Monday, December 15, 2014

New Poll: Do Pets Go to Heaven?

Buster and Dahlia.
The new puppies.
I've always thought the picture of Buster and Dahlia should be in an advertising campaign."She'd be the last to complain, but..." The product would be dog shampoo, or breath-freshening treats, or something.

One thing to consider is that we enjoy many pets in our lifetimes, if we are the pet sort. We're sorry when they pass away, but time heals all wounds, and we scarcely think of them in later years. But there are a few special animals that become part of us, such that we feel a pang no matter how much time has passed. Those are the ones we want to see again.

Under Islam, dogs are reviled and casually abused (which was hard to take for my son in Afghanistan). In the Christian West, dogs are generally appreciated, and often bring joy to their owners.

The truth is that of all religions, the Christian religion is the most silent concerning the afterlife. (The absence of fanciful promises or fleshly delights speaks to its truth, the Bear believes.) There are two mistakes we can make, it seems to the Bear.

One is to speak of Heaven as if we float in eternal, timeless bliss, absorbed into the godhead, the resurrection an irrelevancy.

The other is to imagine a materialistic Heaven where we're busy doing all the things we liked to do before, watched over by a benign, but remote deity.

The Church does not require of us belief that animals are not to be found in Heaven. Nor does it require us to believe they are. The Church's silence probably indicates it is not something we should worry too much about. Perhaps the best answer is: "But, as it is written: That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him." (1 Corinthian 2:9)

The only thing we know for sure is that it will be perfect.


  1. Even for the pets we love best, surely their hairballs and excretory outrages will not be found in the streets of gold. Will someone please ask the pope if there will be pizza and ice cream in heaven? Also beautiful sunsets, the music of Bach and Handel, and 1970 Chateau Latour? Will there be pro football in heaven, or only SEC? So long as we're going to be soothing everyone's concerns about what's in the contract, wouldn't it be best to get everyone's deal points on the table up front? Those of us living in a consumer society would appreciate the assurance that the Heaven Experience (TM) will not deviate from expectations, or isn't the customer always right?

  2. Dogs won't poop in Heaven.

    Of course, I can't even take Buster to Petsmart, so Heaven's rather optimistic.

  3. "Dogs won't poop in Heaven." what are they gonna do, explode?


  4. Hello Bear, we are trying to decide whether to get a dog. How has your recent experience been with Beau? Did you get him as a puppy? How went housetraining? Is it too hard? Thanks.

    1. Beau and Cooper are both puppies still, and we got Buster as a puppy, too. Training them to accept time in the crate is essential, so they don't see it as a punishment. They impose a huge demand on your time. If you think you're taking them out enough, you should probably be taking them out twice as often! They're all turning out to be really nice, but all puppies are naughty. Luckily, Cooper and Beau get along well and expend most of their energy playing with each other. Buster looks on disapprovingly from the back of the couch and occasionally barks at them. (When he's not barking at anyone walking by on the street outside, squirrels, deer, our son, etc.)

  5. Your pets are awesome. I think there's no harm wishing a reunion with our pets in heaven.

    1. Thanks! Buster holds a degree from Petsmart in obedience (not that you could notice). Terriers are not for the timid. The Samoyed is my son's'. and the Aussie is my wife's.

      I don't see the harm, either, nor have I found a compelling reason to rule it out. If we weren't going to be resurrected, I would think otherwise. But I guess I just have a rather simple view of Heaven. I think there might be music, too, and I could finally learn to play the guitar well. (Just not in communal worship.)

      The main thing, though, is we are trying to get there because that's where God is. (And the alternative is really bad.)


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