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The Souls of Animals



Today’s stream of consciousness Saturday prompt is “-an.” I appreciate that Linda lets us use it however we want. I had to look back at it a couple times to make sure it was just “-an,” And nothing else.

The first thing that popped into my mind was – animals. That’s probably because I’ve loved animals for as long as I can remember. Another thing I remembered, in relation to animals, is that guy in my English class in 12th grade, saying, “Animals don’t have souls.”

I was rather shy in high school, subdued verbally, but I sure did think a lot. And I’ve always had a good imagination. I imagined all kinds of things to say or do to that guy who so blatantly said that animals don’t have souls, like he knows, or knew.

What is the soul? And  where does the word “animal” come from? How does it relate to the word animate? So many questions in this stream of consciousness.

Animate means alive. We are all alive, to varying degrees. We are members of the animal kingdom. Do some people have stronger souls than others? We talk about “old souls,” perhaps having depth and wisdom.

When you look into an old dog’s eyes, or when I look into an old dog’s eyes, I see depth and love and wisdom that is different from our own human type of wisdom. One of the dogs my husband brought to live with us is now 15 years old. She is probably the most animated dog I’ve ever known. Even though her hind legs are not working very well, so she falls down a lot, she is still full of life. She still tries to prance around at dinner time, and when she wants something, she will look at us and bark like we should know what she’s talking about. She has started barking at my husband in the evenings when he’s on the computer and it’s time for her nightly cuddling on the couch.

When you look into an old dog’s eyes, or a horse’s eyes, or a cat’s eyes, or a whale’s eyes (don’t I wish), if you know what to look for, you will see their soul.


Waiting by Ayla

The photos of our old girl,”Beep,” are by Ayla Likens

If you’d like to join in the Saturday Stream of Consciousness, visit Linda Hill at:

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Jesus follower, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again as well as the short version: From Loneliness to Love.

25 thoughts on “The Souls of Animals

  1. I remember someone saying to me; “Dogs don’t have souls.” I laughed…….

  2. I’ve heard that so many times – that dog’s don’t have souls. I am always astounded, like What??!!! You are crazy! Anyone who would ever say that has never really known a dog. Thanks for following me, JoAnna. I will follow you too. You mentioned looking in the eye of a whale. I had that privilege and wrote about it. It was an amazing time. It is called Whale of a Time if you are interested.
    Anyway, I have seen you around on other sites. I look forward to more interactions! Thanks again.

    • Thank you for sharing your whale experience with me, Mary. I’m so glad my stream of consciousness brought the whales up to the surface today to to help me connect with your whale story, as I was very moved by it. If I ever get to see a whale up close and personal, I will remember to beam love. I’m surprised that I had not already followed you by now, but everything happens when the time is right.

  3. Some people don’t even know that they have soul… 🙂 ! Hugs.

  4. “Anima” in Latin means soul, so I guess that says a lot. 🙂

  5. The first thing that came into my mind, after reading your post, is reincarnation. The eyes have such depth that I am reminded of the theory of reincarnation.

  6. Yes, I ‘ve had that experience of feeling like I am seeing an animal’s soul a couple of times. Once with a dog – the dog’ eyes were so deep and soulful it was impossible to feel anything but a deep connection on a soul level with the animal. This happened many years ago and I’d forgotten about it till I read your piece. The guy who was with me at the time also felt the connection. Thank you for reminding of that incredible experience. Another time, which I will never forget, was when a whale suddenly breached close to the shore. I had an impression of the huge body but what drew my attention was the large dark eye. It felt like the whale and I were connected in that moment. It then went back under the water and swam out to sea. It didn’t leap out of the water again. I stood on the beach feeling like something utterly profound had just occurred.

    • Thank you for sharing those profound experiences, Suzanne. These connections are definitely more than our usual way of communicating. The energy that is felt hints at a much deeper way of being. I suspect that animals are more in tune with energy in some ways. I know dogs can sense things like fear and love more easily than most humans – less interference maybe.

      • Yes, it does feel like we enter a more profound, more soulful realm during such experiences. I like your observation that animals are more in tune with it. It does seem like some animals, whales for example, seem to reside there all the time.

  7. I don’t believe in the concept of souls at all, human or animal, but I can tell you that “animal” comes from the Latin “animalis”, meaning “having breath”, if that’s any help.z

  8. I LOVE this post. I recently wrote a post similar to this you might enjoy:
    I also plan to do sort of a Part 2 on the post after a sermon at church that I related to this. I would love to add this to the post and of course, give you full credit for your portion. Is there a link that you can send me to the post that I could copy?

  9. I found the link. 🙂

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