Do dogs have souls? There is a division of opinion in religious circles. Let me give you a brief and basic scoreboard on the subject. Catholics say yes. Protestants say no. Buddhist and Hindus--yes. Jews say no. Muslims in general consider that everything has a soul, including a rock, though dogs may not go to heaven. There may be shadings of opinion on the subject that I am not addressing.
The question occurs to me as I get older because I wonder if I am worthy of my dog. If she has no soul than she has no sin in a religious sense. Her peeing on the floor, or stealing socks that have fallen out of the dryer do not qualify since she has no bad intent. Lulu, my dog simply does not know any better.
If I believe she has no soul, and I'm not sure I do, but if I do, then she can have no sin. This includes original sin. And even if my dog has a soul, certainly she has never intended evil.
So, back to my question. Do I deserve my dog? Lulu possesses unconditional love. She doesn't judge me. Surely I have sinned more than she has. I possess all the failings of man-- and probably then some. I have caused pain and suffering. I have fought, cursed, lied, and committed sins I will not admit here. I have no church anymore. This is interesting, because when I was in the hospital having a back surgery I asked to see a Catholic priest to reenter the faith. The priest handed me a booklet. That's it. No blessing. No prayer. Perhaps he thought I wouldn't add much to the flock. It makes me worry for my soul-- maybe.
In truth, I have mixed feelings about the whole subject of souls. Are they something that lives after us in anything but memory? I know. I sound like an agnostic, if not worse.
Some Muslims think dogs turn to dust at death and therefore cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Do I turn to dust? Is that it for me? Is what I leave behind in memory all there is?
If this is the case, my dog is way ahead of me in the goodness department. Am I forgiven? I guess I will find out. Surely Lulu is forgiven though. And if she possesses no soul at all, then she has never sinned. If sin implies intent, then she has never sinned. Certainly she is would make a better human than me.