Life isn’t quite the same when a furry spirit enters or appears to leave your life.
I had a morning paper route when I was a kid. One freezing winter’s morning, I was trudging through a foot of snow and pondering the meaning of life. Suddenly, I saw something moving in the predawn darkness ahead. As I got closer, I saw it was a little mixed beagle puppy that was trying to eat frozen poop. She was emaciated, shivering, and looked like she wasn’t long for this world.
I scooped her up and took off my glove to pet her. She licked my hand and stole my heart. (Hey, that would be a good title for a country-western song!) That dog knew a soft touch when she saw one. My new best friend spent the rest of my route bundled up under my coat and became part of our family.
Well, she almost didn’t. When I got home, my little brother and sister were all excited that we had a new pet. My mom and dad – not so much. They said ‘No, absolutely not. We are not getting a dog.” My siblings’ shrieks of joy turned to crying. As tears ran down my cheeks, I sobbed, “If she goes, I go!”
That approach worked. Fifty-five years later, my mom still jokes that she could have gotten rid of both of us at once.
And so began our life with Snoopy. She became, alternately, our rescue project, friend, protector, and longtime companion. If you’re reading this article, you no doubt have your own story about a favorite pet who entered your life.
Understandably, some people are closer to their pets than other humans. Many furry friends are loyal, loving, grateful, and always there. Those are qualities sometimes lacking in humans. So it’s no surprise that many people grieve deeply when a beloved animal moves back into the field of all possibilities.
The stages of grief that occur can be similar to those when human friends graduate from earth school. You may experience denial, anger, bargaining, and depression, before accepting that your beloved pet is no longer present in the physical. These emotions can surface in no particular order and jump back and forth. You may good days and then have sadness triggered by a memory or finding a play toy while cleaning.
Questions about what happens after your pet transitions from earth are also very much the same. Nearly every day, I’m asked by someone around the world: “Is my cat still alive in another form and place?” Or, “My dog died; is he still happy and peaceful?” And, invariably, the biggest and most important question: “Will I see my dear beloved pet again?”
Here’s a recent one from Susan. . .
Q: I’ve always wondered if animals join us in the afterlife? It would seem an awful waste if our pets were just unconditionally loving and accepting props for us to enjoy while on Earth and then that’s it—nothingness.
A: Yes, as you say, it would bean incredible waste of energy and love for any life form to cease existence after physical death. The universe can certainly do better than that. There’s good evidence that the consciousness/ energy of all life – people, pets, and plants – continues on into the next page of life’s never-ending saga. This evidence comes from:
1. Documented near-death experiencers who report seeing ‘departed’ pets during their visit into the Light
2. Evidential mediums who communicate the presence of pets who have passed on. These sensorily gifted people often relay detailed and accurate information that they could never know.
3. After-death communications (ADCs) while awake or dreaming can involve beloved pets who have crossed over. That at least some ADCs are actual visits is indicated by evidential and shared experiences.
4. Miracles that involve pets.
- Scientific laws that show energy cannot be destroyed, but only changes form.Truly unconditional love and acceptance are so special and important that surely Life Itself recycles it.
Pets can show up when they are most needed. After my big first love break-up, I was feeling pretty alone and sad. A good friend brought me a beautiful kitten she had named Liebe, a German word for love.
Liebe was a very loving friend who spent many hours resting on my shoulders while I studied and wrote during part of graduate school. She brought companionship when I was alone a lot. Liebe gave me someone to talk to when I couldn’t afford counseling. She was my first cat and I learned why some people love cats so dearly.
Interestingly, shortly after I was in a good relationship, Liebe disappeared. We looked and looked for her, but with no success. Maybe her mission was completed?
Decades later, Miss B— who looked exactly like Liebe — blessed us with her presence and spirit for many years. And that great cat — the best I’ve ever been around —may have just now assisted with a technological mini-miracle. Let me explain.
WordPress is the software platform I use for the SoulProof.com website. I’ve added new articles many times so was perplexed when my first version of this one — When Your Pet “Dies”— wouldn’t open correctly. I checked my directions, even though I knew I was doing it right, and tried it again. Still no success.
A third try . . . no luck. I was just about to email my tech guy when a subtle voice or thought came in: “Maybe it’s not working because you haven’t mentioned Miss B in the article.”
The article was already fairly long and I couldn’t think of any impressive timing or meaning about her. She was just the coolest, most loving, and kick-butt cat I’ve ever had the pleasure of owning. So I discounted the idea as ludicrous.
I added a different new article “Are You or a Loved One a Sensitive or Empath?”and everything worked just fine. Hmmm, maybe I could just try mentioning Miss B. I silently resolved to tell this story if, indeed, adding a bit about her cleared up the problem.
I added just one sentence as shown a few paragraphs above: “Decades later, Miss B — who looked exactly like Liebe — blessed us with her presence and spirit for several years.” Then I went through the very same set of steps as before and . . . voila! It worked perfectly.
A skeptic would call it coincidence. I believe it was a message from her so I can add yet another bit to the many pieces of evidence that life is never-ending.
Then I remembered how Miss B came into our lives. My girlfriend Andy and I drove to a remote lake to kayak. Ours was the only car in the area and, as we started unloading our gear, a cat appeared. She was very thin but had a great personality. The cat rubbed against our legs and let us pet her.
Andy wanted to take her home. I said, ‘No way!’ I don’t need another cat.’ She felt like this was a great cat who had come to us and persisted. I said, ‘OK, if that cat is still here when we return, we’ll take her home.’ (We would be gone several hours and I thought there was no way she would still be there.)
When we pulled our kayaks out of the water, there she was, laying in the shade just under the front of the car with her front paws crossed. It was as if she was saying, ‘I’m still here. Let’s go home.’
Departed pets can visit after physical death as illustrated by the following story that blessed several people over time. Heidi Armbruster had a cat named Lucky that passed over at age twenty-one. As you will see, the ADC with Lucky prepared Heidi and her family for a very difficult time. She states:
I wasn’t a religious person and never really believed in life after ‘death’ but the following experience in 1990 changed my beliefs. I had just laid down in bed for the night. I was still awake when I felt that someone was calling for me. I sat up and thought, “I can’t go. If Bill (her husband) wakes up,he’llwonder where I am.” That didn’t seem to matter because before I knew it I was going down our hall. I didn’t make theconscious decision to go and I actually do not remember getting up and walking.
I noticed a very bright light coming from our son’s bed- room. I looked in and saw my cat Lucky who had passed on about four months earlier. She was rolling around on her back the way cats do when they feel good. She appeared young and didn’t have her arthritis anymore. I was amazed at how brightit was in the room. I looked at the window and thought, “the sun isn’t out and the light in the room isn’t thisbright.”
I knew that someone was behind me. It seemed like the person was dressed in a white robe; I felt it was Jesus. I remember thinking how warm and peaceful I felt—I had never felt anything like it. I looked down at my feet, but it was like they weren’t there. I reached for my cat with both hands to touchher but a man’s voice said, “No, don’t touch her.” I immediately pulled my hands back to my chest and realized, “That’s right, I don’t want to ruin it for her.” After a while, she started to fade away. I felt sad that she was going, and then it wasover.
I didn’t tell anyone about this until my husband and I were watching a TV show about near-death experiences a month later. I told Bill because my experience was so similar and he felt it was from ‘God.’ I also eventually told my father. Dad asked me to tell him the story again four times during the week before he passed on even though he wasn’t ill and his ‘death’ was totally unexpected.
Our son Mike was killed in a car accident on January 13, 2001. I cannot begin to put into words how difficult that was, but the experience I had with Lucky eleven years ago helped us through this terrible time. We KNOW Mike is still with us because we have had several contacts from him. We missMike’s physical presence very much, but we have the peace of mind that he is alive and well in another place.
Pets can also help us when we are facing a fork in the road. In 1981, I was trying to decide whether to become a D.C. (doctor of chiropractic) or M.D. One day, a stray cat arrived at our isolated home in the country. She was starving, had severe mange, and walked with a limp. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that there were many hard lumps under her skin and her paralyzed tail was covered with feces.
I had worked with vets for several years and was a skilled dissector so I went to work. The bumps were shotgun pellets just under the skin and I removed those. I gave her a haircut and started treatment for the mange. But the paralyzed tail, weak back legs, and chronic diarrhea continued. It was no fun wiping off her tail several times each day. So, despite having little money, I took Daisy to a veterinarian.
My girlfriend at the time was driving and I had the cat on my lap – on top of a towel, of course. The vet said the cat was probably hit by a car and her nerves were permanently damaged. He said we could euthanize her or keep lots of toilet paper around.
On the long drive home, I was reading a book about chiropractic that showed how the nerves from the lower back supply the bowels, legs and, in an animal’s case, the tail. It described how specific spinal adjustments could remove slight nerve pressure and allow normal functioning of associated organs and muscles.
All at once, the proverbial light bulb went on. I didn’t know how to adjust a spine, but the cat’s tail provided a way to traction the lumbar area. I stabilized Daisy’s pelvis, took a deep breath, and firmly pulled on her tail. She meowed loudly and her tail moved spastically.
I repeated my crude spinal adjustments every few days and, within a month or two, her bowels, legs, and tail worked normally.
We took her back to the vet for some shots. He said Lucy’s recovery was a miracle and he had no explanation for how such serious paralysis and bowel dysfunction could heal.
I took that as my sign about which physician training to pursue.
Here’s another question from a subscriber to the Soul Proofnewsletter:
Q: My beloved dog died recently. I was closer to him than most people. Will he continue on in some fashion or is that only for people? – Elle
A: Great question, Elle! The light and energy in all life—humans, animals, and plants—is indestructible. After physical death, it moves on into another time and place.
As mentioned above, much clinical evidence indicates that:
- Your beloved animals will be present when you pass on and enjoy a wonderful reunion. The movie Talking to Heavenbeautifully portrays this.
- They may appear to you as you knew them before—in physical pet appearing form—or in a more ethereal way with multi-colored light.But you will recognize them and know that you are now seeing their full essence.
- Your dear pets who have changed worlds may come back to you as another pet during this earth-experience.Circumstances, markings, and mannerisms may strongly suggest this is so.
- As with humans, you may detect the presence of your pets who may be very near and reminding you that no one really dies. You may sense their presence, hear them bark or purr, feel them move about, or have a sudden and vivid memory that warms your heart.5. You need not worry about death stopping your connection with beloved people or pets.
I lived in other cities and states as I went through pre-med, theological, and clinical psychology training. But I visited my folks whenever I could and always enjoyed seeing Snoopy, petting her, and getting dog kisses. I was twenty-seven years old, so Snoopy was the equivalent of over one-hundred. Funny how that works.
(As a side note, my current veterinarian and long-time neighbor has practiced as a vet for 35 years. He grew up on a farm and his dad was the dean of a vet school so he is very knowledgeable. I asked him why animals age so rapidly compared to humans. They have a very similar anatomy and physiology and many live healthier lives than people. He had no idea.)
Whenever I find a puzzling situation like that for which there is no clear physical explanation, I consider emotional and spiritual factors. Here are a few possibilities:
- Pets live shorter lives to prepare us for our own death and that of human loved ones.
- Our furry friends don’t have karmic and growth lessons to learn like people do and don’t need long earthly experiences.
- Their wide open hearts and spirits only allow them to endure earth’s density and lower energies for a short time.
- They teach us how to love and live in the present moment. When we learn those lessons a bit more, they move on to help and heal others.
Back to Snoopy . . .
Nearly blind, very arthritic, and totally deaf, she walked with a slow hobble, but still enjoyed visits from family members. I hadn’t been home for several months since I was wrapping up a thesis and master’s degree several states away.
When I came home, I noticed how poorly Snoopy was doing. She was moving very slowly but still came out to get and give some loving. Later that day, as we ate dinner on the back patio, we heard the screech of a car’s tires on the road. Running out, I saw Snoopy lying in the road. The driver felt so bad, “She just walked right across the road like she couldn’t see or hear me” he said.
My dad started to call the vet, but I told him it was too late. I could feel that her spine had been broken in two. She laid still for a few minutes as everyone petted her and told her how much they loved her. Then she closed her big brown eyes and took her last earthly breath this time around on this planet.
I buried her beside the big maple tree in the back yard, the one with such magnificent red and yellow colors every autumn. Those colors seemed brighter and bolder every year after. Thirty-eight years later, we still talk about Snoopy with love and gratitude for having such a fine friend in our lives.
If you have loved and “lost” a furry friend, please know that life and love are forever. You will see him or her again – perhaps sooner than you think. Pets help us remember the most important lessons in life: to love unconditionally, to accept others for who and how they are, and fully enjoy life’s precious moments. Here’s to the day when more humans can live with a fraction of that love and acceptance.
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Thank you for sharing this article with others who can use it. I hope that this article – and taking the action steps discussed – help
you feel more happy, healthy, peaceful, clear, and energetic. You deserve to feel that way and the world needs your greatest gifts.
Life and love are forever. Shall we live accordingly?
Mark Pitstick, MA, DC is an author, master’s clinical psychologist, holistic chiropractic physician, frequent media guest, and workshop facilitator. He is director of The Soul Phone Foundation, co–founder of Greater Reality Living Groups,and board member of Helping Parents Heal. Dr. Pitstick can help you know and show– no matter what is going on around you – that your earthly experience is a totally safe, meaningful, and magnificent adventure amidst forever. Visit About Dr. Mark Pitstickfor his full bio.
Note: Because of his many outreaches, Dr. Pitstick can no longer answer complex and multiple questions from individuals. However, he has created many resources to answer your biggest questions and provide holistic solutions to your toughest challenges.
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Disclaimer:This information is not designed to replace medical or psychological care. My remarks are based on over forty-five years of study, training, personal experience, and professional service. Extensive clinical, scientific, and empirical evidence supports much, but not all, of what I say. My current best understandings may change over time. I do not claim to have all the answers or the only answers. My hope is that this information assists you to consider what makes the most sense to you.