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Pet heaven: does it really exist? If it does, are humans allowed to visit?

If only 50% of Britons believe in heaven, why is there an upsurge in our tendency to tell our pets we will meet them again in the afterlife? Read on to find out.

By Nick Whittle

Published on the 01/11/2020, 09:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:24

A study of pet cemeteries undertaken by Dr Eric Tourigny of Newcastle University discovered evidence to suggest that our belief in a pet heaven is growing, and is an increasingly popular fixture of our modern day remembrances.

Dr Tourigny studied more than 1,000 tombstones, the earliest of which dated back to 1881. He noticed how our references to immortality have gained prominence over the years.

We will meet again (honestly)

The Victorians talked of a doggy afterlife on some occasions; contrastingly, the modern-day mourner positively announces their intention to meet their beloved pet once more.

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Oddly, however, our belief in a human heaven has fallen away since the Victorian era, and the notion of heaven has largely been replaced with a range of alternative metaphysical ideas. The hope of meeting again is now commonly heard of relatives of a recently deceased person.

Family through and through

The findings of Dr Tourigny’s study may suggest people these days are more likely to think of their pet as being a family member. As a consequence they will mourn them as they would a family member.

Although the traditional Christian doctrine speaks of a lack of a doggy heaven, there is no reason why we should not imagine that will see our pets again. Heaven or no heaven, the thought brings consolation when we lose them.