"Do our dogs go to heaven after they die?"


Dear Fr. Bloom,

I am interested in the topic of do our dogs go to heaven after they die. There are some who think they do and call it a "Rainbow Bridge" that they go over and wait for their owners (human) when they die. I guess we will only know for sure when we die.

A thought I had regarding this is based on what a priest once said at Mass. It was: when we get to heaven if we want even an ice creme cone, God can give it to us. Taken it a step further (my thoughts), God who can do anything, it he choses, can unite us with our family dog.

Thank you for this site. There are many informative and interesting articles that I am looking forward to reading.

God bless,

Mary Monahan


Dear Mary,

I would love to think my puppy would be with me in heaven. (Of course, I have to make it there myself first.) C.S. Lewis has some speculation on the possibility of afterlife for those animals closely bound to humans in this life. You can read his theory in The Problem of Pain.

What the priest said about God being able to give us an ice cream cone is true enough. However, the question is: would we desire one? It would be like going to Buffalo for a honeymoon and instead of seeing Niagra Falls, settling for some muddy creek. Do you see what I am saying? In heaven we will have unobstructed vision of Being Itself. Believe me, the ice cream cone would melt in your hand.

But while we are in these corruptible bodies, it can be helpful for us to imagine heaven in terms of pleasures we know: the steaming bowl of linguini, the affection of a puppy, the comfort of friends and family, or - following a venerable tradition - the marital embrace. In some way those pleasures will be there, but in a form which will make the present ones seem very tame.

As I said, Mary, we have to make it there first. It's so easy for us to turn from true pleasure to illegitimate ones. And then to want to justify ourselves, harden our hearts so there is no room for Jesus' forgiveness. Well, I don't want to turn this into a homily, but you know what I mean.

Let us pray for each other that we will stand together before God. And, who knows, maybe even a lovely pet at our side. God bless,

Fr. Bloom

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