His timing left a lot to be desired. Having recently separated from my live in partner I had decided to treat myself to new cream carpet throughout my house. Winter was approaching and carpet would be so much warmer under foot. I had also decided to get a dog in the spring.
My ex-partner hadn’t liked dogs, he was a cat person, so to comprise we had had goldfish. Yes I know, go figure. When he left I liberated the goldfish to my neighbour’s fish pond and started thinking about ‘my dog’.
I was sure I would just ‘know’ who ‘my dog’ was when I met him. I already knew he would be a male and that I would most probably find him at the SPCA pound. I had fairly strong feelings on what breed or mixture of breeds he would be, the type of colourings he would have and that he would be about 6 months old. I didn’t want a very young puppy; I wanted a dog that could stay outside in my fenced yard while I was at work. I certainly didn’t want him until the spring as the thought of muddy footprints all over my soon to be laid cream carpet was not appealing.
He however, had other ideas.
I have always been a fairly intuitive person and believe that the spirit or soul of an animal or person lives on once they physically die. So, it was no real surprise to me when I suddenly felt the spirit of a dog walking beside me. I felt the presence very clearly on my left hand side, mainly while I was out walking, which I did a lot, but also at other times.
After a while I surmised that it was most probably our old family dog Rolf. Rolf had been in spirit for about three years. He passed over about the time I got together with my partner. I say passed over, but in truth my Dad and I had had to make the heart wrenching decision to have him ‘put to sleep’. He was ill, having terrible seizures of some kind my Dad had said. I’m just glad I never witnessed one. Dad said it was awful. If it was actually Rolf who was walking beside me it made sense that he would show up once my dog hating partner was no longer living with me.
It was comforting having Rolf with me, I wasn’t exactly sure why he had come but I wasn’t complaining.
Shopping for the carpet was a relatively painless experience and I managed to track down Reg, a great carpet layer who had many years before done a wonderful job of laying my lounge carpet. Reg and Tony duly arrived to lay my pristine, cream, wool carpet throughout the two bedrooms and hallway of my wee cottage.
Reg was also a very spiritual person and had been just starting out on his journey when I first met him all those years ago. In the course of my new carpet going down we chatted about spiritual matters and I just happened to mention that for the last wee while I had been feeling very strongly the spiritual presence of a dog beside me. Reg asked if I had had a dog while growing up and I said, yes, we had a family dog. Officially Rolf was my brother’s pet, because I had my pony Silver, but I loved him just as much as Jeff my brother did.
“He’s probably wanting to come back to you” Reg said.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
Then Reg proceeded to blow my mind somewhat by telling me that he was quite convinced that the last three dogs he had had were all same dog. What he meant was that his original dog reincarnated and found its way back to him again and then again.
I stood there taking this all in open mouthed. While I had for a very long time believed in the concept of reincarnation for humans it had never occurred to me that it might also work like that for animals. Wow! I thought.
A few weeks after the carpet was laid I was sitting at my desk at work one Thursday morning and I suddenly I got this overwhelming, loud message pop into my head out of nowhere.
“Get up to the SPCA pound now, your dog is up there and will be put to sleep if you don’t get him today.”
‘What the hell’ I think. I try to ignore what has just happened, writing it off as nonsense but keep getting the same message over and over again in my head. In the end I give in and at lunch time jump in the car and head off up to the pound.
Once I get there I wander around a bit, not quite sure where to go. I don’t see any people about. I do however find a pen with a nursing bitch and six very young puppies. All the puppies come running over to the fence to see me and I notice their gorgeous colouring and markings. I say out loud to them “You cuties are the right colour to be my dog but you are far, far too young. My dog is much older than you guys, sorry.” And I go in search of a staff member to find out where the dogs are that are available right now for adoption.
I’m taken down to a different area of the pound and see all the dogs that are currently available. I wander up and down the row of big cages, looking at all the dogs but none of them looks or feels remotely right to me. I walk back to my car and getting into it sit there for a while pondering what has (or more correctly, has not) happened. I say, out loud;
“God I don’t know why you have sent me up here today, I don’t understand. I didn’t see my dog, I don’t think my dog was here, what is going on? And anyway, I’m not ready for a dog yet. I don’t have all the things you need for when you get a dog, especially a kennel. Please just give me two more weeks. Give me two weeks to get organized and get a kennel built.”
I drive back to work still confused.
I spend the next week and half buying doggie things and my Dad builds me a kennel for the pending new addition to my family of one. I ask all the contacts I have, especially farming contacts if anyone has any young pups they don’t want. All my enquiries draw a blank. I decide to put an advertisement in our local newspapers big Saturday addition that goes out all over the province, seeking a tri-coloured, male pup of around 6 months of age.
I’m at work on Saturday and check the paper to see that my advertisement is there. It is. Above my ad though is another ad saying something along the lines of ‘cute tri coloured puppies free to good home’. Out of curiousity I ring the number and ask how old the puppies are. I’m told they are only about 6 weeks old. I immediately say “oh I’m looking for a much older puppy” and then I say “but do any of them have wee brown bits above their eyes so it looks like they have cute eyebrows?” and the girl on the other end of the phone says “yes they do”. I hum and ha on the phone and then say “well I think they are too young but I’ll come and have a look anyway.”
I get the girls details and at lunchtime take off from work to see them. I arrive at the house and the puppies are gorgeous, as all puppies are. The girl shows me which ones are available (because a couple are all ready spoken for) and in the course of our chatting I ask her how did she come to have all these young puppies, where was the mother?
“I rescued them” she said. “How do you mean?” I reply.
“I volunteer up at the SPCA pound and all these puppies were going to be put to sleep because the mother wasn’t looking after them properly, I said I would take them and try to find homes for them to save them” she said.
My heart skips a beat at this point.
“When was this?” I ask. “When did they almost get put to sleep?”
“Two weeks ago” she says.
I go cold and realise exactly what is going on. ‘Bloody Hell’ I think to myself.
I’m in a bit of a tizzy as I realise the significance of this. I see now that the message I got was correct. I understand immediately that I’ve been given a second chance with one of these puppies. I asked God to give me two weeks to get myself organised and that is exactly what I got.
There are two puppies I can choose from so I choose the little boy who is the smaller, almost runt of the litter. I give the girl all my details and we agree that I will collect my wee fella in another week or so after they have all been vet checked and had their first vaccination. I go back to work.
In the next few days, because of my own ad in the newspaper, I’m offered quite a few different puppies from different sources and just to make sure that I’ve done the right thing, I go and look at some of these dogs. None of the other pups I look at feel quite right and I become confident that despite him being much younger than I was anticipating, or wanting, he is in fact the one for me, my dog.
I get a call from the girl early one evening asking if I can take him early, he’s at the vets. I rush over to the vets to collect him. He’s going to be ok. I take him home, it’s Friday 4th of July 1997. American Independence Day.
And with this gorgeous bundle of puppy fluff I fall madly in love and start a new and exciting journey, and gain a new identity; Bailey’s Mum.
I don’t know if Bailey was Rolf returned. At times I thought he might be, based on his first immediate reactions to meeting some people he’d never met before, but people Rolf had met. But in all honesty I didn’t think about it too much. It was just not that important. All I knew for sure was that Bailey was clearly destined to become my dog.
And despite me not even recognizing him when I first saw him, the universe (or God, call it what you will) arranged itself perfectly so that he was brought back to me within the two week time frame I had asked for.
Bailey passed in October 2007. I have felt him with me on many occasions. I am quite convinced he helped and played a role in bringing Bossdin into my life because he knew Bossdin needed me terribly. I believe I will always be with these two special dogs from now until eternity.
(If anyone reading this is really interested in this topic, check out the facebook group I co-run called Pet Reincarnation) 🙂