Do Our Pets Go to Heaven?

I find it hard to believe that God could contrive a paradise that would be missing some of our best friends.

Posted in , Aug 21, 2015

Edward and Millie. Do you believe your pets will go to heaven?

Guideposts Editor-in-Chief  Edward Grinnan lost his beloved golden retriever, Millie, to cancer. Before Millie passed away, Edward contemplated the question of animals and heaven. 

Does God’s love and comfort extend to the animals that are devoted to us and inspire us? Are our pets angels on loan from the Lord?

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve updated you on the condition of Millie, my eight-year-old golden retriever who had a cancerous spleen removed in April and was given three to six months to live. As you know, Julee and I were devastated. We accept that having a pet usually means you will outlive that beloved creature. Your heart is broken as each one moves on.  

Grief is the price we pay for love, and you can love an animal as deeply as you can love anyone. For me life would feel empty without a dog. When the first dog Julee and I had together, Rudy, died Julee refused to return to a “dogless” apartment. That’s when we got Sally, a sassy little cocker pup I’ve written about and who was an inspirational pet for many years.

Millie drinking water on the trail. Do you believe your pets will go to heaven?Millie is the fourth dog Julee and I have had since we’ve been married (that first dog, Rudy, a burly cocker spaniel, actually introduced us, but that’s another story).

Discover More Stories About the Dogs in Edward's Life in His Book, Always By My Side

One of the very first things I did when we got the news about Millie was ask the Guideposts audience for prayers. Your response was overwhelming, and I credit those prayers with being able to say that Millie is still strong and healthy and showing no signs of illness.

I know this may not continue to be the case. I know the odds for survival are low and can only hope the medicine we are giving her is helping those slim chances. Yet I believe Millie would not have gotten this far without you.

I can’t tell you how grateful I am for every day we have her, for every morning when I wake up to her chin on the bed, her eyes so happy for a new day to begin, her tail swishing patiently for me to get rolling. I know you have a lot of things on your prayer lists but please keep those prayers coming for Millie.

One of the responses that has fascinated me is how many of you believe you will be reunited with your pets in heaven. I myself find it hard to believe that God could contrive a paradise that would be missing some of our best friends.

I mean, there are people I don’t want to run into in heaven any more that I want to run into them down here on earth. But dogs? I pray I see every one of them again someday so I can tell them how much joy and comfort they have brought to my life. What is the greatest reward for being a good dog than to go to heaven?

So, do you believe that your pets go to heaven? Will you see your animal angels again? Please post below and say why. Pictures are always welcome too. And thanks a million times over for your prayers.

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