Pet Loss and the Story of Charlie

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Pet Loss

The passing of an animal friend and companion can be quite traumatic for anyone. In our society it is not often accepted that we should spend a lot of time grieving for our pets, but the fact is that it takes as long as it takes and that’s that.  

I’ve always felt that it is important to support that grieving process in my clients and I look for stories that are comforting, which teach that the animal is now free of pain and is waiting on the other side for them.  

Animals are a gift from God. Each day should be treasured as they do not live as long as we do. And I believe that they are highly instrumental in finding a replacement for themselves and that they don’t leave us (in spirit) until they know we are strong enough to handle that.  

When my cat, Callie, died while a few years back, I was away. I was devastated. She visited me twice after she passed and each time the foot of the bed where she slept depressed as if she were actually sleeping there. It took me three years to get through that grieving process, so be patient with your loved ones who are going through this challenged time. Give them comfort and support.  

This is my favorite chapter from James Van Praagh’s book, Talking to Heaven: A Medium’s Message of Life After Death.  


 Much of the richness of my work is measured by the situations I encounter among people who love one another very much. That was the way I looked at it until the time I received a phone call, and the operator said a deaf woman was on the phone and wanted to speak to me. I said, “Okay,” and the operator translated our conversation. The lady’s name was Susan, and she was very depressed and requested a reading. She wanted to know if it could be worked out. I told the operator yes, and a date was set. 

On the day of the reading, I wasn’t sure if anything would transpire. At eleven o’clock the doorbell rang. Two women were waiting—one rather thin in stature, with dark hair; the other was a little larger and had red hair. The thin woman introduced herself as Kathy and told me she was the interpreter. 

I invited them in and offered them some water to drink. “I hope you didn’t have a hard time trying to find the place, “I said. I looked behind me and saw Kathy busy signing to Susan. When we moved into the séance room, we agreed that it would be best for Susan to sit in front of me, and Kathy to stand behind me and sign to Susan. 

I began my introduction by explaining the process of spirit communication. As a native New Yorker I speak rather quickly, but Kathy kept up with me all the way. I was amazed how quickly she could spell out what I said. As I recall this situation, I remember how I felt, especially about the love and healing Kathy brought to her work. I was amazed with her interpreting abilities as she was with mine. 

I began Susan’s reading by performing a psychic chart on her. When I do someone’s psychic chart, I usually hold a pad and pen, tune into an individual’s energy pattern, and write or draw my impressions. Sometimes, I do it at the beginning of a session to ease into the communication of a reading. If I give an individual some correct psychic information about herself, she knows right away that I am legitimate. Any wall of doubt is removed, and the communication process with spirits is much easier. 

Susan seemed to be very much a loner, and one who could be very stubborn. I described her family, one that wasn’t very communicative and open, and relayed that her deafness was due to the two small bones in her ears that were not fully developed when she was born. She acknowledged that I was correct and was quite happy that I was able to give her such specific information. After finishing her chart, I said my prayer and began my opening=up process. I immediately began to receive information about her home. 

“This is quite strange, but I am shown what I believe to be our house. Do you have a brownish sofa under a window with a colored blanket or quilt on top of it?” 

After the exchange of interpretation, Kathy gave me Susan’s answer, “Yes that is right. It is right under the window, and the blanket is on the couch but not all the time.” 

I must say it was quite different receiving the feedback from someone standing behind me, even an interpreter. 

I continued. “There are several pictures on a metal stand to the right of the couch. I also see what appears to be plastic or silk flowers on this shelf as well. Do you accept this?”

“Yes, that is exactly right.” 

“I am also shown an orange carpet. It is worn in a couple of spots, especially near a door. I believe this to be the front door to your apartment. I am also shown a kitchen. Hold on. I don’t know who is giving me this information. Let me ask.” 

I mentally asked the spirit to identify itself. There was no response, so I sat very quietly. I was then shown many pictures on a refrigerator and described them to Susan. “I am shown so many pictures on the refrigerator. There are many of a dog.” 

Susan started to laugh. She told me that they were pictures of her dog. As I continued, I suddenly felt and incredible amount of life fill the room. It was a love that seemed so noble and unconditional. Then I blurted out. . .”Charlie.” 

With that, Susan began to cry hysterically. I was totally at a loss and stared at her, waiting to hear a reply or an explanation. I obviously hit a nerve and wanted to know what it was. 

Kathy spoke for Susan. “Yes! Charlie was my dog. Charlie is the one I came here to contact. He died two months ago, and I miss him very much.” 

I could hardly believe what I was hearing. I realized why I was having trouble identifying a person. It became obvious that the information was from the dog ! The dog was showing me things that he understood. 

Susan was busy signing until Kathy finally spoke. ”Susie is telling us that Charlie loved to sit on the couch all the time, and that his favorite place was the blanket. From time to time he would also claw at the carpet in front of the door and pretend he was burying something.” 

“I understand. I thought it strange to see the visions from a low angle, but now I understand why. I am seeing them trough Charlie’s eyes.” 

After a moment I continued the reading. “Charlie gives you lots of love. He is showing me a red light and tells me he did something with this red light.”

Susan was extremely excited as she signed feverishly to Kathy. “Yes, it was the light that would let me know the phone was ringing. Charlie would come over and nudge me when he would see it. He was great! He had very human qualities.” 

“He is giving a thought that he had a pretty red collar with jewels. . .well, they look like diamonds. I’m sure they are not real diamonds.” 

Susan laughed and told us that they weren’t real but that they did shine. She said it would rile her when people made fun of Charlie because he wore such a “feminine collar.” 

After a giggle, I continued. “Charlie is describing how you would walk him down to the corner store to buy some bread and milk.” 

“Yes, that is right.” 

Then I started to laugh. Charlie had sent me a very funny thought, and I related his message. 

“Charlie is telling me that he didn’t like the baths in the sink.” 

“Yes. Every Friday night I would give him a bath, and you’re right, he didn’t like it one bit. He would fight me all the time. I think after a while, he got used to it. Can I ask you a question?”

“Yes, of course.” 

Susan slowly began to cry and started to sign a question. “Was Charlie in a lot of pain when he died? And can you please tell him I’m sorry.” 

I asked, “Did Charlie have trouble with his legs at one point? I mean, was he unable to walk? Because I feel pain in the right side.” 

“Not until the very end. He was on medication.” 

“Do you know if he had diabetes?” 

“Yes, he did. He also had kidney problems. Is he telling you that?” 

“Yes, he is giving me the thought of what was wrong with him before his death. He is also telling me he loves you very much and that you helped him. Did you put him to sleep?” 

“Yes, but I didn’t want to.” 

“Your dog was in a lot of pain in the end. You really helped him. Do you know that?”

Susan did not answer. She bent her head and shook it up and down. 

“Charlie still sleeps with you at the end of the bed. Does that make sense?” 

“Yes. He would always come on the bed in the middle of the night. I would wake up and find his head on the pillow next to me.” 

“Do you know someone with a name like Ivy? I know it is a strange name, but I feel this is the name?” 

Susan began to think but could not place the name. Then a few minutes later she burst out: “Yes! I was speaking to her on the phone last week. She is helping me to get another dog. It is very hard to find a dog for the hearing impaired, and she told me she might have one for me.” 

“I am getting a very strong vibration or sensation from this animal that you will get the other dog, and you won’t be alone much longer. Charlie says he will help and make sure the other dog knows what to do. By the way, she shows me a white dog. It almost looks like a husky.” 

Susan got very excited. “That is the type of dog Ivy is trying to get for me.” 

With that, we thanked the spirit world for their assistance, and I asked them to help Susan on her path. 

As I said earlier in the book, animals survive death. When animals pass into the world of spirit, they accept their transition very much as a natural occurrence. We could certainly learn from them. I have often been asked, “Where does my loving pet go?” our pets also go to a heaven world. They go to a very beautiful, physical type of world—the same place occupied by humans. When an animal passes, it is met by the human being(s) with whom it had a rapport while on earth. If no one is available, or if an animal didn’t share its earth experience with a human, it is often met by animal caretakers. These keepers are generous, loving souls who watch over our pets until a family member with strong love ties to the pet joins it in the spirit world. More than likely, animal caretakers are people who adored animals on earth. 

It is fairly common for your newly departed animal to come back to its earthly place of residence. More than likely it will sit in the same chair, sleep in the same spot, and watch you very closely. It remembers the kindness and love it received from you on the earth, and it will often return to watch over and protect you. 

So please, don’t ever take an animal, or any other form of life, for granted. We are here to share in the mystery of a divine plan of love for all of God’s creatures.