On the Eve of Samhain …A Dog’s Tale

I’ve been aware of the veils thinning for a few days now, leading up to the period from tonight and on through next week when the 6th of May (at 6:20AM AEST) is considered by some to be the “exact” moment of Samhain (see here). I’ve been reminiscing about my dear old doggie — Peter — who died 26 years ago. The desktop photo on my laptop, for the last couple of years, has been a photograph of my dog Shelby. Tonight I decided to add a photo of Peter to it as well. The only suitable photo I had that was already on my computer was a scan from a very old, faded and slightly blurred colour print. I do have other photos of him but I’ll need to search through old albums here and at my parents’ place to find them, then scan the photos. For now though, I’m happy with my newest creation. 😀

My first dog, Peter (now in spirit and meant to look slightly "ghostly" in this photo) and my current dog, Shelby. (Click photo to enlarge)

I guess I’m focused more on animals who’ve passed rather than people at the moment because I’ve just recently finished reading Secret Animal Business by Billie Dean. It’s got me thinking about the psychic aspect of communication between people and other animals — including those in spirit who have already crossed over. I’ve been making more of an effort lately to really talk to Shelby and explain things to him with the assumption that he’s not “just a dog” and that he does understand a lot more of what I say than I first thought.

It has reminded me of how I used to talk to my old dog Peter when I was a teenager. He really was my best friend during some difficult times in my life and I would talk to him and get the feeling that he really did comprehend everything that I was saying. He seemed to communicate a sense of inner peace and understanding back to me which somehow made me feel better. He was a very wise dog.

1974 at Minnamurra (mid-south coast NSW) ~ my mum, brother, me (aged 16) and Peter.

Over the years I feel I’ve lost some of the psychic sensitivity I once had. Life has become busier and more hectic as my family has grown and my responsibilities increased and much of my focus switched to more mundane activities. But, in more recent times I’ve been actively trying to become more conscious of subtle little messages and sensations, and have been trying to trust in my intuition a lot more.

It may sound odd, but I distinctly remember experiencing a couple of dog-related psychic episodes a few years back (when life wasn’t quite so busy or stressful) and this is the sort of perception/sensitivity I’d like to regain…

I had gone  for a walk around the suburb for exercise and as I walked down the street I saw a dog. I could “feel” this dog’s smile and happiness in the base of my head/back of throat area (!?!??) As he approached me I could feel/hear him saying hello in my mind and I smiled and said hello back to him. I had felt this same thing a couple of years earlier when approaching another happy dog near the local shops. On that first occasion I felt the happiness, wondered what had triggered the odd sensation, then looked up to see the smiling dog trotting towards me. Anyway, back to the second incident — the boy was throwing a ball for this dog and I knew that very soon I was going to throw the ball for the dog also. I walked to the end of the cul-de-sac but decided to turn around and go back rather than venture alone along the bush trail at the end. I went back past the boy, who briefly stopped throwing the ball while I walked past. Near the top of the street the ball came flying past me with the dog following. The dog stopped beside me and looked up at me but didn’t go on to get the ball so I kept going, picked up the ball and threw it back towards the boy, who said thanks, and the dog chased it back to him. Even now as I write this I can remember the feeling in my throat of the smiles and happiness of both dogs.

Like a couple of other Border Collies I know, Shelby hates being groomed and especially loathes having his backside brushed and as a result his very long coat gets extremely matted and messy around his bum. He snaps and gives warning bites (hard enough to hurt but not break my skin and draw blood) to stop any arse grooming sessions from happening. Unfortunately he’d eaten something recently that upset his tummy and gave him diarrhoea — I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination. Suffice to say that the next day when the mess on his thick, matted butt hair and tail was dry and crunchy I had to attempt to groom him. He looked at me suspiciously as I approached with a box brimming with a veritable arsenal (hehe) of dog grooming implements. I called him to me, politely asked  him to sit and listen, then proceeded to tell him exactly what I planned to do, step by step. He sat on the back verandah and listened intently, then laid down on his side and actually allowed me to lift his tail and trim away all the dried yuk with the scissors, all the time gently reassuring him that I would not accidentally cut him or hurt him in any way. Perhaps he understood the actual words I spoke, or maybe he psychically sensed the intent behind them, but whatever happened, for the very first time I was able to trim his rear end on my own, without someone else holding him down or distracting him with Schmackos and liver treats! 😀

Anyway, on this Samhain Eve I’ve lit a candle for my dear old dog Peter — maybe I’ll be able to speak with him again — or maybe he’s already speaking to me through Shelby — who knows? 😉


4 thoughts on “On the Eve of Samhain …A Dog’s Tale

  1. I so enjoyed this sharing Jenny. I think animals, like people, just want to be treated with respect and not to just have things done to them. Talking with Shelby first about what you were doing and why was a demonstration of respect and maybe that was why he allowed this procedure. Whenever I approach a cat I always let him/her sniff my hand first, rather than jumping right in and petting them. Some cats don’t like to be touched. By letting them sniff first I am letting them know that they are in control and that I won’t touch them unless they signal that is what they want. I can tell they appreciate this, no matter the cat.

    The picture of you and your family is great! Your brother cracks me up with his hands over your head like that.

    I hope you are given an experience with Peter again!


    1. Thanks Suzanne 🙂 It would be nice to hear from my dear old doggy again. I sometimes feel very close to him, even though he’s been gone for so long.

      I always do the same thing as you when approaching dogs and cats — let them sniff my hand first. I also usually kneel down at their level so I’m not looming over them, looking large and threatening, and ask them to come to me.

      Other times when I’ve brushed and groomed Shelby he’s allowed me to brush his sides and back but as soon as I get anywhere near his hindquarters he gets snappy. He also gets weird about the scissors, even though he’s never been hurt by them — perhaps the sound of hair being cut upsets him. He often gets little matted, daggy bits in his coat which I can feel when patting him, but as soon as I reach for the scissors to do a quick 2 second trim he quickly moves away. That’s why this particular incident was so amazing! I’ll definitely be talking more with my dog. 😀

      Ah yes, my brother, always the clown. He hasn’t changed either, lol. Just a bit of useless trivia here …in the photo he’s wearing the Kodak Brownie Starflash Camera that my grandma had originally given to me when she bought herself a new camera, which I then passed on to baby brother when I got my brand new Kodak Instamatic Camera (which was the camera my dad took this photo with — I cropped the photo a little when it was scanned , which is why it’s not a perfect square like the 126 photos were).


  2. 🙂 I too have a very similar reaction with dogs, although like you not so much now as when I was younger.

    I do often know what most animals are thinking, but then i have always had that ability. I have had plenty of experiences with a not so friendly animal, letting me pat or touch it with the owner standing by saying, “he usually doens’t let anyone else touch him.” I just usually respond by saying that i have a way with animals.

    It does make it easier sometimes to know what is upsetting an animal when I can “communicate” as such.

    Isn’t Peter also your hubby’s name? Was that a premonition of things to come maybe? 😉 He looks like a sweet dog though…


    1. Funny thing with the name Peter …when I was little one of my dolls was a boy doll which I called Peter, then when I was about 6 years old my first ‘boyfriend’ at school was a kid called Peter (that ‘romance’ didn’t last very long, lol). I got my dog when I was 11 and we named him Peter because Mum used to have a Fox Terrier called Peter who looked just like our new little guy (Kelpie/Foxie cross), then of course I married a Peter, lol. 😀


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