Daria
I know how weird this might sound. But some time ago, before our cat Toffee was even born, while I was still in high (or maybe middle, doesn't matter) school, my history teacher told me and the rest of the class a story about her cat that died some time ago and came back as a kitten that looked exactly like the cat they lost and had the same habits.

And as odd as it may sound, yesterday the vet told us the same. She told us that, yes, sometimes pets actually come back. Many people on the Internet share their stories in which new pets find them when no one was even looking for a new animal to bring home. They do not always look like the pets people lost, but their behavior, habits or eyes are the same or, at the very least, painfully similar.

I perfectly understand that sometimes people believe what they want to believe and see what they want to see, emotional aspect is very strong in such cases, and new pets are not replacements, they are new friends that, too, deserve to be loved. But what if, just what if, sometimes deceased pets take a new form and come back? What if they find a way back to us?

Regardless, I do not want to swear that I will never even consider getting a new pet. I will not have unrealistic expectations for any animal I come across. Maybe I just want to have hope. But I wonder what you think of this idea or if this has ever happened to any of you?
Love for a pet has no past tense.
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JimTrip
Dear Daria, 

I understand what you're saying.  I had a dog who died back in the 80's.  I was so brokenhearted, it took almost twenty years for me to adopt another. I told the vet who put her to sleep back then that I'd never have another dog again because it was too painful to lose them.  He replied he thought I eventually would find another, and that I'd know it was the right time because her little ghost would come to me and I'd hear her little toenails clicking on the floor.  

This never literally happened, but in 2004 I walked into a PetSmart store to buy bird food.  I discovered there a nearby Humane Society had rescued multiple dogs from a kill-facility, nursed them to health, and put them up for adoption .  That is where I found my second dog, Tink, who I just lost a week ago after 13 years.  In retrospect I can easily see that had I not adopted Tink that day, I would have missed out on a TON of daily love, smiles, and laughter because of all she brought me.  I guess the point I'm trying to make is that believing our pets come back to us is a matter of each person's perception.  I don't think anyone knows for sure.  I personally believe my original doggie did not find her way back to me in the form of Tink.  However, I do believe that as a bond between a pet and a human develops, it's sets a cycle of energy into motion that seems self-perpetuating.  And this energy eventually cycles back around when the time has come to allow another pet into our hearts.  I know of course the time is not right for me now; I still cry and grieve, and think about Tink all the time.  

But even at this point while my sadness is so intense, I know in the future I will be more open to welcoming another doggie into my home.  I appreciate what you wrote so much, because your words have caused me to ask myself, "Would I have done it again?  Has 13 years of unconditional love outweighed the grief I am feeling now that she is gone?"  My answers are undeniable:  Yes and yes.  I'd do it all over again in a second.  
James L Trippe
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September
I also agree with Jim. When we had Timothy, we went to our local pet shop to get his hay. We had been there many times and they sometimes have bunnies for adoption. I would spend time looking at them, with the usual 'ahhs'. One day there was a little black lop in there. There was something about this bunny, I just don't know what it was. Just something. He sat looking at me from a distance. There was a voice in me saying 'take him'. But I just couldn't. It would be war with Timothy. We couldn't just put another bun with him...there is all the long bonding process to go through and it just wouldn't work. They could bond or end up seriously attacking each other. It was too risky. I have seen many other bunnies, but that special little black one I think of very often. I hope he found a good home and was loved millions like Timothy was.

Xx
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"The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That's the deal"      C.S. Lewis
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Sampson
Hello Daria, This is an interesting question. I would very much love for my Sampson to find his way back to me! There are so many wonderful pets out there and I'd want a rescue dog should we decide to get another dog. I lost Sampson almost 2 year ago on Valentine's Day so it's been very hard for me to face that day. As you know it is coming up soon. It was the absolute worst but my wife and I said we could not see him suffer another day. My wife, Helen , and myself always enjoyed V Day before this huge loss and I couldn't face the holiday but this year I will try to go out for dinner. Helen suggested also celebrating Sampson's life that evening and I found that thought very appealing and it may mark a fresh start for us and "some dog somewhere". We both loved Sampson very dearly, more than words could ever say. I've been doing a lot of thinking lately and at this stage in our lives I'd want to get an older dog and maybe one that someone may have turned in because he or she was old people actually do that! Since it's not been quite two years I don't think it would be our beloved Sampson coming back but somehow I don't think he would mind. He had an amazingly kind heart as all pets do. That's my perspective anyway. I enjoyed your post and your very thought provoking question. My deepest condolences on your loss!
Sam
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Avabear
Jim, I totally agree.  When I lost my dog Jasmine, 10 years ago, I was never getting another dog because there was no way I could survive going through the pain again but 3 months later I got my Ava and yes I'm facing losing her now to cancer and my heart is breaking and I am feeling just as much pain as all those years ago when I lost Jasmine yet I do not regret for a single second getting Ava because she has brought me so much love and joy into my life over the last 10 years that if I had not opened my home and heart to her I would have missed out on.  I now realise as I'm facing saying my goodbyes to my preciouse Ava that I will get another dog when she goes, not to replace her because we can never replace our furbabies, they are each so unique and special but I now know that I can open my heart to another furbaby and the love and joy they bring is too special to not have them in my life.  It's a very personal decison and there is not right or wrong about getting another furbaby or how long you should wait, it's different for all of us but I don't believe Jasmine lived through Ava or chose Ava for me, I think Ava chose me and is very much her own spirit and soul.
Avabears mummy

'It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them, and every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.' Anon

 

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Daria
Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

I personally want to believe that pets come back to us once they find a form to take, a body to live in. I do want her to come back. And if she does, I know my family and I will be happy to take her back home, where she belongs. But at the same time, I want to remain open to the idea of showing love to any animal. They, too, have feelings and personalities, and I do not want to be blinded by my love for Toffee. I know she wouldn't approve of comparisons and I do not want to develop unhealthy expectations. Other animals - dogs, cats, any animal, really, - are not her and it is not their fault. They all deserve love. Pure love that is not built on similarities and differences. I'm not quite sure how to put my thoughts into words, but I think that if I am supposed to meet a new animal in the future, it will happen for sure. I'm not into the idea of destiny because I like to be in control of my life, but even though I loved animals before I met Toffee, she taught me to appreciate them even more, so I won't be able to say no to an animal that will come to me. I can love, and this fact comforts me.
Love for a pet has no past tense.
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1967Pinecone
I believe it, 100%.

I just posted about the death of my cat, Stripes. Back in 2010, my cat, Tiger, passed away at the vet's office from an antibiotic resistant infection. He'd somehow gotten a hole in his esophagus and it became infected. I buried him in the garden and the next day, a feral brown tabby showed up and sat on Tiger's grave for 2 days, watching the house. Tiger was an indoor cat so of course he and this cat hadn't known each other. I named him Stripes. 

While I know that Tiger hadn't come back to me as Stripes, I DO think that Tiger somehow sent him to me as a distraction. I hate to have favorites, but Tiger was a favorite and I always said that when that cat died I was going to lose it. And I did. Coincidence? Perhaps. But if it is it's an awfully odd one. 
"Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow" and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater." But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed." Khalil Gibran
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Avabear
I sat on the floor talking to my girl Ava today, asking her to send me a sign that she's ok, safe and happy when she's gone, she had an unsettled night last night and I guess the problem when you know they are dying (my girl has cancer, few days/weeks at best) is that every little thing becomes a sign that the end is fast approaching.  Out of all my dogs she has always been the most sensitive so if any of them would find a way to send me a sign I'm sure it would be her  :-)
Avabears mummy

'It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them, and every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.' Anon

 

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mybaby1robert
Having been through those final days with my boy Robert I have great sympathy for you.  I wanted so much just to love him well.  My heart goes out to all who are going through these final days.  Love them and hold them so they feel your heart beating for them.

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Eileennellie
I absolutely believe that the ones we need in our lives come back to us. I will be waiting for Paris and Dobie. I feel like my cat, Dilly, is eerily similar to my cat Puffy, who I lost 9/13/16. He looks nothing like him, but behaves EXACTLY like him. Not so much like a cat, more like a very lazy, calm and super happy dog! Dilly just showed up in my yard last summer, and we don't have a lot of cats running around where we live, just a few barn cats that I recognize. Dilly is definitely not a barn cat! There is a movie, A Dogs Purpose, that is about a dog eventually making its way back to someone he loves, many years later. I cried quite a bit watching it! Here are pictures of Dilly, and of Puffy.
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