Dogs Really Do Go to Heaven

March 18, 2015 Christine McDonald Animal ConnectionsAnimals in transitionDeath and loss of a loved oneSoul Connections

When an Animal Touches Your Heart, They Remain With You Forever

Life with animals is full of love and teachings.  Four feet solidly planted on the earth, animals stay grounded when life may overwhelm you.  They bring you into your heart where you can be more nurturing to yourself and more responsive to others.  This world would not be the same without them.

When an animal dies, you may feel more grief than when a family member or friend

leaves you.  The loss of an animal feels like the end of love, companionship and many things we hold dear to our hearts.  But is that true?
A chicken gave me a very different understanding of how love endures all things, even death. As you read the story, and the guest post about Tootsie you may want to imagine your own animal heaven and the reunion with the animals you love.

Here is my story:

In the spring of 2014, I traveled to Scotland to attend a workshop with Anna Brytenbach, a world class animal communicator.  The class was held at the well-known, Findhorn gardens in northern Scotland.  I came back to Oregon humbled by the teachings, struck by the simplistic beauty of the Findhorn gardens, and fatigued from the travel abroad.  All I wanted to do was garden!  The world seemed to disappear when I stepped out the back door to the 2,500 square foot garden.  I felt so happy digging my feet in the warm soil, rejoicing when the sprouts made their first leaf, and tuning into the needs of the plants as they grew.

The garden adjoins a chicken coop and pasture with 14 hens and a rooster. One of the

This chicken is much more than she appears.

This chicken is much more than she appears.

chickens, a little red hen was a maverick.  Every day she flew out of the chicken pasture and wandered about the yard eating insects and grass.  As the young seedlings started to emerge in the garden, I became concerned the red hen would dig them up or eat them.  I communicated to the hen, “I want you to have freedom, but you cannot scratch or eat the garden vegetables”.  I encouraged her to eat the insects or dig up weeds between the rows of vegetables.  I was successful.  We understood each other and the garden flourished.  I named her the garden doula hen and so our friendship began.  This was not an ordinary chicken.

By mid-summer, the garden doula hen, an old banty hen and young pullet became their own maverick flock.  They took care of each other.  The old banty mothered the young pullet after she was abandoned by the mother hen.  The banty was about half the size of the red hen.  The young pullet was almost as big as her surrogate mother.  Yet every night she nested under the old hen almost lifting her off the roosting platform.  It was a funny sight that made me smile.

Scientific American published a study about chickens (February, 2014).  The study concluded chickens are equivalent to primates in the way they communicate.  They can solve complex problems and be empathetic with those in danger.  Allowing these three chickens their freedom revealed those qualities to me.  In doing so I became more empathic toward them.

And then one day in early October, the garden doula hen disappeared.  I looked everywhere for her, but there was no sign of her.  I searched the pasture and adjoining forest, looked for feathers, and talked to my neighbors.  She was gone!

Oddly, I felt like I could hear the doula hen in the garden as I was going about my gardening.  The red hen would scratch and cluck when she found an insect.  I would turn around and half expect to see her.  But the garden doula hen was nowhere to be seen.

One late October day, as I was harvesting root vegetables, I became very still.  I froze in my tracks as if I heard her cluck.  I could feel the doula hen near, but not see her.  Could she be on another plane of existence that was not that different from the one she had just left?  Perhaps like the ancient Anasazi she ascended, or there really was an animal heaven.

There was more for me to learn.  As I felt her I also felt other animals I had known and loved.  They were there with the hen.  I sensed all the animals I had ever loved were waiting for me on this mystical plane of existence that was being shown.  There was no reason to feel loss or grief.  All of the wild and domestic animals I loved may have left their physical bodies, but their spiritual essence never went anywhere.  These animals had enriched my life and touched my heart.  Our relationship and connection was only a heartbeat away.

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My Beloved Beagle
By Jane Pinckney

I’ll never forget the day Tootsie came into our lives! It was a hot day in the summer of 2006. As we sat on the front lawn of the house where Tootsie was born, this adorable little Beagle puppy, with enormous ears, climbed into my son’s lap. She refused to budge, it was her way of saying “I’m going with you”. As soon as we arrived home, Tootsie let us know that her personality was not flexible; in fact she was very strong-willed.

Like all puppies, Tootsie found pleasure in terrorizing cats. When Tootsie was 4 months old, our cat, Jasmine, retaliated and lacerated her cornea. This resulted in several traumatic experiences at the vets along with a steroid that made her vicious. I opted out of the eye surgery and held Tootsie for 2 weeks to keep her eye from rupturing. Her eye was saved while we developed a bond like no other.

Shortly after the eye incident, Tootsie showed signs of aggression. She became aggressive over her food, toys and personal space. She later became aggressive towards other dogs and if she felt at all threatened, she would not hesitate to bite people.

None-the-less, during the first ½ of Tootsie’s life, we had a blast! The 3 of us (my son, myself and Toots) camped, hiked, traveled the U.S. for a month, played on near-by farms, ran on the beach, etc. She was a wonderful companion, very alert, smart and intuitive. However, our lives went through a series of changes and recently Tootsie, Jasmine and I down-sized to an apartment. Tootsie was miserable and although I searched for a solution, there wasn’t one. A house with a yard is more than I can manage. Tootsie could not be trusted to share a home with others. To ensure everyone’s safety, I kept Tootsie locked in the apartment, the car or on a leash at all times. Keeping her prisoner was not a happy life for either one of us. After accepting the truth of the situation, we euthanized Tootsie on Fri, Jan 16, 2015.

The weekend following Tootsie’s transition was a time of deep awakening for me. I was awake early every morning and found myself writing, processing, crying and grieving. 2 days after her passing, I realized that she had been my mirror. While I struggled with her personality: demanding, controlling, rigid and instantly judgmental of others, I saw that these were also traits of my own personality. She had been put into my life so that I could see myself. I began to feel that as I released her from her bondage on earth, I was also being released.

Day 4:  I was awake at 4 am writing a letter to Tootsie. I was asking her to please communicate with me.  I then emailed Chris telling her of my decision to euthanize Tootsie and that she had transitioned.  Chris responded saying that when she woke up that morning, Tootsie and I were on her mind. During her meditation, Tootsie spoke to her. To quote Chris’s email, “Tootsie is at Peace and wants you to know she is flexing her Freedom muscles.  She feels very expansive and wants the same for you.  You are right, she is your teacher…She has been a mirror of your states of being and now she is mirroring something else back. Take it in…”  I cried for hours…and hours.

Day 6:  I could feel Tootsie’s presence. I could feel her energy and hear her voice. Her guidance was clear in letting go of control and opening to Divine Flow.

Day 9:  In my journal I wrote, “I now see that Tootsie was my mirror, mirroring back to me traits of my personality. I can also see that she is guiding me to peace, freedom and trusting in Divine Flow. By trusting in the Flow, we let go of our old concepts, beliefs and behaviors and melt into the Oneness. We let go of our limitations, our constraints, and are then able to expand…to soar to new heights. I released Tootsie from her body so she could soar to new heights and be free of aggression and angst. Tootsie is now guiding me to release my fears so that I too may soar to new heights. Thank you Tootsie! I love you”!

3 Weeks:  Tootsie has become a spiritual guide.  I connect with her almost every morning and visualize her about 10’ above my head, sleeping in a curled position, a halo. I can see the white transcendental light streaming down through her into me.  When I asked Tootsie what she would like for me to tell the world she said, “I love you. I understand. I will always be there for you”. I asked her if she would like to include a few photos and she said “yes”.
Thank you.


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