Judy Carman, the author of “Peace to All Beings” and co-author of “The Missing Peace.”
One night Raymond and Suzanne Peters were awakened by their dog, Mac, barking loudly. Half asleep they hushed the dog, but the barking became so frantic that Raymond finally arose.
When he did, he found, to his horror, that their house was on fire. Quickly the couple ran from the house carrying their children.
Once outside and safe, the couple suddenly realized the true extent of Mac’s devotion to them. Without doubt, it was Mac who had saved their lives, but Mac had died three months before the fire. Although this event may seem improbable, a quick look at the number of books and websites dedicated to such stories indicates that many people have experienced similar evidence of animals living on after death.
The Hebrew word for living soul in the Bible is “nephesh,” and it is given to both human beings and animals. This is the mysterious, unseen life force that animates all living beings. It is the breath of God infused with divine love.
When asked whether animals go to heaven, author James Herriot stated that he believed they do and added, “If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.”
St. John the Divine stated that he saw many animals in heaven. St. Francis of Assisi noted that “there is no degradation in the dignity of human nature in claiming kinship with creatures so beautiful, so wonderful, who praise God in the forest even as the angels praise Him in heaven.”
This question, though perhaps unanswerable in the literal sense, has profound implications for us. When we open our hearts to the realization that animals are sacred and endowed with Divine Love; when we look into their eyes and remember that they are our precious companions and not ours to use and kill; we enter a realm of infinite compassion, love, and inner peace.
— Send e-mail to Judy Carman at email@example.com.
Charles Gruber, member, Oread Friends Meeting, 1146 Ore.:
So I was chatting with my dog, Rosie, a 2-year old mixed-breed basenji, about whether animals go to heaven.
She said, “Remember when you told me you counseled some friends that heaven was an individual concept depending solely on what each person believed?”
“Yes,” I said. “I told each one that if they believed they would go to heaven, they would, indeed go to heaven as they understood it. I also told them that if their version of heaven was different from mine, that was okay. The magic comes into play when the cast of characters and the nature of the scenery differs between our versions. As Bob Dylan sang, ‘You can be in my dream if I can be in yours.’”
“Well,” Rosie said, “that’s how it works. Remember how sad you were when you buried your cat, Kefira, a couple of weeks ago? And the tears that flowed when your lab-chow dog, Babe, died of cancer? I have it on good authority that all of them will greet you in the after-life if you choose to believe so.”
She patiently licked my tears as the memories returned.
“Oh, I have more good news,” Rosie said. “No litter boxes, no leashes, no fleas and no poop bags. Just long walks, lots of naps and boatloads of dog treats.”
“Sounds like heaven to me,” I said.
“How could it be otherwise?” she responded, nuzzling me softly and making those low moaning sounds she makes when she’s contented.
— Send e-mail to Charles Gruber at firstname.lastname@example.org.