Communicating with animals on the other side can be a very emotional experience, especially if the animal crossed during a traumatic event. No matter the way they got there, I believe the most important thing to remember is that they live on... at least that is what they communicate back to their people through me all the time. And I think one of the most beautiful messages most often relayed is this... you never need a communicator like me to convey your love to your animal. That message always comes through loud and clear on it's own—even if it is an animal you barely know but have appreciated in some way.
On Easter Eve, 7 April, 2007, the Jacksonville Humane Society burned to the ground. The roof collapsed onto the cat facility injuring four fire fighters and taking the lives of 68 of the 100 cats housed within. There were 166 animals at the shelter at the time and only 68 dogs and 11 cats survived. Seventy fire fighters (over 3/4 of the Duval County Force) worked for over an hour just to control the fire and it's 30 foot flames. They let dogs out of their runs and out of the building, which is the only reason they survived.
On 10 April, 2007, one of the volunteers called for a communication with some of the animals who survived. Cheryl wanted to see if a link could also be made with those who had crossed over in the fire.
"There were so many 'loved ones' (people and animals) here to greet us," Gabby conveyed, a cat wh0 was the first victim to speak. She told us they were now gathered as a group on the other side.
Bernadette, another cat, joined Gabby and throughout the session, they spoke the most. Gabby said that during the fire they were scared at first and confused, but never angry because they knew they couldn't get out. Before they were overtaken by smoke, it felt like a blanket was being put over them and there were all gathered up, the girls explained. Then their pictures shared showed what seemed to be fire fighters on this side of life handing the animals off to fire fighters on the other side of life, who were waiting for them.
Gabby described how the heavenly fire fighters handed each one off to their awaiting loved ones, and at the this sight the most incredible burst of love filled my chest as I tried to hold back tears. Later I was told many fire fighters held back tears of their own as they heard or or read the girls account.
"They did not feel any pain and Gabby said there was a huge crowd on the other side to greet them. They are mostly staying together and just getting ready to disperse. She thinks that's because there is still someone to come, (maybe Scooter who is missing), but also because it is taking a while to get everyone sorted out; so many crossed at once and so many were there to meet them," Cheryl wrote from her notes of our communication that day.
Mr. Whiskers (a favorite cat with the Society staff) said with delight, " I found my Gram," an older woman in a wheelchair with the pink blanket in her lap. And Jinx, another favorite, was too interested in what he was doing, too busy to talk," she wrote. (In a message from Cheryl the next day, she said Mr. Whiskers story was confirmed.)
"Bongo, one of the two adult dogs who crossed, was surprised but pleased to hear that he will be the poster dog. He is a success story at the Humane Society, representing the shelter at its best. He was a food aggressive puppy who needed to be fed by hand by as many people as possible. As a result, everyone fell in love with him and he became adoptable," she continued on.
Bernadette said that even though they were in a facility, they all experienced the joy of knowing they were being cared for and loved before they "went home," a term the Society uses when an animal is adopted out.
"Who feels bad when someone crosses? Life is limited in time and it doesn't matter when you go or how you cross," Bernadette explained. "It matters that you cross knowing you were loved and cared for."
With this said so beautifully by a shelter cat who experienced the unimaginable, I'll end on this note:
Our animals will never live as long as we want them to, and there may always be strays or unwanteds in the world. But the moments we spend giving simple love, respect and appreciation to a creature, just for them being them, is a thread that ties us together, and they take that with them when they go. Please visit the Jacksonville Humane Society.
A lifetime here is the blink of an eye there...
One thing I have come to learn in working with animals on the other side, is that they seem to indicate that time here is very different than time here. A lifetime here is just the blink of an eye where they are. Because of this, I am often able to communicate with animals who crossed over nearly a lifetime ago, as was the case for Julie when her childhood dog, Chief, came to communicate, after having crossed more than 20 years ago.
When Julie thought back to her childhood friend and commented on how he was the best dog ever, Chief injected his thoughts on the subject of his importance.
"The sign of a truly great dog is one who can be the best dog ever, no matter what stage of life you are going through. I was one of those dogs."
Julie recounted to me several instances of Chief's "greatness" and said in a note to me: "Chief was pretty much involved with our everyday family life (As you can see from my youth pictures of growing up). He was a very smart, calm, happy dog. When he was happy, he could not control his back side. He no only wagged his tale, but his whole back side!
"One day my mom cut Chief's hair and my brother and I laughed at him because she did an awful job. He was so embarassed that he went and hid under an evergreen tree. My mother warned us NEVER to laugh at him like that because it hurt his feelings. We knew it was true because you could just see it in his face.
When communicating with animals, it's always worth asking about those who have gone on before you. Chances are a link can be made and you can converse with a friend from long ago.
If you'd like to reconnect with an animal friend of your own who is on the other side, please contact Colleen.