Now, I’m not big on evangelists, but I have to say that I loved the letter that Billy Graham wrote back to her. This is one evangelist I think I can stand. Billy Graham wrote back, “I don’t have all the answers. But I do believe that God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it means that your dog has to be there, then I believe he’ll be there.” You rock, Billy.
More recently, Pope Francis told a boy whose dog had died, “Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures. We will see our animals again.”
And slightly less recently, Pope John Paul II stated that the souls of animals were no less loved by God than were human souls.
And if you don’t need the validation of religious figures to tell you what happens to your dog when he passes from this earth, let me just say this – look into your dog’s eyes, and then try to tell me that he doesn’t have a soul, and that his beautiful soul will not go wherever you go.
I have to believe that if there is a heaven, your dog will be there. Anything else is unthinkable.
Now, we know that we will usually outlive our dogs. Do they go straight to heaven, or does something else wonderful and magical happen?
Let me tell you about the Rainbow Bridge. I love this story. I have heard it expressed in many ways, and all I seem to be able to come back to is this – if there wasn’t a Rainbow Bridge at the beginning of time, then there must be now. Because a kind, loving God would have seen the need for it, and if he hadn’t made it at the time of creation, he would have looked back and said “That Rainbow Bridge is a good idea. I think I’ll make one.”
Here is the story of the Rainbow Bridge.
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; his eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be parted….
I want to believe in the Rainbow Bridge. I love this story so much that I had to have it with me, and I found it in the Rainbow Bridge Poem Pet Memorial Desk Plaque with Easel Back by Banberry Designs. The poem is carved on a plaque, and it’s just the right size to put on your desk, or next to the urn that contains the ashes of a beloved pet.
I’m not trying to sell you something, okay? It’s just that the poem so moved my heart, and seeing it on the plaque really meant something to me. I had to have it. I got it for $24.99, and I didn’t have to pay shipping. I think I’m going to order more for friends who have lost pets and who need to have the comfort of the Rainbow Bridge.
Do dogs go to heaven? If there is a heaven, then of course they go there. Where else would their beautiful souls go? And if God loves you, and gave you this beautiful creature to keep you company in life, why in the world would he ever part you in death?
I don’t pretend to know everything. But I know this, as sure as I know that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, as sure as I know that the earth revolves around the sun, and as sure as I know that the law of gravity cannot be repealed and that I will never find out how the caramel goes into the Carmilk bar – dogs go to heaven.