Saturday, 21 November 2009

Do dogs have souls? ( part one)

Martin Luther believed dogs have souls and he had some spot on ideas, didn't he? One thing is definite, dogs are capable of prayer. Look at the look of supplication in this Westie’s eyes and tell me that this is not true ...see, you can’t, can you?


  1. Hi, When posting as anonymous on this blog , using the select profile drop down menu, it seems to tell you that it won't work. If you click "post comment" a second time, it then accepts it - I just think it is a bit grumpy sometimes? You then need to enter the word verification ( obviously.)

  2. Of course dogs can pray! But is this petition, contemplation, or intercession? (And is it Bessie?) I used to have a dog that would get underneath the chair of anyone being prayed for. And if I was praying in my chapel, he would come into the room and lie down quietly next to me until I was finished. All my dogs have been able to sense if anyone in the room was troubled, and would go and lie down next to them with a chin on their foot to give them comfort. Iffy Vicar

    Best wishes


  3. Hi Janet,

    Isn't it great to have comments from your own vicar on your blog?!

    It isn't Bessie ( but it looks just like her.)Dogs are capable of contemplation and petition , I'm not sure about intercession? Having said that, I agree about their capacity to sense emotion and to want to comfort. If Bessie sees one of us crying, she rushes over and tries to lick us better. When I was on my own at home in the early stages of labour, Sandy - our last dog - didn't stir from my side and kept nudging my hand with his nose ( he never normally did this.)
    Maybe they can intercede and minister spiritually?

    Is this "dogs have souls" answer of yours official Church doctrine, or just another truth that the Church don't like to admit?;)

  4. Not official church doctrine - the Church finds it much easier to pronounce on things people don't actually care about! Whereas people do ask me, 'Will my cat/dog/horse/rabbit go to heaven? To which I answer yes, because the Bible tells us one day there will be a new creation, a new heaven and a new earth, in which the wolf will lie down with the lamb and the lion eat straw like the ox. So the good news for our dogs is they will get to heaven - but the bad news is they will do without all their favourite treats!

    I really must read Andrew Linzey's book Animal Theology one day.

    Anyway this new creation is also one in which people won't make other people miserable because of their race, gender, or sexual orientation - sounds great, doesn't it? Why can't we just start now?

    Iffy Vicar

  5. I suppose "the lion will lie down with the lamb" etc could be a metaphor rather than being literal, although it will be nice if it was literal. Will race, gender and sexuality exist in heaven? I'd make an awful theologian because I just shrug my shoulders and say, "dunno really" far too often!!!

    We certainly won't make each other miserable though - I also wish we could start now!