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More Stories - The Way We Were

Do Dogs Go to Heaven?

I've had many dogs over the years, but when I lost Cuca, a truly very special dog, it was really rough. A friend sent me a poem that was very comforting, Waiting at the Gate.


Reindeer ears at Christmas

I am almost convinced I saw a dog go to heaven once. An elderly neighbor had gotten a small Doberman, named him "Puppy" (pronounced Poopie in Spanish!), then got the pup a pet kitten for company since he was often gone long hours.  "Puppy" grew to be a huge Doberman.  His cat would often sleep on his back in cool or damp weather, or in the shelter of his huge paws.  Sometimes when I passed by late in the day past his dinnertime, when no one was home yet, I would give him a dog biscuit.

One day the gentleman had a heart attack.  Even though the situation was critical, rescue couldn't get in because the dog was standing over his owner, guarding him.  I went in, since I have Dobermans and  Puppy knew me in passing and from the occasional snack, and he let me drag him out of the house, skidding on the tiles and resisting all the way.  Rescue brought the fellow outside for light and room, and when it became obvious to me he wasn't going to survive, I took the dog home.

Later a distant relative came and got the cat, but let me keep the dog, who would have otherwise probably ended up in the pound or on the streets.

We renamed him Snoopy.  He got along fine with my cats and other Dobies.  Whenever I took him to my office, he would break away and run past to his former home, testing the air and looking for his owner, then heave a big sigh and come back sadly.  He had a good life otherwise but never forgot.

In his last year of life, Snoop was quiet and inactive; the vet didn't know what was wrong. One morning we found he'd died, guarding the bedroom door as always.

That night I had a very vivid dream. I was walking with Snoop in a forest. He was old and slow, snuffling here and there as dogs do. As we came to a large, bright meadow full of wildflowers, Snoop suddenly lifted his head and gave a great leap in the air.  I looked across to the other side and there was the old man on the other edge of the meadow gesturing for Snoop to come.

Snoop galloped and danced across to meet him like a young dog.  After greeting each other, they turned and went back into the forest with Snoop prancing at the old man's side.  I awoke in tears, convinced that Snoopy and been reunited with his master, for whom he had grieved so long.

Do dogs go to heaven?   In my dream, Snoop surely did!

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  • From Sandy:  Thank you so much for your story about Snoop and the dream of his reunion with his master. My beloved little Poppet passed away this morning, and I've been crying nonstop at both his loss and the uncertainty of ever seeing him again in the afterlife. When I first started this internet search, so many sites said "no, no, no" to the idea that animals have souls, and I just couldn't bear it if I didn't see Poppet's sweet face again. However, I put more faith in what you saw in your dream than the academic musings of a dozen scholars. They may study the Bible left and right, but I believe God still talks to us, and I feel He did so in your dream.

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