Frank, (and all Doves who also grieve their little ones)
We're sorry to hear of your loss-----
You are so right....animals were such an important part of Noah's covenant with God.... (See Gen 9:8-9, ff)
8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth.
Animals were there at our Lord's birth, and at His Second Coming, as well (those beautiful white horses we all will ride!)
If we know Jesus as our Lord and Savior-- we are so sure we will see our little ones again!
Our precious bunny-boy, Timmy, went Home four years ago now--and we still miss him so! Just recently we lost Faithy, an older bun, and we lost a sweet Pom, Foxy, too--too soon! (We also had a sweet toy poodle named Willy, and miss him so!)
We have 3 other buns, and a Pom. We love them all--- each is such a special son or daughter! Our hearts, somehow, become big enough to include newer little ones, as well---
It is always so hard to say goodbye all too soon! See if the following might help?
Petloss.com is a great site for poetry, memorials to post, etc. Be sure to read "A Meeting at the Bridge" (scroll down for it)---wonderful, and it helped us so much---
Also two books are the best we've read---both are available from Amazon.com vendors, ata good price, or you could buy them from Amazon, itself, of course.... There Is Eternal Life for Animals and Will I see Fido in Heaven? They are both just wonderfully inspiring, full of scriptural proof!
I've added two beautiful articles which might help a little with the pain of your loss----
(Nothing encourages us more than to believe--with all our hearts--that we will see our little ones again!)
May God be especially close to your heart at this time of loss---
Jan, John, Wolfie (Pom), Benji and Bethy (Himalayan buns), and Davey (ND bun)
--and, also, our Timmy-Angel, Foxy-Angel, Willie-Angel and Faithy-Angel----
Anyone who has ever lived with and loved an animal must wonder
Do Pets Go to Heaven?
By Ptolemy Tompkins (as printed in GUIDEPOSTS MAGAZINE, January 29, 2005)
At 24, on a whim, I became the owner of a Netherlands dwarf bunny named
Angus. He was about the size of a baseball. In terms of personality,
however, he soon established himself as a giant. I moved around a lot in
those days, and wherever I went, Angus went with me. Whether I was waiting
tables in Massachusetts or working as an office temp in New York, Angus was
always there when I got home, ready to cheer me up with his odd little
repertoire of habits. When he was feeling feisty, he'd charge back and forth
and thump his back feet on the floor. In a more relaxed frame of mind, he'd
stretch himself out like a cat. I'd sometimes wake up from a nap with him
perched alertly on my head.
Then, the unthinkable. I came home to find a cloth draped over his cage.
A note from my roommate lay on top. "I'm sorry," it read. "When I got home,
Angus was no longer alive." I lifted the cloth, and there was my little ball
of personality, stock-still. In all the time I'd had him, I'd never seen
Angus asleep. Even at rest, he was partly on the alert. Now, for the first
time ever, I saw him with his eyes shut.
Angus' death was something I should have been prepared for. Dwarf
bunnies don't have a long life expectancy. All the same, I was inconsolable.
Just a rabbit? Forget about it. Angus' passing hurt. I found myself
thumbing through my books on religion and mythology for references to
animals and the afterlife. This is silly, I thought. But silly or not, I
wanted to know what people over the centuries had to say on the matter.
Plenty. Animals played a large role in most ancient peoples' visions of
the spiritual world. The mythologies of several ancient cultures claimed
that when people passed on, their dogs were waiting to guide them to the
land of the blessed. The Egyptians—cat people, as everyone knows—were
especially emphatic in their belief that cats and other animals played a key
part in the afterlife. One Native American legend states that when God set
about to create the world, he brought his dog along with him.
What did the Bible have to say? On the surface at least, the Bible seems
to say very little about the place of animals in the afterlife. Look up
"dog" in a concordance, and you won't find any evidence that the people of
biblical times valued the role dogs play in day-to-day life. When the writer
of Psalm 22, for example, says, "For dogs have compassed me," he is not
describing a pleasant situation. It doesn't get much better when one looks
to traditional Christian authors beyond the Bible either. Eminent churchmen
like St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas have left a number of very
discouraging passages about the place of pets, or any animals, in the world
that waits beyond the borders of earthly life.
Though I didn't know it then, this experience of losing a pet and coming
up short on biblical consolation is one that many people have gone through.
It's also one that many have tried to convince themselves they must simply
accept. As Steve Wohlberg, author of the recent book Will My Pet Go to
Heaven?, told himself when he lost his dog: "The central focus of the Bible
is God, the people, and human salvation, not dogs and cats, right?"
Not so fast. Steve and a number of other writers argue that the question
"Will I see my pet again?" isn't silly, and it isn't a question without an
answer either. To discover as much, all one need do is take a closer look at
Okay, the question of whether there are pets in heaven is never answered
straight-up in the Bible. But as M. Jean Holmes, author of Do Dogs Go to
Heaven?, writes, "The pieces have to be patiently gathered, carefully laid
side-by-side, then prayerfully interpreted" The Bible does indeed have an
answer about whether we will see our furry loved ones again.
Consider the story in Genesis of the very first covenant established
between God and his people, made with Noah right after the flood. The clouds
part and the world's first rainbow appears. God tells Noah that he is
creating a covenant "with you, and with your descendants after you; and with
every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every
beast of the earth with you; of all that comes out of the ark, even every
beast of the earth. God goes on to say that his covenant with "all flesh"
shall never be "cut off"—a strong suggestion that animals will not be
excluded from his dealings with the world. (This passage was an inspiration
for "Rainbow Bridge," an anonymous poem that has become very popular on the
internet. It describes how when people arrive at the gates of heaven, the
first thing they will encounter is their deceased pets.)
Then there's Luke 3:6. "All flesh shall see the salvation of God." Or
Mark 16:15—a passage well-loved by that great friend of animals Saint
Francis of Assisi. The risen Jesus tells the Apostles to go into the world
and "preach the Gospel to every creature." Jesus filled his teachings with
references to animals. His promise in Matthew and Luke that not even a
sparrow falls to earth without God's knowing it subtly but powerfully
suggests what every grieving pet owner feels: God refuses to forget a single
one of his creatures, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.
What about the argument that runs: "Animals can't go to heaven because
the Bible says they don't have souls"? Norm Phelps points out in his book
The Dominion of Love that the Hebrew term repeatedly used to describe
animals in the Old Testament is nephesh chayah. Chayah means "living," while
nephesh is the Hebrew term for the force that animates the body—what Phelps
describes as "the whatever-it-is that makes a person or an animal a
conscious, sentient individual."
A funny thing happened when this term was translated into English. In
most English versions of the Bible, different words are used to translate
nephesh chayah depending on whether animals or people are being discussed.
In Genesis 1:21 and 24, for example, Phelps points out that nephesh chayah
is translated as "living creature." But in Genesis 2:7, where the term
refers to people, not animals, it's translated as "living soul." The use of
two different terms in the English translation completely blurs the fact
that in the original Hebrew, no such distinction exists.
Why did the bible's english translators take such pains to use different
terms for the souls of animals and people, when the Hebrew of the Old
Testament repeatedly uses just one? Probably because they were concerned not
to contradict Genesis' teaching that humans alone are created in God's
image. But to acknowledge that animals have souls isn't to usurp the unique
place of humans in God's creation—as the original Hebrew makes clear enough.
Of all the biblical passages that I ultimately discovered I could turn
to for consolation, the most moving and compelling is the Old Testament's
single greatest passage prefiguring the Christian heaven—Isaiah's vision of
the Peaceable Kingdom:
"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down
with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and
a little child shall lead them."
Why, when Isaiah wanted to paint the ultimate picture of heavenly
fulfillment, did he choose to make such rich use of animals? Because he knew
what every pet owner knows: A world without animals is a barren one. And
clearly, a heaven without our pets would be less heavenly.
In case you haven't seen this one, we're including it, too--- it blesses us so!
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....