When I made the decision to adopt, I knew I wanted a baby girl. When I got there, I found she had a little brother who was equally adorable. I held the little girl first and she seemed indifferent. Then I noticed that the little boy was trying so hard to get my attention by jumping up and down and squealing at me. It was like he was yelling, “Pick me! Pick me!” He melted my heart and I figured if he wanted me that bad, then I would just have to become his new mom; therefore, I chose the little boy and named him Nakia.
Nakia was a Toy Poodle and was about seven weeks old. It was like we were meant for each other. He followed me everywhere, slept with me, and didn’t like for me to be out of his site, nor I his. It was hard for me to leave for work knowing that I couldn’t be with him, but when I got home, his excitement at seeing me and his kisses made my heart sing. He was literally my child.
My family had all kinds of pets ever since I was a little girl. When I was younger, they were just pets. I loved them, but I didn’t have that spiritual soul connection that I have today.
One experience taught me how connected people could be to animals. In 1979, I went on a retreat with a church group and several of us rode with a woman in her large RV. One guy brought his pet monkey with him. I was amazed when I found that the driver was an animal psychic and could communicate with animals. As I sat there and listened, she communicated with the monkey and told his owner things that only he and the monkey could have known!
Years later, I read some books on communicating with animals and found that once I opened my heart and mind to this idea, I found that I had a real sensitivity to all animals. I couldn’t communicate with them like the woman above, but I could sense what they were feeling, and I still can to this day.
I think the event that brought it home for me was when I hit a deer back in the late 80’s. She jumped into my car from the side of the road and landed in the ditch. I never saw her coming. Hysterical, I petted her stomach while I watched the life drain from her body. Before she died, she turned her head over her stomach and looked right at me. I immediately heard the words in my mind, “It’s okay. I know you didn’t mean to hurt me. I forgive you.” It was at that moment that I became a vegetarian because I knew I could no longer eat these magnificent creatures we call animals.
Over the years, I’ve read many books on the afterlife, and people who have crossed over and come back to life have said that there are animals on the other side. Psychics/mediums such as John Holland and John Edward use their gifts to not only connect people with their loved ones on the other side, but also connect them with their beloved pets. There are also many books written about pets going to heaven.
This helps to give me some peace because I miss my kids terribly. Over the past several years, I lost my precious baby boy, as well as my beloved cat and horse. Anyone who knows me knows that I call all my pets ‘my kids.’ They’re just as much my children as anyone’s human children are to them. Some may not understand this connection with our pets, but there are many who do. When I lose any of my kids, it’s devastating, and the grief I feel is almost unbearable. I still can’t think of my kids or look at their pictures without breaking down and sobbing.
Hippocrates said, “The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different.” And Gary Kowalski, author of ‘The Souls of Animals,’ wrote, “Animals, like us, are living souls. They are not things. They are not objects. Neither are they human. Yet they mourn. They love. They dance. They suffer. They know the peaks and chasms of being.”
Animals are special angels on earth and they love us unconditionally. Pi in the movie ‘The Life of Pi’ said, “Animals have souls. I have seen it in their eyes.” When you have that connection to animals, you can feel their souls touching yours, and if you look close enough, you too may also see it in their eyes.
Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper March 25, 2016.