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Animals in Our Lives"We will be known forever by the tracks we leave."
-- Dakota Indian proverb
For my entire career as a professional psychic, people have come to me asking questions about everything in their lives -- their jobs, their families, their relationships, and their futures. But one question comes up time and again: What happens to my beloved pet when he dies? People want to be assured that their dog or cat or bird or horse -- creatures they love just as much as any human in their life -- will find peace in the afterlife.
I am here to tell you that all pets do go to heaven. I will also explain to you the extraordinary abilities that pets have here on earth that we're just beginning to understand and acknowledge. These abilities lead us to amazing stories of the bonds between humans and the animals they love, experiences with animals both in this world and on the Other Side, which reaffirm the remarkable relationships we have with our precious pets.
Since before recorded history, humankind has always had a relationship with animals, whether it was for sustenance, protection, worship, or to give service. Gradually over time many of the animals encountered by humans were domesticated and formed either a loving partnership with us as pets or were put into service to help humankind in its work or as a food source. We even see when animals are taken to visit the elderly how that person's blood pressure goes down and any depression subsides. I'm convinced animals can neutralize negative energy without ever absorbing it as we do. That's why I've evenreferred to them as a form of guardian angel on this planet.
The stories that follow will show the different facets of what animals do and can do and how sentient they are. Whether it's just your dear pet and protectorate or your own totem (which we will get to later), we will see how animals have saved lives and even see and feel things that we cannot see or feel such as seeing spirits or alerting us to fire or even earthquakes long before we are aware of such things. Humankind has just begun to scratch the surface of the great intelligence our animals have, and hopefully you will get a deeper insight into the sometimes complex minds of our beloved friends in the animal kingdom. This book will explore through research as well as personal stories the help, bravery, love, and loyalty these wondrous creatures afford us.
They are not dead who live in the hearts they leave behind.
When We Lose a Pet
Most animal lovers have a pet, and those pets quickly become a part of their families. When a beloved pet passes away, a huge void is left in your family, not to mention your heart. It makes me furious when someone is grieving over the loss of a pet and they hear the words, "Well, after all it was only an animal!" When these words have been uttered to me, rather than froth at the mouth I usually try to simply walk away. As I've grown older I've tried to be more tolerant and say to myself that these people just don't know; they are simply ignorant of the love and richness that our pets lend to our lives.
We will expand on the subject of pet loss later, but right now I want to tell you about my Jolie. Jolie was a West Highland terrier and the most active, funny, and caring dog I have ever known. She was one of my dearest pets, and I had her for nine wonderful years. One day I got a call at work that Jolie had suddenly keeled over and was nonresponsive. My youngest, psychic son, Chris, ran over and gave her some resuscitation by pushing on her rib cage, and by the time I got home she was sitting up, but with a glazed look on her face. I immediately noticed she was terribly bloated, and we raced her to the vet. After a whole battery of tests he told me grimly that the news wasn't good. Jolie was suffering from severe heart failure. He explained that the symptoms are similar to those experienced by people who have heart attacks or strokes. Jolie, he said, was filling up with water so fast she would drown in her own fluid. I had to put her to sleep. He suggested that I leave the room, but I wouldn't -- I wanted my eyes to be the last thing Jolie saw.
The shot was administered, and I truly felt like she was saying, it's okay Mom, I'll see you again and I love you. "I love you Jolie," I sobbed. "Wait for me." I knew she would because animals don't reincarnate -- they don't have to. They don't need to learn lessons of life like we do. They are just pure entities sent from God. I watched a white and condensed smokelike form leave her body and go straight across the room. The souls of animals don't have to go up because heaven (or the Other Side) is on this level, just in another dimension, with the same topography we have here except for the beautiful gardens, meadows, and temples. (We'll talk more about the Other Side later in this book.) In my psychic vision I could see Jolie romping through a garden of daffodils and playing and meeting my other dogs that had gone before. This gave me some small comfort, but as with all grief I felt cheated. I was glad she was happy, but selfishly I wanted her with me. Still, I knew she was happy, and I knew I'd see her again someday.
Our first teacher is our own heart.
The hole our animals leave when they go is immeasurable, and even though life goes on (just as it does when any loved one leaves you), so many things remind you of them. No one meeting you at the door...the toys that are still around...even the empty food dishes seem like stark reminders of your missing friend. After Jolie passed, I just preferred to leave everything the way it was for awhile because honestly, I couldn't stand to get rid of the last vestiges of her. Yes, I did feel her around jumping on the bed and brushing against my leg, and several times I actually saw a little white blur in the backyard that I knew was my Jolie. But this loss hit me particularly hard, and I truly felt likejust going to bed.
You don't, of course. You get up, you keep living your life, and when time goes by other dogs or pets take the place of your beloved pet. But no matter how much time goes by, that animal will always have a special place in your heart. Later on I'll share more of my own stories of pet love and loss, and you'll also read the remarkable stories of other people who have wondrous tales about their beloved pets, some poignant and sad, some inspiring in their bravery and protection, still others amazing tales of communication and love, but all of them truly moving andwondrous.
When Our Pets Perform Extraordinary Acts
Presently I have four dogs, but when I was younger I had cats. Both types of animals have their own distinct personalities and I love each of them in their own special way. I have had so many dogs in my seventy-two years of life that it's hard to even remember all of the breeds -- German shepherds, dachshunds, West Highland terriers, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Great Danes, Lhasa Apsos, Shar-Peis, Labradoodles, golden retrievers, Bijon Frises, Shih Tzus, English bulldogs, Labradors, Yorkshire terriers, not to mention a number of beloved mutts of mixed breeding -- each one holding a special place in my heart, and each one with a distinct personality of their own. I still have some of my beloved dogs, but over the years I have lost many pets that were dear to me. The truth is, many times I've loved my animals more than some people in my life! An animal's loyalty is unfaltering, and a pet doesn't care how you look or what mood you're in; they just love you unconditionally, which we could all really learn from!
My dear grandmother (who was a psychic in her own right and very well known in Kansas City, Missouri) used to say if you find someone who doesn't like animals, children, or music...run. Over all the years I have found this to be usually true, especially with those who don't like animals.
One amazing story my grandmother told me was an event her family witnessed secondhand, a tale that was told for years in their small community. My grandmother was born in Germany, but her family had made its way to the United States when she was very young, first to Texas and then to Springfield, Missouri, where the winters were horrendous. When I was a girl in that part of the world, we were literally snowbound for days at a time by the ferocity of winter storms (not anything like the milder winters experienced in that part of the world today, which as an aside supports the Greenhouse Theory!).
There was a family that lived next door to my grandmother's family, and they stepped out just a short distance away from home to get supplies one cold winter day and left their sleeping baby with their German shepherd, who really was like a watchful nanny to the baby. They intended to be gone just a few minutes, but while they were gone a sudden terrible snowstorm hit. It was the type of storm we used to call a whiteout -- you literally couldn't see your hand in front of your face. After many hours the family finally made their way back to their house, and when they walked in, the baby's crib was empty. The house was freezing cold because the heat had dissipated in their absence. The German shepherd was cringing and whimpering under the bed. The husband in fear and dread deduced (as did the wife) that the dog had harmed the baby out of hunger or even fear of abandonment. The husband, out of his mind with grief, got his rifle and aimed it at the dog's head. Just as he cocked it to shoot they heard a faint cry. They looked under the bed and there was the baby cuddled up to the dog to keep it warm. The dog, realizing the peril of the baby possibly freezing to death, had lifted the baby and put it under the bed, wrapping its warm body around the child to keep it from freezing. My grandmother said the woman never quit talking about how horrible it would have been if they had killed the dog that saved their baby from freezing.
Now I know we can say the parents of the child were neglectful in leaving their baby in the care of their dog, but times then were different and much harder, and the sudden storm caught them unaware. But all that aside, consider the logical reasoning of this marvelous animal being. This wonderful dog knew, either instinctively or spiritually, how to save a human being, realizing that if it were left in the freezing air the baby would have died.
That's why I know that dogs and other creatures are not just "dumb animals." They do think, feel, and sense. But are they directed by a "higher power" as some would say? I believe that, in the same way that our choices can be "directed" or influenced by God to help someone or save someone, so too can animals' behaviors be aimed toward good. We all are vessels of information infused from God, if we just listen, but an animal's brain doesn't have all the complexities that our mind does. Animals are just pure, uncomplicated entities of creation from God. They live like the Maasai do in Kenya -- for each day is forever to them and the "Now" is what they live in. You can get aggravated with your pets and yell at them, but in a matter of minutes they are licking your hand again in love. Animals have no thoughts of vengeance and don't carry grudges; they are just simply loyal and loving creatures.
I don't think many people realize how sentient animals are. They can detect illness, for example. My friend had a black Labrador retriever, and every time he came up to her he literally would put his nose in her right eye and try to lick it. I watched this a few times and then I said, "Susan, just for the hell of it why don't you get an MRI, because that is not normal behavior." She finally did, and her doctor found a tumor just behind her right eye. Thankfully, the growth was caught in time, but the doctor said it could have spread and might have been very serious. Doctors are now finding that many dogs can not only smell drugs but can actually sniff out illness, especially tumors and cancer.
I have been privy to many such stories, and throughout this book I'll also tell you tales of animals who have gone to great lengths to protect and help the people they love -- stories that are all part of our lives with these very spiritual beings we call our pets.
Taking Care of the Animals We Love
There's no doubt that our animals are good to us; but sometimes we need to be reminded about how to treat them. Dr. Donald Coggans, who was the former Archbishop of Canterbury said: "Animals as part of God's Creation have rights which must be respected. It behooves us always to be sensitive to their needs and the reality of their pain." The famous Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras stated: "As long as man continues to be a ruthless destroyer of lower living beings he will never know health or peace. For as long as man does needless massacre of animals they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seeds of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love." According to the Bible, man has been given dominion over all living things. I believe in the end humankind will live to regret their abusive actions not only to animals but this planet we live on. It's interesting to note that every major religion puts forth in some way that animals should be loved and protected, yet we as animal lovers are still appalled by the cruelty that is heaped on them.
Animals never create wars, and wild animals only kill to survive. Wild animals, in particular, don't know avarice or vengeance, and even the ones that I have seen that seemed to go "mad" are usually influenced by some other forces, usually because man has either encroached on their territory or treated them in a brutal manner. It's not that they are vengeful in any way; they just want to survive and protect their young and territory. How many times have you seen on a nature program the disastrous effects of humankind's encroachment on the habitats of wild animals? The animals are only responding in a natural manner for their own survival. If we take away their natural prey due to our expansion on the land, then they in turn have to survive and begin to prey on domesticated animals or search for food in areas inhabited by man, which, of course, means that they will be hunted and killed because they are considered a danger or nuisance. They are only trying to survive, but humankind, as it always has, will continue to kill and expand and exterminate species after species.
Finally, in this book, we'll look at ways we can protect the animals we love -- both those we keep as pets and the majestic beasts in the wild -- and how we can each act as a steward and friend to the creatures we love most.
Some people may find it offensive when I say I prefer my pets to some people I've met -- the truth is, they are more loving, loyal, compassionate, and, yes, even smarter in some instances! But as I always say in all my writings -- take with you what you want and leave the rest. One fact I'm sure of is that God created animals not just to feed and clothe us but to be our loving companions in life that comfort, protect, and warn us, as well as understand more than we ever think they do.
Whether you are a pet owner or not, animals do affect your life -- it's just that with pet owners, animals affect our lives in a much greater sense than those who don't own pets. Not only do animals help to clothe and feed us, but depending upon the pet and the family, our relationship with an animal can be as close as or closer than with any human being. Throughout this book we'll look at the special bonds between humans and animals. But it's important to remember that this close relationship is not a new phenomenon; humans have revered animals for centuries. So before we get into modern tales of human/animal companionship and respect, we'll first look back at the important roles that animals have played in the lives of people for millennia.
Regard Heaven as your Father, Earth as your Mother and all things as your Brothers and Sisters.
-- tribe unknown
Copyright © 2009 by Sylvia Browne Corporation