white shih tzu puppy on fabric sofa chair

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I recently had the honor of speaking with a dog who had lost a human member of the family.  She was a companion to the 99 year old lady who had recently passed away.  She and the daughter of the lady who had passed were the ones left in the home.  For the daughter who was left her Mom was her everything and she had been caring for her Mom for quite awhile.  It was always just the two of them and their beloved pets.  One long time pet had crossed over and they now had a new companion who was quite a personality.  

The session was scheduled for me to speak with the dog because she was exhibiting very sad and depressed behavior and everyone was wondering how to help her with the passing of her companion.  Another reason for reaching out to me was because she had been looking for another dog to bring into the home as a companion since the lady was now gone and the little dog was alone all day.  Even in her struggles to go on after the death of her Mom the lady was mostly concerned for her little dog and how to help her. 

So I began the session thinking that we would be dealing with grief and deep sadness from this little dog at the loss of her constant companion but that was not to be!

What a wonderful blessing this little dog was to the woman grieving the loss of her Mom because she said “every time I think of her I smile.  I get so happy when I think of her now because I know that she is in Heaven and happy and well and whole and with all her loved ones who have gone before.  I am not sad for her, I am happy every time she comes to my mind.  I get so happy thinking about her being whole and perfectly in Spirit!  My heart rejoices for her.” 

So, why the grief?  Well as it turns out this little dog was taking on all the grief of her human and responding in kind.  This was not her grief but that of her person.  So often we think our animals are depressed and reach out for help for them only to find out it is our grief and issues they are taking on.  Our animals are like hugh refrigerator magnets taking all of our emotions and pain onto themselves.  That is the level of love they have for us.  Your grief is their grief.  Your pain becomes their pain and so the story goes.

This lady’s religion and belief consisted of deep grief  for those who have passed, regular visits to the cemetery and a feeling of permanent loss.  However, this one little dog changed her thinking forever.  The little dog asked her to please go out and get living plants for all over the house.  She asked that the windows be opened and living things be brought into the house to celebrate living not death.  She asked the  lady to try just for one day to be happy when she thought of her Mom being in Heaven and then maybe again the next. 

So this lady learned to deal with the loss of a loved one in a whole different way.  As we spoke to the little dog I could feel this woman’s grief lifting.  I could feel her tapping into the emotions of her beloved pet and getting happy and excited when she thought of her Mom instead of depressed.  This one little dog taught her to be happy when she thought about her Mom in Heaven instead of depressed.  This was the way her little friend dealt with the loss and it was life changing for her. 

I could tell in the beginning of the conversation that this lady did not know how to process death in this manner.  However, her love for her pet led her forward into this session and she really opened her heart to listen to this little girl who seemed to have all the answers to grief and I was happy to be a part of that kind of joy for the crossing of a loved one.

Grief literally turned into a celebration!  A session that was thought to be about loss and sadness turned out to be one of joy and uplifting excitement at the thought of this wonderful 99 year old woman who had returned home to Spirit and it all came from this amazing little dog who had nothing but joy around the passing of her friend.

You see, this one little dog showed us that day that when we think about our loved ones who have crossed we should get excited, wag our tails and do our happy dance because they are in Heaven, whole, well and beyond any physical demands or illnesses.  This is how she chose to send her loved one off.  Not with grief and constant remembrance of the sadness of the situation.

The fact that she asked for living plants to be brought in and windows opened to breath in fresh air and take in life was a simple suggestion to her human not to wallow in her grief and concept of death.  I believe with all my heart that this little dog changed the way her human will forever think of death. 

“I smile every time I think of her and where she is now” is such a better way to remember our loved ones who have crossed.  Perhaps it is in the wisdom of our pets that we will learn what it truly means to  be joyful in the knowledge that our loved ones are at peace and in a place we can only try to imagine. 

The most amazing part of this story is that I initially met this little dog just the Summer before when she was a rescue.  The lady and her elderly mother had adopted this little girl through a rescue organization and gave her a home when she was abandoned by her family.  Oh how this little one shined when she was called on to rescue them! 







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