Andrew sent us this story about his life-long relationship with dogs, and how his dogs have taught him that the loving connection between master and pet continues despite the separation of physical death.
By Andrew A.
Please understand that we are just a ‘normal’, everyday family who never got interested in paranormal stuff or anything weird or spiritual.
We were never religious in any way, but we always believed in God and that all good, kind, loving people are going to be with God in Heaven. That sums up our spirituality for the most part. We never, ever thought we would encounter the things I am going to describe here. But, having experienced them, we have greatly expanded our ideas about the afterlife and all things spiritual.
I grew up with dogs and they were my best friends all through my childhood in Ontario, Canada. In 1987, I got married, moved to Massachusetts, and two years later we had a daughter. I wanted her to grow up with a dog like I did, so we adopted a two-year-old mini poodle from a woman who fostered rescued puppies when my daughter was about three months old in 1989. We called her Fluffy.
In 2000, when Fluffy was too old to play with, my daughter wanted a younger mini poodle, and I wanted to rescue another dog, so, after a lot of fruitless phone calls, eventually I found a breeder in New Hampshire who had a young adult dog that was not up to American Kennel Club specs, so she wanted to get rid of her.
We drove over two hours to see her and fell in love with her immediately. She was seven months old, white, with longer legs than a normal mini poodle and a beautiful, curved tail that arched over her back, even though it was cropped. When she walked, her hips swayed from side to side, like a sexy model; she really was a character.
My daughter called her Angel and she turned out to be that in every way. She was incredibly intelligent, intuitive, sensitive, caring, very perceptive and responsive to human emotions. Angel could run faster than every other dog besides a greyhound, because of her long legs, and she loved teasing other, much bigger dogs to chase her in the park, and then outrunning them to exhaustion.
About six months after we got Angel, my daughter saw an ad in a local magazine saying that two mini poodle puppies were available for adoption. The foster home was very close to where we lived, so I said to my daughter we could go see them, but I didn’t want to get another dog, especially a puppy. However, when we walked into the woman’s home, I just fell in love with the little, black, bouncing bundle of energy that I saw.
She and her brother had been rescued from a terrible situation of starvation and abuse in a puppy mill. Every adult dog in the mill had been euthanized, and she and her brother were the only survivors, being only a couple of months old. I happily paid the woman her small adoption fee and we promised we would take good care of her. My daughter called her Muffin and we took her home to give her a bath (she smelled terrible!) and introduce her to Fluffy and Angel.
Fluffy was too old and deaf and blind to care, but Angel jumped off the bed and ran to us to see what we were holding as soon as we walked in. While we bathed Muffin, Angel stood and watched intently, and being almost one and a half years old, she immediately adopted Muffin as her baby. She was totally possessive and protective of her and even would let Muffin take food and chew toys out of her own mouth.
Muffin just adopted the role of the prized, spoiled baby of the home, and never lacked any self-confidence or assertiveness, even though she was much smaller than Angel. Our afternoons and evenings and weekends were filled with hikes and parks and woodland walks with the dogs, exploring anywhere and everywhere they could go.
They ran down trails, swam in streams, chased each other around baseball diamonds and fields, chased squirrels and rabbits and birds wherever they could find them, and just enjoyed every minute of life together. They were always together, no matter what. Angel found her full identity in being Muffin’s mother and protector and best friend, and Muffin just loved being the adored, spoiled baby of the family.
In October 2004, I had to euthanize Fluffy one night at about 2:00 a.m. She was almost 16 and was clearly in pain. I had never euthanized a pet, and I had no idea how difficult it was, and the aftermath of it. I was absolutely devastated when I left the animal hospital without her. Even though I knew she had had a long, wonderful life with me, I could not shake the grief and sadness. I continued with life as best I could, but I found I could not sleep at night. I was in a hyper-energetic mode and could not calm down.
After two weeks of not sleeping, I knew I was going to be in trouble if I did not calm down and adjust to the loss. Angel obviously picked up on my heightened energy levels and never came near me for those two weeks. She would not sleep at the foot of my bed as she usually did and stayed out of my room and away from me completely. She slept with my daughter on her bed and stayed in her room.
Muffin did not seem bothered by anything, and slept right next to me under the blankets, cuddled against my torso, as usual.
One night I was walking Muffin and Angel in a park, trying to figure out where all this extra energy was coming from and why I could not calm down and get to sleep. I suddenly had the thought that, what if I was not feeling my deep emotions for Fluffy, but rather, what if I was actually feeling Fluffy’s spiritual and emotional energy towards me and for me?
I decided to try release it, and I said aloud, “Fluffy I am OK, you can go, I will be fine, I have Angel and Muffin to keep me company. We had a great time together, but now please go to the Light and be happy, and I will see you when I get to heaven. Don’t worry about me. Go to the Light and be happy.” As soon as I said that, I palpably felt a presence of energy lift off me and leave, and my emotions and energy calmed down. That night Angel came back on my bed as usual, and I was able to sleep again.
Angel and Muffin both had heart murmurs, and my vet told me often that Angel was much worse than Muffin. But there was not much we could do about it. I moved to California for a job in June 2014 with the two dogs, and Angel started to collapse while walking outside. In November, she stopped eating, and five days later, she passed away while lying next to me on my bed. She was just over 15.
I took her body to the vet and they had her cremated. Muffin and I missed her terribly. I thought Muffin was going to die of depression. She was just totally lost without Angel. She stopped eating for about a week, and it took a lot to get her interested in life again. Eventually she adjusted, but she really was never the same little happy-go-lucky dog ever again.
Shortly after Angel passed away, I was sleeping deeply one night, but my sleep was disturbed, as I was woken up by a tangible pressure on my legs. That was where Angel used to sleep, at the bottom of my bed, and I often felt her pressing against my legs. In my half-awake state, I assumed she was lying on my legs, and told her to move, as I often had done. Nothing changed. I then remembered that she had just passed away, so I assumed that Muffin must have uncharacteristically gone to the bottom of the bed and was lying on my legs.
I roused myself to move Muffin off my legs, but then I saw Muffin sleeping peacefully right next to me. I was very confused at first, but I simply had to deduce that Angel had returned to sleep on my bed with me as she usually did. I accepted her presence there, moved my legs to make space for her and went back to sleep. This happened a few times afterwards, and then it stopped.
I came back to Toronto to care for my parents in 2016 and I brought Muffin with me. She was then 15-and-a-half. Before I left California, I asked my vet to fill out whatever paperwork Muffin needed to enter Canada, and to give her whatever shots she needed. I had never given her anything but the Rabies vaccine, but that day, in addition to the Rabies, the vet squirted another vaccine up her nose.
That night, Muffin had her first seizure and started to go blind. (Over the next few years, her right eye shrank away and totally disappeared). I thought she was dying. After that, she had a seizure about every two weeks, although some days she had multiple seizures. I gave her some herbal and vitamin supplements and eventually, over several months, the seizures tapered off and stopped.
But I am convinced that Muffin would see Angel every time she had a seizure. After each seizure she would howl and cry incessantly, and run around frantically for hours on end, looking for something. This could last for four or five hours. I would have to take her walking outside or she would go crazy inside. Often this was at 1:00 or 2:00 a.m. She would totally ignore me (which was extremely unusual for her) and her food and everything else, other than what she was looking for but could not find, and I have to assume it was Angel.
Eventually she would exhaust herself, fall asleep and then wake up the next day, back to normal, until the next seizure happened. Eventually, when she was almost 19-and-a-half, I recognized that she had very little quality of life; she was deaf, blind, sad, lonely, incontinent, she started having seizures again, and was having trouble standing and walking, so I decided I had to euthanize her. A very, very sad day for me.
I cannot wait to be with my dogs again in heaven, along with all the other wonderful animals I have met on earth.
The Meaning of Forever Project continues to accept stories of comforting experiences with loved ones who have passed on, and of near-death experiences that have helped to show the continuation of life beyond the physical body. You can email your story to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can find more about our project on our Facebook page, and our Meaning of Forever Website.