Are dog curious? Of course they are! Surely has constant marks on her nose as she sticks it under the fence to see what’s occurring on the other side. Goody spends a lot of time investigating the yard to see what he can find. But the real question is, “Can, or do, dogs search for causes for the actions and events around them. My daughter’s and son-in-law’s dog Maverick was extremely curious. He learned to turn the door knob to let himself out of the house. He watched Brie and Derrek open the door and figured out the connection between the door knob turning and the door opening. The door now is now opened and shut with a key. Brie and Derrek keep the key well hidden and out of Maverick’s reach.

Can dogs read the minds, motives and intentions of others? Surely slyly sneaks discarded food from the kitchen garbage can when the opportunity presents itself. She waits patiently until Julie and I have left the kitchen and then sneaks for the can. One day I hid around the corner and waited until she made her move. She froze as I stepped out from my hiding place with a look on her face of “I’ve just been busted.” She knew that I knew exactly what she was up to. She then backed out of the kitchen.

So, can dogs be religious? They can conceive of other entities. They are curious, can discern the causes behind certain actions and seemingly can read the intentions and motives of others at least some level. Of course, engaging in these rudimentary abilities does not mean nor make any one actually religious! Conceptualizing and engaging in a working religion involves navigating an incredible number of multiple levels. Trying to sort out the desires of God, the meaning and interpretation of the Scriptures and the relationships with other church people is incredibly complex to say the least.

Finally, let’s consider one final question: Do dogs go to Heaven?

Psalms 49 is a Psalm about the rich materialist who lives for riches and not for the Lord. Note the contrast between the spiritual man (body, soul and spirit) who lives for eternity and the materialist who lives for now (body and soul only).

“But man, despite his riches, does not endure; he is like the beasts that perish…. This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, … death will feed on them…. But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself…. Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, … Though while he lived he counted himself blessed—and men praise you when you prosper—he will join the generation of his fathers, who will never see the light [of life]. A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish.”-- Psalm 49:12-20

Notice the phrase, “like the beasts that perish.” This verse implies that there is no life after death for animals. God designed man with three parts: body, soul, and spirit. Materialists are compared to animals who have bodies and souls, but no spirit. The Bible teaches that the spirit is eternal. If animals have no spirit, then they are incapable of living on into the next life—neither are rich materialists.

On the other hand, I long to see Becky again! So I look to Paul’s concept of redemption in Romans 8. According to Paul the entire creation will one day be redeemed.

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”--  Romans 8:18-22