Of Loyalty, Faith and Friendship – Things that go Woof
As I have contemplated many times and I suspect others have as well, do animals have a soul? Do they have their own heaven separate from us humans, do they share our space upstairs or do they even have a heaven? My thoughts have occasionally drifted in that direction as a direct result of first-hand experience with those hairy, slurpy and affectionate members of the canine family for many years of my life.
Originating when I was an adolescent, dogs have continuously been a part of my life. Without direction or suggestion, I have always considered my dogs/pets as literal members of my family. They eat, sleep, walk, play and interact with us daily. More importantly, they tirelessly exhibit behavior that mimics the most devout religious person, i.e., they sin, repent (some would call it begging), pray (for a treat or a walk) and conduct themselves in a manner congruent to someone who possesses a deep faith from the sense of not being distracted or disheartened from absence, discipline, joy or injury. When you are away from them or them away from you, regardless of the amount of time from minutes, to hours, days, weeks or longer, when they subsequently see you again it’s as if it were the first time they met you all over again.
Indeed, I’ve initially believed that, in conforming opinion from so-called Dog Psychologists and Comedians, that when you leave, the dog thinks (or perhaps relates) that you are simply gone; period. However, over the years as I’ve had numerous pets of varying canine species, I’ve reached the conclusion that their behavior upon separation from me has nothing to do with knowing or not knowing if I will return, but more so, a rooted belief in the knowledge that I simply will return. They truly have faith!
And not only faith in the biblical sense, but an intense sense of loyalty and friendship, as the two sentiments are pretty much inseparable as my pets are with me. When a person takes the time to fervently analyze and evaluate these characteristics of people, much less dogs (pets), you will quickly reach the understanding and realization that instead of always wishing that our dogs would behave more like us, in truth, it is we who should behave more like them.
In the sense of faith, friendship and loyalty, a dog will stay by your side when they sense you are injured, sad or in need of help. They know that their simple presence will provide emotional support and in fact, will enhance your disposition and support and enhance your well-being. Regardless of the “sins of their past”, dogs will be loyal to you until the day, hour, minute and second they pass on. And like any close or good friend, a dog will always focus on the present, protect you when you are in danger and willingly provide an open ear to listen to your troubles as they arise, never offering their opinion unless asked.
Of all the breeds of dogs I have encountered, one stands out above the rest and aligns with my personality, sense of humor, fair play and companionship; the Golden Retriever. Their playful, laid-back, yet sophisticated and refined sense of being not only comforts in times of need, but also heals in both tangible and intangible ways. They always appear to be smiling, have eyes that can melt an iceberg and truly appear to be able to understand my every mood, voice tone, command and suggestion in life.
So, I ask again, do animals have a soul? Do they have their own heaven separate from we humans, do they share our space upstairs or do they even have a heaven? My answers are unequivocally, Yes!, No, Yes and emphatically, Yes!
Each Golden I have ever been privileged to be adopted by has taught me many things about myself, life and what is good in the world. When you lose one, any one (every one), as they are all close, it creates a discernible and significant void as much as losing any family member. Here is a tribute I wrote to address the grief I experienced when I lost my Golden “Sampson” at age seven after a very brief battle with cancer.
- Woof…I love you. (clawingcrows.wordpress.com)
- Woof! (leenahaldipur.wordpress.com)
- If our faith stops at the cross (devotionsandblessings.wordpress.com)
- What Does Faith Mean to You? (boyalasco.com)
Posted on August 10, 2012, in General, Personal Growth, Philosophy, Truths, Videos and tagged Dog, Faith, Friendship, God, Golden Retriever, Heaven, Human, Loyalty, Pet, Rainbow Bridge, soul, spirituality. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.