Everyone knows that a beloved pet leaves a special place in our hearts after they're gone, but do they try to protect us after they die? When my husband and I decided to move out on the farm in Southeastern Ohio, the kids wanted a dog. We had a total of three outside dogs while the kids were growing up. Yet, the last dog, Lucky, who got his name because our son picked him over the other 11 pups, couldn't have been a better companion for our son and daughter. Faithful, loving, and a good protector, he loved us all.
After the kids went off to college, he became my companion. Sadly to say, he took sick and died before his eighth birthday. I cried for days and I missed him so much. Yet, there were times when I felt his presence.
I'd been feeling sick off and on for several days. My husband was driving truck and I was alone in the house one night when something strange happened. I went up to bed and the next thing I knew I heard Lucky barking. I knew my dog's bark and in my sleepiness I felt extreme joy at hearing my old friend again. But then I remembered Lucky had died; how could he be barking? Fully awake by this time, I turned on the light. I felt really sick, weird even, and I managed to get downstairs when it hit me. Something was terribly wrong with our furnace.
I ran to open the doors and windows and shut the furnace off. It had been carbon monoxide that had been making me sick we discovered later. Had I not heard Lucky barking to warn me about the danger, I might not be here today. Once we replaced the furnace and all was safe, I never heard him again. I believe our faithful, loving pets do try to protect us even in death.
As a young child, my parents always had cats or dogs in the house and on a number of occasions those animals sensed unseen visitors and acted strangely. Maybe it was the house or spirits in that house who posed a threat to us, I don't know. But I do know that animals see things we can't see and try to warn us of danger.
When I was five or six years old, we lived in an old house that made creepy noises, especially at night. But it wasn't uncommon for my mother to hear the front door open and footsteps move across the living room floor while cooking in the kitchen during the day. When she called out, "I'll be there in a minute..." thinking it was a neighbor lady; only to find no one there, we looked at each other and shivered. This happened quite a lot, but when I woke up one night and heard our dog growling next to my bed, I strained to see in the dim night light and saw the shadow of a man. He was large and wore a hat and long coat. I quickly pulled the covers over my head.
The next morning I told my parents about the man. They just looked at me and then at each other. About that time the phone rang, my grandmother called to say my father's Uncle Jimmy had passed away the night before. He always sent greeting cards to my brother and me, laughed with us, and although he had a loud, gruff voice, the big man, who wore a black hat and long black coat, never scared us for a minute. But Tippy, our dog, didn't know that. She felt it was her job to keep an eye on us.
In that old house, we used the upstairs only for storage. For some reason, Mom didn't want to go up there and I wasn't allowed up there either. It wasn't until Tippy started barking at the foot of the stairs that Mom got the scare of her life. She told me to stay downstairs and she would be back in a minute. I didn't want her to go alone, but she insisted. After a few minutes, I called to her and got no answer.
I called again, "Mom!" Finally, she made her way slowly down the stairs, her face white and eyes fixed on nothing, said "Come, Brenda, let's get out of here for a while..." We quickly put on our coats, got my brother, and left. When my father came home, she said, "Pete, we have to look for somewhere else to live. I saw a woman upstairs today. It's not safe for the kids here. Tippy went crazy and now I know why..." We moved shortly after, but whatever it was followed us and the dog knew it.
Our new neighbor, Lola, often came over and walked in after calling, "Yahoo..." Then one day we heard footsteps on the porch and the door open; we didn't think a thing about it. Tippy started to growl and bark; suddenly we knew it wasn't Lola. No one was there. Over a cup of coffee to settle her nerves, Mom told Lola about the footsteps. She laughed, "Oh, it's likely just the ghost of the old man who used to live here. Don't worry about it, he wouldn't hurt a flea..."
But just like before, the dog started barking for no reason, wouldn't leave our sides, and looked at someone we couldn't see. Then it happened again. She was back. Mom lost her patience and said, "What in the name of God do you want?" Of course there was no answer, but she never bothered us again. Did we live in peace after that? Yes, until we moved again.