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How 5 Dog Breeds See Heaven

Ever wonder what your dog's version of heaven would be? The Cairn Terrier and Miniature American Shepherd, plus three more breeds, share their take on eternal paradise.

Lynn M. Hayner  |  Aug 19th 2016


Theology aside, how do you imagine a perfect heaven? Maybe angels, peace, and harmony? Maybe a soothing ocean scene with Jimmy Buffet on stage? Well it turns out our dog breeds have distinct views of heaven, too. These breeds offered divine answers to the question: What does your  paradise look like?

1. Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terrier courtesy Ernie Slone

Cairn Terriers courtesy Ernie Slone.

Cloud nine? Forget the cherubs and harps, and imagine a plethora of vermin. Now why are you cringing? Of course our heaven has an abundance of little critters. We were bred for routing vermin from cairns (i.e., rock piles) in Scotland, and we’re eager workers. Developed with the tenacity to chase prey, we also could handle animals that put up a fight. Thus in our paradise, we’ll have no fences, no leashes, and no stationary commands from our people. That thankfully rules out Sit, Down, and Stay. And when we’re not dashing after critters, we’ll be chasing toys with our family. All the angels will celebrate our liveliness and pluckiness. Feel free to start the applause here on Earth!

2. Miniature American Shepherd

Miniature American Shepherd courtesy Crystal Allison

Miniature American Shepherd courtesy Crystal Allison.

Before I describe a blissful afterlife, let’s cover some history. I was developed in California in the later 20th century as a smaller, capable cousin to the Australian Shepherd. I was bred for a strong herding, working, and playing drive. So in paradise, I’ll have a surplus of work and play buddies. And while heaven’s gates needn’t be pearly, I do need fences for herding my animals. Cattle are rather large, so how about goats and sheep? Next I’d like an endless variety of agility courses. My energy will be as limitless in heaven as on earth. The difference? In paradise, my family will ask me to play even more than I ask to play here on Earth.

3. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever courtesy Maggie Gallant, Erik Niells

Golden Retriever courtesy Maggie Gallant, Erik Niells, A Dog a Day.

We Goldens live a joyful mortal life. When we pass through the Golden gates of heaven, we’ll find paradise is likely similar to earth, with one major modification: Heaven offers plenty of time for all the activities and people we adore. Specifically, paradise will have lakes for swimming, balls for retrieving, and toys to carry. My passion for retrieving is intrinsic to my breed. We were developed in Scotland as gun dogs to retrieve fowl. Lord Tweedmouth bred us for a gentle mouth and kind personality. These days, some of us still hunt, but we also excel in search and rescue, agility, rally, and service assistance work. In heaven, we’ll have time for everything and everyone. We’ll meet new friends around every corner. The more the merrier!

4. Bloodhound

Bloodhound courtesy Deborah Thompson

Bloodhound courtesy Deborah Thompson.

We’re noble blue-bloods with a legendary sense of smell. A favorite among European nobles, today we still excel in hunting and tracking. In Bloodhound bliss-land, we’ll follow any scent we catch. Our humans will give us a standing ovation for each adventure. When we’ve finished our tracking fun, our people will join us for social hour. And in heaven, the angels sing happily about our glorious drool. The heavenly hosts will encourage us to bay along with the choir. Yep, that’s our idyllic world. Just add in a cozy nap in the clover or a leaf pile, and tis truly paradise.

5. French Bulldog

French Bulldog courtesy Kathy J Yaccino

French Bulldog courtesy Kathy J. Yaccino, Helotes Humane Society.

Developed from Bulldogs, my predecessors followed lace-making owners migrating to France. But I don’t picture lace making in heaven. In fact, let’s eliminate any work. Because I’m so friendly, my pooch paradise includes countless people. Dog friends are okay, but optional.  In heaven, I’m offered numerous hugs, frequent playtimes, and non-stop treats. The afterlife’s training classes offer extra points for agree-ability, as well as sleeping and snoring (a common occurrence for me) during class. So clearly in heaven the Border Collies and German Shepherd Dogs won’t shine in class like they do here on earth. We Frenchies will collect accolades for our laid-back personality, and occasional bursts of athleticism. In fact, in heaven I intend to run on the Miniature American Shepherd’s above-referenced agility courses. I just don’t intend to run them every day.

Let’s hear from you, readers? What does your dog’s heaven looks like?