A Letter to My Dog in Heaven

25 January, 2019
It's always so hard to say goodbye to a beloved pet, and sometimes a letter to "my dog in Heaven" can help to heal the pain.

You can find a great many letters like this on the internet, messages to “my dog in heaven”, addressed to dogs who have passed away, and they’re full of both affection and pain.

A beautiful letter to “my dog in heaven”

“I decided to go a shelter to look for a puppy no more than two months old. I looked at many different dogs. The requirements to adopt were as strict as if I were adopting a child. I just couldn’t understand it. Tired and fed up of looking and without finding any suitable dog, I was about to give up.”

A happy white dog.

“I went back to one of the shelters and walked between the cages when a tiny sigh caught my attention. I turned to look and there you were, with those dark coffee-colored eyes, almost black. You looked at me and I felt something tug at my heartstrings. I began the process of adopting you and was able to take you home. The woman who was looking after you warned me that you’d suffered terribly, that you’d been mistreated by very cruel people who had harmed you and almost taken away your spirit.”

“Thank you”

“I’m writing this letter to you to say thank you. Thank you for saving me from the darkness, and thank you for filling my life with joy with your games and mischief, like hiding socks so you could play with them later. Thank you for helping me see that it wasn’t me who saved you, but rather you who saved me. You gave me the chance to truly love. This letter is dedicated to my great friend who once filled my days with light and who is now lighting up the sky with his great dark coffee-colored eyes.”

“I don’t know where you are, but I want you to know how much I miss you. We did everything we could to care for you, to love you, because you were one of us. If there’s a heaven up there, I’m sure that God has taken you to have you with him. Thank you for your kindness and affection, for the tender gaze in those little eyes which were slowly becoming sadder and sadder.”

“That Friday night and Saturday morning remain so fresh in my memory. I wanted to stay all night stroking you, talking to you, and crying by your side, but you were so calm, sleeping painlessly, without the convulsions you had suffered for so many days. But I decided to leave you in peace. I still remember how, before entering the clinic, you said goodbye with a little moan. I remember how we had given you sedatives so that you would be calm in that place you hated so much: the vets. Thank you for saying goodbye.”

Emotions and guilt when writing about my dog in heaven

Owners are very often surprised how much emotion they can feel when their dog dies. Remembering how faithful they were, or feeling guilt, pain, impotence, etc. are all very normal things. It’s quite natural to go over and over those memories of how they were a part of your life, your routine, and a part of your home.

We shouldn’t be embarrassed to feel this pain or to cry about someone who has been with us, perhaps for their whole life. You might have seen him grow from a puppy, and watched him develop. In these moments, it’s really positive to talk about your pet and how you feel now that they’re not here. This will help people around you to understand better. A letter to “my dog in heaven” could be very useful for understanding, and coming to terms with, the situation.

Emotional adjustment

It’s a process of emotional adjustment following the loss of a loved one. Different emotions will surface, as well as the different stages of denial (refusing to accept that your little friend isn’t coming back), anger (with yourself and others, including emotions like rage), or guilt for what has happened, etc.

Following these stages comes depression, where you will feel distressed, scared, and a pang of deep sadness. Your dog’s illness will keep coming back to you. You’ll start to come to terms with the fact that the loss is permanent and that life must go on.

When you reach this stage of acceptance, you’ll begin to feel prepared to calmly take back control of your life. This doesn’t mean that you’ll stop thinking about your lost loved one. In some way, he’ll always be in your thoughts. It simply means that you’ll begin to move forward and accept the fact that he will never again be by your side, he’ll simply be “my dog in heaven”.

Remembering the good times

A black dog looking out to sea.

Although it’s not easy, you can’t allow bitterness to consume you. In those sad moments, you need to think about the happy times you shared with your little friend. Remember how you enjoyed his loyalty, and try to keep hold of those feelings. There will be a great many of them and you’ll always have them. As time goes by, the sadness will subside.

Getting a new dog

It’s not a good idea to immediately replace a dog who has passed away. If you haven’t allowed some time to pass, it’ll be very difficult for you to appreciate a new companion, especially if you’re still hurting. Every dog is unique, with a different personality and behavior. The amount of time you need to get over it will be different from other people, but the pain will go sooner or later.