When I was 4 I remember we had a darling young Chihuahua called Tommy. He was my sister's dog and one day my other sister accidentally let him out and he ran right down the road and was run over before we could go get him. I saw him lying on the side of the road and it broke my heart. I cried so hard and I still remember a kind old man offering me a plush Snoopy for my sadness, but I turned it down saying it wasn't my doggy. I still can't stand a certain Elton John song as it was the first one I heard after Tommy died and it still tears me up - even 20 years later.
But after my brothers buried him in the yard, we heard his scratching at the back door. It was really frantic. It scared me at that age. My mum even asked them to go check if he was truly buried, and hadn't somehow resurrected and dug his way out, but his grave was undisturbed. When we checked the door, several times, there was nothing there.
I still miss him now, but about five years ago I had another heartbreaking experience. My lovely Chihuahua cross, Foxxy, had pups. They all found loving homes, and there was one who everyone loved, but would pick up, put down and not want. They would say how lovely she was and cute and then just decide not to take her.
She ended up staying with us, and she was a few months old when she suddenly started to look a bit tired. I put it down to the hot weather, as she was just sleeping a lot. We called her Moo Moo, as she had black and white patches like a little cow.
One night, all of a sudden, she started looking weak and having convulsions. I had no idea what to do. We took her to the vet, but the convulsions got worse and worse and she was crying in pain as I held her, cuddled up and talked to her.
She went in to the vet's. She didn't want to give up; you could see she was fighting against the convulsions, desperately trying to stay alive. The next morning, the vet told me the worst had happened. My little darling Moo Moo had passed on. I was sad that I was not with her, but the vet assured me she would be best kept in the practice and monitored (at that stage they thought she had a slight chance).
I didn't realize my final cuddle as I gave her to the vet would be my last... I think.
I and my mum cried for days, the way she passed tore me to shreds. We buried her in a box of flowers, and I kept a tiny clipping of hair that fell when the vet clipped her leg fur to put in a drip. She had a liver condition, but no-one knew until it was too late.
I put it in a metal heart pendant I had my eye on for months in my university gift shop and finally bought. I placed it inside a little soap stone container that had been one of my birthday gifts. I keep the box on my shelf near a statue of Jesus, and sometimes leave little dog cookies or treats near it for her. She was an active and happy puppy and I like to think it would make her happy.
Last night, I was thinking of her and started crying pretty badly. After a few hours, I took down the pendant, opened it and touched the fur, thinking of her big eyes and log tail and the way she bounced through plant pots all day.
Suddenly (and I know this sounds weird) I felt that she wanted me to put the pendant on and go to sleep like that. I couldn't sleep until I did. Lately, I had been sleeping with her little sister, who looks and acts so much like her, in my room at night. Her little sister (Foxxy had another litter) is about the age she was when she passed on, and is also very active. I think Moo Moo wanted to sleep in my bed too, like her sister!
As soon as I put the pendant on, I felt suddenly sad, and then I felt freezing cold for a while, like an arctic breeze was blowing over my entire body.
Before long, I started to hear puppy sounds, like a little skitty pup doing laps on my carpet.
I woke again that night to the same thing - I heard, clearly, a puppy playing on my floor... And it was not her little sister as she was in the courtyard with her mum.
I could hear the light panting, the tiny claws on the carpet, the racing.
I felt a little frightened by it all, but then I felt reassured. I think she came back to tell me she is still with me. I am not sure why she only did it now, but maybe she has made friends with her little sister Sweetie and wants to hang out with her... And maybe she was a bit jealous and wanted to join in.
I am just glad she is alright after it all and knows I think of her.
I know this sounds insane, but I love dogs and I have a strong connection with them, so this may be why I have experienced two doggie afterlife visits.
Bless the little darlings.