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Mr. Riggs Walks

 

On March 2, 2004 I adopted a nearly 3 year old male Miniature Schnauzer (dog) named Mugsy. He was to be a replacement for my recently passed Schnauzer, also known as Mugsy. The matching names seemed to be coincidence. That they both walked with an occasional catch in their right hip seemed to be something more. Mugsy of old was the love of my life and his loss was heart rending. The new Mugsy was an unknown. I soon changed his name to Mr. Riggs, or Riggy. It was just too hard for me to speak the name "Mugsy."

Mr. Riggs was the feistiest of the 5 Scnauzers that are, or have been, in my life. He was hard-headed and a scrapper who did not do well with correction for misbehavior. Not that I was hard on him; he was just very independent and rather willful. I loved him but he was not the proverbial pick of the litter. That said, he was extremely loyal to me and very devoted. We were constant companions and as thick as chilled peanut butter. He even slept on my bed.

With the passage of time, he aged and changed from being muscular and fit to weak and rather frail. His vision grew worse and he could no longer walk my farm fields with me or jump into my bed. He developed a heart murmur and complications followed. Several medical conditions would have ultimately led to his death, and to avoid needless suffering he was put to sleep on January 17, 2017. He had lived a good and long life, and was missed by the family he left behind.

For a month after his death we sorrowed. During the second month following his passing we keenly felt the loss and it was still difficult to speak of him. By the third month we were becoming adjusted to his departure. After the third month our adjustment had largely been completed, though the loss will always be felt and the hole in my heart never fully healed.

Then it began. It would come at night. Always at night. I wonder still, did it awaken me? Or did I awaken to hear it?

There were footsteps in the hallway, and, perhaps, the kitchen and dining room. All those areas have laminate flooring and a dog's claws make an unmistakable clicking sound as they walk. Footsteps are like fingerprints, individual and unmistakable. Audible and unmistakable.

They began around the month of May, 2017. I think it happened 3 times between May and August. I heard a dog's nails clicking on the floor as it walked. I was awake and I heard it. Each time I attributed the sound to my two other Schnauzers, even though one of those dogs was in my bed, the other blind. Perhaps the blind dog, who often sleeps with paws hanging out of his bed, had twitched his feet while he dreamt of better days.

The month of August proved me wrong.

In August, 2017 I went on a vacation cruise to Alaska. My dogs were kenneled while I traveled. Returning home from the trip late at night, I could not pick up my dogs until the following day. To be clear, there were no dogs in my home the first night I returned home from my vacation.

Though tired, I awoke during the night to hear the now familiar footsteps. It was different this time. Those clicking nails were twice as loud. And they were more urgent and persistent. As I write this I realize it was as though he was saying "I'm here. Don't you see me? Get up, get up."

At that point I had a decision to make. Do I stay in bed or go and see what is going on? Without too much shame I can honestly say I was fearful of what I might find.

Long ago I learned to be careful about what I see and experience, because those things become memories that live with you the rest of your life. Now, at age 70, I have more than enough haunting memories that too often revisit me. Not wanting more of these I opted to stay in my bed.

I prayed earnestly for my faithful friend, that he go to the light or move on to a good place where he would be loved and cared for. I fell asleep as I prayed earnestly for a merciful and comforting conclusion to what was happening.

The following day I felt at peace, as though my prayers had been heard and my request granted. There seemed to be a calm in the house and my mind was at ease.

Things changed on Halloween night, the 31st of October, 2017. Friends had arrived that afternoon and would stay with us for 2 days. Their 2 Schmauzers traveled with them, and our 2 were located with me, making a very obvious 4 in total. At dusk, very near dark, while we all were seated in the living room, I heard the unmistakable sound of a dog drinking from the water bowl located in the kitchen. That bowl was 12 to 15 feet (3 to 4 meters) to the left of the living room chair I sat in. It was a loud and earnest lapping. Instantly the 2 young and vigorous visiting Schanuzers, also in the living room, barked furiously and dashed into the kitchen. At that same time my old dogs began to bark and have their say. The sound of drinking had been clear and could not be denied. It stopped as soon as the other dogs began to bark. With all 4 dogs accounted for in the living room, there was no living creature at the water bowl.

My wife has heard none of this, though she was not at home Halloween night. I can say the footsteps and drinking sounded to me like Mr. Riggs, not another dog. When dogs are with you for more than a decade, day and night, their individual sounds are distinct.

The wild card in this is that I have some psychic ability that was passed to me by my mother. I don't know if that ability comes into play regarding Mr. Riggs, or if this is purely a ghost story.

Ghost story. I'm not at ease with the term. To me, story implies fiction. Every word presented here is truthful and I am a bit troubled by what has happened. I hope Mr. Riggs moves on to some pleasant place and finds peace. I wouldn't say we are being haunted. I do suspect that he is hanging around out of loyalty and our deep bond.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, MrRiggs, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Zombiemare13 (1 stories) (10 posts)
+1
2 months ago (2017-11-29)
I understand how you feel. My kitty Tiger has just passed and things are so cold and lonely without her. Also I am having a similar experience-I might write about it if it keeps going on.
I liked reading your story and I do understand why you decided not to go take a look...
I hope you find another little companion to make you happy... Maybe we both will🙂
Have you ever read the Rainbow Bridge? A friend of mine sent it to me and even though it made me cry, it was sort of comforting. I thought you might like it.🌈🐅
AugustaM (2 stories) (458 posts)
+1
2 months ago (2017-11-28)
I know just how you feel, MrRiggs. I tend to prefer pets to people as well. I lost my beloved Peanut this past Easter and still get upset when I think of her - I want her back more than anything...dammit, starting to cry already have to change the subject! Animals are truly little wonders - their capacity to love is astonishing.

I still see Peanut out of the corner of my eye and feel her get into bed now and then.

I hope you soon brought home another baby - the world is so full of sad castoffs desperate for a kind heart like yours.
hawkseye12002 (3 stories) (35 posts)
 
2 months ago (2017-11-27)
Aww... I'm so sorry for the loss of your beloved babies. I know that feeling all too well.

I had 2 babies that were Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso mixed and they were siblings, born of the same litter. I had T-Bone for about 13 years before he passed away, and Prissy passed away this past September. She was a month shy of her 16th birthday.

I also had an experience with hearing the pitter-pat of doggie feet! You can read it here:

Http://www.yourghoststories.com/real-ghost-story.php?story=24172

Once again, I am sorry for your loss. ❤
EmmalineTexas (10 stories) (148 posts)
 
2 months ago (2017-11-26)
Mr. Riggs - I'm so sorry. I meant to say that my son understands.
EmmalineTexas (10 stories) (148 posts)
+1
2 months ago (2017-11-26)
Mr Riggs - I think that your comment is beautiful. Often the people who feel the deepest and who are the most compassionate are heartbroken by this world. People are capable of good, but they are also capable of unwitting cruelty, indifference, apathy and self involvement.
Animals, to me are the purest form of love. They ask nothing in return but a kind gesture or even silent companionship. They have gotten me through times that have broken my faith. Just by being there I have felt the divine in their earnest and loving presence. I understand completely that you prefer animals to humans. I feel the same way.

It's my belief that animals enjoy a special place in heaven. Free to play and roam, but also free to come and check on those that they had to leave behind. Their lives are so much shorter and I do think that they miss us. Our spans are so much longer. My own dear Harper; a border collie, kept me sane and I call him my first child to this day. My understands.

I do hope that your sweet little calico cat and Mr. Riggs are your constant guardians who compare notes and take turns watching over you night and day.

With greatest respect,
Emma
MrRiggs (5 stories) (75 posts)
+6
2 months ago (2017-11-26)
All -

Perhaps it is appropriate to make clear that I prefer pets to people. During my life I have seen what people are capable of. Animals are more open in their relationships and genuine in nature. Further, pets may come into your life when very young and stay with you until their passing. Children generally arrive young and depart when mature. A spouse arrives grown and their childhood cannot be shared. Only with a pet (in most cases) do you share life from beginning to end. I am humbled when they choose to share their life with me. Our bond becomes very deep. Without shame I tell you that I have had my heart rent upon the passing of a friend and wept the bitter tears of sorrow.

While I may sound maladjusted, please consider that I traveled the world for 30 years. I have been in places where people still eat each other, or willingly commit genocide, or ethnic cleansing over political, racial or religious differences. Mankind apparently has much to learn. Our collective human heart appears to have been cast in stone.

So I prefer the company of my little Calico cat. She arrived at my door 3 years ago on the verge of starvation. She plead for her life and I fed her. When finished eating, she sat and looked at me, then jumped into my lap and touched her forehead to mine. We are fast friends and she is never far from me. She sleeps upon my bed, often touching my cheek with her paw. She had been spayed, by the way, meaning she belonged to someone. It appears she had been dropped off by an uncaring person to fend for herself.

Perhaps our hearts have knitted together with the passing of years. That could account for something Jubeele brought to mind, and that I had forgotten. Daisy May, a wonderful gray and white cat, ours from a kitten, passed in the house. My sadness was great enough that I could not finish digging her grave. I heard her mewing in the house, gentle and soft, for months after her burial.

Yes, Mr. Riggs walks and our connection is strong. My hope is that he finds his way to the place where good dogs go. Should he choose to stay here, he will always be welcomed.
lady-glow (9 stories) (1702 posts)
+1
2 months ago (2017-11-26)
Mr. Riggs: this is such a lovely experience and you're a wonderful storyteller.

"I prayed earnestly for my faithful friend, that he go to the light or move on to a good place where he would be loved and cared for..."

I dare to say that, for Riggy, such place is always by your side. ❤

Thanks for sharing.
RANDYM (2 stories) (266 posts)
 
2 months ago (2017-11-25)
Melda
I too don't like using or referring to these as "stories". No offense to the site owners or mods
When I think of a "story" I think of sitting by a campfire telling made up stories for the thrill of it

I prefer to think of these as "experience's"

Randy
RANDYM (2 stories) (266 posts)
 
2 months ago (2017-11-25)
Mr.Riggs

Hello from Kentucky (Lexington)
We have many similarities
I have a story pending now that hopefully makes it up soon
" Doodle Says Goodbye "
Small 10 pound mutt, but that little ball of chaotic hair was my soul mate
Anyway I know just what you mean about the footsteps. We kept all 3 of
Her puppies and we could always tell which one of the four it was. They each
Have their own distinct walk among other things.
Perhaps Mr Riggs just isn't quite ready yet and his instinct will tell him when it's time
Maybe when he feels your ok and adjusting to your new pal.

I want to say how sorry I am for your loss. I always thought my Mother a bit
Odd the way she loved her 1st poodle. I know now how deep the pain can go
I do believe there will come a day though when you will look up and see that
Tail wagging and butt doing that little "butt dance " dogs do when happy

Take care friend
Randy
Melda (9 stories) (796 posts)
 
2 months ago (2017-11-25)
MrRiggs- I also used to feel uncomfortable with using the word "story" but as this forum is called Your Ghost Stories, I have adapted my thoughts accordingly.

I agree that each animal leaves its own little trademark after it concludes its life on this earth. I have had a number of experiences with my beloved pets as well, cats and dogs. Whenever I hear one of them, I know exactly which one it is 😊

By the way, Schnauzers are lovely dogs, intelligent and loyal. I have never owned one but I know people who have.

Regards, Melda
Jubeele (9 stories) (471 posts)
+1
2 months ago (2017-11-25)
I believe that the close bond we form with our furkids sometimes linger on. There are many shared experiences from others on YGS of how their beloved animals have returned to comfort them. It does happen from time to time.

I lost my tortoiseshell cat some years ago, but there have been a few times when I'm sure I heard her distinct enquiring "meow" and saw a flash of orange-black-cream fur just around the corner. Cats, like dogs, have very individual voices.

Halloween or Samhain is thought to be a time when the boundary between our world and the Otherworld can be more easily crossed. Perhaps that could be why you had a visit on that night. It is significant to note the reaction of the other dogs. Animals' sensory perceptions are sharper than humans - the dogs knew you had company that night and barked to alert everyone to the fact.

Mr Riggs probably returned to look in on you, his favourite person. The ability you inherited from your mother probably made it possible for you to be receptive to his presence. When the moment is right for both of you, he will most likely move on.

This is a lovely, touching account. Thank you for sharing it with us. Welcome to YGS.

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