...That we can earn our way to Heaven, because if it were possible to get to Heaven simply by being good, God would have to let Maggie in. It is a testament to the intrinsic value of the human soul, that a person who has done unspeakable evil all his life can have a conversion at the moment of death, be truly repentant for his sins, and gain Heaven, after a time of purgation. That an animal that has lived every moment of her life in total loyalty, obedience and love of others, and yet has no place in eternity, is such a stark reminder of the responsibility that we have, as beings created in the image of God, to try serve Him on Earth as best we can. Yet we have to be mindful of the fact that we can never be "good" enough to be worthy of entering into His presence. We must simply love and love simply. That we will live in Eternity is certain, our place in Eternity is not.
God gave us the animals and their place is here, He gave us Eternal life and our place is there.