The following are my thoughts from the perspective as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
For many people, the devotion and love received from a dog is inspiring and uplifting. It has been said a dog will love you unconditionally for its entire life, this sounds a lot like a metaphor for God to me! I’ve liked this short cartoon for a long time, please take a moment to watch, it will touch your soul.
As a family we have two dogs, Jessie is ten years old and Max nine. Jessie spent 12 months as an “only fur child” and we think she sees herself as a human. We are not sure she has ever forgiven us for getting Max the pet dog!!
There is something about the endless need to please and the silent devotion a loyal dog gives. Perhaps it does remind us of the infinite love Jesus offers. In some ways a finite metaphor for an infinite love, we cannot fully comprehend ?
In dog communities, a dog that dies is said to cross “rainbow bridge” to be free to run in the open fields of the next life. A sweet sentiment, but is there any doctrine to dogs going to Heaven? We know that animals have “living souls” from God, who “breathed into them the breath of life” Moses 3:19.
Joseph Fielding Smith, a former LDS church leader said in a 1928 conference, “The animals, the fishes of the sea, the fowls of the air, as well as man, are to be recreated, or renewed, through the resurrection, for they too are living souls.” In “Answers to Gospel Questions” he also said that – “animals do have spirits and that through the redemption made by our Saviour they will come forth in the resurrection to enjoy the blessing of immortal life.”
Another LDS church leader Orsen F. Whitney said
“Joseph Smith so believed, or he would not have said. . . concerning his favourite horse, when it died, that he expected to have it in Eternity.”Improvement Era
I’d like to think that dogs don’t cross a mythical rainbow bridge to run free alone, but rather move to Celestial Spheres with us!
As for cats? I’m guessing that just like in mortality, they go or do, just whatever they please!
If I end up being completely wrong and we are all reincarnated as something else, I’m asking to come back as a dog !!! Seems life for a dog is quite luxurious in our home..
I’d be interested to know your thoughts especially from other faiths perspectives.