Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates: A Book of Hope for Those Who Have Lost a Pet

Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates: A Book of Hope for Those Who Have Lost a Pet

by Gary Kurz


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Do all dogs and cats really go to heaven? Yes, they do!

The death of your beloved pet can be one of the most heartbreaking losses you'll ever endure. But recovery isn't only about closure. You also want to know where your best friend has gone.

After the intense, unexpected grief he experienced following the loss of his own companions, animal lover and biblical scholar Gary Kurz set out to prove that there are indeed pets in Paradise. After devoting countless hours of research, he now shares his inspiring insights to bring you a richer understanding of animals and their souls. You'll finally find answers to common questions about animals and the afterlife—and you'll also get a 30-day devotional to help you work through your grief.

If you've ever loved and lost a pet, or if you know someone who has shared a special bond with a furry face and a cold, wet nose, you'll welcome this amazing book's reassurance that love and loyalty are truly eternal, and that someday, you and your pets will be together again.

Gary Kurz is a retired Coast Guard officer who served his country faithfully and honorably for over 30 years. He and his wife have a love for animals and a concern for others who share their love. He lives in Manhattan, Kansas, near Kansas City.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780806528878
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 04/01/2008
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 61,542
Product dimensions: 5.51(w) x 8.24(h) x 0.77(d)

About the Author

Gary Kurz is a retired Coast Guard officer who served his country faithfully and honorably for over 30 years. He and his wife have a love for animals and a concern for others who share their love. He lives in Kansas. Visit his website at

Read an Excerpt

Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates
A Book of Hope for Those Who Have Lost a Pet

Copyright © 2008 Gary Kurz
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8065-2887-8

Chapter One
Fact, Faith, and Findings

There is so much knowledge available in this world today. Students without access to a computer during the school day are quickly becoming the exceptions. They now have the world at their fingertips, and while they may not possess any more common sense than other generations did at their age, they certainly have absorbed more information and mastered the tools of our technological world.

I am told that computers, or at least certain computer groups, hold an estimated twenty to thirty pages of data on every person in the civilized world. Network news sources have estimated that the World Wide Web grows by more than 170,000 web pages every day, or over a million each week. That is amazing. At that rate, if a thousand people read one web page every ten minutes, non-stop, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for the rest of their lives, they would lose ground and never catch up. Whew!

Technology is racing ahead of us at a blinding clip. Super computers now process billions of transactions in mere seconds. It boggles one's imagination. I admit it is becoming too much for me. As I sit in front of my multifunctional, multicolored, multimedia, voice-command computer, I am in complete awe of technology. I get headaches wondering how the programs on the tiny chips actually work. I wonder how anyone acquires the knowledge that enables them to put a computer together.

I also wonder what the future holds. My generation mockingly laughed at the 1960s Zager and Evans song "In the Year 2525," when it suggested that machines would be doing everything for us and that our arms and legs would hang at our side with nothing to do. Of course, there were no PCs back then, so it was just a song. Now, I wonder. I can open programs on my PC with voice commands without touching a key. Someday soon we will be able to operate everything we do on the machine simply by talking to it. And to think that thirty years ago the calculator was the discovery of the ages!

There are so many places we may go in order to gather information ... the library, periodicals, files, and of course, computers. We can form opinions on virtually any subject, including technical subjects that are completely unfamiliar to us. We do not have to be experts, because the expert is now on the video or in the box on an electronic circuit board. We can acquaint ourselves with literally any aspect of any subject and become immediate novices through this blitz of information now available to us.

If we want to become experts, however, we must leave off from general knowledge writings and refer to the technical manual. General knowledge is usually some fact mingled with a lot of opinion. That is not a condemnation, just an observation. If we want to construct a boat, we need to follow technical blue-prints that give us facts. If we want to build a gas turbine, that, too, requires technical expertise and facts that can only be obtained from the accepted technical manuals.

The same is true of this topic of life after death after life. Literally tons of nontechnical reference materials exist on this subject, written by all sorts of people with all types of credentials-and motives. These people give you some fact and a lot of opinion. These facts are not technical, but qualify rather as general, basic knowledge. If we want expert fact and guidance on this topic, we must go to the technical manual. The technical manual on life and death is, in my opinion, the Holy Bible. In this matter of animal afterlife, use of the Bible becomes so much more important because there is a lack of general knowledge available to help form an opinion.

It is here, in the Bible, where we learn of mankind's (meaning men and women from the Greek word Cosmos) beginning, end, and eternity. Many individuals scoff at the Bible, but the fact is this book alone has an authority unknown to the sum total of all other books written by men and women, including this very one that you are reading.

Nevertheless, many have put that self-proclaiming truth aside and undertaken, with nothing but their own opinion as a basis, to produce writings that are in conflict with the Bible. These writings do not diminish the unimpeachable authority of the Bible, nor detract from the account of mankind it contains.

I do not wish to offend anyone with my position on the Bible. I merely want to establish from the outset that I revere the Bible above any other writing and that the Bible is the technical manual that I consulted and yielded to in all of the conclusions drawn herein. Where better could someone turn to learn about the hereafter, than to the timeless, yet timely book that was authored by the one who lives there?

I think a quote from this great book will underscore why I rely on the Bible so totally for comfort and guidance. I know the quote is taken a bit out of the context for which it was given, but the tenet of comforting others that it sets forth is prevalent throughout scripture. Simply, it reads:

Wherefore, comfort one another with these words. -I Thessalonians 4:18

These words were penned by the Apostle Paul and delivered to the church at Thessalonica. They were intended to be thoughts of encouragement and comfort, not only for the folks in that time, but for any and all who would place their trust in God the Son. His words teach us a valuable principle that I would like to address. To do so, we must first understand the circumstances that prompted his being directed to write to this church. This may take us on a short rabbit trail, but I assure you, it is important to the case I am building.

The faith of the Thessalonians was wavering. They were making the classic spiritual mistake that most believers make at one time or another in their Christian experience ... they were "thinking" instead of "believing." Faith is the "substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1)-or, in other words, faith is believing God. Doubt was starting to take hold. The Thessalonians were wondering what had become of their departed loved ones. Paul assured them through these inspired passages that they would meet their dead in Christ again. What a marvelous comfort this must have been-to have such a giant in the faith confirm the promise of God to them.

If you are taking time to read this book, it is likely that you are doing so because you have recently had the misfortune of losing a pet.

Now, before you raise a wary doctrinal eyebrow, let me assure you that I am not trying to include animals in the event that is addressed in this portion of scripture, an event endearingly known to those of the Christian faith as the "rapture." Rather, I am illustrating the attribute of God to exercise providential care over the grieving and to give them comfort and hope as He did here through the Apostle Paul. His word is full of examples of his caring and loving nature. The principle is clear ... we are to "comfort one another" in spiritual matters. It is in obedience to this command that I offer my thoughts and conclusions on the many issues associated with what happens when our loving pets come to the end of their earthly road.

If you are taking time to read this book, it is likely that you are doing so because you have recently had the misfortune of losing a pet, or perhaps are concerned that you someday will have to face that eventuality. Since our life spans are so much longer than that of the animals we take as pets, unless you are very old and yourself at risk of expiring, the chances are very good that your concerns are justified.

A dear friend of mine-Will-is one of the most kindhearted people I have ever met. He asked me rhetorically one morning in regards to his three-year-old dog named Sweetheart, "Gary, what will I ever do if she dies?" Will and his wife had no children. They were wrapped up totally in their little girl Sweetheart. I know Will loved her deeply, like a child, because she was spoiled just like someone spoils a child. He once brought her to my office to introduce her to me. She promptly squatted and soiled my carpet. All Will could manage through his ear-to-ear grin was "Isn't she precious!"

Then Will asked me a question that he obviously wanted an answer to. He said, "Gary, do pets go to heaven?" He knew I was a Baptist preacher and that I knew the Bible well. He expected an answer, and I wish I could have given him one, but the truth was, I just did not know.

The question, therefore, went unanswered. Now, a dozen years later, as I bring my work and research to paper, Will and Sweetheart come to mind. If Sweetheart is still alive, she would be nearly sixteen. I know Will is still alive because once a year or so we exchange cards or e-mail. So one of the first copies of this book will be heading to my good friend. I am happy that I will finally be able to answer his question. I know he will rejoice to know that he will see his Sweetheart again.

If you are anything like Will or me, then I suspect your motive for reading this book is to find answers, to find comfort for the loss you feel. If that is so, coincidentally, your reason for reading this book parallels my motive for writing it. I simply was seeking comfort for the pain of losing a very special and very close friend.

One could misconstrue this book's contents then as nothing more than wishful thinking, and that I was grasping for anything to bring my grieving heart relief. While I have no doubt that my grief moved me to seek answers and help from the scriptures, I assure you that I was dreadfully aware of the danger of allowing my heart to make the Bible say what I wanted it to say, and I guarded myself diligently from being so swayed.

My grief did not cause me to abandon the fundamental principles of research. I know all too well how people fool themselves into applying what they want to be true to what is actually true, and I did not want to fall into that trap. I do not mean that people are intentionally deceitful, but rather that they allow emotions to sway them into massaging what is said into what they want to hear.

I simply love the Bible, and I love learning new things from it. I began seeing things about animals that I had never seen before.

I assure you that I did not build and document a self-serving case. I will admit that had my research led me to conclude that animals have no part in the afterlife, I probably would not have written a book on the subject. That conclusion would have been too depressing to do so. Nevertheless, if the Bible did teach that, I would have accepted it as truth and somehow managed to cope with that awful revelation. Thank God this was not the case; it is clear that He loves these creatures and finds great pleasure in them.

Actually, while grief served as the ignition to get me started in my research, it did not remain my motivator for long. Somewhere early on in my research, during prayer and meditation, my grief took a backseat to enthusiasm. I simply love the Bible, and I love learning new things from it. I began seeing things about animals that I had never seen before. It absolutely staggered me that I had spent so much time in the Bible and had never paid attention to this subject.

As a result of this discovery, I have spent thousands of hours studying and learning and have come up with many exciting conclusions and ideas that I want to share with you. I have tried to capture each of my observations as clearly and honestly as possible.

I must confess that there is not an abundance of scripture that addresses the eternity of animals, which may explain the virtual absence of books on the subject throughout the ages. Still, God gives us a wealth of passages associated with animals and how important they are.

While the exact topic of animal afterlife is not specifically addressed in detail, I want you to understand that there are many other subjects not addressed directly in the Bible, for which we humans lack no opinion. People take stands on all sorts of things, often claiming a biblical origin, when in fact, there is no specific guidance.

How do we arrive at these spiritual positions? Simply, we use the tools God has provided to each of us. We look at applicable passages, evaluate other, related principles found in other passages, consider all the associated nonbiblical information, and apply deductive reasoning (logic).

Let me give an example of how these tools work together to give us discernment on a particular subject. Consider the subject of illegal drugs. Is there anyone in the civilized world today who is not enlightened about the ill effects of natural or synthetic chemicals upon the human body? I should think not. Even those who are enslaved by these habit-forming drugs and who continue to punish their bodies day after day with them readily admit that they wish they could free themselves from the suffering it causes them.

Now then, the Bible mentions drugs in several places, none which really could be applied to prove overwhelmingly that drugs are harmful. The Bible does not say, "Thou shalt not use cocaine," for instance. We have no clear teaching on that particular drug. We know it hurts our bodies. We know it is illegal to possess and use. But hey, the Bible doesn't specifically mention cocaine, so....

We are told to "rightly divide the truth" by the Bible. In other words, we are to let it interpret itself. By comparing scripture to scripture, we can arrive at constants or truths. To conclude cocaine is okay by the Bible is to wrongfully divide the word of truth. If we know it is harmful and sometimes fatal to our bodies, we know the Bible teaches an associated principle that precludes the use of cocaine. The Bible teaches we should care for our bodies as a temple. Applying logic tells us not only that cocaine is not good, but that it is in fact, bad.

There is no clear guidance, but building upon principles from the word and applying logic, we arrive at a conclusion, a very solid one at that. Similarly, when it comes to our beloved pets, there is no clear guidance that says "animals go to heaven." However, we can use the same tools we used in our example to arrive at a supportable position on this topic.

Obviously I cannot assure you that all the conclusions in this book are ironclad, right on the mark, exactly as I tell you facts. I believe them to be, but I am only a man. I labored hard to arrive at the conclusions here. I would not mislead, nor would I ever present something as fact if I were not convinced it were so.

But, to be fair, this is new ground we are covering. To my knowledge, no one has ever attempted to research, catalog, and expound upon this topic from a biblical perspective before. I received virtually no help in my research and spent many long, tiring hours on this project. Consequently, the potential for error in some of my "ideas" exists. Someone, perhaps you, may come along and say "Hey, good job, but did you consider this!" I welcome your constructive input. You might enhance this work and have a hand in helping someone in need. That is how technical works are refined.

Having said all that, the bottom line for me is that I feel very confident that the conclusions I present in this book are a factual, close representation. Embodied in my confidence, however, beyond the research, is my faith in God and His goodwill toward His creation. That faith was a critical factor in my research and therefore contributed greatly to the development of my conclusions. As a consequence, while I know my conclusions to be true and am able to transfer that knowledge to you, I cannot transfer my faith. That is something you will have to provide.

Excerpted from Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates by GARY KURZ Copyright © 2008 by Gary Kurz. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates: A Book of Hope for Those Who Have Lost a Pet 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Dog_LoverCA More than 1 year ago
I read this book after the loss of my best friend of ten years. What ever your religious beliefs this book will guide you through a difficult time. The author does a great job of teaching what the Bible has to say about what happens to our pets after they leave this world. God had a purpose for animals here on Earth. They were created before man and were to be our companions. After reading this book I have an even stronger belief of where my friend is now. I recommend this book for anyone who loves their pets.
Guest More than 1 year ago
all I can say is THANKS............words escape me as to the comfort of this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have worked in this field for over 20 years and it truly does not get any better than this if you are a pet owner and you have or are about to lose a pet. I have over 50 books on the human-animal bond, grieving, pet loss etc and this one is by far the best. It gives a great deal of comfort for those who are struggling with this issue. The author absolutely give the best answer to the question "Did I do the right thing?" that I have ever read. There are sections that may strike some readers as too preachy but the author is very up front about this in the beginning of the book. I highly recommend it to any animal person whether you are a Christian or not especially if you are struggling with the issue of euthanasia and when to do it.
ksquare More than 1 year ago
I have argued with priests and ministers that if there are no pets or animals in Heaven, I'm not going. That would not be Heaven for me. Gary Kurz captures the essence of my rationale and supports it with scripture. It has been argued, to me, that only creatures with souls go to Heaven. My retort has always been, no one has been able to show where or what the soul is. The unconditional devotion I have found in pets, leads me to believe that there is more soul in these creatures than in a lot of people I have known. This book is not preachy and I highly recommend it to anyone who has cared for a pet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and highly recommend it to anyone who has lost a precious pet - this book offers hope at a time when you are faced with much sadness. It is a great book to give a friend who is has recently lost an important pet to!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recently lost a very dear pet - not the first, but for some reason this one really stirred up a "need to know" with regards to what does the bible say about where pets and/or animals go when they die. This book does give some insightful views and some solid evidence that our pets, and other animals do indeed have souls, and a place of some sort in heaven. It was comforting, and it helped to know that Gary Kurtz had the same experiences and questions as I did. I would recommend the book to someone who has lost a pet and wonders "where do their souls go?" I like the way the book is written and structured.
LadyLLED More than 1 year ago
Proves biblically that animals have souls just like humans do and were to be immortal just as Adam and Eve were. When Adam fell, animals too became mortal. Still, human and animal souls are eternal -- even though our present bodies are not. That is, not until we have passed God's Judgment and earned our resurrected bodies. I recommend this book only to those who are Christians. An exception would be those who are thinking about converting to Christianity. The author does not explain how animals have come to have eternal souls in other religious persuasions. Ideal for Christians who have lost a beloved pet. The book promises that people will be reunited with their beloved pets when they go to Heaven. Does not answer the question if some animals will go to Hell as certain individuals certainly will. I enjoyed it and learned about scripture concerning animals contained in the Holy Bible. I recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a beautifully written, compassionate and informative book, which in a very loving and thoughtful way addresses the concern that most if not all animal-lovers express concern about- will I see my loved one again?
DMS53 More than 1 year ago
I lost my sweet dog Angel on December 29, 2008 after only three and a half short years. Her death devastated me. I bought the book to help me deal with the pain of her loss. I still miss my sweet baby girl every day, but the book helped me deal with her loss. It's a must read for anyone who has lost their beloved pet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just lost a pet and was looking for some comfort - did NOT find it in this book - he could not get beyond the preaching - I was seriously disgusted with this book - fortunately I ordered another book in which the author gave comforting and relevant information in dealing with my loss - would NEVER recommend or purchase another book by this author -
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book, as with Wagging Tails was a little to biblical for me. There was one chapter in this book, as with wagging tails, that was a big turning point for me. I had cried myself to sleep for two weeks until I came upon one certain chapter that helped. Now I cry sporatically when I think of my dog. Even though I am going to get another pup, Mollie will never be far from my thoughts. This book was helpful but just to much reading that was not helpful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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DebsSweet More than 1 year ago
I laughed - I cried - I learned more than I thought possible from this book. It truly has changed my life.
JoKen More than 1 year ago
This book brings a certain amount of comfort in believing your beloved pet will be waiting for you in Heaven. Even though we can't know for sure they will be there, God will do the right thing for you and your pet and He will honor the love you shared. Recommend for hope and comfort.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book the day after putting a beloved cat to sleep. I was crying at the register when I bought this book. I tried not too but I was so bereaved I couldn't help myself. I don't know what I was looking for when I bought this book. I am not a very religious person. I do believe in an afterlife but I don't go to church everyday and I felt like this book was preaching to me. I think I just wanted to be comforted in knowing I'd made the right decision and that my cat did not hate me but this book didn't provide that type of thought or answer. Or, if it did, I didn't see it there. I'm sure this book would be helpful to others with a deeper Faith but I found more comfort and more console in some websites online than in this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great. I lost my OES named Rainy two years ago.
starrNY More than 1 year ago
Having just lost our 12 year old dog I was searching for something to validate the thought that I would be reunited with him in the afterlife. After reading this book I truly feel Pepper is waiting for me and I will be with him again. Definitely for anyone who is grieving over their best friend's passing.