Back in 2006, I came across a very interesting passage in an article in TJ, a creation scientific journals from Australia. The article was actually about plant death, not about pets at all. But the author said this:
"...The creatures affected by death were those the Bible calls nephesh chayyah. When it refers to man, it is often translated 'living soul,' but, of other creatures, including fish, it is often translated 'living creature.' (emphasis mine)
Notice the phrase "it is often translated." In the original, inspired and inerrant text, apparently the same phrase is used for both man and vertebrate animals -- seems that it's just the translators who have made the distinction.
Unless I'm missing something (entirely possible), it could mean that the translators could just as well have used the phrase "living soul" for both man and vertebrates. And if that's true, there goes the skeptic's argument that animals can't go to heaven because they have no souls
I highly recommend a book called Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates by Bible scholar Gary Kurz. It's a study in what the Lord has said about animals. He came away from his study quite sure that his pets will be awaiting him, and convinced that we can share his confidence.