Pets make our life's journey a whole lot better. They are loved like a family member and friend. When it's time to say good-bye, the pain is real.
The lesson of loss is experienced over and over throughout our lifetime. The loss of a pet can be devastating.
One of the most painful experiences in my life was the loss for my beloved dog, Bogie. Bogie was my constant companion of nearly 17 years. He was my best friend and went everywhere with me. He was a frequent flyer and had more airline mileage than most people.
My first pet was the family dog when I was in the first grade. We were living in Jacksonville, Florida. Our neighbor had a beautiful German Shepherd. My siblings and I would play with her. She loved everyone in our family and we loved her. One day our neighbor decided to give us his dog because we could spend more time with her and give her a better home. Her name was Gambi. She protected all of us. We felt so safe with her that we didn’t even lock the front door.
When my father received orders from the Navy to move to San Diego, California, we took her with us. She loved swimming in the Pacific Ocean. She made many more moves with us until we finally ended up in Memphis, Tennessee. I was in college when she died. My father called me at the dormitory and gave me the sad news. I still remember crying when he told me. It was a huge loss for the family and my first experience of losing a pet.
After graduating from college I moved to Charleston, South Carolina. My neighbors had a beautiful pedigree Cocker Spaniel that was going to have puppies. They told me I could have one. I was so excited when the litter finally arrived. I chose the runt of the litter and named her Khaki. A few years later, I moved to California and she joined me. She was always there for me so losing her in an accident when she was eight years old was devastating. I’ve never really gotten over it.
Many years later I began practicing meditation and on business trips I would meditate in the evenings before going to bed. One particular night my meditation connected me to Khaki. She told me that the accident was not my fault. Tears streamed down my face while I was in my meditative state. I will always love her.
I believe that the universe connects us with our beloved pets whether it’s a cat, dog, bird, horse, snake, lizard, hamster, bunny, or fish. They are part of our life’s journey which includes the lessons we decided for this lifetime.
Long before I started working with spirit animals, I knew that there was something very special about my dog Bogie. Sometimes I felt the energy of a lion from him, and other times he had the energy of a horse and even an elephant. Is it possible that he had been these animals in his past lives? Surely, I knew him before — perhaps he was my horse in a past life. Anyone who met me with my dog, knew immediately that there was a special connection.
A dear friend of mine adopted her dog from her sister who had too much to handle at the time. Adopting the dog was not a mistake. It was meant to be. They had close bonds. Her dog, a Shih Tzu, would sleep on my friend’s chest especially on nights before my friend had to go on a business trip. Several years after my friend’s dog had passed away, she was planning her wedding. Weeks before the wedding, my friend started feeling pressure on her chest at night while lying in bed. I told her, “It’s your dog telling you that during this wonderful and exciting time, she will be here to accompany you.” I’m sure that her dog was walking proudly down the aisle with her.
Another friend told me of a story about when she went with friends for a session with a medium. (A medium is someone who can communicate with those who have transitioned to the spirit world.) As soon as my friend walked into the room, the medium told her that there was a dog walking next to her and proceeded to describe her dog exactly. There was no way the medium knew that she had a dog that passed away the year before. This validates that our departed love ones are always with us.
There is so much we cannot see or feel; and, there is so much love that binds us all together. If we can take down the barriers that blocks the love to and from our hearts, perhaps we too can see and feel this amazing energy of love.
There are many ways to deal with the loss of a pet. I sent out cards in memory of Bogie to my friends and family. I also sent a contribution in his honor to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (ASPCA). His ashes are sealed in a rock which is kept on top of an armoire at the end of the hallway in my home.
If you are mourning the loss of a pet, I highly recommended reading the book, Pets and the Afterlife by Rob Gutro.
Here are a few good books for children on losing a pet.
- For Every Dog an Angel, by Christine Davis
- I’ll Always Love You, by Hans Wilhelm
- When Shiner Died, by Rebecca S. Hauder
To read a special poem about the beautiful journey of a pet after death, click on the link below: