Do gundogs have an afterlife? Robin Scott, former Sportinggun editor-at-large
Man’s an animal, so why do we think we’re the only living creatures with souls? If there is any sort of life after death, I’d like to think the dogs I’ve had will be there in the happy hunting ground when my time’s up, ready to go to work again.
And why not? Dogs, like us, are capable of thought, respond to emotion and dream while asleep. So they have a subconscious. They also possess an unerring devotion and loyalty that puts much of mankind to shame. They’re Man’s best friend for good reason. Their spirit could live on.
Some time back, a relative of my mum’s went to a spiritualist in the hope of contacting her mother, and a father who’d worked all his life in the Forces. The only detail she gave were their names.
After talking a while on the space telephone he began to describe her father, how tall he was, the colour of his hair and the uniform he was wearing, all in minute detail. Then he remarked on several dogs that were with him, their breed and their markings. Everything about her dad’s dogs was spot on.
There was also a woman standing beside him who, said the spirit man, was called Anne, a school teacher. “Then you’ve got the wrong couple,” she said disappointingly, “my mum’s name was Catherine.” Message over.
And there it would’ve ended had my mother not heard the account, years later. “School teacher?” she asked. “Then that would be Anne…”
According to mum, Anne had been the officer’s first true love but her family strongly disapproved and put an end to the romance. Mother was the only one in the family to have met this particular girlfriend, and she remembered her well.
So if my past labs and spaniels are enjoying eternity, then the only thing I want to know now is whether you’re allowed guns up there as well…