Q: My beloved dog passed away five weeks and six days ago. We were together for nearly 15 years. I light a candle for him every night, and I still talk with him and have his pictures up all over.
Recently, I hear this dull knocking sound when I begin to play with Miss Emma, our other dog, and there have been other manifestations. Could it be possible that my dear baby boy is back with me in spirit form?
A: By far the most frequently asked questions regarding animals on the dozens of radio talk shows on which we appear are whether animals have souls and if their owners may expect to meet them again in the afterlife.
Janice Gray Kolb did just that. She writes in her book "Compassion for All Creatures" that she received an inner conviction from the Holy Spirit that animals inhabit heaven with us.
"No matter what anyone else may argue, I cannot be shaken on this," she says. "God created man out of the ground, and He created animals and wild birds out of the ground. Man and animal came from the same substance, and the Breath breathed into man was the same Breath breathed into the animals, birds, and other creatures. Genesis 1:21-22 (New American Catholic Bible) says, "'God saw how good it was and God blessed them."
In Ms. Kolb's opinion, God's blessing of the animals is further proof that all creatures have a soul. "Blessed," she points out, "means 'to make holy,' 'sanctify,' 'to invoke divine favor upon,' 'to honor as holy.' God blessed his creation of man and woman and thereby granted them a soul. Why else would God have blessed the animals if it were not to bestow a soul upon them?"
Our own research conducted over these past 45 years has convinced us that just as there is life after death for humans, so also do our pets have some form of existence on the other side. Just as our beloved pets are our constant, loving companions in the material world, so do our spiritual essences remain somehow connected beyond the grave. It may well be that our pets will be numbered among our best friends in heaven as well as on earth.