Marcelo is the pastor of Iglesia Conexiones, and the author of Biblical Prayer for Today's Believers: Transform Your Prayer Life.
Maya's Profile Picture
Maya was a tricolored Beagle, perhaps mixed. She was a happy, smart, and mischievous medium-sized dog, weighing approximately 42 lbs.
Maya loved sniffing, eating treats, and receiving attention from people (but she mostly loved treats).
She went—affectionately—by the names of Pup, Princess, and Ma.
At The Dog Park
Maya was a very capable and fast learner—she knew several tricks:
- Quiet (although, most of the time she chose not to do this one)
- Go to the crate
- Go potty
- Go poop
- Shake (with right paw)
- Paw (shake with left paw)
- Gentle (grab the treat without biting my fingers)
In The Car
Earlier this year (2020), her health deteriorated unexpectedly. At first, she appeared to be hurting because of a sebaceous cist on her tail. Afterwards, she developed a persistent pneumonia. Finally, she was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis.
Today (October 27), after she was checked by the vet, my wife and I decided to put her down. We had suspected we would soon have to make this sad decision, but it still wasn't easy.
In The Backyard
When saying goodbye to my dog Maya, I petted her, hugged her, kissed her, and briefly sang to her a song I had made up for her and my other dog. I also said something to her, to give her hope.... Then, after I gave the okay, the vet first gave her anesthesia, and then she injected her with the chemical that stopped her heart. Our beautiful Pup died under our loving arms and tearful eyes.
Is There Hope?
Death is always a difficult topic, even when dealing with the death of a pet. As a Bible-believing Christian, I recognize that the Bible doesn't say much about this topic—and maybe nothing specific. It appears that the fate of pets was not a relevant issue to the ancient saints. However, there are some Scriptures that may give us insight into how God plans to handle this issue.
Death, Dust, Creation
In the Book of Psalms, we read a little about the life and death of animals:
27 These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.
28 That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.
29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.
30 Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth. (Psalm 104:27-30, KJV)
Animals depend on God for food and breath to continue to live on this Earth. When God does not provide food, they suffer; and when God takes away their breath, they die and return to dust. In other words, God takes care of them for some time, until He determines it is time for them to die.
However, I am intrigued about what happens after animals die: in verse 30, we are told that God sends his spirit, and they are created; and that He renews the face of the earth. What does this mean?
Groaning, Expectation, Freedom
Rather than referring back to Genesis 1, I think there is a good chance that Psalm 104:30 is referring to the same future event to which Romans 8:19-23 refers:
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
All of God's creation on this Earth (the planet, the plants, and the animals) is presently subject to vanity and decay (corruption). Therefore, all of creation is presently groaning and also eagerly waiting for the revelation of God's children, the redemption of our bodies—but why? What's in it for the creation?
Well, according to this Scripture, not only will the bodies of God's children be redeemed, but the creation also will be set free from decay and receive the freedom of the glory of God's children!
In Other Words
I think there's a good chance that all of God's creation, including the animals that inhabit the Earth in this age, will be restored by God for us to enjoy.
I am not dogmatic about this, but I think it is conceivable that God will bring all the animals back to life so we can enjoy them—after all, God is good, He created all these beautiful animals, He takes care of them in the present, and He tells us He will set his creation free. I could be wrong, but maybe I'm not.
Chewing a Stick at A Friend's
So Where Do Dogs Go after They Die?
I hope you understand what I am saying. In the Bible, there is no such thing as dog-heaven. When animals die, their corpses decay and return to the ground—the memory of them stays in our minds and in our hearts.
However, because God obviously created many animals with a wide range of emotions so we can delight in our relationships with them, I think it is quite possible that God will find it meaningful to give them life again. So, when I said goodbye to Maya, I told her I believe she has a place in God's new creation.
If I Am Wrong
If I am wrong—if God does not bring back to life the animals that He created and that we loved—I am sure He will have an answer to all our questions about it. I believe that, in Jesus Christ, God has met all our needs, answered all our prayers, and addressed all our questions—though, for now, we must believe, hope, and wait.
Nevertheless, I thank God for my dog, my Maya—my Pup, my Princess.
- In this life, she was a blessing to us.
- We loved her.
- We treated her well.
- She made us laugh.
- She had food and water every day of her life.
- She never became severely injured.
- She never ran away.
- She lived with us all her life.
We will miss her very much—already, our house is too quiet without her. Thank-you, God, for letting Maya be a part of our lives all these years.
We Miss You!
© 2020 Marcelo Carcach
Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on October 28, 2020:
Sorry for your loss and yes it would be wonderful to see beloved pets again
Kalpana Iyer from India on October 28, 2020:
I am sorry for your loss. Heartbreaking story but still you gave it a very positive light. I hope Maya is happy wherever she is.