Dog-Sense For All Dog Owners
SPIRIT DOG PHENOMENON
Does your dog seem too much like a previous dog? Does he
or she seem strangely perceptive? Is it just a primitive brain-center connection or is
he your spirit dog?
March 2017 update | TheDogPress.com
Barbara J. Andrews, Editor-In-Chief
I was talking to the CEO of a major (human) supplement company when he suddenly blurted out
a question that was heavy on his mind. “Can a dog you’ve had a long time come
back in the form of a new dog?” In the awkward silence that followed, I quickly said “Absolutely. Many dog handlers, judges, and breeders say exactly that.” Putting his question on a professional level made it acceptable to venture forward. He went into more detail about his old dog and the eerily familiar behavior of his new dog.
Some people, like that man of science, try to shrug it off as just a “silly” feeling. For others, it can be unsettling, even frightening. Our ancestors knew the spirit world but we don’t expect to encounter it in the 21st century!
Depending on religious convictions or heritage, many people who experience “spirit dog” contact will go online, privately seeking information and reassurance. We here at TheDogPress.com believe it is not an uncommon phenomenon and we want people to be comforted with what they find here.
Animal spirit contact is not to be confused with sťance or religious experience. A spirit guide experience can happen to anyone, almost always unexpectedly. Such contact may happen only once in a lifetime, or as a person’s mind is opened, the phenomenon can expand to include a very keen perception of Signs and Symbols,
see more below.
The executive confided that he
was still uneasy about his experience so I told him about my first heart-dog and
what happened after he died. Sachmo (Ch. Okii Yubi’s Sachmo Of Makoto, ROMXP) was bought as a puppy. From the very beginning, he was different. He seemed to be scrutinizing us, making some kind of decision. This is not to be confused with shyness or being in a strange place. Not at all. He was totally confident. It was the highest flattery when finally, he accepted our love.
Bill was an independent trucker. When he finally agreed to take me on the road for a few trips, we parked the kids with his parents but they refused the 5 months old pup. So Sachmo rode shotgun and I learned to drive
the big rig. In that time there were real truck stops
and the CBs soon spread the story of “the bear in the Peterbilt.”
The legend began one night in Abilene when two drivers came running into the restaurant yelling “Who’s got the red Peterbilt with a bear in it?” We ran to the truck where a crowd had gathered.
A would-be thief had opened the driver's door. He was long gone but his blood was still there and no one else had dared come close enough to shut the door. Sachmo sat calmly in the driver’s seat, figuratively and literally.
The dog was different and everyone sensed it. There were
very few judges who denied him in the show ring. In the Group ring he stood behind only the German Shepherd Dog, Doberman, and Dane. Some judges were
annoyed at that, some smiled, but not one ever ordered him back to the end of
the line where new breeds went. Sachmo exuded a “presence” that most people (and all dogs) recognized. It had nothing to do with show standards but ask any group judge of the 70s. They will remember him.
Sachmo was barely 7 years when he
suddenly bled out from an unsuspected hemangiosarcoma. We buried him in his favorite place
and I went into deep depression.
Two weeks later, Cheryl Garren, the only person other than Bill who had known Sachmo’s affection, screeched into our driveway and burst in to the den. “What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Shut up and listen” was her agitated reply. “I’m on my lunch break. Here, take these” and she handed me a dozen yellow roses. Before I could respond she said “Sachmo sent them. I had to go way out of the way to the florist, I’ll be late getting back…”
She stopped, took a deep breath and then said “BJ that
damned dog kept me awake all night. Every time I dozed off he jabbed me.” I felt the tears finally come as she continued
“Finally I might have dozed off, maybe I dreamed this, I don’t know but I saw him. BJ, he was magnificent, standing on a ledge. I could see the wind ruffle his coat. He never looked my way, just said to bring you yellow roses, that you would know what it meant, and to tell you that he was okay and he would always watch over you.”
She sat down next to my desk and our tears flowed together. Finally she said “He didn’t say it in words but I heard them. Oh BJ, it was awful. I sat up in bed and I went over and over it. I wanted to call you but I knew that wasn’t what he wanted. I went to work but couldn’t concentrate. Finally I gave up, no matter how crazy it was, I had to go get the roses and come here.”
She nodded at the bouquet I held, forgotten. “Does it mean anything to you?”
I glanced down at the tiny buds unfolding into new life. I couldn’t
talk about my grandmother, couldn't say what yellow roses meant to her. I just nodded.
“Ok, later. I have to get back to work…” I made no move to walk out with her. I sat quietly, waiting for Sachmo to come to me. He didn’t. I was hurt, confused. I must have sat there for hours until my husband came home. I told him what happened. He said nothing but when he put his arms around me, I could swear, my dog was suddenly
there with us.
Do you have a spirit dog in
your life? One that, of all the dogs since you were a kid, seemed to
communicate with you on a different level? Perhaps it was just a fleeting moment
when an ordinary dog telegraphed a warning or comforted you in a way no human
had ever done. Enjoy reader responses, this related information
Signs and Symbols Have Meaning and then learn more about Spirit Dogs
in the illustrated display at the end of this page.
COMMENTS HAVE CLOSED, thanks to our readers for their replies, please see below.
(Dec 2015) BARBARA said: I HAVE MANY SPIRITS
COME BACK TO ME I HAVE BEEN RAISING SIBERIAN AND HAD THEM IN MY LIFE FOR 67
(Oct 2015) Maryann said: I had Great Dane,
Apollo, who was my heart dog. When he passed away I could not stop crying, it
was tearing me apart. One day I was at the kitchen sink and something kept
nudging me in the back, I turned around and nothing was there, it kept happening
and I thought it was one of my other Danes. I checked the other Danes and they
were sound asleep on the bed. Then it dawned on me that Apollo always nudged me
in the back if I was at the kitchen sink and he wanted a drink of water from the
tap. I cried my heart out when I realized Apollo was letting me know he was
still with me in spirit.
Ten years after Apollo passed away I saw a
litter of Great Dane pups, I was not looking to purchase another pup, but there
was one pup in the litter that was a mirror image of Apollo and I knew I had to
have him. I named him Zeus, he was so much like Apollo in every way that I swear
he had to be Apollo reincarnated. We loved all our Danes, but sometimes there is
one that is extra special, I was lucky to have two that were extra special and
became my heart dogs...both Apollo and Zeus were part of my heart and soul.
(Oct 2015) Karen Nielsen said: I adopted a
7-month old Yellow Lab & Sheltie mix from the local humane society in Sept 1995.
She was the smallest and most timid of the 7 littermate pups brought in from a
rural area. My landlord agreed to let me have a small dog. I chose her not only
because she was the smallest, but I couldn't see her surviving with anyone but
me. I named her Honey, not for her yellow color, but for her sweet, timid
personality. People automatically called her a "sweet little honey". We
eventually became a therapy dog team. She loved nursing home visits. Honey
taught all my nieces & nephews, and later my grandchildren, how to walk a dog
(starting the kids at age 2)! Honey mentored many foster dogs over the years,
helping them learn how to be the best dog they could be, including the 2 I
adopted myself, Luckie and Sadie. I lost Honey in Oct 2009 at age 14-1/2. In
late 2006, nearly 3 years before Honey died, I acquired my first Polish Lowland
Sheepdog (or PON). In 2011, I met my friend Helen after she adopted her PON. She
also had Beezer, a Mini Golden Doodle, who she adopted in late 2010 at 11
months. Beezer was rescued from a puppy mill. He was very timid, mild mannered,
and when I met him was struck by how similar he was to my Honey-Bunny. When
Helen had to have surgery, I offered to dogsit Beezer and her PON Tawny. Having
Beezer 24/7 astounded me when I discovered how many quirks and behaviors he had
that were identical to Honey's. When Helen was able to take her babies back
home, I mentioned it to her. She then told me the story of what happened to
Beezer the first night she had him home after driving to southern IL (from MN)
to adopt him. He was emaciated, and managed to squeeze out a 4" gap between hers
and the neighbors fences. She hadn't had a chance to get him to the vet for a
microchip, rabies shot/tag, or get him a name tag or dog license tag. He just
had a collar on, no ID. Helen desperately put up flyers, contacted vets &
shelters. He was gone over a week when she suddenly started getting phone calls
after the evening news came on TV. A dog had been found by construction workers
who were working on a new bridge across the Mississippi River, clinging to ice
on the side of the river. They were able to rescue him. Where Beezer was found
was 9 miles away from Helen's house. He had made his way through 2 suburbs and
NE Minneapolis. Helen could never understand why he ended up at the river, until
I told her everything he does that Honey did. Where Beezer was found was across
the river and a little downstream from where I live in N Minneapolis. Helen is
convinced Beezer was trying to find his way "home" to me. Beezer is a very
special boy. I had a talk with him and told him Helen loves him and needs him,
and he belongs with her now. But I promise to always be a part of his life.
Helen and I are now very close, "sisters from different mothers", with a dog
whose heart belongs to us both!
(Oct 2015) Franklin said: I wish more books
and websites would talk about this. yes, I have had a dog I was that close to
but at the time, I didn't know there were other dogs like that. I just thought
she was pretty special dog. So she was and I've never had another one like her.
some dogs I have handled were tuned in and easy to show but not connected to me
like my Golden.
(Oct 2015) Angela said: April 2014 I had to send my beautiful 11yr old
pei to the rainbow bridge. I decided no more dogs as she was my heart. By the
end of April she kept coming to be telling me she was okay, she loved me and if
I wanted to see her again to get hold of this breeder. I live in Pa. and this
breeder is in New York. I got the # for the breeder she was waiting for her girl
to come in heat. Still wasn't sure if I'd get another pup. Minnie came to me
again told me when she would be born and that she would look pink and be small.
I order my pup the next day. Breeders dog finally came in heat. Now the wait. On
June the 25th I called breeder no pups She called back 1 hr. later temperature
has dropped. Puppy's were born June 25th.Date Minnie gave me. At two weeks
breeder sent me photos there she was the runt a small lilac [only look pink in
pix] baby girl. I claim her as my choice as fast as I could. Her name is now
MeMe when I got her home she knew where her bed was, where cookies were. My
little nephew saw her and said how did Minnie become a puppy again he swore up
and down it was Minnie. Well young children can see what we can't. So my now my
life begins with my heart dog again.
(Oct 2015) Betty C Potts said: In 1962 I got Veronica as a puppy, a
small red wire haired Dachshund. I got her from a friend right before my husband
died. She house-trained herself, I am very poor at housetraining dogs because I
forget to watch them. I started showing her and she did very well, taking many
BV and one BISS. She would always sleep at the end of the couch, not near me,
that end of the couch was her place. Veronica lived to be 16 1/2.
In 2007 I bred a litter of puppies and kept a soft coated wild boar female,
Prairiedachs Athena, "Teena". I showed her and finished her. Teena housetrained
herself. She always sleeps on the end of the couch just as Veronica had. These
two dogs were not related but they are/were so much alike.
(Oct 2015) Loana J Shields said: Korby , a very beautiful Polish
Lowland Sheepdog puppy came to me at 9 weeks. and died very unexpectedly, and
for no reason a Cornell autopsy could find at 6 months. He was to be a pet but
because he conformation was so good I was strongly encouraged to show him. Thus
began my show career with the rare breed during the 80's and early 90's. Because
of him I ended up rescuing another PON, and got a female replacement from the
breeder which led me to where I am today still involved deeply with breed. When
I bred one of the PONS in the litter looked exactly like Korby. Unlike all the
other PONs he, Bozo , as he was named, would not play much with the other
puppies. He would sit and watch me and followed me wherever I went. I had him
sold, and when the money did not come right away, I knew I was to keep him. He
became my best friend, a wonderful show dog (he learned to stack himself) and
extremely devoted. He had Korby's personality, exact markings and looks, and
loved to herd, play ball, and play Frisbee in the same ways little Korby had.
When he died at age 14 as I held him, I told him he had to come back to
me...didn't even have to be a PON if he wanted to be some other kind of dog.
Long story short, I saw a picture of a Rottweiler-Hound puppy on the pet rescue
site that I was immediately drawn to. I looked at two puppies, one nice quiet
puppy who walked away, and a crazy obnoxious one who just demanded my attention.
wiggles had been found roaming the streets at 10 weeks. Long story short when I
went back the next day to make a decision, she came running out, jumped in my
lap and started kissing me, etc. She and I both knew...and I also knew my PON
had returned as a mutt. She has had his devotion, his ways of playing, loves
people, and demands my personal attention in the same ways as both Korby. This
is a short version but I have never doubted that they were the same soul, and
the timing made it all plausible.
(Oct 2015) Carolyn Edwards/Windborne said:
I have a 3 yr. old male, "The Bud-Man". He was the last puppy from his dam, and
sire. The 2 previous males, from these parents both became Chs. One of them was
destined for great success, unfortunately he was lost at an early age. After
loosing him, the owner of his sire, knowing my devastation over the loss,
suggested I breed the dam, one more time. I got one male by C-Section, lost the
dam 3 days later to complications. So much of the previous male I lost is in
this boy. I thank god everyday for letting me have a big part of the one I lost
back in my life. I would have never done the repeat, had the owner of the sire
suggest I do!
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Bond between us and our old dogs, beautifully told by AKC
Classic Kipling poem speaks to every owner who has lost a
Some of us have a special dog in our psyche and in our hearts.
The United Kennel Club
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