KANSAS CITY, MO. Starr, Carolyn Sharp’s cherished greyhound, was diagnosed with a fatal form of cancer when she was 4 years old.
Sharp made the decision that as long as Starr wasn’t in too much pain, the two of them would be together. Sharp gave the greyhound radiation treatments and pain patches for a while until the vet advised him it was time to put a stop to it.
According to Sharp, a resident of Overland Park, Kansas, “I held her in my arms for the two of us as we went in for the last time until she had left.” I still haven’t really accepted loosing her at such an early age.
Even now, eight years later, she is still perplexed as to “why.” She is confident that in the afterlife, she will hold Starr once more.
Sharp predicted that there will be several dogs and three cats waiting for him.
Do animals have an existence beyond death? Or, to put it another way, “Do all dogs go to heaven?”
As he consoles folks who have lost a pet, Jack Vinyardi of Kansas City, Missouri, an ordained interfaith chaplain of animals, says he is frequently asked that question.
He informs them that no religion makes the claim to know without a doubt what happens to animals once they pass away.
“Comforting is my duty,” he remarked. “I really believe that if we search deeply into our own hearts and ask for direction there, we can all discover the answers to heavenly questions. Our solutions may not match those others have discovered, but they are our own, and they will provide us peace. And there is only one theological principle I can state with certainty: since our bonds with our pets are spiritual and emotional in nature, they never truly cease, regardless of where our bodies and souls may travel after death.”
When asked whether there is an afterlife for animals, members of different faiths provided the following responses:
The academic dean of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Thor Madsen, admitted that Christians long to reunite with their animals. “We actually have no scriptural foundations for a certainty that our pets will be resurrected along with us,” he said in his conclusion.
According to Madsen, some Christians believe that having their pets with them in paradise will fill a crucial gap in their happiness.
The fellowship that we, as followers of Christ, shall have with our Creator and Savior, he continued, is “heaven’s tremendous bounty for us.” “At that moment, nothing will appear to be missing.”
Children and some adults have enquired about their dogs’ whereabouts in paradise with the Rev. John Schmeidler of Lawrence, Kansas’ St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church.
According to Schmeidler, a Capuchin Franciscan, “St. Francis of Assisi considered animals as God’s creatures to be cherished and respected. St. Thomas Aquinas talked about animals having a soul, but it wasn’t similar to that of people.
He claimed that according to traditional Catholic doctrine, animals are not allowed to enter paradise.
“But many people struggle with it, and I do too when I see a pet owner in pain. I’m confident that if God can raise us from the dead, he can certainly raise a dog. I know that God wants us to be completely happy in paradise, and if having a dog will help us achieve that goal.”
According to Kansas City-based Muslim scholar Abdalla Idris Ali, there are no explicit references to an afterlife for animals in the Quran. However, there are veiled allusions. He continued, “Indirectly, if they want their dogs, they can have them with them.” One argues that in paradise, people will receive everything they have requested.
Ali explained: “For instance, he would charge an animal with horns who exploited one without horns, and that horned animal will be converted to dust after taking him to account for what the horned animal did.
Congregation Ohev Sholom in Prairie Village, Kansas, is led by Rabbi Scott White “Judaism holds that those who are genuinely good will receive a fortunate existence in the world to come. That such a life to contain the animal that served as the inspiration for greatness is only fitting.
“Paradise with my own mutt [Rescue the Wonder Dog] is for me the ideal incentive to pursue virtue,” the author writes.
American Indians have the view that all living things are interrelated, according to Northern Cherokee Gary Langston of Kansas City.
“All living creatures are Earth’s children,” he declared. “Whether we have feet, wings, or roots doesn’t matter.
“So, yes, animals do have an afterlife. We are all returning to the Creator, our true home. Yes, folks will be able to see their pets once more. My childhood dog’s spirit never left me; instead, he simply transitioned to another dimension.”
According to Langston, he thinks that after he passes away, he will enter the realm in which his dog resides, where they will both be in the spirit form.
The oldest and most virtuous of the five Pandava brothers, Yudhisthira, has a narrative in the Hindu epic “Mahabharata.” His devoted dog Dhruba accompanied him on his last voyage to heaven, according to Anand Bhattacharyya, a Hindu living in the Kansas City region.
He declared, “Yudhisthira was permitted to enter heaven, but not his dog.” “However, he was reluctant to go to heaven without his dog. Both were granted entrance to heaven in an atmosphere of perpetual harmony at Yudhisthira’s request.”
According to Bhattacharyya, the general Hindu view is that animals have souls but cannot reach eternal existence.
“Animal souls eventually progress to the human plane due to the soul’s innate desire to be reunited with its source (God). The soul can unite with God in eternal pleasure after it has taken on a human body. However, it can take numerous more reincarnations in human form until the spirit is freed from the cycle of death and rebirth.”
Linda Prugh of the Vedanta Society, a group founded on Hindu philosophy, has a similar point of view. Animals, she claimed, had souls, but unlike people, they are unable to reason or distinguish between right and wrong. According to her, animals go through a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth as they evolve into higher forms and finally make it to the human level.
According to Marnie Hammer of Mid America Dharma, “I don’t know” if there is an afterlife for either humans or animals from a Buddhist perspective.
She explained that the Buddha advocated living in the present moment rather than wasting a lot of time thinking about the future.
Hammer argued that according to Buddhist doctrine, the animal world is a lower plane of existence.
I don’t know whether I’ll ever see them again, but the three cats I’ve had have made my life richer and I’ve shared it with them, she added. It is not the question, you say.
If one is making life “more calm and generous for everyone,” she posed the question.
What is said about dogs in heaven?
Francis has previously stated that LGBT people “have assets and traits to offer the Christian community” and that evolution and the Big Bang are not in conflict with faith in earlier attempts to bring the Church into the 21st century (or at least into the 20th). However, he is blatantly courting dog owners, a considerably larger and more ardent following.
According to The New York Times, Francis informed a grieving young boy whose dog had passed away that “Paradise is available to all of God’s animals.” His comments were viewed as a rejection of the conservative Roman Catholic theology that holds that animals cannot enter paradise because they lack souls by the Humane Society and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. (The article does not take into account the possibility that there are no living things because the concept of a soul is a creation of human imagination.)
Dog owners who worry that their pet would simply die when it passes away have been greatly relieved by this revelation. Authors of works like Dog Heaven, Even Bad Dogs Go to Heaven, Biblical Proof Animals Do Go To Heaven, Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates, and pretty much everything Jack Wintz has ever written are celebrating the Pope’s confirmation of what they’ve believed all along.
On Amazon, I couldn’t locate a single book that acknowledged that if dogs may enter paradise, they can also enter hell. (Some candidates are listed here.) Additionally, no one has thought about the implications of dogs in the hereafter; I guess there isn’t much of an audience for a book with a title like Stepping on Dog Slob for Eternity. However, dog-loving Christians who believe in heaven should think about these implications, especially how people will treat dogs in heaven.
Sacred writings offer some hints. The King James Bible has numerous references to dogs, some of which are listed below:
According to Revelation 22:15, those who love and tell lies are among those who are found outside, along with dogs, sorcerers, whoremongers, murderers, and idolaters.
Philippians 3:2 warns, “Be on the lookout for dogs, evildoers, and circumcision.
As a dog returns to its vomit, so does a fool return to his foolishness, according to Proverbs 26:11.
According to Luke 16:21, the dogs also came and licked the man’s sores while he was begging for food from the crumbs that fell from the wealthy man’s table.
“After whom is the king of Israel come out?” asks 1 Samuel 24:14. Whom are you pursuing, exactly? following a dead dog and a flea.
According to Isaiah 56:10, all of his watchmen are blind, illiterate, and incapable of barking. They also like resting and lying down.
But as it is stated in 2 Peter 2:22, “The sow that was washed [is] turned to her wallowing in the mire. The dog [is] turned to his own vomit again.”
Obviously, these are references to humans rather than actual canines. It’s a homophobic insult at times. I’m not an expert on the Bible, but it seems like the epithet “dog” is used more frequently than “whore” in the Bible. What does it say about how dogs are treated in paradise if being compared to a (vomit-eating) dog is about as terrible as it gets? Dog owners who are celebrating Pope Francis’ statements might think about whether their pet would be better off not ascending after all.
Do canines enter the same heaven as people do?
Dog utopia can be summed up simply as having boundless treats, unlimited walks, and catchable squirrels.
The trickier query is if it even exists. But a recent study found that pet owners of all kinds of domestic animals are now more inclined to believe in an afterlife for their animals and to show this belief through gravestones and monuments.
A recent study that looked at the history of pet cemeteries in Newcastle and London over a century starting in 1881 and was published in the journal Antiquity discovered an increase in the percentage of graves that allude to the immortal souls of the deceased animals.
Few 19th-century gravestones mention an afterlife, however some people may have expressed a “desire” to reunite with deceased loved ones, according to Dr. Eric Tourigny, the study’s author who examined more than 1,000 animal headstones.
A higher percentage of pet gravestones during the middle of the 20th century suggests owners were hoping for a reunion in the hereafter.
Simple 19th-century references like “Topsey, lovely friend,” “Our precious tiny Butcha,” and “Darling Fluff” can be seen on gravestone images included in the paper. Owners are careful not to offend modern Christian dogma when mentioning an afterlife and just express the wish of reunification in the few instances where it is mentioned.
The owner of Denny, a “brave little cat,” nevertheless, firmly adds: “God bless until we meet again” by the 1950s. Religious allusions increase in frequency throughout this time period, with symbols like crosses and “epitaphs” signifying God’s protection and care.
Professor Tourigny of historical archaeology at Newcastle University discovered additional proof that pet owners were more prone to see animals as members of the family. After the Second World War, more gravestones began to include family names, albeit “some early users of surnames put them in parentheses or quote marks, as if to confess they are not complete members of the family,” the author noted.
Additionally, he discovered that owners were increasingly referring to themselves as “Mummy,” “Dad,” or “Auntie.”
The majority of the stones “are likely for dogsbut the amount of cats and other animals climbed as the 20th century went on,” according to Tourigny, who acknowledged that it was difficult to estimate precisely.
The four pet cemeteries under examination have gravestones that date from the 1880s through the 1980s. Since that time, those who want to commemorate their pet’s passing more frequently choose cremation.
Other contemporary pet memorial rituals include the opportunity to have their ashes turned into jewels, framed collars, and clay paw prints. However, a lot of owners continue to choose the less involved option of burying their pets in the backyard or what is euphemistically referred to as “community pet cremation.”
While there are many different theological perspectives in the world, Christianity has historically believed that animals cannot experience an afterlife. However, Pope John Paul II asserted in 1990 that both humans and animals are “as close to God.”
Remarks made by Pope Francis in 2014 were seen by some animal lovers as providing more hope for a furry afterlife. What lies ahead, he claimed, “is not the annihilation of the universe and all in it.” Instead, it brings everything to the height of its perfection, truth, and beauty.
What are the afterlife’s animal signs?
Animals may leave clues or messages for people in the afterlife, including:
- basic thoughts or feelings transmitted through telepathy.
- odors that make you think of the animal.
- physical contact (such as feeling an animal jump up on a bed or sofa).
- Sounds (such as the barking, meowing, or other vocalizations of an animal).
Will my dog’s ghost come and see me?
Pet ghosts do in fact exist and do come to their owners’ homes, according to Janice Dreshman, a licensed psychic medium in the spiritualist town of Lily Dale, New York. In Pittsburgh, she also has a medium practice.
What happens to dogs once they die?
It’s likely that you’ve considered the hereafter, whether or whether you practice a particular religion or a more individualized kind of spirituality. And if you have a dog, you’ve probably wondered if you’ll find it there when the time comes.
On the subject of whether or not pets have an afterlife, many religions are divided. It largely boils down to subjective readings of religious texts.
For instance, the Bible says in Genesis 1:26-27 that since animals were not created in God’s likeness, they cannot go to heaven after they die. However, there are numerous allusions to animals that appear in the afterlife in the Book of Isaiah.
Buddhism holds that an animal’s spirit resides on Earth for seven days following its passing. It can make an effort to get in touch with the loved ones it left behind at this period.
However, after those seven days, the spirit enters a new body and starts a new life.
Numerous psychic mediums hold the view that dogs and other pets’ souls reside in an afterlife where they can interact with the living. They can send signs and messages to their bereaved owners from this spirit world, which we’ll discuss in more detail in the next part.
The Rainbow Bridge is a concept that is well-liked by pet owners of all religions and spiritualities. Animals who pass away live in peace, happiness, and good health across the Rainbow Bridge.
They also visit the Rainbow Bridge once their owners pass away to meet up with their cherished companions. They cross the Rainbow Bridge together into the afterlife, the subsequent life, or the subsequent realm once they have been reunited.
The Cherokee view of an animal afterlife, which is based on the idea that both people and animals are descendants of the Earth, is comparable to the Rainbow Bridge. According to this theory, after passing away, dogs and other pets enter a different dimension and finally return with their owners.
Regardless of where these ideas came from, they undoubtedly give solace to pet owners who have lost a companion. Trusting that your pet has passed on to a better place, free from suffering and where they can either spend eternity or start over, can be comforting.