I am a journalism student in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. As part of one of my courses, I have been given an assigment which involves writing a short article about spiritual beliefs about dogs. I was wondering if I could interview you about this topic, by e-mail. My main question concerning this topic would be if you believe that dogs will enjoy some sort of after life? I have looked through the bible for refrences to this, but all I can find is the part at the end of Revalation where the dogs are outside of the new Jerusalem.
I'm sorry I am so late in responding to your e-mail. By now you have probably already written the article. Interesting topic. Have you read C.S. Lewis' speculations? (as I remember they are in "Problem of Pain.")
Fr. Phil Bloom
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question. I will try to find that book, as I have not finished writing my article yet. Incidently, what are your own views on the subject? Most of the people I have talked to so far seem to be fairly uncertain.
The question of an afterlife for animals is pretty speculative and as you noted not much in the Scriptures one way or another (besides poetic images of lamb and lion, etc. being together). Hence the uncertainty you have encountered. I do find C.S. Lewis' theory attractive: that there might be an afterlife for animals who have had a special bond to their human masters.
Another author who takes up the question is Paul Johnson in "Quest for God." He talks about looking into his dog's eyes and asking if there is a soul. He doesn't come up with a yes or no answer.
Personally, I hope there is. My mom & brother have a dog whom I have become very fond of. He certainly has his unique "personality." We recognize that much of it is ourselves projecting feelings, emotions, even thoughts on him. Still I would love someday to get a glimpse of what is going on in that dog's mind. Maybe that kind of discovery might be part of heaven since all knowledge is in the vision of God.
Would enjoy seeing the paper when you finish it, Don.
Fr. Phil Bloom