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Do Dogs Have a Spiritual Life?
as published in Dog Days Magazine
Rev. S. Tucker, Oasis Center For Spiritual Living

A question that comes up quite frequently in my Animal Kinship Ministry is "Do you believe dogs have souls?" The answer to this is always more complex than a simple "yes," because people seem to need justification for the answer. Let's begin with the idea that there is a Great Animating Force in the Universe that created you and I. That same Animating Force created dogs. On that we can all agree. We begin to diverge on what that means as a basis for soul in a being. The more traditional view is that animals were placed here for our benefit and we have dominion because we are self- aware and self-conscious. My personal view is that dogs are very self-aware and self- conscious, but in a much different way than we are. We once felt our connection with life much the same as dogs. We knew when danger was coming by scent, by vibration and by feeling. Dogs have refined this so well that some dogs can even predict a seizure in someone with epilepsy long before there are any noticeable signs. In my opinion, this ability signifies a much better connection with the spiritual world than we as humans normally feel.

All you have to do is look into the eyes of your four-legged companion and you know there is definitely someone looking back at you. Not just a primitive life force that learns only through repetition as previously believed, but an intelligent being with a warmth, a personality. If you have ever attended a death of a dog, you know the moment they leave. The body signals that the animating force has left a carcass behind, but there is no sign of the beloved person they were. What is this personality that animates the body, if not a soul?

Quantum Physics teaches that everything is made of the same energy particles. The rate at which these particles move and bump each other determines the solidity of the object. If all of life is animated by these same energy particles, it stands to reason that dogs have the same vibratory rate as humans. Taking the vibratory rate as a basis for soul as animating force, we can conclude that the potential for soul exists in dogs much the same as in humans.

Getting back to the original argument, let's examine why humans are thought to be self- aware and self-conscious. We make choices based on consequences we are taught. I have been blessed to live with a dog with a strong moral character. Once he understands the rules, he insists that every inhabitant or visitor to the house, obey these rules. When confronted by behavior that annoys him, he offers me two opportunities to remove him from the situation before he handles it himself. Once he was laying down in the front yard and the neighbor dog pounced on him. He came over and sat down next to me looking up at me, wanting something. Of course, in my human stupor, I didn't get what he was asking for. He patiently laid back down. The other dog pounced on him again and he came back over to me and looked up, pleadingly. Since I didn't get it again, he laid back down. And this time, when the dog pounced on him, he reacted impatiently, causing a fight. When I looked back over the incident, I realized he was asking me to take him away from the other dog. This speaks to me of consciously making choices, not behaving from rote training. We have always affirmed that our dogs would use their intelligence for good and not evil and they certainly have.

As for the question of whether our dogs will meet us in Heaven: I can't imagine a paradise without my dog!

If you would like more information about Rev. S. Tucker and her Animal Kinship Ministry, please call (303) 662-1505

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