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Do Animals Grieve? You Bet!
Religion item by Rev. Austin Miles - Aug 7, 2013

Animals feel many of the same emotions that we do.

WALNUT CREEK, Ca. It must be remembered that animals feel the exact same things, physically and emotionally,  that humans feel. That includes dread of pain, happiness, love, fear, anxiety and extreme sadness—which includes grief.

Before going to a home reception following a funeral, the attendees are encouraged to pay close attention and show affection for the dog left behind and to call the dog by its name.

I have seen absolute grief expressed in an animal’s eyes (dogs and cats) when their owner dies. In one case, I saw a dog that I was cuddling with after the death of his master silently cry with a tear coming out of his eye. Yes, a tear!

I have seen dogs that were ordinarily aggressive when anyone approaches the house, remain totally silent when visitors came following the death if its master. One current story tells about a dog who will not leave the grave site of its master.

When a woman was dying in my presence, many family members came to say their goodbyes. She had four very yappy chihuahuas that were totally silent as everybody came. Then when she died, and the funeral home staff came to pick up her body, even then, the dogs were totally silent.

Interesting, when I was called that morning about her impending death, I immediately went to her house where I saw a feral cat that she had befriended slowly walking back and forth under the main window of the living room where she was. That cat knew she was dying and was grieving.

A man in Walnut Creek had a home with some woods behind it where many critters came and that he had befriended. When the man died and I was with the family, I suddenly looked and motioned for the family to look at the window overlooking the wooded area. There, lined up quietly along the ledge of that window, were various breeds of birds and two squirrels looking in as if paying silent tribute to the man they knew.

And yes, animals definitely grieve over animals they know that die. You may remember the touching video of a bird that was hit by a car. Her bird companion swooped down with wings over her and tried to move her to the side of the road. That bird was indeed grieving over the death of its companion.

Do animals have souls? That answer can be found by going here. The entire series, “God and Animals” can be found in the October-November 2011 archives of that site.

Animals in “kill shelters” silently grieve the night before their execution. They also tremble in anxiety. They know.

Dennis Guinta, a chaplain of race-car-drivers raced his own car from California to Arizona to rescue a dog in a kill shelter, got there just in time, and brought it back home. That dog, that he named, Maggie is a great dog, beautiful, loving, and fun. A life that was ready to be snuffed out for no reason other than that she was a dog without a home

Chaplain Denny gave us a brief delightful video called, “God Made a Dog.” You must see this.

It is to be remembered that God first made the animals..then man…as an after-thought.

Those who have never bonded with an animal are to be pitied. They have missed out on the greatest experience of unconditional love that can be found on this earth.

© Copyright by Rev. Austin Miles, 2013. All rights reserved.


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