Murphy had been the best of all friends, the most compassionate companion, and the most loyal of all dogs I’ve related to in my lifetime. He carried more character and spirit in his eyes than most people I knew. He was the first man in this life to love me unconditionally and his goofy and playful and cuddly self is what brought me out of my first bout with depression at the age of 17. As a rescued dog, I still question to this day who rescued who.
For many years, he’s been holding my heart in his paws; and if I’m being totally honest, many of the years he’s been around, I suffered from nightmares of him dying that would cause me great anxiety and sadness.
A few years ago, he’d gone deaf. A few months ago, he began developing glaucoma that was making him blind, and I knew we were approaching the end. We tried two different treatments, to no avail. The only other option was to remove his eyes, but without his hearing, if he ever got loose, it’d be nearly impossible to reign him back in without actually catching him. My mom and I weighed our options and decided it was time.
A little more than a week ago, we held his little head in our hands, rubbing his chin and his ears (his favorite places) as he drew his last breath. To this very moment, I cry thinking about it. I’ve never witnessed anything quite like that but I’m thankful to have been there. And praise be to God, I have so much peace about this, despite what a great loss it has been.
After I was first saved, I wrote a piece called “All Dogs Go To Heaven” ( https://samfindsfaith.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/all-dogs-go-to-heaven/ ) after reading an article about a German Shepherd that was grossly abused and as a new Christian, I wanted to know if the movie fairy tale was correct. Do all dogs go to heaven?
I googled a few things back then, and having looked them up in my Bible, I wasn’t satisfied with what I’d found. I began searching a little more independently, and I have to say – the support the Lord has provided in regards to this has been astounding.
In Job 12, the Lord led me to verse 10. “In his hand is the life of every creature / and the breath of all mankind.”
I’ve known that God holds us – *He’s got the whoooole world, in His hands..* (you know the song) – but seeing it in print, in His inspired Word, in the Bible that brings life and comfort and wisdom to millions each moment that the life of EVERY LIVING CREATURE is in His hands, it really hit me that I might not be just a child believing in fantasy.
In Psalm 145:9, 13, 16, 17, and 21 read, “The Lord is good to all, He has compassion on all He has made / The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made / The eyes of all look to You / You open Your hand and satisfy the need of every living thing / The Lord is righteous in all His ways and loving toward all He has made / Let every living creature praise His Holy Name forever and ever.”
He is loving toward ALL HE HAS MADE. He satisfies the needs of EVERY LIVING THING. The beasts and animals and companions of this life may not have been given the same free-will and special treatment that we have been allowed as God’s children, but He loves them because He made them. He provides for them, whether that be in nature or in our domesticated homes. That is His provision for them. If He provides for them in this life, then it could definitely be possible that He provides for them in the next…
On that note though, I got to thinking about how we were sort of kicked out of heaven, and how we get in. We were sent out from the garden because of sin. We’re let back in through the atoning blood of Christ. We sinned because we had free will to choose… the other creations don’t exactly have a choice, do they? They just simply ARE God’s creation, and so in my understanding, they know this and they love Him regardless of everything because it’s all they know.
We offer up our lives as a sacrifice of praise and thanks BY CHOICE – but according to the Bible, the heavens and earth do this automatically I think.
Matthew 6:26, a verse usually used to show just how much greater value the Lord puts in us than in the other creatures on earth, I find it rather interesting that even though we choose, the birds of the air (insert any other animal here) seems to just live it’s life completely reliant on God’s provision – “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
Psalms 96:11-13 says, “Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. / Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. / Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth, and the peoples in his faithfulness.”
In Revelation 5:13, it’s prophesied, “Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!’”
The lesser creatures, the ones of the land, sea, and air, were left in our care. God gave us dominion over them in Genesis 1:26 (“Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”), but they have never truly belonged to us. They have always been God’s. They have no choice but to live their lives dependent on and for the glory of the One who made them.
So again and again and again, I have to believe just as I did almost two years ago now – ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN.
My heart does not break for Murphy, because I know that my God loves him more than I do, and he’s now resting in heaven. He can hear the angels sing God’s praises. He can see the beauty of Jesus. And I’d like to think there’s an angel somewhere that will rub his ears for him.