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The Truth about God and Dogs

A Ragtag Daily Prompt

Note: This is not my daughter or our dog

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

She walked into the kitchen, my preteen daughter, hesitant and solemn. She stood beside me at the counter while I worked.

“Do dogs go to heaven?” she asked.

Without thinking I said,”No”

She immediately broke into tears and ran from the room.

I paused a moment to think about what I just said. I went up to her room where she lay sobbing on her bed. This is what I told her.

Aeron? I don’t know what I was thinking when I answered you. I grew up in a church that believed that when an animal dies, that’s it.

The truth is I don’t know what happens when animals die. I only know what I was taught. I like to believe that all dogs go to heaven.

She sat up sniffling and I gave her a hug. I hoped that my explanation made up for my initial response.

I remembered my childhood and how difficult it was to grow up in The Netherlands Reformed Congregation. I was too sensitive for such a harsh environment.

It is a fire and brimstone church that portrayed God as angry and vengeful. In this church most people let alone animals don’t make it to heaven. Churches like mine were often referred to as the church of the “frozen chosen.”

You were predestined for heaven or hell. God chose and there was nothing within your power to change the outcome. I spent a lot of time as a child and teenager wondering what waited for me and the ones I loved on the other side.

It’s strange that in that environment I always felt that God was love. The Jesus I read about was loving and cared tenderly for people. He healed their bodies and their spirits. All they needed was the willingness to believe.

In my early twenties I left the church. I embraced the God of love that I know so dearly and focussed on living my life with kindness. I raised my children to believe in a God that loves them and is there for them.

I don’t know what is on the other side of this life. I don’t think it’s anything like we imagine.

What I can’t imagine is heaven without animals. Their presence on this earth brings me great joy. I want to believe that when I die my pups are there to greet me. Bounding excitedly across an open field. Jesus following behind them.

Do dogs go to heaven? Please God, I hope so.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. I have a small plaque that I bought several years ago: All Pets go to Heaven. I hope so, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 12, 2020
  2. Interesting that I was thinking about his subject yesterday. Will all the cats I ever took care of be waiting for me in Heaven. I’d have quite a mansionfull. 😉 And how would my friend who detests cats cope?

    At any rate, I’d like to believe they will, but I know my wishing it won’t make it true. Some things wait for our future discovery, but there are unique animals in Heaven — didn’t Ezekiel see some? And I don’t think animals have a soul as we; I wouldn’t want my cats morally responsible for murder every time they caught a mouse.

    Unlike yourself, I wasn’t brought up in any church, but as an adult also found and embraced the God of love.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 12, 2020
  3. Nice post Jane! I grew up in a fundamental Christian environment too. Bit of hellfire and brimstone, but also a bit of love. Funny though, after fully prescribing to religion, even a stint as a minister of religion in this denomination, I no longer believe or attend any church. The years since my departure have been my happiest, the most secure I’ve felt in my own wellbeing. I grew up with messages of not being good enough for god’s love, never being worthy, which played havoc with my self-esteem. Since not having those destructive messages played over and over again (although they do sub-consciously still rear their ugly selves), and a little bit of counselling, alcohol and my Hubbie and children’s love, I feel worthwhile. Keep writing, loving your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    April 13, 2020
    • Linda, what an interesting life you’ve lead. I also felt like I was never good enough. I truly believe that my anxiety and depression are rooted in my upbringing. I’m still a believer even though I rarely go to church.

      Liked by 1 person

      April 13, 2020
      • Organised religion has a lot to answer for, in my opinion anyway, in terms of people’s mental health. Too many people (usually men) weilding power over others. Rarely turns out well 😱

        Liked by 1 person

        April 13, 2020

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