Sunday, October 7, 2012

#79: All Dogs Go to Heaven.

When I was a kid, a movie came out titled "All Dogs Go to Heaven". It was a cute cartoon about a dog named Charlie who dies, goes to heaven, gets the chance to come back to earth, and ultimately dies a second time by sacrificing himself to save a little girl from drowning. I don't remember much else about the plot, but the one thing that has always stuck with me since first seeing the movie was its title. As a little boy, I remember asking myself, "Do all dogs REALLY go to heaven?". This week I have had cause to ask myself this question once again when our wonderful family dog, Mickey, had a seizure and passed away after being a part of our family for fourteen years.

The loss of a pet is a hard thing. We adopted Mickey during my Sophomore of high school. We had just gotten back from a family trip to Disneyland, and my little brother Matthew decided to name our new dog "Mickey" (now that I look back on it, I'm surprised he didn't go with "Pluto" instead). Before adopting Mickey, we had had two "outside" dogs, a Siberian Husky named Meesha and a half-wolf/half-elephant/half-I-have-no-idea (three halves do make a right) named Tasha. They were great dogs, but I don't have too many memories with them since we always kept them in the backyard. However, when they passed away and we got Mickey, things were different. Mickey was our first "inside" dog, and he instantly became a member of our family. I have many wonderful memories of Mickey, but perhaps my favorite involves Mickey's love of ice cubes. Even as he got older and had a hard time moving, Mickey would ALWAYS come running when he heard someone using the ice maker. Mickey LOVED ice. A great trick I used to do with Mickey was to put an ice cube in my mouth and then spit it into the air. Mickey would jump up and catch it in his mouth and then run and hide under the kitchen table so no one could take it away from him. Mickey was one great dog.
Mickey with my niece Nichole
Do you have ice?
Nobody "nose" the trouble I've seen
Diesel, Mickey, and Radar
Mickey after the seizure
Mickey with my dad
My mom says goodbye
Dad, Emily, Matthew, Amy, and Mickey
For anyone who has lost a pet, we can all take comfort that dogs really do go to heaven. In regard to animals in heaven, the prophet Joseph Smith once shared the following:

"John saw curious looking beasts in heaven; he saw every creature that was in heaven,—all the beasts, fowls and fish in heaven,—actually there, giving glory to God. How do you prove it? 'And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever' (Revelations 5:13). I suppose John saw beings there of a thousand forms, that had been saved from ten thousand times ten thousand earths like this,—strange beasts of which we have no conception: all might be seen in heaven. The grand secret was to show John what there was in heaven. John learned that God glorified Himself by saving all that His hands had made, whether beasts, fowls, fishes or men; and He will glorify Himself with them...John heard the words of the beasts giving glory to God, and understood them. God who made the beasts could understand every language spoken by them" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 291).

Additionally, in talking about the millennium, the prophet Isaiah revealed that “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. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox" (Isaiah 11:6-7).

I have faith that we will see Mickey again after this life. And when we do, I sure hope that there are ice makers for our favorite trick.


  1. This post just speaks to me, I had similar feelings this past January when our family pet yellow lab passed away from cancer. I also found myself wondering will I ever see her again? What kind of spirit does a dog have anyway? She was very close to all our family but I seemed to be able to read her thoughts just by looking in her eyes, I'm sure she could understand my thoughts if not my words, I just knew it.

    I found the same scriptures you quoted and others of the LDS faith who had shared their thoughts about the loss of their pets. But what I found most comforting were the words of my father as he told me that we will see all our family pets again in the next life. (My husband is a little disturbed :) We have had many :D) And I've never known my father to lead me astray . . . so I believe!

    Best wishes, so sorry about your loss.


  2. Well-written post, Steve. It tugged at my heartstrings. Mickey was the best.

  3. Some critics dislike this movie because they know what Mr. Smith is trying to accomplish with this type of movie, and they don't like it. While Smith's traditional audience may be slow to co-sign this movie