I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while, but felt I needed some time to contemplate, observe, and most importantly, grieve. You see, this past June, I was faced with the heartbreaking decision to euthanize a beloved pet.

Max was a “Schnoodle,” a Schnauzer-Poodle mix with incredibly long, spindly legs. I adopted him when he was 5 years old. When he was younger (and had all four of his legs) he could leap like a gazelle.

Over time, Max lost a hind leg to cancer, lost one eye to a torn retina, went totally blind from SARD (Sudden Acquired Retinal Deficiency) and then, as a final insult, lost the remaining, blind eye to a medication-related mistake.

Despite all this, he lived to be over 15 years old, and was swimming in the pool earlier this summer, just like every summer before.

Max was a Mighty Good Dog.

Max (R) on his adoption day (2004) with me and Missy (L)

The story of how Max came into my life is worthy of its own short-story which I won’t attempt to condense here. My spirit guide, Charles, has told me more than once that Max was my canine companion in more than one lifetime. It really was “love at first sight” for us, and we knew the ebb and flow of each others’ joy, pain and suffering.

Max was a Mighty Good Dog.

Max in 2005. One of his best pics ever.

And in honor of Max, and all the other Mighty Good Dogs (and cats, and other pets) who have crossed over, I want to share some insights I’ve gained in the past two months:

Yes, animals do have souls.

They occupy their own space on the other side, and their energy is different from ours in that it is more “hive-like.” What I mean is that the experiences, personalities and “spirit memory” of animals can be shared among more than one distinct animal soul.

Yes, that’s a little weird, but here’s a brief example of what I mean: Max’s spirit, with its memories and knowledge of the physical life he just completed, can blend and/or subdivide, so that in the future, there could be two animals (in the physical realm) who recognize me or my husband, and sensing their previous physical kinship, attempt to let us know they remember us. The animal (or animals) may not even be canine in the next incarnation. However, Charles has stated that in the case of companion animals the spirit has a strong preference to return to a similar physical state with each incarnation.

Yes, we can reunite with our pets once we cross-over.

As I mentioned before, animal spirits occupy their own space, and we must go to that space and visit them.

In certain circumstances, our pets may be waiting for us during the last phase of our physical life, when our bodies are winding down and our souls are getting packed for their new journey. However, this isn’t a universal thing.

Once we are in the spirit realm, we (and our pets) realize that we both have new journeys to undertake, and the urge to remain in each others’ company isn’t strong. That being said, we often make agreements with our pets to meet again in the physical realm. Which leads us to…….

Yes, in the spiritual realm we can communicate freely with our pets.

Always remember: There are no language barriers on the other side. There are different levels of knowledge and different levels of wisdom, but neither of those preclude being able to communicate with our spirit neighbors, regardless of what physical form they once held.

In closing, I will share with you that both Missy (Max’s sister) and I have seen Max come around since he crossed-over. He sometimes stands at the back door, and just looks in. For a few days Missy began taking her toys and putting them on her side of the back door, as if to coax him to come in.

In the first few days after Max was put to sleep, I thought I was hallucinating and simply imagining that he was still sleeping right next to me on the pillow. But I soon realized it wasn’t a hallucination: I felt a slight breeze; a coolness on “his” spot, and Missy would go right up to that spot and snuggle against it. She felt him, too.

Before he took his final breaths, I whispered in his ear, “You come back to me. I don’t care if you’re a blind, 3-legged puppy. You just come back to me.” And he licked my ear. And we said goodbye.

Actually, we said, “See you later.”

Max – A Mighty Good Dog

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©2014 Jeff McKeehan, All rights reserved.

Photos: Jeff McKeehan. All rights reserved.

Max Was a Mighty Good Dog: When Pets Cross Over
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One thought on “Max Was a Mighty Good Dog: When Pets Cross Over

  • at

    We, too, feel that our canine companions ???? are still with us, even tho long-departed. Each has a special place in our hearts and memories and I love the idea of their being in a hive-like reality on the other side. It certainly feels like they come back to visit us sometimes! ♥

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