“Dog Heaven” book review

Published in 1995

Despite working in an elementary school library, I have avoided even opening this book.

Then on Saturday morning, we said goodbye to our sweet English Bulldog Brandi, also known as “Bully Girl” and “Miss Pig.”

She was one of five females born to Amy and Bobo Stanton of West Columbia on March 14, 2005. She spent fourteen years and six months residing in Chapin, SC where she was the toast of the neighborhood, especially on Halloween, due to her cute costumes.

Brandi was a lover of her family, car rides, naps, going to the vet, Cheezits, and all humans and animals who entered through the front door.

She was the enemy of possums and snakes.

She loved spying on the neighbors.

Due to her unsuspicious nature, she was a terrible watchdog. She made friends with the pine straw man, the pest control man, the house painter, and the plumber.

We will miss her terribly.

And so will Buster.

Cynthia Rylant’s beautifully written and illustrated “Dog Heaven” is such a comfort to read after saying goodbye to our beloved pet.

“When dogs go the Heaven, they don’t need wings because God knows that dogs love running best. He gives them fields. Fields and fields and fields.”

“When a dog first arrives in Heaven, he just runs.”

-Cynthia Rylant, Dog Heaven

Now, we’re all different of course, and some people might not appreciate a picture book about losing a pet.

But I adore the idea of God the Creator, watching over and caring about our pets after they leave us on earth, making sure they have squirrel-shaped biscuits, clouds for beds and angel children to play with.

“Dogs in Dog Heaven may stay as long as they like and this can mean forever. They will be there when old friends show up. They will be there at the door.”

-Cynthia Rylant, Dog Heaven

I think “Dog Heaven” imparts a sense of hope and gratitude.

Rest in Peace, Bully Girl

Thank you, Cynthia Rylant, for writing over 100 children’s books, but especially for “Dog Heaven.”


  1. Please accept my deepest condolences on the loss of your precious dog. What a deep hole in your hole this must leave. I too adore this book and have read it many times through the years. I’m so sad for your loss.


  2. So sorry for your loss! I remember when you were first talking about getting her. Dogs are so much more than our pets, they are gifts from God. My precious Roo is still with me. She is 18 years and 8 months old! I will have to get that book for another friend of mine that just lost her beloved fur baby recently.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my heart hurts for you and your family at the loss of your sweet family member, Brandi. Our furry family members give so much love and are the recipients of our love and care. Brandi certainly received great love ! Hugs to you!


  4. This book! Used it so much with my students but when it became personal it took on a whole new meaning. I’ve loved listening to Brandi stories and seeing her funny and sweet pictures through the years. Dog love is the real deal—forever and ever. Hoping all the Crawfords, including Buster, are feeling the love from all your friends both human and fur. Love you, friend.


  5. Oh Betsy, I’m so sorry. I’m literally crying. There is something about losing a pet that is unlike any other loss. I don’t know if it’s because we loved them so, or because they loved us so. Brandi has a special place in my heart too, even though I didn’t know her – you go sweet dawg.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My heart aches for you and your family. Our fur babies hold such a special place in our hearts, and I know too well how much it hurts to lose them. I still remember you coming to the front office of LMES with Brandi when you first got her all those years ago. Nothing brings oohs and ahhs more than a precious puppy or a newborn baby, and I remember us oohing and ahhing over your sweet baby girl! Love you Betsy!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s