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How I Know Dogs Go to Heaven

I was 10 years old when I saw my neighbor run over my dog, Spot. In a horrific flash, Spot went under the tire, thrashed around in the front yard for a few seconds and then collapsed in the ditch. I screamed out his name and ran to his side, hoping that I could somehow stop the inevitable.

A trickle of blood was running out of his mouth when I reached him, and when I laid my head on his chest, he gave one last whimper and died. I lay in the grass next to him and wept.

After our makeshift funeral that evening, I asked my dad whether Spot would be in heaven. He said something complicated about the possibility of animals having souls, but it just sounded like a bunch of grownup talk to me. So I went to bed figuring I would never see my dog again. But within a few hours, I changed my mind.

That night, I had a dream that I still remember to this day: Spot was in heaven, and he was walking alongside a tall, bearded man in a robe. I thought it was probably Moses.

That was all there was to the dream, but when I awoke the next morning, it was enough to convince me that I would eventually see Spot again. I went to the kitchen to get breakfast, and my brother Caleb joined me.

“I had a dream about Spot last night,” he said. “Spot was in heaven, and he was walking beside a man with a beard who looked like he was one of the disciples. I think God was trying to show me that Spot is in heaven.”

“I had the same dream!” I said excitedly, although I wasn’t exactly surprised. It seemed like something perfectly reasonable for God to do to assure us we would see our beloved dog again one day.

Twenty-seven years have passed since my brother and I had our joint dream about Spot. And although I still have a lot of unanswered questions about the afterlife, I’m certain of two things: Heaven is real, and when I get there, Spot will be waiting for me.

This appeared at Fox News Opinion on FoxNews.com. If you’d like an email with a weekly recap of what I’ve written, click here.  You can also keep up with my latest articles or comment on Facebook or Twitter.

3 Comments
  1. ​G​reat post!​ ​Here are a couple resources to help you answer that question.​It is an intriguing philosophical question that naturally leads to an anthropological question and subsequently finds its completion in a theological one. What is a soul? What creatures have a soul? What are the differences between them? Are they subsistent (eternal) Do they all go to heaven?This question was first investigated by Aristotle in De Anima, "On the Soul". It was later further unpacked by the great theologian Thomas Aquinas in the Summa Theologica. Here is a preview: plants have 'nutritive' souls, animals have 'sensitive' souls, and humans have 'intellectual' souls. Enjoy!This question of whether dogs go to heaven is a great lead into asking questions about the human soul. The fundamental question, missed by most, in contemplating controversial issues in society today (gay marriage, torture, drones, NSA spying, abortion, euthanasia, cloning, contraception, etc) is, "What is Man?" Answering this question first, would give us wisdom to answer the tertiary questions that science has so wonderfully afforded us in this age of technological wonder.RS

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    July 30, 2013
  2. The links did not show up on that comment so here you go:Thomas Aquinas link: http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1075.htm#article3Aristotle link:http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/soul.htmlRS

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    July 30, 2013
  3. I also believe dogs will go to heaven; I have always felt that Toby will be in heaven. If God created the Heavens and the Earth wouldn't it make sense for all creatures to be in heaven too? …there will be a new Heaven and new Earth…Charlie Dan

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    August 1, 2013

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