- Religion and Philosophy
Our Pets And The Spiritual - Encounters From Beyond
The loss of your pet isn't the end
"Animals never worry about heaven or hell. Neither do I. Maybe that's why we get along." -
Charles Bukowski. Poet and Novelist.
Losing your beloved pet is a devastating experience. People undergo bereavement as they would when a family member or friend dies.
An additional problem is that we are sometimes never sure if our pets understand how much we love them and how much we will miss them. This can cause added stress when a pet has died.
The first comforting thing to realise is this. Animals - very much like young children - accept death in a way that we don't.
The second point is that there’s a huge body of evidence that pointing to the fact that our pets do survive physical death the same as human beings. This includes all kinds of animals not just the more common pets such as cats and dogs.
Lets then have a look at some stories that show how our pets do survive.
Pets surviving death
"If having a soul means being able to feel love, loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better than a lot of humans."
James Herriot, Author and Vet.
Here are a couple of stories, from the many thousands, that illustrates pets surviving physical death.
A couple who had recently lost their pet cat after it had suffered a long illness, were washing dishes in the kitchen one evening not long afterwards. The woman of the house - Marjie - saw a black shadow walk in between her husband and the table. The shadow turned and came towards her. As it did so, it took the shape of Misty their beautiful cat who had been put to sleep a few weeks earlier.
Marjie and her husband, Brian, both saw Misty take full form - a very rare experience. The cat then sat down on the kitchen floor, quite content and looked up at them intently. Marjie felt that their pet was trying to communicate with them. The cat at this point looked solid and was not transparent as many spirits are claimed to be. The couple believed their pet was reassuring them that she was still around and well.
They saw fleeting glimpses of Misty afterwards. On one particular occasion, Brian was lying on the settee sleeping during a particular nasty flu bug. Just after waking, but not quite alert, he felt a silky, warm head move under his out-stretched hand and heard a soft purr. Brian opened his eyes expecting to see a cat, but there was nothing to be seen. The couple felt strongly that this could have been Misty giving Brian some comfort while he was unwell.
Jean Wilson related an experience she had when she was a child about 8 years of age. She had recently moved with her parents into her Gran's house as their own home had been badly gutted by fire. The family were still obviously distressed and traumatised by the ordeal. But Jean's Gran did her best to comfort the family. Jean's Dad worked nightshifts at this time in the local shipyard and so she shared a bed with her Mum at night.
Jean awoke one night to see the shadow of a tall man leaning over her Mum as she lay sleeping. At the same time, Jean saw the shadow of a large dog come bounding up to her side of the bed. Jean said that the dog jumped up, putting his front paws on the bed, but he felt very light and not heavy as she expected. She couldn't see distinct features but their outlines were very vivid. She wasn't frightened at all and felt that she some how knew the man and the dog. After a second or two the man beckoned to the dog and both disappeared.
Jean related her story to her Mum and Gran in the morning expecting them to laugh at her, but they didn't. Instead, her Gran went to a side cupboard and brought out a bundle of photographs. Jean looked through images of different people and a couple of the photos even had dogs. But none were like the man or the dog she had seen. There were only four photos left when one looked familiar. It was a picture of a tall man and a black Labrador. She again had that curious feeling of knowing them even although she had never met them. When she said this to her Mum and Gran they didn't seemed surprised at all. Her Gran told her, "This is your Granddad and Brodie our Labrador dog".
Jean's Gran related how Brodie had died many years before her Granddad. But that Granddad would always say he could still see Brodie running around the house and in the garden. When Jean's Granddad was dying he told her Gran - "well Brodie will have company now."
Although Jean's Gran admitted she had never actually seen her husband or Brodie after they had died, she had heard and felt them and so knew they were around.
It seemed like Granddad and Brodie also paid Jean and her Mum a visit. Perhaps to be sure they were doing fine after the traumatic house fire?
Encounters With Spirit Pets
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
Anatole France - French journalist, Poet and Novelist.
There are so many accounts about dead pets visiting their owners they would fill a few books. So I’ve summarised the most common phenomena that tends to happen as well as a story to illustrate some of the points mentioned.
- Pets are not always seen but are felt. Owners describe feelings of fur brushing against legs, arms and their face. People also experience their pet lying close to them, sensing their weight. Pet owners have also reported hearing their pet making their own personal noise.
- Often there is just the sense of a presence. However, the sensation is so strong that the owner is sure their pet is present with them.
- Sometimes encounters with their pets will happen during the dream state. However, unlike usual dreams, these encounters are much stronger and vibrant and leave the owner in no doubt that they have met their dead pet.
- Visual sightings are rare but they do happen. If more than one person at different times happens to see the animal, then obviously this lends more credence to the sighting.
- The most common encounters with spirit pets involve dogs and cats. However, there are documented accounts of other types of pet being observed after death such as - horses, birds, rabbits, mice etc.
Why Can't I see and sense my pet?
- It should be remembered that although there are many thousands of accounts of spirit pets, like all genuine paranormal phenomena – experiences are very rare. Most people whose pets have died do not get any phenomena happening. This does not mean that their pet is not in spirit or not around them. They are there. You can't see or sense them because spirit energy is a higher vibrational rate from physical energy. This is the normal way of things.
- Paranormal phenomena will only manifest when a number of factors come together. These features include the environment and the emotional and physical state of witnesses.
- Emotions can block receptivity. In particular stress, grief, anger and agitation. Yearning to see your pet - or any other loved one - is unlikely to produce any results. The reason is that emotions are energy. The negative emotions in particular are a very dense form of energy that produces a barrier.
- A very deep relaxed state, but one where you are still aware, is the best condition for awareness of spirit activity. The best way to induce this state is through meditation.
- In addition, there needs to be some form of channel from the spiritual that penetrates physical energy. Animals tend to do this naturally and without effort. However, if people block this energy, as mentioned before, no spiritual energy can be sensed.
- Lastly, it seems that it’s very difficult for any kind of spiritual energy to break through into physical matter and stay there long enough to manifest. This is one of the main reasons why paranormal phenomena can be fleeting, unpredictable and indistinct.
The following is one example of where a spirit pet has been able to manifest, although not visually:
Derby, England 2009
Jed and Tania had always been cat lovers. So they were naturally devastated when their cat, Sonny, died even although he was a good age. Luckily the couple had four other cats to help them over their grief.
In life, Sonny was “the boss' - and as Jed says, 'not just over the other cats either, but he was always loving and playful.”
His favourite spot at nighttime was on top of a hand-made blanket that lay at the bottom of Jed and Tania's bed. Sonny would arrive in the bedroom about 20 minutes after Jed and Tania got into bed - jumping up onto the bed, snuggling into the blanket.
On numerous occasions after Sonny had died, they would hear the other cats suddenly making excited noises while pacing up and down. The cats would then move aside as if allowing something to pass by. Jed and Tania would then feel a weight on the blanket, just in the spot where Sonny used to lie.
This happened on at least four occasions over the years. The couple felt that although they never actually saw Sonny, they were sure their other cats could. It brought a great deal of comfort to them to know that Sonny was still around.
When our pets die do you believe they live on in spirit form?
More Pet Encounters
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
Here are another couple of examples of pet's revisiting their owners after death.
Danny was the much loved German Shepherd dog of Nancy and Peter. He was the grand old age of 14 when he died and obviously there was a lot of sadness when he passed on.
Danny had a particular spot where he slept, near to an old pantry door that was cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Around two months after Danny was put to sleep, Nancy and Peter were introduced to their son's girlfriend, Claire, who would later become their daughter-in-law.
Claire was in the kitchen making a cup of tea for Nancy and Peter when she was startled to see the face of a large German Shepherd dog looking through the window at her, but then it disappeared. Claire opened the back door and looked out, but the yard was empty and the gate to the street was locked. She explained to the family what she had seen, even to the scar at the side of the dog’s eye. Nancy and Peter were stunned - she had just described Danny! Nancy and Peter went onto to tell Claire that they had heard what sounded like Danny shuffling about getting comfortable in the area outside the pantry where he often slept. They had also by this time bought a pup and an older rescue dog. Neither of these dogs would lie in the spot where Danny slept, but slept just to the side of it, as if to give him his place.
Elizabeth had a pet dog called Laddie who she adored. He was not only her pet but also her protector. After Laddie died, the family and of course Elizabeth were grief stricken but life had to go on.
When Elizabeth started her walk home from school she saw a shadow of a dog that seemed to be waiting for her. The same shadow would meet Elizabeth after her piano lessons. Just as Elizabeth entered the house the shadow would disappear.
Elizabeth knew it was Laddie from the way the shadow dog would trundle just in front of her and from the shape. When winter was approaching Elizabeth's father suggested that he come to meet her after her piano lessons as the nights were getting dark. But Elizabeth said that there was no need as Laddie was still with her. Her Dad smiled and said, "So, you've seen him to?" He had also seen Laddie's spirit and Elizabeth was overjoyed to know that it was not just her imagination.
"What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected."
There are thousands of credible accounts of pets surviving physical death and living on in the world of spirit.
This fits in well with many theories that believe all life whether human, animal or plant has a life force energy that does not die but is merely transformed or released when the physical shell of life wears down.
It is devastating when we loose a pet and even although we feel that they may survive and live on, we still feel the loss very deeply. However, when this wound starts to heal then we can begin to appreciate the knowledge that one day we will meet up with them once more.
© 2011 Helen Murphy Howell