Spiritual Bonds with Our Pets
By Doug Knueven

Q) What are your thoughts on whether or not pets have souls? What does the Cayce material have to say on this topic? Dan, Texas

A) Traditional veterinarians might ask, "What does such an issue have to do with medicine?" I, on the other hand, think this is a fitting question. As a holistic practitioner, I take into account the entire patient: body, mind, and spirit. In fact, I dedicate an entire chapter to this topic in my first book from A.R.E. Press, Stand by Me: A Holistic Handbook for Pets, Their People, and the Lives They Share Together.

Most pet caregivers have no doubt that their animals are more than stimulus/response, biomechanical machines. Is it not obvious that each pet has an independent spirit? Specific breeds certainly have characteristics in common. For example, herding breeds of dogs in general have different temperaments than, say, those of the retrieving breeds. At the same time, each individual of a particular breed has his/her unique personality. These characteristics are certainly not due to strictly genetic factors.

According to the Cayce readings, the human soul is made up of Spirit, mind and will. And, according to the readings, the will is the sticking point in the argument for the animal soul.
"The will is that factor which makes man different from the rest of the animal kingdom…" Edgar Cayce Readings 909-1
"Free will – that which is the universal gift to the souls of the children of men; that each entity may know itself to be itself and yet one with the universal cause." Edgar Cayce Readings 2620-2
"Man alone is given that birthright of free will. He alone may defy his God!" Edgar Cayce Readings 5757-1

Okay, so maybe the apparent lack of will is not such a bad thing after all. In fact, if animals lack free will, it only means that they do not have a human soul. Animal actions are not held to the same moral standards as those of their people. Would we hold our dog morally responsible for stealing the neighbor dog's bone? Should he be tried by a jury of his peers?

cat Blog 1-20-2012A surprising result of researching the Edgar Cayce readings that refer to pets is that there is evidence of the reincarnation of animals. A case in point is the "little dog Mona." In three separate readings (268-3, 280-1, and 405-1) Mona is said to have been the reincarnation of a lion from Roman times. It is apparent that some of those near this little creature in this lifetime were once faced with a very different incarnation of her in the form of a lion in the Christian martyrdom era. In still another reading, 276-6, a 16-year-old girl was told that her current pet had been with her in an Egyptian incarnation.

It is obvious from the readings and from the personal experience of most pet owners that our pets have a spiritual nature. We form bonds with our animals that defy a materialistic view. We find comfort in our human-animal relationships that many studies show has a positive influence on our health. Yes, pet owners live longer than those who do not share their lives with a special animal.

The question remains, "What does all this talk about animal souls have to do with their health?" I have found that just acknowledging the deeper levels of animal existence leads to a more complete healing attitude. Holistically-minded veterinarians have multiple levels from which to operate. Besides conventional medicine and surgery, and physical alternative modalities such as herbs, chiropractic, and acupuncture, we also have energy medicine.

Dog blog 1-20-2012Homeopathic remedies are often diluted to the point that not a single molecule of the original medicinal substance remains, yet they have biological effects. Prayer might be viewed as simply wishful thinking by conventional practitioners; still many studies validate its health benefits. Animal communication is dismissed by some, but I have seen firsthand, miraculous results from such consultations.

Holistic pet care is complete care that encompasses body, mind, and spirit. Our pets possess soul attributes and these facets of their existence need to be addressed for true health to be realized. The spiritual bonds we share with our companion animals also enhance our own well-being, as we connect with God through Her creations.

Doug Knueven Blog 2012Stand by Me - bookDoug Knueven, DVM, is a regular contributor to Venture Inward magazine and the author of Stand By Me, A Holistic Handbook for Animals, People, and the Lives They Share, available at ARECatalog.com or 800-333-4499, and Holistic Health Guide: Natural Care for the Whole Dog. For more information go to BeaverAnimalClinic.com. He'll be in Virginia Beach on Saturday, January 21 from 9 to 11 am for the Holistic Pet Care: Practical Tips program.

Excerpt from March / April 2009 issue of Venture Inward magazine available in the online member section.