Do Dogs Go To Heaven?

The question, it seems to me, suggests more the arrogance of Man
then the worthiness of these virtuous  animals.

Consider for a moment, these personal observations of the dogs I
have known and loved:

Without exception, they savored life for all it could offer.  They
faced every one of their days with a sense of adventure and joy and
good-natured spirit, a spirit tempered only by overriding
eagerness to please and love their masters, for nothing gave them
more pleasure.

Not to the smallest degree were they capable of recrimination,
sarcasm, pettiness, or treachery.  They were, however, eminently
capable of qualities to which Man can only aspire.

"Unconditional love", for example, is a very modern term Man has
coined to describe a paragon of all-forgiving love, a love
without reward, expectation, or promise of reciprocity.

Yet dogs, from time immemorial, have exemplified this ideal of love.

What other friend, I wonder, would have not a flicker of care
whether you were successful or an abject failure, whether you were
homely or comely, clean or smelly-dirty, foolish or clever, beggar or

Who else would judge you--not by your appearance, power, or
money--but solely by the kindness of your hand and heart?

Yet who else, I ask, would forgive a blow with a kiss to the offending

Come what may, he loves--no, adores--you, be you sinner or saint.  And
he will softly lick the sores and wounds the world gives you, and never
ask (or worse, tell you) what you did to deserve them.

And if Man is a dog's "God", what man serves God with such a
thoroughly cheerful, immediate and unquestioning obedience as a dog
serves his master?

Show me a man who so delights in all the great bounties God has
given him.

Show me a man as gleefully grateful for his wondrous blessings as a
dog is for a scrap of would-be garbage from his master's hand.

Show me a man as trustful, as humbly devoted, as appreciative and
joyfully submissive to God, as my brainless, soulless dog is to me.

Yes, show me this Man, this saint, who so embodies all these abiding

Then I will show you, my friend, a Man with a soul as deserving of
Heaven as the most meager of dogs.


Roy Alan Wilson/February 29, 1996


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