“For those who love dogs, it would be the worst form of a lie to call any place where dogs are banned ‘paradise’. Certainly, no loving God would separate people from their canine friends for eternity” – Stanly Coren, dog psychologist
Stanly is a psychology professor, neuropsychological researcher, with an emphasis on the intelligence, mental abilities, and history of dogs. He loves dogs. Enough said.
He is absolutely right, however. It would be the worst form of a lie to call any place where dogs are not welcome paradise, heaven, or whatever name one attaches to the afterlife. We all have differing ideas on what heaven may be like, but most would define heaven as a place of perfect peace and love, a place of utter and absolute fulfillment, the place God and the angels reside. I like to envision heaven filled with every animal I ever loved and for that matter, filled with animals, period.
Why would God ban dogs or any creature animated with the breath of God from heaven? I do not believe He did. God declared the creation ‘good’ and on the seventh day ceased creating so the creation could produce itself.
Adam and Eve were the only creatures to receive the gift of free-will. According to the Bible, Eve exercised her free-will and chose to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil which made God furious so He punished them by kicking them out of the Garden and heaped on a few more punishments for good measure. If life in the Garden was perfect, how exactly would free-will operate without the knowledge of good and evil? Isn’t free-will dependent on the choice between good and evil? If the only choice one has is between good and good, or perfect and perfect, is it really free-will? Further, if God only gave Adam and Eve the gift of free-will, why did God punish all the other creatures and creation itself right along with them?
Christianity developed over the years, the Bible was embellished a time or two with man’s opinions and thoughts and consequently, the dog got the short stick because Biblical references to dogs are synonymous with evil or are equated with a low social status. Thus, the belief in some Christian circles dogs don’t have spirits or will be banned from heaven. Personally, I believe the ‘dogs don’t have spirits or are banned from heaven’ lie is straight from the pits of hell or at the very least, from the mouths of anti-dog people; in other words not-so-nice people.
The idea of God, Divine Love, the Universe, whatever we choose to call Source Energy, is predicated on unconditional love, mercy, peace, patience, righteousness, grace, and all the other characteristics attributed to God. Divine Love endowed with any of these characteristics would not separate His beloved – and according to the Bible, we are His beloved – for the rest of eternity from the animals, from the dogs we have dearly loved in life.
Billy Graham, probably THE most prominent evangelical leader in Christianity, said it this way, “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.” I couldn’t agree more…..