offense is meant to those who love cats; I have a beautiful kitty who is a big ball of purring love.)
BTW, I adore the cartoon at the top of this post. Found it on Facebook, but there was no attribution.
I’d really love to give the cartoonist credit; so if you know who drew it, please leave a comment with that information. It would also be great to be able to link to the artist’s website, provided he or she has one.