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The Animal Communicator Blog

The Departure of My Ultimate Dog

I am eternally grateful for the magical life with my ultimate dog, Belinda. She had the best traits of all my former dog companions and added some qualities and quirks of her own, as we individuals all must do. It is fitting that she departed this life on November 1st - All Saint’s Day.

She was rescued as a starving stray pup from the streets of Mexico City by a California veterinary rescue team, Compassion Without Borders.Nursed through persistent pneumonia for six months, she was then found to have a necrotic kidney that had to be removed just before she came to me at a little over one year old. That rough beginning set the stage for glaucoma later in her life with the loss of one eye and then kidney failure, leading to her death. Despite physical challenges, she had a long, happy, adventurous life of almost 16 years.

The Best Helper
Belinda shared her great love and compassion with many people who still tell me about the help she gave them when they came for animal communication courses or shamanic retreats at our home. She was very present for everyone as she sat on my lap and looked intently at each person in the circle and then climbed into the lap of whoever needed her the most. She danced in our shamanic drumming circles and was united with the Ancient Grandmother and Grandfather spirits who guided us.

I couldn’t have asked for a better helper and canine companion. She looked after me her whole life.

For the last 18 months of her life, I was up to take care of her needs often during the night and vigilant during the day. She would start to head for the last roundup and dramatically pull herself up, determined to continue living. Belinda hung on and enjoyed her life despite kidney disease causing other organs to deteriorate. In her last few weeks she was completely deaf, 90% blind, and walking with difficulty.

Spirit told me her departure would be peaceful. I was reassured and felt that this would be Belinda’s way, as it had been with most of my animal friends. It was not to be. The end was rough.

Her Choice
Belinda was fighting too hard, got locked in the struggle, and then couldn’t let go. Flower essences and homeopathic remedies did not help. During the throes of Belinda's final pain in the early hours of the morning, I felt hurt, even betrayed, that she suffered so much and that I would have to resort to euthanasia. After an emergency call to the vet at 3:30 AM, I gave her the big dose of painkillers the vet recommended, which only helped for a short time.

I summoned all my spiritual guides and past animal friends, including Sherman, to assist her passing. They surrounded us in love but could not intervene or bypass Belinda’s decision to hang on to every ounce of life she had left and stay with me as long as possible in her dog form. I understood then why she didn’t go peacefully as predicted. She made a different choice. She only relaxed and began to let go as I lifted her into the car to go to the vet, knowing her pain would soon be over.

Belinda was very similar to Pasha, my former very beloved Afghan hound companion. They were both so full of vitality and love for life and me that they found it very hard to let go. This caused both of them great suffering at the end. While Sherman, my orange tabby wonder cat who I wrote about in the last blog, was also an incredibly vital character, he had a realization and detachment from form as a spiritual being to watch the dying process and be gentle with his body, helping it to return to the earth more peacefully. Belinda was a survivor and fighter. This quality helped her to live while her littermates did not when they were cast out onto the streets of Mexico city as puppies.

A Sideways Move
Belinda was a part of the Ancient Grandmothers, my closest shamanic spirit teachers and soul group. She loved participating in the Ancient Grandmothers’ circles and retreats. Even though we had separate identities as human and dog, we co-existed in union as spiritual beings.

Most animals move up and out of their bodies into an expanded state as spirits when they die, rising up and entering the spiritual realm. They often then look after and communicate with their people after their transition.

Belinda as spirit did not go anywhere. Her soul essence spread sideways to fully encompass my body as I held her still form. I felt a sense of spacious fullness, a filling up with enormous love as we completely united as souls, no longer two but one in the fullest sense. She came completely home to me. I swam and floated in an altered state and felt glad for us being together even as I experienced the impact of her former body being lifeless.

The river of grief that flowed profusely at the vet’s as her little dog body died and I kissed her again and again for me and for all the people who loved her had emptied into great mother ocean. I now had to adjust to being dogless for the first time in 42 years and to the giant, wide expanse of love that filled my form and space.

Helping me to make the transition were wonderful friends who listened to the details of this both wrenching and exalting journey. I felt relieved and peaceful after being able to relay to them this monumental experience.

I placed Belinda’s body next to the fireplace, to help the three cats and I to adjust to this huge change. Each time I saw Belinda's body lying in state, I felt the love I have for her and the love she has for me swirled into our oneness. I would sometimes stroke her hair and neck, like she used to love and gently let go of her oh-so-familiar, sweet doggie form.

Jerry and Lila, who very much loved Belinda, joined the burial ceremony we had on the morning of November 3rd. I documented their tender participation in photos with comments that I placed on my personal Facebook page for all her friends to share. I gathered abundant flowers and herbs from our fall garden to cover her body. I wrapped her body in the leopard pattern jacket I bought after she first came home with me. I lay a cotton blanket decorated with many sheep and “sweet dreams” for her body to rest on in the grave and snuggled a favorite cotton turtle dolly of hers behind her neck.

I chanted, drummed, and sang as sage and copal smoke drifted. Finally, I covered her body with soil and gave it back to Mother Earth. I find it hard to cover the face of animals I have buried and do that last. Then I felt the great relief and comfort of Mother Earth taking Belinda’s body home - a warm, nurturing surrender and completion for me.

Whaleful Union
In the following days, I felt like I was riding a huge gently rolling wave coursing through and around me as I thought of Belinda. She wore a whale tail charm on her collar for most of her life. Together we have become a full spirit whale in the depths and expanse of the great ocean of soulful love.

My books, Animals in Spirit and When Animals Speak, can help you with the passage of your animal friends. When Animals Speak has the powerful story of my dog partner Pasha’s passing in 1992.

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