After-Death Visits by Pets Dear Dr Fox: I read with joy your comments to MS in Washington, DC, who said they had a brief fellowship with a dog they had just met. I believe in reincarnation because of a few experiences that a family member and I had, but my clearest spiritual animal experience involved a recently deceased cat.
Alex had been a problem cat for years, a survivor as a kitten, having spent a few miles stuck in the engine of a moving car. My daughter rescued him, but he was pretty wild and unreachable for years afterwards. Lots of love and treats eventually won him over, and he got along well with the family, especially me. He was diagnosed with cancer when he was around 10 years old. One day I lay next to him on the bed and fell asleep. When I woke up, Alex was gone, his body had caved in.
A few days later, I had retired for the night, but I was still not sleeping. I clearly felt the familiar “thump” of a cat jumping on the bed, then the sensation of a small body curled up behind my knees. I heard purrs and knew Alex was visiting. I slept, and that was my last visit with Alex. He had come to say goodbye.
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I don’t tell many people about this experience, because I know most wouldn’t believe it. Please continue to include in your column the spiritual experiences your readers have with animals. SP, Mount Airy, North Carolina
Dear SP: Thank you so much for having the courage, as such experiences are ridiculed by skeptical materialists, to share your story.
What you received from your cat was indeed a blessing: a gift affirming the enduring power of love over what we interpret as death. We think death is the end of everything, when in fact there is life after life once our hearts and minds are open to the great mystery, which we should celebrate every day. Being aware is the first step to compassionate action and reverent respect for all life.
Visual Guide to Dog Body Language Communication
Dear Dr. Fox: Our panel of veterinarians has just published a comprehensive guide to help pet owners understand how dogs communicate through body language. I think this would be a particularly useful resource for your readers.
We provide information on how to interpret a dog’s emotional state based on its movements, posture or other body signals. With this guide, we want to keep our pet community well informed so they can keep their puppies safe. Our body language guide is available here: betterpet.com/dog-body-language. Dr. Leslie Brooks, DVM, MPH, Veterinary Advisor at betterpet.com
Dear Dr. Brooks: I’m glad it’s available.