By   •   June 15, 2005   •   Topics:


We had to put our dog to sleep after almost 14 years, and it's really been hard on us. When I told a friend about this, however, she just laughed and said it was silly to grieve over an animal, because God didn't care about things like dogs. Is she right? I admit her words hurt me.


I’m sorry your friend was so insensitive; I suspect she’s never had a pet or been in your situation. But I understand your feelings, because I grew up with animals on a farm, and we’ve always had dogs and cats that seemed like part of our family. When King David was told about a pet lamb that was taken from its owner, he became very angry; he knew how much a pet can mean to someone (see 2 Samuel 12:1-6).

It’s true that animals aren’t the same as humans, since they don’t have souls the way we do. But that doesn’t mean God doesn’t care about them. After all, He created them, and He watches over them. Jesus said, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God” (Luke 12:6). God also reminds us that “every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10).

God knows our feelings, and He cares when life’s hurts come upon us (as they will). Thank Him for the memories you have of this pet, and ask Him also to help you see beyond your own hurt to the hurts of someone who needs your friendship.

Most of all, I pray that this may be a time when you and your family strengthen your relationship with each other—and with God. Life is short, but ahead of us is an eternity in heaven when we know Christ. Is your hope in Him?

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  1. sheila thompson says:

    My beloved dalmation, Corrie (named after Corrie Ten Boom whom I met when I was young) died 3 weeks ago to paintball ingestion (poisonous to dogs) and I was the one who left them out where she got into them. The night before she died at the vet who was trying to save her, the Lord led me to Romans 8 and these words no kidding, JUMPED out to me…verse 19 “For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who His children really are”. Then verse 21 “All creation anticipates the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.” I was not going to that part of Romans but something made me stop & read it and I felt supernatural peace then-not knowing she’d die next day. Thank you God!

  2. Becky McGuire says:

    My precious pet Abyssinian cat, Rocket, just died yesterday. I had him for over 17 years. He was the sweetest cat I have ever known. So friendly. He didn’t know what a stranger was. Friends of mine who said they didn’t like cats said they liked Rocket. He always wanted to be the center of attention. He followed me from room to room and always wanted to be near me. In my lap if I was sitting. I have no children and he really was my baby. I often called him my little ewe lamb in reference to the scripture in 2 Samuel that is mentioned. I’m grieving deeply. It is somewhat of a comfort, however, to have confirmed that God really does care that I’m hurting so much of this loss.

  3. Anne Evans says:

    I have just lost a beautiful beloved friend and dog called “willow”. She was my friend’s dog but I had her over the weekend for 10 years. Heartbroken doesn’t cut it, bereft maybe. We were inseparable when we were together and she loved so unconditionally. She was put to sleep last Friday and one of my friends died on the Saturday, double mourning! I had a picture of Margaret my friend in Heaven walking Willow which comforted me so much. The loss is incredible though and I do know God cares very deeply about us, He has not left us comfortless, “I even I am He who comforts you”. Thank you for letting me share about Willow and Margaret my friend.

    1. Lynn Stepp says:

      Bless you Margaret, our prayers are with you during the loss of your friend and your special dog friend.