When a pet goes missing, its owner will cry, yell, blame, even curse. Emotions overwhelm the person. What she cannot understand is why her beloved animal companion—her baby—is gone.
After all, her cat wouldn’t just leave and disappear, would he?
Yet I have learned that animals go missing for reasons deeper and more complex than humans realize. The truth is this: the dog may be gone for a very good reason … one you never saw coming.
If your dog hasn’t come home, or your cat has stayed away for more than five nights, you may want to consider what I’m going to say. It could help heal your broken heart.
Let’s go over these lessons. (I’ve changed the names of the animals and owners, but all the stories come from cases I’ve worked on.)
Lesson One: Animals Have Free Will
Every cat has a mind, body, and spirit, and so does every dog. Which means an animal has free will, and will leave if her home doesn’t suit her anymore.
A man near my house put up Lost Dog posters with a picture of Jessie, the black lab. I saw him one day and asked him about his dog. He said the dog was from the shelter, and that he and his girlfriend loved Jessie and wanted him back.
I contacted Jessie and he told me this: He hated humans for how they had treated not only him but all animals. He never wanted to live with humans again—he wanted to run in the woods and live free.
A lady called me about her missing cat Ellis. She and her husband had gone on vacation and left a male pet sitter to come and feed the cat. When they returned home, Ellis had been missing for a week.
Twenty minutes later Ellis told me the man who came to the house to feed him had smelly feet, and he would not come back while the man was still there. The owner confirmed that the man had strange-looking toes, but she wasn’t sure they were smelly.
I told Ellis the man was gone and asked him to come home, which he did within a couple of hours.
Lesson Two: What Binds Us Can Be Broken
We are bound to animals we love by an invisible red thread. Some call it a soul contract, others, a deep bond.
But no matter how much you love your pet, there can come a day when the thread gets shredded. And since you can’t see the red thread and don’t realize it is torn, you don’t understand why your dog or cat will never come home.
A woman called about her twelve-year-old dog David. He was the one who had stuck by her during many years of hardship, moves, and a failed marriage. One evening he simply trotted out the door and didn’t come back.
David told me that he had given everything he had to his owner for many years, had soothed and comforted her and absorbed all her heartaches. But now he was done.
He had nothing left to give, and wanted to make room in the household. He cut the red thread, and slipped away to die.
A woman called me about her missing cat Pickles. This young woman had lost her job and moved in with her sister to save money. Pickles told me the sister’s two cats hated her, and wanted her to leave.
So Pickles left and joined a colony of nearby cats living in an abandoned factory. She simply cut the tie with her former owner, the young woman who cried on the phone as she described Pickles.
Lesson Three: Tragedies Happen For A Reason (But We May Never Know Why)
Sometimes bad things happen to our pet, and we can’t understand why. I do know that on a level beyond my understanding there is a reason for all that happens … there are no coincidences.
King, a large and gorgeous brown dog, took off down the mountain path on his daily run. His buddy Allie followed close behind. Forty minutes later Allie came home, but King never did.
King’s owner had survived cancer, and during her treatment King stayed constantly by her side, nursing her back to health. When she vomited from the chemo, he brushed up against her to sooth her retching stomach.
When I connected to King I saw him falling down a hillside. As if he had been shot. Later, a woman searching for King ran into a neighbor who said aloud that the dog might get shot one of these days because he chased wildlife.
The people searching for King missed him terribly, but at least came to an understanding of what had happened.
Ace the white cat had been missing for three months. His owner never found his body. When I connected with him I saw very clearly that he had been hit by a car.
He crawled into a nearby field but could make it no farther. He died there … a half-mile from his home. His owner still cried, but she was thankful to know what happened.
Free Will, The Red Thread, Tragedies
I hope the day never comes when you have to remember any of these three lessons. But if you do, may these words bring you some peace and understanding.
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