A Loaded Question

    I’m going to stir the pot today. Just thought I would warn you ahead of time because this topic may not be for everyone but since it has come into my experience three times I decided to move on it. In my world, if I see something or experience something three times it means I am to pay attention to it. So here it goes.

    Some of my readers and I have been discussing whether or not animals have souls. It’s a loaded question. For some it is in direct conflict with their religious beliefs,  for others there is an obvious answer. I can tell you what I believe.

    When I was eight years old I lost my Golden Retriever ‘Paint’ (Woodland’s Painted Morning). Three days later I saw him running along the shore of our lake, he stopped when I called his name, tail wagging and I did not quite put it together except to realize that he was not ‘gone’, but somewhere that made him very happy. I still missed him terribly of course.

    That thought was put away for awhile, you know, there, but not in the front of your being. Life went on and adulthood found me as a surgical scrub on a trauma team in downtown Phoenix Arizona. A mostly rewarding job that definitely had a troubling time or two. I remember very clearly the first patient we lost. He was losing blood faster that we could replace it and while our team worked feverishly he left us. Not in the medical sense because his heart was still beating and he had a blood pressure, though it was low, but the spirit that made him who he was, departed for his next adventure. I didn’t see him leave, I felt it. A beautiful light spirit that drifted over my right shoulder, said thank you, and left. He had no intention of coming back. We worked another hour on his body but in the end, a body without a spirit is an empty vessel and his body did not survive.

    I have had many similar experiences over the years, with humans, dogs, cats, birds. When the soul leaves, for whatever reason, I can feel it. I’ve held my dogs when they have gone, held a bird until they left and cried at the sorrow and the joy of it. I have seen some afterwards, heard them whisper to me and I know there is no end to a life, there is only an end to the body.

    That is what I know to be true. Not a belief so much as a knowing. And the above are some of the reasons.

    But, for me, the most obvious reason is: How could the Divine ( God, The Source, Great Father, by whatever name you honor Him by) create the dog, the master of love unconditional, the teacher of forgiveness who judges not and not give her a soul?

    And if He gave us and the dog a soul, would He not give His greatest gift to all of His creation?

    So that is where I stand. But what do you think?  Does she have a soul or no.


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