Shadow-dog got a new rope the other day. He immediately went into Snoopy-dog dance mode, with a twist, as you can see from the slideshow above. This is no silly ribbon dance.
When Cooper-pony next door appears in his next door back yard and taunts Shadow-dog, Shadow-dog instantly runs to grab this rope and whip it about as a threat, though it is actually his invitation to play.
And yet, play-mode for Shadow-dog can bring down an opponent, all part of play, right? Shadow-dog, in front of a real aggressor, say, with a knife, can look like he’s playing a game with that rope, but he can actually aim this heavy knotted weapon into the back of the knees of an aggressor, who, distracted, half-falling to the ground, can have his threat neutralized from the front, that is, Shadow-dog, quick as lightning, happily carrying away the knife, happy to have a toy that looks more serious.
Shadow-dog has tried out his advanced skill-sets on me multiple times, letting me know what he can do to protect me. A real joy to see him in action. It is to laugh in anticipation of what he do to disarm some nefarious character. Plenty of them around here.
And people wonder how it is that I learned in my own small way to bait bad-actors. It’s Shadow-dog, man’s best friend, who’s my teacher. To quote a certain character in that thriller ecclesiastical novel Jackass for the Hour, “It’s too easy.”
BTW and just to say, people also ask me about their pets going to heaven. The usual answer, citing Aquinas and such, has gotten stuck in a discussion about the non-immortality of animal souls, in that they were not meant ever to be in some sort of grace unifying them with the life of the Most Holy Trinity by way of Redemption and Salvation. When they die, they’re gone. Yep.
On the other hand, I think it’s makes sense to look at this from another perspective, that of the new heavens and the new earth. Animals are very much part of our existence. And they don’t have to be immortal to be in heaven. I don’t see why being in heaven necessitates the beatific vision. That’s not what animals were ever about. They’ll go about their vocations, so to speak, and live and die as individuals, and it’s all good. It just won’t be, in particular, this Laudie-dog or that Shadow-dog, but rather dogs whose species will be immortal, but not the individuals.
But, maybe I’m missing something. I’ve often heard that. :-)
Today’s Ash Wednesday: Be more joyful in friendship with Jesus during Lent than Shadow-dog has fun with his weapon-toys.
8 responses to “Shadow-dog bait-dance and a note on the immortality of animals”
He looks fit and ready! This (your reflections) – a great way to enter the Lenten season…to enter the rest of our lives. Deo gratias.
Great teacher,(Shadow-dog) through the lecture of THE PROFESSOR-owner . We love you both and wish for more lessons. Thank you. AMDG
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Just my humble thoughts about animals in heaven. First, God made them and our Father Abba loves all his creations. Second animals do not sin (too bad people can’t say that). Third their love is like God’s, unconditional.
They don’t love you more if you get a flashy new car or a expensive suit. So I believe they will probably be in heaven. Why not?
I was told by a highly intelligent man (in his egotistic opinion) that animals do not have souls so they cannot go to heaven. Huh? Isn’t a soul the difference between a living creature and a dead corpse?
I was also told many years ago by a very dear, sweet and humble teaching Sister that we will have in heaven whatever makes us happy – so I think we will have our beloved pets and animals in heaven. At any rate I value Sister’s opinion over the egotist’s.
Just my thoughts.
Hope we all have a prayerful and fulfilling Lent.
My thoughts agree with yours, Joisy Goil. The way I see it is that if our faithfulness to God brings us to eternal life with Him, then animals (individuals, not just as a species as Father mentions) serving us faithfully will bring them into that Life with us. I hope that is the case anyway. As you correctly point out they have souls according to their kind, do not sin and their devotion to us is unconditional.
I would like to add that death came into the world because of sin – ours not theirs – and yet they suffer the punishment of death with us; surely then, in Our Lord’s Just and Merciful Heart that loves His creation, it may be that they are allowed to share in the fruits of our redemption.
And as your humble teaching Sister pointed out and we both believe, God will give us in Heaven all that makes us happy. Being with Him will make us perfectly happy and we will need nothing more, but God in His infinite love will want to give us everything good and surely the continued company of those particular animals who were dear to us in life would fit in that category.
Aussie and Joisy! Your thoughts are wonderful examples of what St. JP II called “the genius of woman” (or it is “women?”).
But I must be true to the my own masculine nature (snips and snails…) by asking you to recall that His ways are not our ways. That his ways are so far above ours that we will be astonished to find that, in a place where none are given or taken in marriage, none are pets or masters. Only heirs of the promise of God.
-Do I need to dodge a shoe?-
No, 007, you do not need to dodge a shoe. Your thoughts are always good to read.
Love to see updates of Shadow-dog!
He looks just like our Shepherd we had when we were first married. His name was Angus and he was a faithful protector. I still get tears in my eyes thinking about him…
My thinking rather rhymes with Aussie Mum and Joisy Goil — everything that we love about our animals, we will find elevated to the nth degree in God, in the Beatific Vision. Every good thing is a prefigurement or and obscure darkened reflection of the joys of Paradise. And whatever happens to dogs when they die is what God wills for their good. I don’t need to know. I trust God.