Sarah Wilson

Dog Expert

Pet Loss: One Last Goodbye?

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Pet Loss_ One Last Goodbye?I felt his nose against the back of my leg,” my friend reported. “I was cooking dinner, wasn’t thinking about him but then I felt it. Right where he always leans.” She was undone. This wasn’t in her range of experience. She had no idea what to make of it. But her old dog had died recently and she was both unnerved and also happy to have felt him. I reassured her that this sort of thing and variations of it are pretty common experiences though few people speak of them.

He ran through the house today,” another grieving dog lover reported. “People will have me committed if they heard that but I saw him. This morning. And he was happy.

Through the decades of being present for people grieving their companions, I’ve heard many such accounts. People hear their dog, feel their dog, see their dog, sense their dog. The experience is unexpected and never on cue. The human is always surprised but also comforted. The universal sense seems to be that this is the dog’s way to let their person know they are okay.

I cannot speak to that. My intellectual side tells me this is a sorrow-filled mind making peace with a profound loss. My spiritual side wonders if this is a last connection from a dear one. My heart tells me it doesn’t really matter what it is. What matters is that it is common, it is comforting and if it happens to you, know you’re not alone and you’re not crazy—you’re a grieving human being who dearly loved that dog.

What do you think? The mind at work or two spirits touching one last time?

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