|Jake, my collie, in a buttercup meadow.|
‘And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”’ (Rev 5:13).
Every creature! Wow! Not only will we ourselves be healed, restored, and lost in the ecstasy of contemplating God and the Lamb, but every creature in heaven and on earth, and under the earth, and in the sea will join us.
We shall be healed, and all the sad, abused, dumbly suffering animals of all history will be healed with us.
We will stand, and sing together.
I have loved animals all my life, and have always had as many of them as my family would permit. A couple of years ago, we had 9 pets (I live on an acre and a half in deep country, in Garsington, Oxfordshire)–rabbits, ducks, chickens, and a dog.
But decades of pet ownership do not leave one guilt free. There is the dog I could have walked more, the dog we had to give away when we left America, the rabbit who died of myxomatosis, the duck mauled by the fox on the one night we forget to put her in her shed, the hen eaten by the fox on the one night we forgot to lock the coop.
And as for the beloved pets who have died, the pets I have had to give away—I hope I will see them in heaven, for I imagine—but what do I know?–heaven will not be quite complete without dogs
The feisty C.S. Lewis was a slave to the dog of Mrs. Moore, his friend’s mother with whom he eccentrically lived. His brother, Warnie sardonically comments on the great things Jack might have achieved if he were not always trotting off to get meat from the butcher’s for the dog, or to walk him, or take him to the vet.
When a grieving dog-owner asked him if we would be re-united with our pets in heaven, Lewis did not let his lack of acquaintance with that undiscovered country prevent him from having opinions about it. “No,” he said, “not our dogs.” However, he said, there would be, in heaven, “the essence of dogness.”
I hope he’s right about the Platonic essence of Dogness in heaven. Surely he is.
But though there is nothing in Scripture about the resurrection of the dogs, I would love to believe that my dogs past and present will be there in heaven. Oh, please, Lord, let it be.
I particularly want to be reunited with my wonderful dog, Jake, whom I got from a rescue, as I have got every dog we have ever owned (or will own). He fell fast in love with me on the day we brought him home 4 years ago, and has been my constant shadow, sleeping at the foot of our bed, following me everywhere even to the bathroom, constantly repositioning himself to keep a vigilant eye on me. Though what an active collie and a sedentary writer could have in common is probably one of the mysteries of the universe!!
So tell me, do you viscerally believe you will be reunited with your pets in heaven?