The only mention of souls in the creation of humans and animals comes in Genesis, when God “breathed the breath of life into the human (Adam) and the human (Adam) became a living soul.”
So this is a difficult question. However, being a lover of dogs and having our wonderful 10-year-old miniature schnauzer with us since she was 8 weeks old, it is hard for me to believe that our “Duchess” does not have a soul.
If having a “soul” means that dogs have a spiritual side, then yes, dogs do have souls. If you watch a service dog respond to its owner, if you watch a service dog leading a blind owner, if you see a dog responding to someone sick and just staying by that person’s side, you certainly have to conclude that these dogs are more than just physical canines. They are canines with a soul.
Are dogs aware that there is a God? I do not think so. That is too much a stretch of the imagination. I believe that only we humans are aware of God.
But dogs do respond to someone in pain, they are aware of someone who is filled with fear and, above all, they know how to love without any reservation. They are indeed faithful companions. Doesn’t that say that, indeed, they must have a soul?
So, I guess my answer is yes, dogs do have souls.
David Baylinson, Temple Beth El, Anniston
God created man differently
We have all been blessed in one way or another by the presence of an animal. As children, we often developed close bonds with a dog or cat or some other domesticated animal.
It is with great affection and fondness that we think of these companions, and it is only natural that we would question if they have a soul or if they have the possibility of immortality.
The answer to the first question of whether they posses a soul can be answered by looking at Genesis 2:7: “Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.”
God created Adam differently than he created the animals. Animals do not possess the image of God nor do they possess spiritual life.
Animals seem only to possess the qualities of basic master/servant relationships. They take on perceived personality when they are cared for by humans.
An answer to whether or not God allows animals from this life to enter the Kingdom cannot be answered from Scripture. Many have ventured to guess, but I would prefer to remain agnostic in regard to this idea.
Carlton Weathers, Grace Fellowship, Anniston