Mama’s Little Dog, Pretty Old Boy

Ah, terms of endearment for pets!  You know where this is going.  Well, actually, you don’t…

A couple days ago, I was telling a colleague about getting caught up in the book Heaven Is For Real while I was working with it on the job.  It is the tale of a young boy’s trip to Heaven and encounter with Jesus when he was hospitalized for intestinal problems and briefly died. The boy, a pastor’s son, kept casually mentioning the visit in conversation.  He had detailed encounters with family members who had died long before his birth, including a miscarried sister whom his parents had never mentioned.  Despite the fact that his brief death hadn’t been reported to his parents, they eventually realized something very unique had happened to their son, and they set about interviewing him thoroughly.  My colleague, in turn, told me how Betty J. Eadie’s Embraced By the Light had changed her life.

I picked up the Eadie book at the library yesterday.  The copy is an old paperback copy that looks embarrassingly like a Harlequin Romance, and like a Harlequin, it’s a quick read.  At least it was, until I was stopped in my tracks with a few lines about her journey down the dark, tranquil tunnel of death: “ I became aware of other people as well as animals traveling with me, but at a distance.  I could not see them, but I sensed that their experience was the same as mine.”

Animals.  Speeding to the Afterlife.  What a visual!  My cat, Spike.  My dog, Buck!  Could they really have taken that trip that humans have reported when they died and returned to this life?  It made my heart leap just to think of it.  Maybe I could see them again.

(As for the rest of this, I’m pleading the relative anonymity of the blog–sorta like pleading the fifth–for laying it out here.  Those of you who know me may have heard some of the following tales before, but others probably won’t be surprised.  For your consideration, here are a few strange events in my life…just reporting the facts!)

My cat died when I was eighteen years old and on a plane going to college.  Now, I knew the beast was old and didn’t have long to live; I just didn’t know he’d die right when I left him.  The strange part is that at one point during my flight, I swore I caught a glimpse of a black-and-white cat making its way among the seats.  Maybe it was my habit of spotting my cat, but he hadn’t been very active for months.  I’ve also never seen an animal on a plane (sorry, no snakes on a plane for me).  It was after I arrived at college that I learned my parents had found Spike dead when they returned from the airport.  (OK, I don’t make a habit of seeing dead pets, but I’m not the only one!  A college friend later revealed she had seen her dog on her bed, a week after the dog died.  Again, just the facts, Jack!)

Next sightings of the dead…dreams.  Could it be possible that we let down our guard in dreams and are more open to other influences?  If beloved humans and pets wanted to contact us from the beyond to reassure us, would they do it in a dream because it would frighten us less?  (Geez, I hope so.  I think I’d do it that way so my loved ones wouldn’t be at risk of being declared loons. *Oops*)  The facts: I’ve only had three dreams in my life that were in HD.  Yep, high-definition dreams.  That’s the only way to describe them.  They were different.  They looked saturated and bright, and they felt different.  And I’m not going to talk about the first one.  The second one, however, occurred a couple months after my mom died.

I was midway through my first pregnancy at the time, and my mom’s death was entirely unexpected.  It was a miserable time for the whole family.  However, maybe less so for my mom?  Mom had always suffered from depression, and even though she was an incredibly supportive and loving mother who would help you through anything (she did the same for the clients she counseled), she could never help herself.  Every day after work when I was young, my brothers and I would rush to the door to greet her when she came home from work.  We’d give her hugs, and that was the best it would get–the rest of the evening was all downhill from there.  She simply could not dig herself out from the depression, ever.  The dream of her hit me out of the blue.  I dreamed my mother was coming home from work, parking the old Chevy Vega in front of the old house I grew up in.  But as she came up the walk, she floated above it.  She came through the door, and we hugged her, but she was full of energy and real joy–a look I’d never seen on her face before!  That dream changed my grief, because from that point on I knew she was all right.

So when my old Labrador, Buck, died last fall, I hoped and hoped that I could see him again.  People bond with pets in a special way.  Pets aren’t moody; they have the most stable personalities I know.  They soak up all your tears, and they keep any secret you tell them, without fail.  I’ve heard people say that dogs pass along God’s love, and I’m inclined to believe it’s true. It was a little over a month after his death that I dreamed about Buck.  I was so excited–I couldn’t really tell if it was an HD dream or not.  I was lying in bed, yet I dreamed I was in the front room, and I heard the familiar clicking of claws in the hallway, and there he was, pushing against my legs again.  I told him, “I knew you’d come back!  I knew it!!!”  His bony head and body were sturdy and all filled out again.  He was all wag, all love.  I had worried about my choice to have him euthanized that bright fall day when he could no longer get up, but I finally felt it didn’t matter any more.  He understood, and he loved me anyway.

(Even weirder yet–I woke up crying, and I told my husband I had been dreaming about Buck.  He said, “I was dreaming about him, too!”)

I wasn’t planning to get all flaky in my blog, and I usually find it incredibly boring to hear about people’s dreams, but that part in Embraced By the Light just set me off.  I’ve spoken with several people who have had incredible dreams or visions of deceased people (and pets) they have loved.  These are quite normal people, and most of them are reluctant to share their stories.  However, without interpretation and with just-the-facts-Jack, these things happen, and they are powerful.

Cheese Dog Gnaws a Cow

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~ by rebuildingholly on March 25, 2012.

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