Doctor….Do Dead Pets Watch Over Us?

Grief counselor Dana Durrance asks a good question for a late night discussion: do you believe departed pets come back to visit? And is this a discussion you would even want to have with your vet?

I’ve been reading a terrific book by a famous and well-known medium named Concetta Bertoldi (she consults regularly with members of Britain’s royal family as well as with American celebrities and politicians). Her book, “Do Dead People Watch You Shower?” is a fascinating compilation of all the questions she’s been asked over the years about life after death, and what she has said in reply.

One of the questions posed to her involved pets. Question: “Are our pets waiting for us on the other the side?” Her response was very interesting to me so I’d like to paraphrase it here…”Of course our pets are waiting for us. Pets give us the nearest thing to unconditional love we can ever know on this side. Often, when I’m doing a reading, someone on the other side will tell me to tell my client, “your dog is here or Whiskers can hardly wait to see you again.

Sometimes a pet doesn’t even wait for you to cross; they come back and visit you on this side in various ways. People who dream about their pets or claim to see them for brief glimpses are probably being visited by that beloved pet who is checking to see if you are all right.”

What do you all think? During times of pet death or euthanasia at our hospital, we often will get questions like this about pet souls, what happens to them after death, and if we will ever see them again. As a veterinary professional, it can get really tricky when a client asks these types of questions. You don’t want to risk upsetting your client if their beliefs are very different from your own and yet it’s nice to be able to express what you truly believe.

How about you? Would you like your veterinarian (veterinary hospital) to give you his/her honest opinions about pet death, pet souls, and the after-life? I’d like to hear your opinions.

–Dana Durrance, www.vetwisdomcafe.com

Dana Durrance is a veterinary grief counselor and the former director of the Changes program at the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. She and her veterinarian husband own Mountain Shadows Pet Hospital in Colorado Springs, CO.

Filed: Blogathon, Blogathon 2010 Tagged: ,
  • TaxiLab

    Yes, I think our pets are waiting for us. They better be, or I’m going to be mighty mad when I cross over! I read a cool idea one time that children who die are taking care of all the pets who are waiting for their owners. That makes me feel better about both the children and the pets.

    And I want to hear what the vet thinks only if it agrees with my opinion ;) I’d hate to hear a vet tell me no, pets don’t cross over and you’ll never see them again.

    • Barry Waterfield

      why would you bother about the Vets opinion. Has he or she direct knowledge, have they had a near death experience and found there to be noting there but a big sign that says ”Nothing Doing”. Of course they haven’t and whilst we’re about it neither have the ”holy men” or the Doctors although this last group is trying to investigate NDE’s or so I’m told. I take no ones opinion but my own on this matter so the Vet is wasting his or her time. You do realise that most vets have carried out experiments on live animals when they were at college. Mine even goes hunting. I made up my mind quite a long time ago to have done with vets and that still stands with the possible exception of motor accidents. I would call the vet for euthanasia but even then I’d prefer a natural death for my pet if at all possible and I certainly would not be interested in a ‘chat’.

  • Lisa W

    I’m with TaxiLab — they better not tell me no! I recently read a column by a minister who said that, although he loves pets, they do not have souls and therefore do not go to heaven. But then he kind of backtracked with some flimsy reason that he thinks we will see our pets again. It just made me mad. I am unsure about my spiritual beliefs these days, but the one thing I hold to is being iwth my Bailey and my grandparents again.

    • Barry Waterfield

      What on earth makes you think a Priest knows anything. They sellers of bunk and high priced bunk at that, talk about ‘nice work if you can get it’

  • julie g.

    My last two vets were older men and I don’t think I would have asked them :), as I already know that their souls never forget us and we can call on them in time of need.

    A completely new to me vet, a strange if you will, hugged me hard at the animal hospital rigt after the death of my last dog, Kodiak (12 y.o. rottie passed of bone cancer) and THAT meant more to me than anything they could have said or done. Maybe they felt compelled to do it, I don’t know, but they showed their opinions that way.

    I don’t need to know your (the vet’s) beliefs but I do need to know you stand beside me when I bring my animals in to you for help, ESPECIALLY at that time.

    So many animals are euthanised everyday because they have no home here; I like to think they are being sent on to one that is safe, sound and will remove all their pain and confusion.

  • http://www.vetwisdomcafe.com Tammy

    My sister experienced a member of the clergy who, instead of offering any comfort after a pet’s death, insisted that animals have no souls and won’t be seen again. Now, that may be what he believed, but have some compassion and help your parishioner deal with the grief rather than just laying that out there. (My humble opinion at least.) I’m not a religious person, so as to heaven/after life… I’m not sure. But I do know I feel as if our pets who have died somehow watch over us, maybe even come visit us, something like that.

  • maggie b

    If it is true that “matter can be neither created nor destroyed” and it is true that “As is above so is below” (the micros reflects the macros), then it also follows that the spirit can be neither created nor destroyed. The spirit is that portion of our being that animates flesh. Without the spirit, flesh rots. I view the spirit as a manifestation of the Spirit of God. When the spirit leaves an animal what is God going to say, “Oh I don’t want that portion of my spirit?”? No, the spirit returns to God just as our spirit does. Said best by The Incredible String Band, “Whatever you think, it’s more than that”. Question everything and find truths that resonate within. Let others do the same.

  • rachel

    As an atheist, I would love to believe that my cat is waiting for me, but I know she is not. Still, I think I’d rather be told about Rainbow Bridge than have to think about never seeing her again. It is funny how I can accept death being the end all for humans but I’d rather hear a comforting story about reunion for a pet.

  • Tassia

    I went through a soul-searching period a few years ago, I was trying to figure out what I really believed in. What I realized was that I had no idea what to believe in, that regardless of how far science has come, everything is still just a theory, and therefore as valid as any other theory.

    I’ve also had too many unexplained phenomena happen to myself and family members/close friends that I can’t just say definitively that we live, we die, and that’s it.

    My mom’s heart animal was a cat, her name was Shadow. Shadow came in through her bedroom window one night when she first moved in with my dad, and she stayed with my mom until she died 19 years later.

    Thing is, I don’t think Shadow ever left. Not really. There was a gap of about 8 years where we did not have a cat. The only living descendant of hers was her daughter, Grizzy, who lived with my eldest sister who was, at that point, already living her own life with her own family.

    There were many many nights, more nights that it would happen than not, where I, my sister, and any of our friends that happened to be over at the time would hear Shadow howling in the basement. She used to do it all the time, just randomly howl at night at the walls, and somehow that didn’t stop even after she had died.

    I have no explanation for it, all I can think is that she was still there with us, watching over us. My mom heard the howls too, but she thought it was in her head and that she was just missing her so much, but when friends of mine who had never even met Shadow before could hear it too, I can’t just write it off as wishful thinking, or my entire family’s minds playing tricks on us.

    The howling stopped after Grizzy passed away many years later, she was 24. Maybe Shadow was just waiting for her daughter, or maybe they figured we were okay now. I don’t know.

    I like to think that there’s another existence beyond this, that death is just part of our journey. Something to be embraced, not feared. It gives me comfort to think that the ones I love, furry or otherwise, are just waiting for me to begin the next step of my journey.

  • Chile

    I sincerely believe that our pets watch over us. My sister has talked of our childhood OES visiting her and there have been numerous occasions that Blade has visited me. Not nearly as often as I would like but he has visited me: from things as small as his light up dog tag flashing in a dark closet, to Cookie finding his long lost denta-ball and it becoming her favorite toy, to my right ear burning ever so often to Cookie howling in the middle of the night when she had never howled before. He’s left me signs that he’s still around and I hold each encounter close to my heart.

    As for what my vet believes? I’m not sure and I don’t know if I’d want to hear what he would have to say because what if it totally conflicted with what I felt and put doubt in my heart? I’ve had “friends” tell me I’ll never see Blade again and it breaks my heart. Maybe I’m being stubborn in that I only want people to tell me that their beliefs coincide with mine. I know I’ve struggled with it over the last 3 years since losing Blade but I have to believe he’s there waiting for me. I just have to.

  • http://www.mutleyandme.org Pat D

    What about my beloved dog that died because a veterinarian didn’t care and used a drug Xylazine labeled for cattle & horses, which the drug manufacturer stated NOT recommended for cats & dogs? (Without my permission.) Do you think he will look over me? I hope he looks at the veterinarian that harmed him. I do believe in God therefore I know my dog will be justified.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_V2QZQCAGUDNMV3DMUOESTC6S2I hugegreatfairy

    Well I’m not sure. A vet might be an excellent animal doctor, but he/she might be influenced by Biblical doctrine for instance….or might be influenced by some other religious/spiritual doctrine which states this and that exactly about how they re-incarnate (for example)
    I’d rather they just shed an honest tear in memory of a good dog or cat, and said “hold on to that love that dog taught you because love like that will be the only thing that saves you”

  • http://angelasdiscountmarket.com/angela.html AngelaE8654

    I’m with hugegreatfairy. The vets are great vets, but I don’t consider them qualified to answer questions about our pets after death OR their belief systems might not mesh with ours. Bernard J. Coombs, the author of All Creatures Do Go To Heaven, had this to say:

    Over my 86 years of life I have loved and lost many pets, so about
    thirty-five years ago I decided to search out the truth, from the only
    instruction book that our GOD needs to give us “The Holy Bible”.

    It took me over twenty years to write “All Creatures do go to Heaven – proved
    from the original languages of the Holy Scriptures”. You can read the whole
    book online.

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  • justincarlisle

    Many people are curious to know what happens to our pets when they die, well just like humans, the souls of our pets do not ‘die’. Their spirits
    often stay with us following their ‘physical’ death, but their spirits
    remain to provide us with the same companionship and love as they did
    when alive.

    vet website

  • ashley

    I believe my cat came to see me tonight. I couldnt see him, but I could feel him.

  • willbouton

    Animals are alive and well on the ‘Other Side’. All the animals that
    exist on earth, exist on ‘The Other Side’, without fear or
    aggression and they are appropriately cherished and respected as the
    pure, innocent spiritual creatures that they are.

    vet liverpool

  • http://twitter.com/unitlocks unit locks

    i believe they go with us pain behind knee

  • Flazhto

    I think they do like us humans do.

    Agen bola

  • Barry Waterfield

    I don’t need anyone else’s opinion. I’m likely to be as good a judge as they are when it comes to a dimension about which we know nothing for sure.No matter how well trained a professional you are or how much you may have studied the Bible or the Koran or whatever, there is only one thing we know for sure and that is that we no absolutely nothing. It’s not that I wish to be rude but the vet, doctor, priest or whatever can keep their opinions to themselves, I’ll never ask any of them and the vet is paid to do a job not give me the benefit of his or her experience.