On Animal Hauntings, Psychic Canines and things that go bump on the deck
The following stories are presented as strictly subjective personal experiences and not as documented paranormal events. All events portrayed here can be attributed to imagination, coincidence or other natural causes. ~ JJA
I had never given much thought about animal spirits or animal hauntings even though I’ve had many finned, feathered, and furry family members throughout my lifetime. A few strange occurrences over the past few years have caused me to rethink my position on the possibility of visitations from some dearly departed pets.
∞ MANDY ∞
About 5 years ago we lost our beloved dog, Mandy to natural causes. Mandy was a Giant Alaskan Malamute bred with timber wolf and weighed in at 171 lbs. at the time of her passing. The average lifespan for this breed of dog is from 10-12 years. Mandy lived to the ripe old age of 15. I insisted that Mandy be buried in our back yard along with a number of our other deceased pets. Our soil is very rocky and crisscrossed with large tree roots which take a chainsaw to cut through. Needless to say it took me most of a morning to dig a grave large enough to accommodate a very large dog in addition to a litter of fifteen of her favorite stuffed animals-her babies, as we liked to call them. After putting the finishing touches on her gravesite I felt Mandy was where she would want to be–peacefully at rest in the back yard–or was she?!
Our deck runs the entire width of the house and Mandy liked to spend many a day pacing back and forth from one end of the deck to the other, the floor boards constantly creaking and groaning. To make a long story short, a week or two after Mandy’s death I began hearing what sounded like the floor boards on the deck squeaking repetitively–the same sound they made when Mandy used to carry out her relentless march. I kind of brushed the sounds off as my imagination. A few weeks later Mandy came up, for whatever reason, in a conversation between my wife and I. I said to my wife, ‘You know, I would swear it sounds like her (Mandy) walking back and forth on the deck sometimes.’ “I hear that to,” replied my wife. We both looked at each other and laughed.
I don’t know when it is we both stopped hearing (or imagining) the sounds of Mandy walking the deck as we never really mentioned it to each other again. At twilight on warm summer nights, I occasionally go to the backyard to watch the bats perform their aerial displays and watch the fireflies rise from the grass. Sometimes I”ll think I see what appears to be a dark, moving shadow near the tree where Mandy is buried–guess I’ll never really know.
∞ COCOA ∞
Cockatiels are interesting birds–sometimes you absolutely adore them and other times you think some big black crow you caught in the backyard would make a better pet! No matter, I talked my wife into letting me buy one (a cockatiel not a crow!) for my birthday back in 2004. She was mostly yellow in color with some highlights of peach and white. We named her Tiki. Prior to purchasing Tiki I had taken a liking to cockatiels because a friend of ours had a grey male named Cocoa. Cocoa was about 13 years old and had been given to our friend by someone who basically just didn’t want the bird anymore. Male cockatiels learn to talk easier than females do and Cocoa was definitely a verbose bird!
Tiki settled in to our household with some difficult moments at times mostly because of being weaned prematurely. After having Tiki for a year or so our friend asked if we could take Cocoa for a brief period while she painted the first floor of her house. Of course we agreed and she promptly delivered Cocoa and cage (and mysteriously everything else that belonged to Cocoa-including a spare cage)) to our house a few days later. Cocoa being a male and Tiki a female–well you know how it goes–they took to each other immediately. As I mentioned previously, Cocoa had quite the vocabulary. He could whistle “Up on the Housetop” in its entirety and from everyone saying “Hi Cocoa” over the years, he could say “Hi Cocoa” as clear as it could possibly be! Tiki learned “Hi Cocoa” in no time and would use it throughout the course of the day–and appropriately at times. So you had one bird saying hi to itself and another bird saying hi to the other bird–quite the circus! The birds could not leave each other’s sight without raising a nerve racking ruckus! A year later our friend told us she really didn’t want Cocoa back ( Hmm-like we hadn’t figured this out by now!). Needless to say there were too many issues with the two birds and we really didn’t want to keep Cocoa either but we agreed to house him until she could find him a new home. A short time later Cocoa moved in with a school teacher and over time we would hear that he was doing well and his new owner loved him dearly. Cocoa lived almost another 2 happy years before taking wing for bird heaven or wherever it is that deceased birds go-if they go that is.
Getting back to Tiki, she had adjusted well to Cocoa going to a new home thank goodness as we had some concerns since they were so attached to each other. Although Tiki continued to whistle fragments of “Up on the Housetop,” which she had learned from Cocoa, she stopped saying “Hi Cocoa” completely after a few weeks. We did not hear it again until one day, not long after Cocoa had passed on, Tiki out of the blue suddenly said “Hi Cocoa” My wife and I both looked up at her cage and noticed that she was sitting on her perch staring off in the opposite direction almost as if she was looking at something. Tiki repeated this several times and then abruptly stopped. Over the course of the next few months Tiki would verbalize “Hi Cocoa” occasionally for short periods. My wife and I both wondered if maybe…just maybe, Cocoa was paying a visit from the ‘other side’ when Tiki would display this behavior. Of course it could have been due to spontaneous recovery of the verbal behavior– obviously a more worldly explanation! Whatever the cause Tiki has not repeated this for a long time now but you never know…
∞ BOONIE ∞
This is a little bit different from the stories above but since I’m on the subject of animals and possible paranormal phenomena I thought I should include it here. Boonie is one of two of my cherished NewFoundlands and I’m happy to say: ‘alive and healthy!’ I’ll briefly relate what happened: While lying in bed watching TV the other night with Boonie also on the bed and asleep at my feet (yes, the 160 lb. NewFy not only sleeps in our bed but he and his brother are also giant lap dogs!) I began thinking of how attached I am to these dogs–probably more attached then I’ve ever been to any other pet I had. I know that NewFoundlands have short lifespans relative to other dogs and I was thinking how much too short that is. I began getting myself upset thinking about what I would do if and when something happens to them–all this while I was staring expressionless at the television. Suddenly Boonie, who had been fast asleep and snoring, crawled up on to my chest, his two front paws on my shoulders, looked at me with the saddest expression I’d ever seen and then began kissing my face incessantly! Did Boonie sense what I was thinking–and was this his way of consoling me?! It does make one wonder… ~ JJA