Does a dog have a soul?
In his seminar, Philip Gulley alluded briefly to the spirituality of living creatures. During the Q and A, Ned introduced himself to Gulley as being, among other things, a christian animist. He said that he believes the church has done great harm to the earth and its creatures by denying the animistic insights of unevangelised peoples. Ned believes that the denial of animism allows dominant humanity to abuse the earth as is happening now. Do you have anything more to say about this? asked Ned.
Gulley told of taking his son’s dog for an afternoon walk in the woods. He sat down to rest, and the dog came and lay its head on his lap. Gulley looked down and their eyes met. And, said Gulley, as I looked into the dog’s eyes I saw his soul.
This brought Ned to his feet. You don’t know it, he said to Gulley, but you are talking to a retired vetenarian. He added that he some times ministered to a dog’s needs with his hands.
Crystal, our family’s Blue Heeler, is sleeping at my feet under the computer desk. She doesn’t speak English, but we have learned the meaning of much of her barking. We know when she is welcoming one of us home, especially Rachel. We know when she is warning us of stranger from whom we should be protected. She tells us when she needs to go outside to take care of her needs. She lets us know when she wants attention, or wants to play.
We discovered recently that she not only knows her own name, but our names as well. If the four of us are in one room and someone says, Go to Rachel, she goes to Rachel. Or, go to Eldon, Khalid or me, she goes to the person named. We did not teach her that, she learned it on her own.
If The Old Fool returns to the camp fire where there are curious children who ask for more stories of the beginning he must remember that the Elohim of Genesis speaks of “everything” that has life/soul.