As to animals. A couple of items tickled me to comment, since I love pets and feel so connected to animals. (If I were to have continued down one life path, I would have been a biologist or zoologist…love that stuff!) In regards to relationships with animals, pets particularly, this is how I’ve come to understand it.
Like everything else in a dualistic universe where the “me” and “other” perception, is dominant at the foreground of being, then animals, rocks, experiences, stuff in general, are things with which we interact. We have relationships with that thing. Hence, anything we relate to, we can form attachments with (bonds or karmas). And Karma has a built-in memory to it. Only karmic resolution might yield disillusion of it. And I might add, if AGAPE is the way of the universe, then certainly, our memory of either occurrence might have duration far longer than the event or karmic ribbon itself. So, it makes perfect sense to me that we have relationships, positive or negative, with a given “hive soul” being.
I’ve barrowed a term from old Wiccan teachings, such an animal is referred to as a “familiar”. The bond between person and familiar can span an entire cycle. Why do you think many animals retain the ability to see spirits? While many of us with a mind (and its filters) cannot readily do so? Because they do not limit themselves. In any case, as an animal begins to be less an “instinctive reactive” member of its hive class programming, and begins the formation of individuation from the development of a rudimentary but slowly expanding thought process, then it makes sense to get imprinting from a human being. Remember, all life (and souls) are not a different type of being, just a different degree of being which is evolving. Does this process sound familiar Michael Students? Isn’t that what we are doing taping into Michael’s energy?