Answers About Animals in the Afterlife

Our last picture together

Almost 2 months ago we had to unexpectedly put down our dog, Lucas. We woke up to him randomly having seizures consistently throughout the day, 6 within just an hour. Each one getting longer and more violent leaving him more and more unable to functional until he couldn’t at all. Any animal owner knows the pain and loss that comes from losing a pet, and Ben and I were absolutely devastated—laying on the floor crying, just aching at the sudden void we felt. I’ve had this dog for a decade and he was literally the only constant in my life those past 10 yrs. He’s been the only one that’s always been there for me through the worst of the worst and through all the different states and changes I’ve had in my life. He was my one and only for so long. He was the very first and beginning to the family I’ve started for myself.

One of the hardest things I’ve ever seen was when Ben walked out of the front door with Lucas, knowing that Lucas wasn’t coming back. But to see him so oblivious to where he was going and what was about to happen—smiling and being so excited thinking he was just going for a walk. It was hard to see our other dog, Philly, wander around the house for days looking for him. It was hard knowing that just the day before he passed, all of us were in the backyard as a family, playing fetch with him for hours and him sitting in the mini pool with Gracie, none of us knowing that would be his last day alive. It was hard knowing that Gracie would never remember her best friend. And it was hard only having a hope of what happens to animals when they pass away.

But despite how hard it was, it was a beautiful hurt. A peace and comfort was there and we knew that the Lord was aware and this was His will.

Artwork by @hello_lovely_shop.

I’ll fast forward a little bit to a priesthood blessing I recently got. And despite me seeking out this blessing for guidance on something completely unrelated to the loss of our dog, the Lord saw fit to speak comfort and knowledge on the matter. I couldn’t have asked or expected something so beautiful and so profound.

As most of you know, I receive all my blessings with a pen and paper in my lap to write down things as soon as it’s done so I can remember and ponder everything. I keep them all in a journal to look through often. My testimony of all priesthood blessings is that it is knowledge directly from our Father in Heaven. As I was transferring this blessing from a scrap of paper into my journal today, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this needs to be shared. This is extremely sacred to me but I hate the thought of keeping this to myself when it can make a profound difference to anyone with hopes and wonders about their animal family members they may have lost as well. Though this was given to me about my dog Lucas, but of course, is true for absolutely all animals. I hope it will touch you the way it has changed and touched me.

  • Lucas: Creation of the Almighty—created and crafted by the hands of God.

  • He came to find joy in life and he lived the measure of his creation.

  • It was prompted for me to get him, Heavenly Father knew with the trials I would go through alone I needed a companion and He knew Lucas would provide that.

  • You two were meant to be.

  • Lucas is pleased with the life he had.

  • He misses you and the whole family, it was always meant to be.

  • He moved on to the next phase. He will always be near and watching over you. Sometimes you’ll feel it more times than others, but he is always there.

  • You will see him again in millennial and eternities.

  • Heaven will not be worth having without family—including animals—they’re celestial beings.

  • They have the gift of God within them.

  • Lucas just wants you to be happy.

  • He knows he will see me soon. Have courage and faith in the Plan of Salvation.

  • Lucas is in good hands—he’s not lonely or afraid.

  • Heavenly Father cried when he witnessed Ben and I cry when he passed. He comforted Lucas.

  • There is more than just this life. The Spirit World is a wonderful place with wonderful creatures.

  • One day you, too, will experience it and it will feel like a short moment.

“In light of what we know about our eternal destiny, is it any wonder that whenever we face the bitter endings of life, they seem unacceptable to us? There seems to be something inside of us that resists endings. Why is this? Because we are made of the stuff of eternity. We are eternal beings, children of the Almighty God, whose name is Endless and who promises eternal blessings without number. Endings are not our destiny.

The more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions—temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful.

How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings.” —President Uchtdorf

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