By Linda Wilken, Oregon

I’d been a cat person from the get-go. I just came into this life totally relating to and loving cats. It wasn’t that I didn’t like dogs; it was just that I felt deeply and totally comfortable in the world of cats. By contrast, dogs—while likable—just seemed to have come from a completely different planet.

Then I had an awakening.

At the end of a long workday, I was in the transportation area of an airport, waiting for my ride to a hotel. A van slowed in front of me, passing slowly to park at the curb a couple of car lengths away. It wasn’t my ride but caught my attention for some reason. As soon as it stopped, several people jumped out and gathered at the back of the vehicle. When they opened the back doors, a flurry of dogs, brimming with excitement, bounded to the concrete and paired up with the people from the van.

The distinctive vests on the dogs indicated they were service animals. I suspected that these dogs had just graduated from service training and were being hand-delivered to points across the country. I’d encountered service dogs before, but never in a large group. Strangely, it seemed time stood still and I was suddenly struck by their profound mission and purpose.

Without warning, my heart burst wide open, and tears streamed down my cheeks. I realized that these dogs—these precious Souls—were voluntarily giving their entire lives over in service to other Souls in need. To humans, no less. What compassion! Not quite knowing why, I quietly cried all the way to the hotel. Since then, every time I encounter a service dog in action, I inwardly send a silent thank-you to each one, an expression of gratitude and recognition for the selfless service they give.

Contemplation Seed

You are invited to reflect on the spiritual messages in this story by contemplating on this passage from Animals Are Souls Too!, by Harold Klemp:

Cats and Dogs

Cats need a lot of freedom. They know it, and they demand it. Being self-centered and having a lot of opinions, cats enjoy things a certain way. They like to run the household. . . .

Spiritually if you want to have a role model and don’t want to look to other people or a Master, look to dogs. Dogs have a good relationship with life, generally.

Dogs are coworkers. They say, “What can I do for you? Bring your slippers? You don’t want the paper? I’ll get it anyway.”

Dogs are more like what we work toward in Eᴄᴋᴀɴᴋᴀʀ.

One day people will become Coworkers with God after they have had all the experience. Dogs are there already.

My account of the differences between cats and dogs is a bit tongue-in-cheek. But the point I am making is very simple: Animals are Souls too. Every variety of pet—cat, dog, or whatever—is an embodiment of Soul, just like you and me.

Each is individual and each can act as a channel or an instrument for divine love.