We’re approaching Spooky season again, and once more taking the blog to a ghostly destination, where we share tales about dogs from the beyond!
Losing a pup is a traumatic experience, regardless of how old they are, or how peaceful their passing – and for a lot of people, the concept of the Rainbow Bridge, an after-life dog park where your beloved pet waits for you to join them, brings comfort at the most difficult of times.
If there is indeed a Rainbow Bridge and a great gathering place beyond (and we really hope there is), it does seem that occasionally they leave the gate open, or that some clever dogs are able to slip out for a while!
For centuries, there have been tales of dogs coming back as ghosts, protecting their owners, standing guard over their property, or roaming around the countryside. These stories come from all across the world, from the Legend of the Blue Dog at Port Tobacco in the US to the concept of Inugami (dog-spirits) in Japan – almost every country has a representation and experience with dog ghosts.
We’ve gathered up a couple of stories from our readers in the UK, who have had their own personal experiences with ghostly pups and have shared them with us in time for Halloween!
Lost and Found
So, this story took place about 20 years ago, I was living with my husband in a small cottage in the countryside, with our dog.
My wedding ring is actually a family heirloom – my husband’s Mum had been given it by her Nan, and then it passed down to me. It’s not anything expensive or you know, valuable – it’s the sentiment, and that means everything to me.
Anyway, at the time we had a black Labrador, she was called Charlotte (Lottie for short) – she was the most amazing beast! If she could get under your feet, she’d be there, if she could leave a toy near an open flame, she would! She was mischief made fur!
She was getting on though, we’d had her for nearly 15 years by this point, and she was on the decline – we knew it wouldn’t be much longer, but well… she wasn’t in pain, so we put off that final vet visit.
So, I was pottering around that morning, and my husband came running in with Lottie, she was looking pretty bad. We bundled into the car, I cradled her whilst he drove, and went to the vet. As you’d expect, we came home, but Lottie didn’t – she passed peacefully, but she was gone.
When I got back home, I was picking up her food dishes and realised my wedding ring had fallen off. I looked everywhere, even called the vet, but there was no sign of it.
To be honest, I sat down and bawled my heart out – I’d lost Lottie and my ring on the same day, and I was just inconsolable.
Over the next couple of weeks, I kept finding and picking up her toys, and I ended up putting them in a box in the utility cupboard (I just couldn’t throw them away). It was about two, maybe three weeks later, I was doing the washing up and I heard a dog bark – I immediately thought it was Lottie and looked up to the garden – and for one really vivid moment, I saw her standing by the rose bush (the one place in the garden she wasn’t supposed to go, but always did).
I went outside and of course, no sign of Lottie – but next to the rosebush was a stuffed koala – Lottie’s favourite toy, I picked it up, pretty much in tears – and then started really bawling again, because underneath it was my wedding ring.
I have no idea how it got out there, but I’m convinced that Lottie came back to show me she was okay, and to tell me, “Mum – you’ve dropped it here.”
- Jenna Taylor, Lancashire
What a lovely story, sometimes dogs really do get attached to their favourite toys, and it doesn’t surprise us that even after they’re gone, they’re still taking care of the ones they love!
Waiting Patiently and Faithfully
My family and I used to live in Torrington in North Devon, it’s an area which saw a lot of battles and Civil War action, so people are fairly used to hearing gunshots, seeing bright sparks (like musket fire), and it’s generally accepted that a lot of the local area is haunted.
At the time, our house looked out onto one of these old battlefields, and yeah – it really wasn’t weird for there to be ghosts about. I have Aspergers, so I don’t generally react the same way that most people do – I don’t get emotional and have trouble understanding that some situations are ‘not normal’ and when it comes to this story, I was only about 13 or 14 at the time, and since ghosts were ‘common’ in the area, I didn’t really think much of what was happening.
Over the space of about two years, we used to see a little white dog running through the house – it would always be just out of the corner of your eye, going into another room, or running up the stairs.
We did not have a little white dog (at the time we had our collie Bruce and our springer spaniel Maya).
Anyway, after about two years, my brother came into the living room one morning, and asked why there was a man in the hall. Because I’m older than my brother, in my head, I just assumed that it was my job to go and see who was there (it didn’t occur to me that someone had possibly invited themselves in).
My brother and I went out there to go and look, and yeah – I suppose it was a man, only his features were really blurry and indistinct with a sort of white glow surrounding him. He was dressed like a farmer (shirt, corduroys, puffy sleeveless vest, and flat cap). As soon as we saw him, he started to fade – but not before the little white dog appeared and ran towards him – they walked off through the wall together.
We never saw the little white dog again after that.
Oh, and my two dogs that I mentioned – Maya lived until she was 18, and then Bruce passed a few years later when he was 17, and when he left us, my really young nephew at the time kept saying, “My-My!” (his name for Maya) and pointing at the door, so I guess she came to pick him up too!
- Lynne Pratt, Devon
Sounds like the pup was waiting for his master to arrive – a lot of working dogs are trained with whistles and tools which they can hear across the fields, but it seems this little dog was trained to hear his owner across different planes of existence too!
There is no definitive proof one way or the other about what comes next once we leave this world, but it does seem like whatever happens next, dogs can and do roam, visit, and play even after they’ve left us!