Do All Animals Go To Heaven?

(When I came home from elementary, my father introduced me to my dog Ellie. She was from a shelter, the shelter did not know how old she was. They found her and she was already grown.)

Saturday, August 27, 2016, was a day of unbearable heartache for me. I had to make the difficult decision to have my beloved dog Ellie put to sleep. Ellie was a 19-year-old beautiful black-and-white Cocker Spaniel mix that I had had since I was a young boy. Maybe she should have gone a long time ago – she was practically blind and deaf, could barely walk, and seemed to be in a lot of pain toward the end. However, I could not bear the thought of letting her go without a fight, so I fought valiantly to relieve her pain and help her regain her health. Finally I realized that she was waiting for me to release her.

As I was mourning Ellie’s passing, I remembered a dream I had had a long time ago after the loss of my first dog Cassy. In the dream, I woke up on beautiful green-colored grass that sparkled with silver highlights. As I stood up, I saw trees all around with pink-red leaves and a blue sky with shining stars overhead. I saw someone standing on top of a little hill. I did not call out, but walked forward. As I reached the top, I stood next to the person. Although I turned my head toward them, I don’t remember what they looked like. The person pointed out to the horizon where I saw a tall tree with a circle pond around it. Cassy, Pooh Bear and Ellie were there. And with animals I had encountered throughout my life were there along with some animals I did not know. People were joyfully playing with all the pets. I walked down and joined the group. Although I did not know the people, some somehow looked like me.

Except for one. She was beautiful – not like a star but like a universe full of stars. The people did not say a word, but all greeted me with a smile. As I sat on the ground surrounded by my beloved pets, I said, “Hello my old friends. It's been a long time since last we met.”. When I woke up in my room on my bed, I was not sad or scared but in silent awe of what I had seen and how it seemed so real, like living another life. I have only told a few people of my dream, but to this day, I have held that dream in my heart. Ellie, your bark was louder than thunder. Your love and loyalty were unmatched. It was hard to say goodbye on Earth, but I know we will meet again. May you have no more pain, but live like you have never lived like before…

She may be out of sight, but never out my thoughts.


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  • I'm sorry for your loss, Petr1992.

    Personally, I don't believe in a heaven or he'll for anything, humans or otherwise. I am agnostic, leaning strongly in the direction of atheism. We can want or wish for something as much as we like, but that doesn't make it so.

    But suppose I am wrong (and let me be the first to admit I could be).

    Two years after my wife's passing, I went to heaven. Well, near enough. It was a place called Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. I will never forget an afternoon I spent hiking along the Yellowstone River. In Haden Valley, I chanced to come across a large herd of bison. Perhaps a hundred beasts. As it was June, there were many calves, some perhaps only a few days old. They pranced and played in the sage grass prairie, often to the disapproving snorts of the stoic old bulls. There was a vibrant rainbow in the background. I watched them in awe and fascination for about a half an hour. On that same trip, at the summit of Salt River Pass, I watched a young moose, probably its first year on its own away from its mother, as it browsed for food. It was so awkward and gangly looking it was kind of cute. I revisited heaven again recently, although the locals call it Alaska. I hiked up the Eagle River. With jagged mountains, like dragon teeth tearing into the clouds, as a backdrop, I watched salmon swimming and jumping in the clearest river I've ever had the pleasure to view. And all these times I got to thinking, if there are no animals, and I mean every kind of animal (yes, even the mosquitoes), in heaven, then I doubt I could ever call it a paradise. The same is true of plants. If there is a God or gods, and they are good and love us and want to reward us for a good life, then it stands to reason that those gods would stock heaven with animals, including those animals we loved. Only then could I call that a paradise.