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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dogs and Humans - by Bruce

A symbiotic relationship is a relationship between two entities which is mutually beneficial for the participants of the relationship. The relationship between our canine friends and humans goes back as far as written history. It was written that Xanthippus, the father of Pericles, had a dog that would not endure to stay behind, but leaped into the sea, and swam along by the galley’s side till he came to the island of Salamis, where he fainted away and died, and that spot in the island, which is still called the Dog’s Grave, is said to be his.
God created dogs to have some qualities that we as humans for the most part lack. However when we combine the two we enjoy a completeness that would other wise be lacking. They are loyal to a fault, they are forgiving even when we yell at them or are mean to them. They love without condition. They are dedicated to us and will even give their life for us if called upon.
In return we are called upon as humans to make those decisions and choices for them that will ensure their life is the best it can be. Our history that is traced back to the beginning of history reveals that God planned for each of our needs from the beginning of creation. He created two totally different species to be in a symbiotic relations for the mutual benefit of both species.
It has been said that if you lock your wife/girlfriend and dog in the trunk of your car and come back in a couple hours - guess who will be happy to see you? It seems to me that our dogs serve a need that we as humans can't get anywhere else. They give us unconditional love and devotion that is often lacking in our species. If it were not so we wouldn't have such a high rate of divorce.
In return we need to be mindful of the needs of our dogs. We need to make good decisions for them. We should not humanize them as they are not human but a totally different species that are in a symbiotic relationship with us. To humanize them is disrespectful to them. They rely on us for certain things and we rely on them for things. Neither of which we could obtain elsewhere.
For those who chain their dogs outside, feed them once a day, pay little attention to them I can only say that you are missing out on a significant aspect of life. I just read that dogs in China used to end up on the dinner plate but with the increased wealth of the country that people are now having them as pets instead of a food source. They are starting to discover the virtues of our canine friends and enjoying the discovery. About time I say.
So this leads me to the question whether dogs have souls or not and if they go to heaven. As for me I can't imagine that a loving God would create a species to live in harmony with us, to complete us in so many ways, and not a sparrow would fall to the ground without his knowing it and not give that species a soul. I'm not posting this because I know one way or the other or to start some religious doctrinal discussion. My purpose for posting this is so that we will appreciate our dogs for what they are, and that if dogs don't go to heaven, then it will be a disappointment for those of us who believe it is paradise. Dogs possess so many virtues that we should possess but don't. I'm not saying a cat curled up in your lap isn't a comforting feeling but our relationship with dogs is different and very special. They end up giving us far more that we provide them. I only hope that when we get to heaven that we will be greeted by a cold nose, sloppy lick and a tail wagging that won't stop. Now that will be paradise if you ask me.... Just something to think about.


Bruce said...

As an added thought: The bible doesn't tell us one way or the other if animals have souls. Maybe God wanted it like that to see how we would treat the least of these creatures and his creation. There are numerous references in scripture on how to treat each other - the golden rule. If we knew that animals had souls we would view them much differently for sure. So maybe the acid test will be how we treat the least of God's creation. Whether it be a dog, cat, hamster, goldfish, bug, bird or what ever. History has shown consistently how we treat each other but suppose for the moment that is only part of the final exam. God made us what we are and then gave us a set of guidelines on how to treat each other, but what if there were more to the test than just that. What if loving your neighbor extended to other parts of the animal kingdom? I don't know if that it true, it could be dead wrong. We really don't know and scripture doesn't say one way or the other. We were given dominion over all creatures on the face of the earth. What if we are one day called to account for how we treated it.
We humans are what he created us to be. Seems that we are somewhat self centered and view everything around us as it pertains to us. Maybe the bible is silent on this subject for a reason known only to God Himself. Just a thought.

Pat said...

I have always believed our pets will be there to greet us in Heaven… Why would God put us in these intense relationships, and then just end it at death? What would be the point?