“The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man’s.” —Mark Twain, letter to W.D. Howells, 2 April 1899
In the Middle Ages, theologians attempted to settle once and for all the question of whether animals have souls. They chose the following method: They took a live fish and weighed it; they then killed the fish and weighed it again. Their measurements showed that the dead fish weighed less, and they reasoned that when the fish died, its soul left its body—that explained the loss in weight. So they concluded that yes, indeed, animals have souls.
For many people, “soul” does not simply refer to that part of a living being that survives the death of the body. For many, the soul is a living presence that we can sense in people. It’s what makes us who we are. And many of us can sense that same presence in our pets. It’s not a matter of science, or even religious faith. It’s simply a matter of personal experience.
Author and psychologist Rob Pasick’s dog, Lucy, died at the age of 13—preceding his father in death by just two weeks. Rob found great comfort in the thought that Lucy went first and was there to greet his father on the other side.
To read more about Rob’s thought on Lucy’s death, and the lessons he learned from her during her life, you can purchase Conversations With My Old Dog here or on Amazon.com.