Tuesday, September 25, 2012

When A Pet Dies: Do All Dogs Really Go to Heaven?

The very first funeral I attended was under a cedar tree next to our garden when I was about five years old. Grandma Chris's parakeet was laid to rest in a cardboard shoebox. As a five-year-old I didn't think anything of it except it was the first time I saw someone dig a hole with a shovel and that was pretty cool.

But you know what? For a child who's first funeral was for a parent, losing a beloved pet could be a lot different. Be sensitive and observant about their reactions or lack of reaction. Be honest about explaining what happened and allow the child to say "good-bye" in an age-appropriate way. 

Remember that younger children especially think very literally. When you tell a child "Kitty has to be put to sleep," don't be surprised if you get some objections and screaming next time you tell your little one that "It's time to go to sleep." 

Two books, Heaven by Randy Alcorn, and The Wonder of Heaven by Ron Rhodes address the question "Will my pet be in Heaven?"

When pets died at my house, we found great satisfaction in a quote I heard many years ago from a good preacher. It went something like this: "If you need Spot or Puff to be in Heaven in order for it to be perfect, then God will make sure Spot and Puff are there for you. Heaven is a place of no more tears or sorrow!" Whether or not they'll really be there, that satisfied us and I hope it will help you as well.
Here's a picture of my Elmer cat.
What advice can you share about when children lose a pet? If you come across other information or websites please feel free to mention them in the comment line. Or send me a picture of your pet. That'd be fun! 
Thanks! ferree


  1. aww..Elmer is such a cute cat! Love the eyes!

    I can't tell if he's resting or if he's getting ready to pounce on your camera.. :)

  2. the funny thing about Elmer is that he doesn't know either if he's resting or getting ready to pounce! :)


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