EdPosts
By Edward Grinnan

Do Dogs Go to Heaven? Just Walk This Way...

It was a simple photo memorial hanging from a tree on one of my favorite sections of the Appalachian Trail: In memory of Mali.

Millie, Winky and I were out hiking in the woods (no bear this time) on what could only be characterized as the Platonic ideal of a perfect early-autumn New England day. For those of you who have been following the positive thinking blog of my colleague—and Winky’s owner—Guideposts executive editor Amy Wong, you already know that she totaled her knee at the gym early in the summer and has not been able to walk Winky while she recovers from surgery. So Julee and I take Winky on weekends whenever we can to help Amy out with the ordeal of arranging dog walking and to give Winky a break from the city.

We came across Mali’s picture at a stream crossing, attached to a tree. It was laminated to protect it and said, “Hike on with joy! A wish from Mali, a Siberian Husky who walked this way.”

I have probably lost more dogs than close friends in my life, though that will no doubt change as I get older. But there is something about the death of an animal whom you’ve loved and understood deeply that always stays with you, a yearning for them, a void in the soul that is never completely filled.

Someone once asked me if I believed animals have souls and if they went to heaven. That question is well above my theological pay grade but I do know that it is certainly within God’s power to do whatever gives us joy and causes us to love him even more. He wouldn’t put this kind of love in us for another living thing, he would not allow us to reach across the barrier of species to make a connection as deep and profound and loving as any we will ever have in life, only to make it transitory.

So that is my mantra for the weekend: Hike with joy, with a prayer in my heart for a Siberian Husky who walked this way.

Edward Grinnan is Editor-in-Chief and Vice President of Guideposts Publications. Edward lives in New York City with two blondes—his wife, Julee, and Golden Retriever, Millie, who has been featured in his blog and popular videos. Edward loves cycling, hiking with Millie at his house in the Berkshire Hills and Wolverines that hail from Michigan.

If you need a little boost of inspiration, pick up a copy of Edward's book The Promise of Hope: How True Stories of Hope and Inspiration Saved My Life and How They Can Transform Yours.

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DEAR SHIRLEY FRANCIS,
THANK YOU FOR REPLYING.I WONDER IF THAT WAS OUR DOGS SPIRIT OR AN ANGEL TELLING US THAT THEY ARE OK AND NOW ARE IN PEACE AND NO MORE PAIN.MY CRYING IS DECREASING EVERYDAY NOW,BUT I KEEP TALKING TO MY DOG AND STILL TAKING HIM TO HIS FAVORITE PLACES.ME AND MY HUSBAND LOVED HIM SO MUCH.I AM SO SORRY FOR YOU LOSS ALSO,WHAT N EMPTY HOLE IT LEAVES IN YOUR SOUL.I CAN'T WAIT TO GET TO HEAVEN TO BE WITH HIM AGAIN.WHAT A GREAT DAY THAT WILL BE.WE LOVED OUR BOYS TO KNOW WHEN ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH AND TO PUT THEM OUT OF THERE PAIN.BUT,OUR PAIN CONTINUES.GOD BLESS YOU GLORIA GRANT

Gloria Grant....if you read this I too had the same experience....I have bred and showed dogs for 30 years....Over last weekend, I lost one of my Champion Shiba Inus to Pancreatic Cancer....sudden and unexpected....the very next day, I had to euthanize my old guy who was almost 17 and was having recurring Vestibular Events....that nite, in the middle of the nite I woke up and went to the bathroom and I had this PEACE that came over me....I realized that I had done the "right thing" as both were in pain and suffering.....and I went back to sleep in that peace... Not saying that tears haven't been shed since because I miss them so much and hated to think of their suffering here on earth, but I feel that they reached the Rainbow Bridge, are together with each other and all of the other dogs we have lost over the years.......

I had to put my 13 year old German sherpard to sleep this week.WOLFIE could not stand any longer.He was the light of my soul.I spent everyday for him.After he took his last breathe,I have been lost ever since.Last night i was awoken and a sudden relief and joy was given to me.Was it him or an angel telling me that Wolfie was ok.The funny thing was my husband was given the same experience at the same time in a separate part of the house.Please comment.

Thank you for your article, it gave me some comfort as today we had our 14 year old lab put to sleep. Though lying next to him as he passed was one of the hardest things I have had to experience I owed him so much for the joy and love he gave our family. I do hope he is with me now and I think the best thing to do right now is play with our two other dogs and just maybe Riley will join in.---Russ

I just lost my Oden, a rott that was five. We are not sure why he died but reading your blog gave me the hope to one day see him again. I love and miss him so much thanks for sharing and helpful words of love.

I had to have my beloved Lab put to sleep yesterday
he was sick with cancer, he was my best friend and
was beside me with comfort through alot of hard times.
It was the hardest thing I ever done to let him go.
I found him 7 years ago beside a road, hurt and hungrey
but he came to me like he had alway known me.
I believe he was sent by GOD, I have to believe he has
return home to Him now. I saw three crosses in the sky
(I know they were jet trails but three crosses?) and
a tiny rainbow, (no rain) I take these as a sign that
he was with God now.

The article states the answer to Do Dogs Go To Heaven? as being above the author's theologicl pay grade - OK, he is honest.
With a diploma in Theology, Magna Cum Laude, I feel there are answers to be found in Scriptures regarding this question. Those answers are posted under DOGS on my website: www.LookListenAndThink.com.
I welcome you to read the article DO DOGS GO TO HEAVEN?, and the article, ANIMALS WILL BE JUDGED BY GOD. There are references to Scripture and references books which I recommend. The Bible provides comfort and has answers. Read and be inspired and delighted!

Of course there are dogs in heaven! It wouldn't be heaven without them would it? I am looking forward to seeing my Lassie, Flo, Bruce and Gemma one of these days. What a tail-wagging reunion that will be!

Gemma's Mom

A hospice patient saw my dog sitting at my feet......i was shocked.....he did not know that she had passed away months before....it was amazing....my dog Chula(16 yrs old) is
still with me and always will be.....

I been waiting these words since I had to put to sleep my dog two months ago. I completely identified with the paragraph, "But there is something about the death of an animal whom you’ve loved and understood deeply that always stays with you, a yearning for them, a void in the soul that is never completely filled.", that's exactly how I fill, but also it help me heal the void, "that it is certainly within God’s power to do whatever gives us joy and causes us to love him even more". I am experiencing tough times in my life, barely bringing financial support to my family, looking for a job after 60 demands solid faith, obedience and patience. My dog was there next to me during this ordeal, his company was unconditional. God has plans for me and my family and I know my angel with four legs fulfilled during his stay with me, part of His Will for us. Thank you Edward for your Story.

I symphatize with you. When my dog, who had been with me for eight years suddenly died, something within me also died and left a gaping void. I can still feel the pain. The question I now have is "how can this pain go away?" Just like me, the Lord gave you company for a brief period. Hopefully, another one comes along and you will realize one more time how enjoyable companions are dogs.

This story has certainly lifted me up from my deep sorrow of having just had to put my dog to sleep. Thank you Ed!

My prayers and sympathy are with you. The more we love the harder we grieve. Hang in there. Somewhere is another dog waiting to be loved...when you are ready. -Edward

To Edward Grannan, I just read your story about walking "Winky". What a great place for a dog to walk, The Appalachian Trail! I've never been there, but have read several books about that area. Hope Amy Wong is doing better & her By the way I purchased your book "The Promise of Hope" about a year ago. What a great book it was, I encourage everyone to buy a copy. Only by the grace of God were you able to get out of the downfall you were in. It took a lot of courage to put everything that you went through in a book. I know that if there are others that may be going through similar problems in their life, when they read your book, they will realize that with God's help their life can and will be changed.

My cat who is 16 years old was sent to me from "heaven". She was a tiny little black cat, not much bigger than a bird. I was scheduled for knee surgery they next day, so my husband took me our to dinner the night before to help relieve my stress. We were walking up the third floor stairs of our apartment about 11:00p.m., when I heard this loud cry from a kitten two flights down from me. I ran down the third flight of stairs and she ran up the first set of about 15 steps. There we both met, I picked he up and that was that. The reason she came from heaven, was because about a month prior to this meeting we lost our other black cat named "Ms. Kitty" very unexpectedly, so my husband & I think "Little Girl" is Ms. Kitty's" replacement.
"Little Girl" had kidney failure two years ago, but she is
living and pretty well. My husband & I have given her an i.v. every other night, so her kidneys can be flushed. We love this little can so much and she is with me every day.

Sandy, it sounds like you and Little Girl were meant for each other! Thank you for the kind words about my book, The Promise of Hope. -E

My husband's and my first pet was a mixed scotty named Millie and I always think of her when I read your blogs. We had her close to 14 years and have since had four additional dogs. Smidgen was a miniature schnauzer who lived to be 12 years, Candy was a beautiful blond cocker and lived about 13 years, Walter was a chinese pug and lived to 12 years and we now have another pug named Tugboat and he just turned 4 years. They are all very close to our hearts. I just believe that some day we will all be reunited in Heaven. I agree that God wouldn't give us these pets to love and protect and then when they die, that is all there is. I don't think that is how God's love works.

I've had two blond Cockers---Rudy, who introduced me to my wife (he was Julee's dog at the time)and Sally, who was a devoted (and crafty!) companion to us for some 15 years. It is always so hard to say farewell to these amazing creatures. God bless them and all who love them. Thanks you for your comment. -Edward