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Behind Every Cloud is a Kindred Spirit (BECKS)I lost my grandfather when I was 17. I had a VERY difficult time getting over it. How could I still communicate with him? I loved him so much I didn't think I could live without him. I read everything I could get my hands on to do with the "afterlife" and that started it all...the love of Ghost Hunting and the Paranormal. I have been researching the paranormal for over 37 years!! It is my way of staying in touch with my grandfather. Being a Ghost Hunter is not always as exciting as it seems on TV. Many nights I have sat in the dark and not a thing happened. BUT it is those times you DO get that one voice, that one explainable picture or have an experience that sends chills down your back that makes it sooo worth it all!!! My purpose of this blog is not to make people believe in ghosts but maybe to open their minds just a little bit... I LOVE this crazy thing called Ghost Hunting. It is as much a part of me as breathing. I am just a girl that refuses to accept we can't still contact our loved ones after they die. My grandfather won't let me.



Your heart is breaking.....and the tears come pouring down your face like a raging water fall.  You can't believe how much it hurts.  How real the pain is!  If you have ever lost a believed pet like I did this past weekend, you understand completely what I'm talking about.

If you are a pet owner, no matter what the pet....a dog, cat, bird or even snakes (sorry, snakes scare the crap out of me) you develop a love for them that is unconditional.  When you had a bad day.... you've wrecked the car, and have no idea what to do now....you were still greeted with a long, wet kiss on the face when you walked through the door and suddenly what you thought was the worst day ever...doesn't seem so bad after all.  Or your are sobbing at that sad, sad last episode of Friends,  and your "best friend" jumps in your lap and looks up at you with those big brown eyes and gives you THAT SWEET look of "it's going to ok" and you can't help but smile.  Yep.  That's the power they have on us.

So, what happens when we lose them?  We grieve and grieve.  You think about them everyday and can hardly look at a picture of them without breaking down.  Suddenly, strange things start to happen.  You think you see something run through the hall.  You see something jump on your bed that isn't there.  But here's the deal.  Sometimes when we see apparitions or ghosts of a living person, they are here for several reasons.  Maybe because of a tragic event, unfinished business and sometimes the person doesn't even know they are dead.  But pets are different.....
There is only one reason their spirit stays behind.  And that's YOU!  Our pets entire lives are built around us and being our companion.  Nothing makes a pet happier than pleasing their owner.  So, guess what?  When they die....that doesn't change. And let me tell, thanks goodness it doesn't!  
Me and Holly-My sweet girl that died in 2015
My boy Tanner.  RIP 

This post is dedicated to my beloved Tanner.  My best friend for 15 years.  RIP my sweet boy.  You take a piece of my heart with you. (Feb. 2004-Feb.2019)
So, if you think you have lost your "best friend" you haven't.  The shadow in hall or the dog toy that suddenly shows up out of know where....is just he/she paying you a visit.  They will give you signs in many different ways to let you know they are still right by your side.  

I want to tell you about my personal experience of a message Tanner gave me the day he died.  My poor boy, Tanner was 15 years old and even though his body was still going strong in spite of wobbly legs and being blind as a bat.  I always thought I would be able to make "that HARD decision" when the time came that he couldn't walk or move anymore BUT NEVER did I think I would have to make that decision because of his MENTAL state of mine.  He started pacing about a week ago.  He would scratch on the doors like he wanted out, but the doors where open.  He would stare into the corners of the room and seem to be so lost.  I wasn't sure what was happening so I took him to the vet who diagnosed him with Dog Dementia.  Who knew that was even a thing!!!!!  She said he just doesn't recognize where he is and it could be scary for him.

She gave me some medicine to try....but it didn't help at all.  After about a week of this, I couldn't take it anymore.  The thought that he was scared and didn't know where he was and being blind on top of that...was more than my heart could take.  I called the vet Friday morning and said, "today is the day".  I feed him his favorite food and gave him his favorite treats and in my mind tried to make it just like any other normal day.  Talking and playing with him first thing in the morning.  But then it was time.  I drove to vet and let my boy go to Heaven without me.  I had never had to make this kind of decision before.  And for anyone who has, even though you know it is the right thing to do, making this kind of decision is the worst feeling ever!!!!  

I walked to the car and began to sob uncontrollably with my hands over my face.  Had I done the right thing?  Did he have more time?  Should I have waited?  I needed help.  I needed a sign.  I let my hands drop and looked to the heavens and said, "Tanner, PLEASE I need a sign that I did the right thing.  I can't move on unless I know."  I slowly started the car and just by habit I turned on the radio.  And there was only ONE sentence that came on.  It was Carrie Underwood singing Amazing Grace...but I didn't hear the whole song only the last sentence...……………..I was blind, but now I see.  And not another thing was said.  Not  a commercial...…..not a DJ for a few seconds.  There was definitely a pause before the DJ began to talk.  And with that, I raised my head and said "Thank you" and drove home with a smile on my face.

Now, I wanted to include an article written by Stanley Coren Ph D., that I just read that has nothing to do with ghosts, or ghost spirits, but it does have to do with death and how when we have more than one pet that the other pet grieves as well.  That's right.  Your other pet.  The one that will stare into the kitchen looking at the dog bowl as if they are seeing something.  Maybe they are!  But lets not forget them in this process.  They grieve as well.  And you know, as much as your pet loved you...they loved your other pet to.  So, it is no surprise that they would come back to say "hi" to them as well.  The article below talks about your pets grief.  I thought it was really good and just wanted to include it with this blog.

Do Dogs Grieve Over the Loss of an Animal Companion?

A poignant study confirms what many owners suspected about pets and grieving.

Posted Nov 10, 2016

I recently visited the home of some friends who have always had Boston Terriers as their companion dogs, usually in pairs, and always in the traditional black and white coloration. Quite often, they also had a cat as a pet, which was usually black-and-white to match the dogs. I always felt that it was Violet's work as an interior decorator that compelled her to have color-coordinated pets. On this visit, I found only one dog in the house. Lou explained that in the course of a few months they had lost one of their Boston Terriers (Lily) and shortly thereafter their cat (Rosie). Lou went on to say, "Now we only have Daisy. She took the loss of Lily and Rosie pretty hard, so we are looking to get a puppy companion for her as soon as possible."
I sat down on the sofa where Violet was sitting with Daisy. She said:
"Daisy was really upset when Lily passed. She kept checking the places where Lily usually took her naps, and when she didn't find her she would whine or whimper. She also got really clingy and demanded a lot of affection from me. Things got better after a month or so but then Rosie, our cat, died. I was surprised to find that Daisy showed the same kinds of behaviors when she couldn't find Rosie. Daisy kept looking for her in her usual spots, began whimpering again, and seemed to want to be close to me. She even stopped eating as enthusiastically as she usually did, as though she had lost part of her appetite."
Although Daisy's behavior at the loss of her canine companion was familiar to me, I was a bit surprised to learn she showed signs of grief at the loss of the cat as well. However, a recent study published in the journal Animals attempts to catalog the behaviors of dogs and cats when they suffer the loss of an animal housemate, and what the study found suggests that Daisy's behavior is not atypical. The study was conducted by a team of researchers headed by Jessica Walker of the New Zealand Companion Animal Counsel who collected data pertaining to 159 dogs and 152 cats. The data consisted of questionnaire responses from pet owners in New Zealand and Australia who owned multiple pets at the same time and had lost one within the past five years. The pet owners were asked to recall how the surviving pet responded to the disappearance of their companion.

One of the most common behaviors observed in dogs was to continually check the places where their lost housemate normally napped or rested. This behavior was found in 60 percent of the dogs (regardless of whether the lost companion was a dog or a cat) and 63 percent of the cats. Virtually the same proportion of surviving pets demanded more affection or became clingy and needy (61 percent of dogs and 62 percent of cats). Increases in whining and whimpering was less frequent, occurring 27 percent of the time in dogs. However, increased vocalizing was much more common in cats (43 percent). Roughly one in three dogs and cats reduced the amount of food they ate and the speed in which they ate it (35 percent in dogs and 31 percent in cats). Dogs were more likely to increase the amount of time that they spent sleeping (34 percent), which was less likely in cats (20 percent). The interesting thing is that these are all behaviors one might observe in a young human child experiencing grief and stress because of the loss of a human family member.

Two aspects of this data surprised me. The first is that the cats seem to show grief-like behaviors to the same extent as the dogs. The second is that the dogs seem to show an equal amount of grief-related behavioral changes when the animal companion they lost was a cat rather than another dog.
One particularly interesting finding is that some animal behaviorists believe that the grief response in dogs can be reduced if the animal has a chance to view their deceased companion's body. The idea is that this provides closure: The dog will understand that their companion is no longer alive and is not coming back. In the study, 58 percent of the dogs and 42 percent of the cats got to view the body of their companion. The majority (73 percent) took the time to sniff and investigate their deceased housemate. However, no one reported behavioral differences between the animals that saw, and those that did not see, a dead companion's body. This seems to confirm that dogs act very much like human children younger than four, in that they do not have a concept of death as a final and irrevocable separation. Instead, they simply feel the loss of the presence, friendship, and companionship of their loved one; that loss causes their stress and grief-like behaviors.
Anna Baburkina/Shutterstock
Source: Anna Baburkina/Shutterstock
The conclusion to draw from this study is that dogs and cats suffer from stress when a companion animal from their household dies. Because of this, they show behaviors which can be interpreted as grief. Further, a dog is just as likely to grieve over the loss of the household cat as it is for the loss of a companion dog.

From me Becky:
Give them extra attention, toys and treats.  Remove or put away all the toys played with prior to the death of their companion.  Anything to do with the scent on it from the companion that died should be put aside and new things brought into the home to bring in new scents and memories.  

And may I offer this suggestion if you lost your only pet.  The love that you had for them, doesn't go away...but the love can also be used to give to another.  The thing you notice...is the loneliness.  The dog not at your feet, no barking, no toys to pick up, no one to greet you when you come home..... it all makes the silence deafening!  Consider getting another pet that needs a good, loving home. 

1 comment:

Mary Beth said...

Becky, After Tank, my Boston Terrier passed, I truly think the cat boys mourned him ....always looking around, walking into other rooms.
when Kepler passed, I know that Tycho, his brother, really mourned Kepler. Tycho became very needy and always wanted to be held like a baby.

it is so heartwrenching to say the least, so sorry about your baby.We did get that little girl kitty to give her a loving home. And every single day, I tell my cat boys and both Bostons to play with Hypatia.
I think Tank chases her some times. LOL