Sunday, March 27, 2011
Dogs go to Heaven
With Erin's passing came many questions about her mortality, her final destination and whether there is any chance we'll be reunited in some form or another. It's everyone's hope and desire that their beloved animal continues on in another realm, when the heart ceases to beat any longer then a transformation takes place thus a reunion remains a possibility down the road. Erin's final resting place is of the utmost importance to me, it would be all too tragic to know that death is the final chapter and a lifetime of bringing happiness to others is rewarded with exclusion from paradise.
I'm going to maintain faith based upon my religious beliefs that Erin and pets will be in heaven. I've read several books and visited many web sites that pertain to the issue of animals in heaven and both sides of the issue clearly state their arguments with biblical passages or bias opinions; in the end it comes down to your faith and what is held dearly. I cling to the belief that God will ensure heaven is going to be a magical place, that everything will be provided for, and beloved pets will be allowed to enter through the pearly gates via his compassion and grace. Christ's death was for humanity's sin, it garnered redemption for all creation that was brought down by our sins and that creation surely includes household pets.
"I think God will have prepared everything for our perfect happiness. If it takes my dog being there in Heaven, I believe he'll be there. " ~Rev. Billy Graham
Do animals have souls? That is the question which is mostly debated when the issue of animals in heaven arises, there is no clear definitive answer and surely the question will continue to be disputed. Erin expressed a wide range of emotion, possessed the ability to convey her feelings, and uplifted the spirits of so many over the years thus she clearly has a soul. To have life is to have soul. Pope John Paul II declared in a public audiencein 1990 that "also the animals possess a soul and men must love and feel solidarity with our smaller brethren". The Pope went on to say that, "animals have the breath of life and were given it by God. In this respect, mancreated by the hand of God is identical with all living creatures."
Can animals be redeemed? I place animals in the same category as young children and believe they're judged in a different light as neither have free will or the mental capability to make decision. Pets are not fallen and thus do not have the option of seeking redemption as humans must do, some religious scholars state that animals are redeemed through our actions and gain access to heaven via that route. There is no way that an animal who was placed upon Earth for the greater good of mankind will be eradicated upon death, these creatures made of flesh and blood mean the world to us and a compassionate God will ensure we are reunited in his kingdom. Pets teach humans about love, compassion, friendship, forgiveness, and a thousand other lessons along the way and those contributions to the betterment of manship will not be forgiven.
Erin certainly taught me so much over the years, touched many hearts as a therapy dog, and was a beloved friend to all she met, guess God needed a beautiful loving dog to sit next to his throne. She will be waiting for my arrival whenever that day occurs and it will be a glorious reunion but til that day comes, I'll forever hold her in my heart. RIP Erin!!