Sunday, December 18, 2011

Is there a doggy heaven?

This morning I was pondering about doggy heavens while playing with our dog Lassie. She seems almost human, the way she looks at us, how she gets excited when we come home, how she looks sad when we leave, she is the epitome of loyalty and unconditional love...

There are so many other loyal dogs too, that have saved their owners life, either by dialing 911 like in this story or simply by being a companion and showing unconditional love to someone who doesn't have anyone else. It also reminds me of the story of Hachiko the Japanese dog who went to the train station to meet his master for nine years even after his death. Its hard to imagine that such patience and love can go unrewarded.

But then this opens up the whole debate about do animals have souls? As a devout Catholic, we generally believe that only humans have souls, but then what about the animals? Not only dogs, but many animals live lives which we can emulate. Even Jesus used birds as the example of trusting in God. "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them" Matthew 6:26

Then there's the famous leadership lessons by Geese which was observed 1972 by Dr. Robert McNeish. He noticed how they fly in a formation to support each other, how they change leaders, encourage each other by honking and support the birds in difficulty.  There can be so many lessons that can be learnt from animals, unconditional love, no jealousy, to be satisfied with little and patience to name a few. They don't try to out do each other, they don't say to the owner, the next door dog has a better ball, I want one too. They are satisfied with what they have. They seem to be predisposed with the ability to do right rather than us humans, who struggle day in and day out with decisions of how to be better people. 

I don't know what happens to any of us after we die, or whether heaven is a place or a state of mind. What ever it is, I do believe that God also has a 'good place' reserved for dogs and cats and all the other lovely creatures created by him... And I hope to see dear Rocky sometime, our faithful German Shepard who left us, earlier this year.

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Blogger John Claudio said...

Read an interesting article on dogs not long ago detailing a study that showed that dogs are much better at recognizing and picking up on directional cues by humans than chimpanzees are.

Say, you point at a ball.

The dog recognizes that you are indeed pointing at the ball.

Not so our evolutionary cousins.

2:12 pm, April 30, 2012  

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