Maybe not all of our beloved ones are human beings – some of us have the luck to live together with a wonderful pet. The connection between animals and people can be very deep and loving. The more painful it is for us to cope with their parting. Most animals have a shorter life than we have. This is a natural fact that we have to accept.
But, if people live on, do animals live on as well? Doesn’t it just seem logical that, if we have a consciousness that survives the physical body's death, they too have one?
Many theories and philosophies exist regarding animal’s afterlife – ranging from neglecting the existence of animal souls to complex beliefs which suggest that there are otherworldly places for every single species of animal.
Such theories may be interesting, but rather let’s talk about some sincere reports by people from all over the world and from past to present days. There exist indeed countless reports of animals which have been perceived after their death.
Some authors collected a great variety of reports and analysed them. A quite well-known book is "Gli animali hanno un'anima?" (Do animals have a soul?) by the Italian spiritualist and parapsychologist Ernesto Bozzano (1862 – 1943), who also was a researcher on paranormal phenomena during the hour of death.
The German parapsychologist Wilhelm Otto Roesermueller (1902 – ?) wrote a book about animal’s souls as well and gives a lot of reports on the topic (published in 1963: "Überlebt ein fortgeschritten individualisiertes Tier seinen Tod?" - Does an animal survive its death if it is individualised enough?). In this book, he describes cases of animals announcing their death to their owners, animals seeing ghosts and apparitions which are also seen by human beings afterwards, deceased animals appearing to their owners, encounters with deceased animals in the astral spheres and even phantoms of living animals – the latter correspond to the animal’s subtle bodies, suggesting that not only people, but also animals are able to wander around out of their physical body. What is especially remarkable about Roesermueller’s descriptions, is that he does distinguish between real animals and mere thought forms which were created by the people’s minds.
A present example of people who deal a lot with animal’s afterlife is Íris Regina Fernandes Poffo, Brazilian spiritualist and biologist, who wrote the book "Passagens entre Mundos Entrelaçados" (Passages between interlaced worlds). The book includes reports on animals in afterlife, and Íris Poffo also picks up a few examples from Ernesto Bozzano and interprets them. Additionally, the book gives useful hints on how to deal with the death of our beloved ones – not only pets, but people as well.
Let’s take a look at an example from Roesermueller’s book, where he gives a report from the cleric and spiritualist Charles Tweedale, telling of a dog that was seen after its death for many times:
"The apparition of his deceased aunt was seen several times in his vicarage, even voices could be heard, also in bright daylight. Finally, his aunt appeared accompanied by a dog. […] On one occasion, four people saw the dog at the same time. The cleric mentions that his two-year-old daughter ran after the dog and called ‘bow-wow, bow-wow’. This was in broad daylight.
All people which had seen the spirit dog described it correctly as a big, white terrier with a large irregular mark on the back, slightly to the right of the spine, with erect ears and docked tail. […] This was exactly the appearance of the dog during its lifetime. Nobody who described the dog in this way had ever seen it alive, nor heard of it."
(Wilhelm Otto Roesermueller 1963: Überlebt ein fortgeschritten individualisiertes Tier seinen Tod? Self-published, Nürnberg, p. 20-21; translated from the German)
Tweedale further describes this spirit dog as a very intelligent one. For example, the dog was seen ringing the gong on several occasions, whereat the apparition hit the gong with its paw. Such "solid" manifestations of deceased animals are rather rare, compared to other reports where animals have been seen and/ or heard.
Here I’ll give the experiences of a friend:
Kosi, our dog
"My aunt had a really lovely dog, called Kosi. I loved him much. But he already was very old and suffered from cancer. His suffering was great and, thus, he was euthanised by my mother’s husband who was a veterinary. So, during his death, there were no persons which Kosi did not know, and there wasn’t any unsettling scene.
On the day after this, I saw Kosi how he walked through the house, and he was completely confused. Everything was different for him, because nobody could see him and so, nobody took notice of him. The whole world had turned incomprehensible for him and he was bewildered. The situation was the same as sometimes can be observed in recently deceased people: a confusion after death."
Similar experiences are described relatively often: the animal stays with the people it felt connected to and tries to make contact with them. Roesermueller describes a case where a dog stayed with the woman he belonged to. It accompanied her, sat beside her in the train etc. In another example, we read about a spaniel. It died, and the woman who had lived with it was very sad about the loss. But one night, the dog suddenly jumped on her bed, and in the next night, her spaniel came back, accompanied by a poodle. It was found out that this poodle must have been her lessor’s dog, who had died years before and had lived in the same house as the lady.
A lot of reports exist not only on dogs, but also on cats, horses etc. We don’t have many descriptions which refer to wild animals, though, but that may be because of the fact that most people do not feel as close to them as they feel to domestic animals. The connection between a pet and a person can be really deep, so it is more likely to perceive them around us.