When Animals lose their Human Companion

Typically I write about an animal who has gone to spirit. It can have a devastating impact on their human, so some seek out an animal communicator for words of comfort from their animal friend who has walked through the veil. It’s followed by a grieving process by humans, since that is what we do. We grieve the loss of those who have crossed into spirit and are no longer in our lives. We temporarily forget about joy. We can’t find our footing and some people stay in grief for a very long time. There is no rule book, no time line, it’s a process that must be played out.

But what if  it’s the other way around? How do animals react when they lose their human?

This little gal just lost her dad. He crossed over at a young age leaving her behind. She had lived with a pack of canine friends and many horses. Her life was in the mountains and she ran much of the time following her dad on his horse, or simply helping him to care for all the animals. She was a ranch dog.

But after her dad died, she moved with his brother here to the coast.  The climate is different, there are no horses, and she has a new pack of three dogs and three humans. All accepted her with love mixed with a bit of sadness. Well the dogs didn’t – they let her know her place right away.  So how has she handled her transition? How has she grieved and moved on?

Animals realize that we are spirits moving about in body form. They understand that when a human or animal goes to spirit, that they can be “recycled” and choose to come back in a new body. That doesn’t mean they don’t grieve a loss, it simply means they have a different understanding of how the Universe works.

At first she was tentative and played furiously with whomever would play with her. She hung close to her new dad and tried to learn the rules of the pack.  She did what all dogs do when faced with a new environment and family – she tried her best to please.

She’s a great dog and won my heart immediately. She also broke my heart one day soon after arriving. We were sitting around with all the dogs and she came and rested her head in my lap. “When is my dad coming to get me?” she asked quietly. I told her the truth – or rather confirmed it. I told her dad was in spirit and that this was her new family and home. She walked away looking a bit sad but she understood. But I have seen her quickly blossom.

She loves the beach. The first trip out, she ran as fast as she could to the far end of the beach, abruptly turned around and ran back toward the trail to my car. I called her to me several times and in a quiet voice, told her how happy we are to have her here with us and how much we love her. I was being honest with her and trying to help her to get her bearings. “This is your new home, we have fun here, you will love it.”

I took care of the entire pack of four dogs (with help from friends) as the human part of the family dealt with the sad task of packing up her human’s life.  Their task was overwhelming and I felt that the best thing for me to do was to simply “love her into the pack.”

She now knows that when I arrive there is a trip to the beach in store. There are so many new smells and things to discover.  She no longer races to the end of the beach but takes her time with all the new and interesting “dog things” on the beach. She engages her new brothers in play and if one won’t take the bait, she chooses another. She’s learning  her place and is beginning to realize there is plenty of love and companionship for her. She’s not quite relaxed, but she’ll get there.  And she loves to run – fast!

I know she misses her dad very much. I know he watches her at play on the beach and it brings him joy from his vantage point. I feel him on our walks with us.

She has moved quickly into her new world with few issues.  However I looked out the window one morning to see my boots on their lawn as a huge hint that a beach walk would be perfect in that moment. All I could do was laugh. After all, she does have a some anxiety and is still learning the ways of the new pack. Boots on the lawn isn’t the way to get what you want, but it didn’t take an animal communicator to figure out her wishes.

It’s overwhelming to lose a human or animal loved one. But we have to grieve. It’s natural and part of the healing process. Not seeing someone we love and know again is a very empty feeling and causes us to question: “What’s next? Why now? Now what?” And I phrased it that way intentionally since that is the place it takes us.

But I also know we can learn from this little dog who is living in the moment. She is finding joy no matter what happens in her day, and adapting well to the new and sudden changes. She feels her dad, but is also willing to live a new life without him in it.

I believe we should live our lives like a dog. Play hard, love unconditionally, and find moments of  joy in every day.


** This is a family I am very close to. I love each of the humans and their dogs as if they were my own family. In fact, I’ve been named a member of the pack.

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