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Reincarnation as a Dog

Updated on April 10, 2011

Do you have a special kinship with your pet that sparks the question of whether it is the embodiment of a sprit you've known before?

I've had that experience. I was convinced that the very first dog I ever adopted was the reincarnation of my beloved grandfather coming back to watch over me. We were definitely meant to be together.

My bond with my grandfather is something that transcends death. Almost 20 years after his passing, I still feel his presence and spirit, and for a time, I was sure that he had come back and was living with me in the form of my cherished dog. After all, he always new that I loved and adored dogs.

Just two years after my grandfather passed, I walked into an animal shelter and was immediately smitten with a 1-year-old terrier mix named Mickey. At the time, all I was registering was how much he resembled Toto from the Wizard of Oz, my all time favorite movie, so it seemed all the more fitting that I should be his dog mom.

It wasn't until I got Mickey home and learned more about his personality that I began to feel that maybe he was more than just a dog -- more like an angel reincarnated as a dog to watch over me. My grandfather knew that the Wizard of Oz was an obsession for me, so naturally, it would make sense for him to reunite with me via a Toto look-alike.

What's more, given the courses of nature, I figured that two years was a reasonable period of time for my grandfather to find another body to inhabit. As is characteristic of terriers, Mickey was quite clever, persistently determined, and highly intelligent. Traits, interestingly enough, that I also used to attribute to my grandfather.

When I would look deep into Mickey's eyes, it was like I was looking into the soul of my grandfather, a kindred spirit that seemed to instinctively know, understand, and love me. Mickey was my constant and most precious companion during a solitary time when I was trying to establish myself. I never went anywhere without him, and everyone around me knew that spending time with me meant also having to tolerate my dog.

I was absolutely blessed to have Mickey in my life for 13 years, and he was extra special to me because of the connection to my grandfather. I treasured every minute with him. During our time together, I did my utmost best to provide well for him and keep him healthy and very happy. When the time came to put him down and say goodbye, the grief was doubled by the fact that on some level, I felt that I was saying farewell to my grandfather all over again.


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