All Dogs Go to Heaven: How Pets Draw Us Closer to God


By kallerna (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (, via Wikimedia Commons

 By Rev. Mae Elise Cannon

Reblogged from Huffington Post:

This week, my extended family lost a dear loved one — a beautiful 165 lb. puppy (11 years old) named Chief. Chief was a beautiful creature. Understated in temperament. Loyal. Sweet. And a part of our family. It was devastating to see him go. While Chief was not my dog — he belonged to some dear friends — his loss reminded me of the great value pets play in our lives. Pets draw us closer to God and His creation. Chief’s death reminded me of my own journey with animals who have blessed me and my family. This blog is an update on one I wrote more than a year ago, but think it’s story and message is relevant today. As my loved ones grieve the loss of their own, may we all be encouraged to know that God shows small pieces of His love through the animals who surround us and our families.

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3 responses to “All Dogs Go to Heaven: How Pets Draw Us Closer to God

  1. Wonderful testimony to the animals in our lives and in the world. But I would expand her loving testimony to all creatures in the world, not just pets. I am so glad that North church and J. Barret have reblogged this aritcle. I believe the church has to be the one to educate the world for better treatment and different attitudes toward animals. I believe that everything created belongs to God and is a part of Him, so why then would we ever, ever look upon any living thing with less than love and respect, since God has called us to love one another? To honor and love all the life around us, to hold it sacred and the gift of God, is the only way we will ever overcome the hatred, discrimination, violence and injustice in this world–because as long as we can say something, anything living is lesser than something or someone else, we can discriminate, and eventually come to hate or manipulate that creature or person for our own ends. Until the church takes the lead in teaching people that all living things are as meaningful to God as any other part of His creation, that they have hearts, souls, minds, feelings and rights, we will never overcome the darkness of this world in so many other areas of life. There is a wonderful book a dear pastor gave me some years ago, written by Andrew Linzey, the first person to hold the Fellowship in Theology and Animal Welfare at Mansfield College, Oxford University. It’s called Animal Theology, published by the University of Illinois Press. In it, he walks through the arguments of famous theologians who basically simply spread their own warped views, not based in Scripture, about animals . . .views which have haunted our “little brothers and sisters” (as St. Francis called them) ever since and created a huge amount of suffering in the world. It’s time to undo the damage they’ve done and replace it with the same kind of love that animals continue to give us in spite of all we have done to them. Of course, all dogs (and all other living things) go to “heaven.” Nothing can be created or destroyed, but only transformed back into the divine substance from which is was created: the love of God.

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