It was All Souls’ Day yesterday, following on after All Saints’ Day. November is the month when we remember the dead. These special days have been celebrated in this country for over a thousand years, it’s a time to send prayers to loved ones and our ancestors. Does this apply to pets also? We believe that it does and that every living creature has a soul. It’s not the end when they pass on, their soul continues and sometimes returns although not in the same form as before.
Does a new dog remind you of one you had before? This happens a lot. We’ve had pups brought in who knew instinctively what to do and where to go. Heidi, one of the Miss Whippets, has t he same characteristics of a dog called Bobbie who died many years ago. She likes and dislikes the same things and knows her way around even when she has never been to the place before – although Bobbie had.
Pete, who was one of our trustees, used to take Heidi and Zeta up the fields to see the horses. He used to pause to take in the view at the top of the bank. Pete passed on seven years ago but when the dogs take themselves for a walk they run up the fields to where they used to go with Pete and pause, looking up just as they used to do when he was with them. Can they see him? I like to think so.
It’s good to make a shrine to our passed on pets. It needn’t be elaborate, something beautiful or significant and in a corner of the house where it’s quiet. You can decorate your pet’s shrine – with a photo, a name card, some flowers, a candle, a prayer flag – whatever you like. It’s a meaningful way of remembering your pet who meant so much to you when he or she was alive. Remembering is a way to keep your pet’s soul alive and that’s what this month of November is all about.