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Dog Heaven

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  2,079 ratings  ·  269 reviews
In Newbery Medalist Cynthia Rylant's classic bestseller, the author comforts readers young and old who have lost a dog. Recommended highly by pet lovers around the world, Dog Heaven not only comforts but also brings a tear to anyone who is devoted to a pet. From expansive fields where dogs can run and run to delicious biscuits no dog can resist, Rylant paints a warm and af ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 1st 1995 by Blue Sky Press (first published January 1st 1995)
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Average rating 4.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,079 ratings  ·  269 reviews

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Classic reverie
Thanks to my Goodreads friend, Ann-Marie for suggesting this book to me! I read this quick story aloud for my little Papillon, Blondie, so she could hear the words!💖 Cynthia Rylant does a wonderful job in painting what "Dog Heaven" is like for young and old. I can see why children would love this and being an adult I was comforted! I read the Kindle version on my Amazon Fire device so the illustrations were extremely bright and cute. My favorite illustration was the dogs sleeping on clouds for t ...more
Aug 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
When our beloved mess of a dog died, this is what our vet sent us. 5 stars for the vet, 5 stars for that limpy dog of ours, and 5 stars for this book. Gave us a really great cry, fond thoughts and loud laughs of the big ol' lug of a one legged dog that was part of our family, and peace knowing that he's a pimp now, struttin' his stuff with a lotta bitches and fat healthy legs (the pimp cane is fo' show.) You go Turk! ...more
Ann-Marie "Cookie M."
This book has been great comfort to me and members of my family in times of pet loss.
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sweet-petites
I won't lie; I bawled my eyes out reading this book. A precious reminder of God's love and care for all creatures. ...more
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Over the past few days, I've been listening to, and telling my kids, and telling myself, all the usual stuff like "It was the right thing to do," and "She's no longer in pain."

But dammitall, my dog was DIFFERENT and all those generic platitudes JUST AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH.

So I bought this book.

My kids are too old for picture books, but no reader is EVER too old for a picture book like this. I put this on hold at Barnes & Noble after making The Call to the vet and picked it up on my way home from wor
Apr 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book raises more questions than it answers. Why does god hate children so much he murders them just to keep his dogs company? And even in heaven why can't a dog get a milkbone without having to sit and beg for it? In dog heaven dogs still have to submit to people? That's not right, what type of shitty dog heaven is that? This is precisely why Cats Have No Lord. ...more
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I only cry when something really moves me. By the second page tears were rolling down my cheeks.

Rylant takes on the intimidating task of illustrating Heaven and God. How do you do that??? Well, I believe she found the perfect solution. She choose a purely imaginative way, in a way that a child would picture it. Most children view the world as consisting only of where they've been themselves- for example their own neighborhood. A child would probably imagine Heaven as just a better version of wh
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
I don't give a lot of books 5 stars but I loved this one. Recently, our oldest lab passed away. My 5 yr old handled it pretty well, but still had a lot of questions. Not only does this book answer these questions expertly and with political correctness, but it answers the questions that never occurred to you as well. It makes you feel good about where your pet is and on top of that, the illustrations were colorful, beautiful, and engaging. Both my 5 yr old and I very much enjoyed it. I highly re ...more
Feb 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was a great starting point when a family loses a beloved pet. It gives you a lot of ideas as to what the pet might be doing in heaven. The next time I see a fluffy cloud I will imagine my cat, Jasmine, sleeping on it.
Stephen Wallace
Dec 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Nice book. I could imagine if i read it shortly after losing a dog i would cry my eyes out. What i think would be better would be to tead it to children while the dog is healthy to help prepare them for the eventual end. Illustrations are fine but not amazing works of art.
May 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite kids' books of all time! I have probably bought over 10 copies of this book. It's a special story of what happens when dogs go to heaven. Although it’s not accurate from a Biblical perspective, it has some sweet thoughts about what life is like in heaven for dogs. God has a sense of humor since they get biscuits in the shape of cats and mailmen. And before going to sleep at night, the dogs turn around several times on a cloud to make sure that it all settles just right ...more
Linda Lipko
Comforting to those who know the pain and grief associated with the loss of a pet, Rylant paints a lovely picture of dog heaven where fields abound, with lots of room to run.

God watches from behind a tree as geese honk and dogs chase. Knowing dogs love children, dog heaven is filled with children who play ball and fly kites to the clouds. Dogs sleep on fluffy clouds and eat ham sandwich biscuits.

Dogs remember their previous owner and sometimes an angel walks them back to earth for a temporary t
Apr 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book came to our family at the perfect time; it's a lovely story for all ages about what happens to dogs after they cross the rainbow bridge. I want to reiterate the advice of the dear friend who gave it to us after our Holly passed: Read it on your own, when you don't have somewhere to be--it's THAT moving. Thanks to the author for easing our pain, and even making us smile a little. ...more
Jan 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid-lit
This is a great book about what happens after your dog dies. It totally makes me choke up every time I read it. Plus, the illustrations are awesome. The god in the book is pretty funny. He looks like a farmer, which I guess dogs like.
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books, own
A must for any family or child who has lost a beloved dog. Sweet without being cloying, and even humorous at times, Rylant shows what happens when dogs die, and it's beautiful and so comforting. ...more
Ms. B
Feb 18, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture, 1990s
Remember the 1990s? Remember when Dav Pilkey and Cynthia Rylant were a couple? Remember all the great books by Cynthia Rylant?
In addition to the Henry and Mudge series, there were When I Was Young in the Mountains, The Relatives Came, Silver Packages, and a couple of Newbery winning titles, Missing May and A Fine White Dust (which one of my practicum teachers did as a read-aloud with her 4th graders). And for animal lovers, there was Cat Heaven and this one.
Rosemary Sullivan
Mar 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deena Graves
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Early last month, I walked into my local B&N on a mission. My 10 year-old lab was close to The Day and I needed something to try to help my young son understand and accept what was going to happen. He's three, so having the rational 'all things die' talk wasn't going to cut it. I walked out with Dog Heaven. That night my son wanted to read it. It's a fantastic book full of bright colors and pictures of dogs having a great time. My son loved it. We were about half way through when something click ...more
I wasn't overly impressed with this book. I hope my dog doesn't go to this dog heaven. My version of dog heaven, the one in my head. I think my dog would be much happier there than in Cynthia Rylant's book version. why do dogs have to sit to get a treat in heaven? Why do only dogs that don't have homes on Earth get a home in heaven. Why do all dogs become good dogs? Shouldn't the dogs that are already in heaven be good dogs? I think she was saying you know that all dogs can get Redemption and go ...more
Charli Greene
Dog Heaven is about a dogs life in Heaven. All dog lovers believe that there is a doggy heaven.
Within this book Cynthia Rylant takes the reader through a day in the life of a dog in heaven. She describes how they are treated and what they do on a normal day while they are in this dog heaven. This book is a very fun and colorful read. Each page is very descriptive and and takes the reader to this place! While reading this story, I was intrigued because I would too want to believe that when my pe
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, 2018
Earlier this year, my family said goodbye to our beloved dog. It was a devastating loss, and one of the things that brought me comfort in the aftermath was this book, gifted to me by a friend who said it helped her and her family when they’ve lost dogs in the past.

This little picture book is fairly religious (and I’m not), but it was impossible to not smile while reading about what a dog’s version of heaven might be like. There are beds made of clouds, balls to play with, open fields to run in,
Rose Ann
This wonderful book, with charming and colorful illustrations, is about just what it says -- Dog Heaven, where every dog has a name, every dog is loved and wanted, and beloved pets wait for their masters to join them. It brings tears to my eyes every time I read it. If you have ever owned a dog, you will love this book.

Also, as a library worker, I have recommended this book to library patrons who are trying to explain the loss of a beloved pet to a child. It is actually a comforting book for an
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
My 9-year-old daughter's teacher loaned this to us after we made the difficult decision to put our beloved yellow lab, Morgan, to sleep. The sentiments expressed in this book echo exactly my hopes for dog heaven.

You are never too old for a good picture book, and this is a very, very good picture book. Even though my daughter is just about too old for picture books, I might purchase a copy of this one so she can revisit it whenever she misses Morgan and for the unavoidable day when our chocolate
Shawn Thrasher
Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A book can succor and provide strength in difficult times. Damn the snarks. I'm not even sure I believe in people heaven, but after reading this book, I know there is heaven for dogs. They deserve it. (cats, on the other hand, probably are in Hell - because it's far more enjoyable for them in Hell). Only the heartless - or dog-haters - won't at least feel a sentimental tug at the corner of their eyes. I hid in my office at work and wept. "They will be there when old friends show up." ...more
Susan in NC
Beautiful and touching - received as a gift from my younger sister upon the death of my beloved 17year old Aussie mix, Kate. I read it through tears but it was healing and soothing to my battered heart. Recommended for anyone who loves dogs, appreciates brilliantly illustrated children's books, and/or needs to explain the death of a dog to a child (or to comfort a grieving dog lover who has had to let go of their best friend).
Jun 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Beautiful picture book that deals with what happens when a dog dies. It talks about all the fun things dogs get to do in dog heaven, the wonderful sofas to sleep on, special treats always available, angels to pet them...a sweet book covering a potentially scary topic for small children.
Aug 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a beautifully illustrated story that tells children what dogs do in heaven until they're "at the door" when "old friends show up". I've bought this book for family and friends when their beloved dog dies and I highly recommend it to those people who think all dogs can go to heaven. ...more
Keri Kent
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When we lost our 14-year-old dog, a friend gave me this book. I cried, and smiled through my tears. Every page, all the feels. I gave it to my brother when his dog passed away as well. Theology may be debatable but this book is as comforting as a warm puppy.
Sep 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books that I have come across on the death of a pet. I give it to families that I know are dealing with the loss of a dog and have recommended it to my vet.
Dec 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This had gotten our daughter through 2 losses...we bought it when she was Age 2+ then she just read it again for herself... Age11. It is such a comforting book.
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An author of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for children and young adults as well as an author and author/illustrator of picture books for children, Cynthia Rylant is recognized as a gifted writer who has contributed memorably to several genres of juvenile literature. A prolific author who often bases her works on her own background, especially on her childhood in the West Virginia mountains, she ...more

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