My friend Donna's dog, Taz, died today. Taz actually passed away in Donna's arms, wrapped in his signature bathrobe. I should be so lucky.
"Are there dogs in heaven?" Good question, and one that I used as the emotional undercurrent (although metaphoric) in my novel HEADLOCK: A Jeff Reynolds Mystery.
Here, from HEADLOCK, is my meditation on "Dog in Heaven."
.. ..If heaven has dogs and cats, I doubt they're real. I don't buy the "pet soul" theory. When Fido drops his last bone, his bones will never roll to Canine Jerusalem for the Great Resurrection. Tell that to my dog-lovin' Cousin Tom and he'll call that hell.
. ..So, what does God do for those dog lovers, cat lovers, cactus lovers, marsupial fanciers and ferriers with terriers? Simple. The All Merciful allows them to retain their pets in the next world just as long as they think they need them. How long is that? How transcendent is the desire to hug a pooch, be licked by Lassie, or rescued by Rin Tin Tin? If you fall down a well in the next world, who will run and bark to Gramps?
. ..Perhaps, when we die, we get what we need or expect for as long as we need it. In the realms beyond, dogs may seemingly run through waving astral planes of wheat, barking amongst the barley and romping mud-pawed in alternative reality rice paddies. Pet lovers, delighting in the antics of these etheric dog-equivalents, find heaven in compassionate illusion.