Book Reviews

NATIONAL REVIEWS:

Animals in Heaven? by Susi Pittman, an extraordinary, anointed perspective on the roles of animals in God’s Creation, whether they go on to an eternity, their relationship to man — including mystical aspects. Does God have a place for them? Where do they go when they die? Are they just dust — or something else? A tour de force that is totally in line with Church teaching.

~Michael H. Brown, Author, and Founder of Spirit Daily

CLICK HERE to read Michael Brown’s article on Animals in Heaven?

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Do all dogs truly go to heaven? “Animals in Heaven?: Catholics Want to Know” is a spiritual guide for Catholics who wonder about the fate of their furry friends and their souls in the greater picture of the universe. With a comforting and message discussing pets and their relations to Catholicism and the spiritual motivation of pets, “Animals in Heaven?” is a must read for those who don’t want to forget Fluffy in their faith.

~ Helen Dumont,  TheFreeLibrary.com / Midwest Book Review,  Amazon.com

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Susi Pittman is a knowledgeable and compassionate woman, as well an accomplished author. I began reading her book just two days after Captain Oliver – a pet that I was unusually close to – went on back to his Creator. Having been previously contacted by Catholic Stewards of Creation to write a piece on pet rabbits, I reached out to Ms. Pittman in my grief; she responded with words of comfort, and made it possible for me to have a copy of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know! in my hands the next day, despite the fact that she was catching an 8 a.m. flight.

Soothing to a broken heart

I skipped right to the chapters on Animals and Grief, seeking solace. I found comfort in Ms. Pittman’s words, which are backed by scriptural references throughout her book. As a Believer, I take comfort in my knowledge that the Word of God is truth; being reminded of the many Biblical references regarding God’s animal creations was of immeasurable value to me.

Ms. Pittman offers sage advice on how to prepare your animal companion for death (to a large extent this is about preparing yourself for your pet’s death; animals are tuned in to their Creator and do not fear death). She offers practical suggestions on how to handle your own grief, what to expect, and how to treat yourself kindly during the grieving process. See her video for more of her insights.

After several weeks, when I had recovered enough to focus on the rest of her book, it served as a joyful reminder to me that God loves all of His creation, provides for all of His creation, and that all that He created is good and has value. We are reminded of His covenants not only with us but with all of the creatures here on earth. She cites the scriptural references which lend support to the premise that animals do go to heaven.

Of extreme interest to me were the stories of adults and children who have experienced NDEs, or Near-Death-Experiences. (These are situations in which the individual has clinically died, and experiences their soul leaving their body; apparently it is not their time to die yet, as they are ‘brought back’ and live to tell of the experience. They generally describe seeing their bodies from a distance and can usually describe exactly what was going on in the Emergency Room or Operating Room at the time of their death in great detail. In 21 years as an RN, I witnessed enough of these to personally have no doubt as to their validity.). Ms. Pittman reports on documented NDEs wherein the individual reports seeing and touching family pets who died years earlier (these cases include children, who have no preconceived notions of death experiences). This information effectively extinguished any spark of remaining doubt that I may have had, possibly because of being able to relate to the reality of NDEs in general.

Of further interest is the information Ms. Pittman shares regarding some of the Saints that are associated with animals, and the stories of their connections with God. Additionally, she shares her own insightful experiences with her pets over the years; the reader is uplifted and once again comforted.

We are all called to be caretakers of His creation, good stewards of the earth and the creatures living upon and within it. It’s all on loan – it all belongs to the One who created it, and I have no doubt that He has provided for His creations after they leave this dimension.

~Phyllis O’Beollian, Examiner.com

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Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know ISBN 9781440177255, (Rising Star) iUniverse Paperback, 145 pages including 2 pages of Helpful Web Sites, 11 pages of Endnotes (which really are references to statements in the text and listed chapter by chapter), and 7 pages of Sources and References, authored by Susi Pittman.

This little book is not for everyone. It is written by a Roman Catholic layman, seemingly in part as a catharsis. The author’s husband told her, just before dying, that she should finish the book.

The theme is unabashedly a lecture on religion, and more specifically, on the tenets of the Catholic Church. “Throughout this book, there are holy insights, sacred scriptures, traditions, and divine revelations for a better understanding of the Church’s beautiful teachings on humankind and created things.” It begins with generalizations on the establishment of the universe, followed by creation of Adam and Eve, the downfall of man, creation of the ‘soul’ and its position in man, and moves on to the presence of animals who are without this feature. The next step is to review the relationship between a number of Saints and animals, e.g. St Francis, Saint John Bosco and the mysterious dog who became his protector, Saint Roch, “the Patron Saint of Dogs and Dog Lovers” and others. Then, there is progression to personal accounts of animal miracles, their position in times of grief and finally “A call to Action” where one is called upon to make a personal commitment “to become a cooperator with Jesus in a plan of redemption for all of the earth…”.

I was not sure, when beginning to read this book, where exactly it was going. However, as the theme evolved, the author made a quite acceptable case for the acceptance of animals at some level in the hereafter. She followed this theme by presenting a number of extremely touching stories of the relationship between man and animal and expanded the story with references to the fact that all of the world is God’s creation, animals included. She further emphasizes the importance of animals to God, in that He had dictated that Noah gather two of every known animal to save, and the fact that not even the fall of a sparrow would be overlooked by Him (”Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God.” [Luke 12:6]).

So, to reiterate, this quite specifically religious monograph is directed to a specific question for a specific audience, and I believe Susi Pittman has quite successfully accomplished her goal in answering the question.

~John H. Manhold, FacinatingAuthors.com

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What an interesting question Susi Pittman poses, do animals go to Heaven? To many people this may seem a rather trivial subject, yet the Catholic Church itself is torn on the answer. For those of us that have lost beloved pets over the years it is somewhat comforting to think that they are in some better, happier place.

I have to admit that I picked this book up not quite knowing what to expect, there was a nagging voice in the back of my head that was saying this was going to be 105 pages of slush! I was completely wrong in that assumption. Susi Pittman has put together a very well researched book. In fact so well researched that it could well be used as the center piece of a theology course on the subject.

Animals In Heaven? Consists of seven different sections, although I see it as following into three main subjects. Firstly the argument based on the bible, and Susi Pittman has certainly delved into this in great depth. Secondly she looks at some of the Saints that are associated with animals. And finally she explores her own experiences over the years.

Citing many references from the bible Susi Pittman lays out her basic argument, and finds many reasons why animals would be extended invitations to heaven.

Her personal experiences are both insightful and uplifting. The death of a pet can be a traumatic experience. A dog or a cat may well have been part of your family for over a decade. Susi offers advice on how to prepare for the event, preparation can often help soften the blow. Her own personal stories make for fascinating reading. Do pets know that their time has come? Do they make peace with the world? After reading this book I have to say, yes, that is very likely.

There is a chapter towards the end of the book that I found very curious indeed. The effect of the death of a human upon an animal. This is something that I had really never considered before. When Susi lost her husband Greg, his favorite cat Mary went into what can only be described as mourning. Even stranger, Mary’s health deteriorated, it was as if she had lost the will to live. I have indeed seen this phenomena in people, a husband or wife dies and their spouse enters a rapid decline and quickly follows their loves one into the after life.

There is also a web site in support of the book The Catholic Stewards Of Creation which explores the subject in more depth. You can order your copy of Animals In Heaven? Catholics Want To Know! From Amazon, just click on the cover art above.

~Simon Barrett, Blogger News Network

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Pet lovers, at one time or another, have seen the beauty of God in their pets’ eyes. Our pets mirror God’s love for us. If you have ever loved and lost a beloved pet Animals In Heaven? Catholic’s Want to Know! is a book you will want to add to your own personal library.

Animals In Heaven? Catholic’s Want to Know! is a wonderfully written and well researched book by Susi Pittman that offers encouragement to those of us who have loved a pet and lost them to our enemy death. Having loved and lost three beautiful dogs I thank Susi Pittman for doing the research she did for this book and offering it to us to bring us encouragement and peace regarding our departed pets.

Having encountered many “Christians” over the years who claim that pets cease to exist at death I found this book to be a breath of fresh air and truth. I always knew somewhere deep down inside that God could not and would not be so insensitive towards his animal creation. Reading this book helped confirm that belief in my heart and gave me the peace of knowing that someday I will again see the three dogs who walked faithfully by my side and showed me God’s unconditional love. It is comforting to know that God loves them and will not forget them.

Animals In Heaven? Catholics Want to Know! is a great book to read on your own but would also make a great study book for a Bible Study with other believers. Susi Pittman covers topics in the book such as: recognizing God’s plan for all of creation, the way of the soul for both humans and animals, stories of saints and animals, personal animal miracle stories, animals and grief, and a call to action from us.

~Connie Harris, TCM Reviews

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CLERGY REVIEWS:

I was very pleased to get a beautifully signed copy of your book, Animals in Heaven? and to discover another book published during the same year as my own. Thank you. Both books cover many of the same themes and reveal a great love for St. Francis. They also support an idea whose time has come: namely that all creatures make up one family of creation and are included in God’s saving plans.

Also I liked your little chapter on St. Francis and the Animals and your words about St. Anthony of Padua. I too am very familiar with the two stories you focused on regarding Anthony: his preaching to the fish and the challenge made to Anthony regarding mule, that is, whether the mule would prefer the Eucharist or the bale of Hay.

Again, thanks. I hope our path cross some day. Peace and all good,

~Friar Jack Wintz O.F.M.

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Susi’s book healed my heart as it will for many people. After having such a beautiful encounter with my loving dog, Wendy, my life was changed forever. It drew me more deeply into the heart of our Lord who loves all that He has created. Thank you Susi from all of us who love not only our pets, but everything our good God created.

~Sister Marie Rene S.S.J. Sisters of St. Joseph, St. Augustine

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Susi Pittman has opened me up to something really special by inviting me again into her life and world. Her first book, Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know is now officially launched. I sure hope she has another coming.

~Father Ron Camarda, Retired Military Chaplain, Author of “Tear in the Desert

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STEWARD’S REVIEWS:

Let me take this opportunity to thank you so very much for Animals in Heaven. Your book speaks to my soul and I have always known that animals are especially tuned in to God. To me, my cats are ever present links to the eternal and always direct me to prayers of thanksgiving. I can’t look at them without thinking of God and thanking Him for creation.

~Michele Gregoire

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I just read your book about animals in heaven!!!!I saw it on Michael Browns website and I sent for it. It came at a time when we just lost our dalamation Belle. We had her for 16 1/2 yrs. She was my baby and my families precious angel.The book comforted me so much and I just want to thank you so much for writing it.

God bless you. I miss Belle so much and we loved her so much and I do know that you understand.

Thank you.

~Carol Hrobaski from Pa.

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I have just read your book and am blown away with how great I think it is. What a very wonderful and emotional and powerful read….Not only did I come away with a good feeling about the subject (animals in heaven) but as important I really feel that you have given me a much clearer understanding of God’s design and purpose for us all. Your book has given me an even greater confidence and belief in the fact that our salvation and the promise of a heavenly after life, thru our acceptance and belief in Jesus Christ, is real.

Your stories were heart warming.

God Bless you and your ministry,

~Frank Olmsted

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It is really very poignant. I had a lump in my throat and tears is my eyes, especially when reading the last chapters.

Good job! Well done! Greg, all the animals and God are very proud of you.

~Nancy Schmid

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Would you like to share your review of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know! on our website? Visit the STEWARD’S CORNER and submit your review.

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