The Deeper Spiritual Purpose of Pets

4 Mar

The process of placing our energy within a body, and in so doing forgetting that we are vast, majestic, Divine Beings made literally from the energy of Unconditional Love, is akin to being struck on the head by a heavy tree branch and rendered unconscious, only to awaken with no memory whatsoever. What would happen if you actually had such an experience? All who love you, each member of your family, every dear friend, would come to your side and express great love for you. Though you would recognize none of them, their powerful outpouring of concern and affection would touch you deeply. You would conclude that only a truly loving person could be so beloved. And in that instant of realization, you would know, beyond any doubt, your true nature.

Such is the role pets play in our lives. In my new book Your Soul’s Gift: The Healing Power of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born, I share the story of Marcia, who chose before coming into body to be a dwarf. In this lifetime Marcia is but 1.4 meters (less than 5 feet) tall. Marcia knew before she was born that people would reject and dismiss her because of her height, and she chose this difficult experience to foster her spiritual growth. She then built into her courageous plan a safeguard: she would always have the unconditional love of her pets. These animals are part of her pre-birth planning session. Her future dogs (Dusty, Brutus), cats (Snowflake, Goofy, Willie), rooster (Crooked Beak), and horse (Cheetah) all pledged in her planning session to support and care for her even when her fellow humans do not. Because she also planned to be clairaudient in this lifetime, Marcia has always been able to hear her pets’ thoughts when they communicated with her.

Just as people with amnesia do not remember those who were in their lives before the forgetting, so, too, do we not recall the pets who were with us before we were born. Yet, our pets come to our side and express their great love for us, reminding us daily that only we who are Love could be so beloved. And they remind us not only that we are loved but also that we are worthy of love. When Marcia came home from school and cried over the cruel words from the other children, Dusty was there to tell her she was perfect, that she “could always come home, and I would be there, and I would love you.” Cheetah also reminded Marcia that she was worthy of love: “It doesn’t matter what they say. Look what you and I can do together! Get on! Let’s go!” And so they would ride like the wind, the smallest of children on the largest of horses, both free and safe, in love with life and each other.

Too, pets bring healing. Indeed, our animal companions are master healers, in part because they embody love in an entirely nonthreatening form. The clear absence of threat creates within us a willingness to receive healing. We may fear accepting love from another person, but Marcia had no such fear with Brutus or Snowflake. When Marcia’s mother lay ill in the hospital, Brutus, tail wagging and big ears flopping, was a healing balm for Marcia’s heavy heart. When Marcia’s mother returned Home, it was Snowflake who healed Marcia’s grief, saying, “My job with her is done. Now I need to take care of you.”

How do pets heal us? There is no greater healing power in the Universe than that of unconditional love. Yet, beyond unconditional love, pets heal by transmuting energies. Even when we feel weak and small, our pets still come to us for care and so remind us that we are strong enough, capable enough to provide it. Even when we are enmeshed in anger or blame, they sit joyfully at our side, radiating contentment and instilling peace within us. When we feel shame, guilt, or unworthiness, they look at us and see only perfection. Our pets see us as light, the light of which we are literally made, the light we knew ourselves to be before we were born. When we lose sight of our magnificence, they remind us of it.

Sometimes a loved one, even a spirit guide, will incarnate as a pet because it is the best, and perhaps only, way to share a lifetime with us. I have a close friend who planned not to have children in this lifetime. A soul she loves and who loves her dearly incarnated as her dog so they could complete the mother-daughter relationship they shared in a past life as Native Americans. Both had been healers in other past lives, and they continued their healing work together in the current lifetime. My friend often brought her dog into healing sessions with clients, many of whom commented that they felt healed by the animal’s presence.

Ultimately, whether it’s Willie reminding Marcia to have fun, Goofy caring for Marcia and so healing her grief after Snowflake’s death, Brutus teaching compassion and kindness, Snowflake modeling independence, or Dusty, Cheetah, and Crooked Beak loving a little girl who just needed acceptance and friendship, each of these animals came to Marcia to love her and to receive her love. When we choose to take human form on the physical plane, our primary intent is to learn how to give and receive love. We select Earth as the school in which we will learn this lesson because here there are teachers who have mastered it. We call them dogs and birds, cats and horses. Yet, Love by any other name is still Love.

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16 Responses to “The Deeper Spiritual Purpose of Pets”

  1. Jan Dill March 13, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

    After reading your article, (and remembering the interesting story of Marcia from your book) it is no wonder that some people have told me they felt more grief when their pets have passed than when their family members did. Pets truly are a special gift!

    • Linda Holloway March 13, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

      I became paraplegic 9 years ago and my cat came into my life just prior to that. She has certainly been my beloved companion during this time because “people” tend to avoid you when you have a disability. I am very grateful for her love and companionship!

  2. tumeria33 March 13, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    I have always felt closer to animals than I did to humans.I know it was because of the unconditional love that they gave me. They never cared if I was short or tall, thin or fat, popular or not, they just loved me for me. When the kids teased me at school my rabbit was there to comfort me. When I had a heavy heart my cats would appear and jump into my lap. When I look into my dog’s eyes I see a loving and caring soul looking back at me. A little over 13 years ago I became vegan. It was the best decision I have ever made. I wanted to give back the love, compassion and respect that animals have always given me. My heart and soul feel free!!

  3. Jane March 13, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

    I have been an animal lover all my life…and have chosen to make animals my profession. I feel sure my spirit guide has been here with me two times…In her first incarnation, she was Katie, a Scottish Terrier. Many years later, she returned as Lizbeth, a feisty little black and white Shih Tzu. Both bodies remained with me 9 1/2 years, both died from cancer, and both soothed my soul. I actually recognized Lizbeth as who she was almost immediately. I had 19 years with this wonderful spirit and look forward to seeing her again.

    I have bred dogs, shown dogs, boarded dogs, and groomed most of my adult life. What better way to put my degree in Theatre Arts to work? LOL I do not feel complete without my dogs as a major part of my life and felt the passion for them as early as the age of 8. It is the unconditional love that they share that shows us the perfection of soul. I thank you for your beautiful article. It rang so true to me.

    • Raquel July 28, 2015 at 8:49 pm #

      I hace very recently lost my most beloved soul, I loved her more than to anybody else, and her absence brings a pain my heart can’t bear
      My only consolation has been these days reading that there are more people, like me, all of you and Robert, who believe that her spirit, pet’s spirits in general are not less than humans spirits ( in fact I believe in many cases animals spirits are greater than most humans spirits)

      I’m unfortunately surrounded by people who most of them consider animals inferior (including some stupid vet) so I wanna thank you all for seeing it and feeling it like I do

      Perceiving the animals souls

      I’m relieved to read your story as it gives me hope

      God bless u all

      • Janet December 22, 2016 at 9:20 pm #

        How beautifully said Raquel, I agree 100%. I lost my beautiful Cat Sammy a year and a half ago and I still shed tears everyday for him. He was only 8 by a week and died of cancer and I still can’t believe he was sick because he was the picture of health. A neighbor was moving and told me they were not taking their cat of 13-14 yrs old and were going to just put it in a shelter. I had only seen the cat once through their patio door for all of a second and it was my Sammy’s DBL. I didn’t want to take the cat because I was and still am so sad over Sammy’s passing plus the cat was his DBL and also a male. I thought and thought about it and just couldn’t let that little animal be put in shelter and probably put to sleep. I suggested to the neighbor I would take it. The day before they were moving they brought him over like nothing handed him to me and said he will probably hide for a few days. They left and he wanted to be put down and ran under my bed. I immediately got on knee’s and laid down by the side of the bed and asked him if everything was ok. He immediately without any hesitation crawled closer to me rubbed his face up against my cheek. I started crying so hard and could feel it was Sammy’s soul. It was the strangest feeling and I just knew. This was all of a couple minutes after he entered my Apt. There was no hiding, no getting to know me, no nothing it was like he was home. I know he is a different cat but his personality is so much like Sammy. Sometimes he just sits and stares at me and his eyes looking back are Sammy. It is almost impossible to have two cats with the identical personalities. This cat wants to be with me constantly as Sammy did, greets me everyday like Sammy did, is very vocal as Sammy was and I could go and on. I really believe Sammy/spirit guide whomever knew I was and am having a hard time losing Sammy and this little cat was brought into my life. I am the biggest animal lover and have been since I was a little girl and what you said was just so true and beautiful.

  4. Lynn Garwood March 14, 2014 at 1:14 am #

    Love this article, Rob. Thank you for the reminder! As I write, this, the “second love of my life” (Jack, a yorkie) is by my side sending his magic love and healing. Always gratefully received. I cannot imagine ANY lifetime without loving pets.

  5. Marina Muller McKenna March 14, 2014 at 11:28 am #

    Shortly before Christmas time of the year 2000 I found in our Irish newspaper a big page full of advertisement from the local Animal Rescue Center. Different dogs – amongst them some puppies – and cats were looking for a good new home, and lovely photographs illustrated these animals. All of them looked straight into the camera, or at least their faces were clearly visible. Only one dog seemed to turn away from the camera and obviously tried to flee the scene. A human hand, also visible in the photo, kept her calm enough to produce the picture, but the face of the animal was not really recognizable.
    The text below the photo read: „SIOUX – 3 year old female spayed collie is a long term resident and would love a home of her own.”
    I didn’t have to look twice; I knew immediately: This is my dog! She belongs with me!
    Sioux became my animal soul mate. She was always by my side, always in my vicinity. We were only known as a team. So much so, that in case I was seen walking alone through the village, people asked very concerned if there was anything wrong with Sioux.
    We’ve had a happy life together in Ireland, and in addition her later life even got European dimensions. In the late summer months of 2010 she accompanied me on our big move from Ireland to Greece. That was a tour of 123 hours and approximately 3400 km from one end of Europe to the other …
    Towards the end, approximately 15 years old, she had within 8 months several „strokes“, even if that is not quite the correct medical term for what is known as vestibular syndrome. After her second VS episode she was very quickly on her paws again and was allowed to enjoy a quite normal life for another four months. And even after the third VS, when she became very ill and frail, she didn’t give in. Only six days later she began to insist on her old routine, including a daily stroll – slowly but surely – around the block.
    For us that made her a little hero. As her name suggests: A genuine “Red Indian” knows no pain! And Sioux insisted to do things the way she wanted! Therefore she proved any and every given negative prognosis wrong. She lived as long as she wanted; and as long as she – so it seems – had agreed to stay with me. And to me, always being in a rush, she gave a lesson about the value of slowness, the beauty of the moment and a deep feeling of trust into allowing things to happen; a profound sense of inner space, peace and togetherness. At this time I was told that this dog’s soul was with me in many lifetimes before, as an animal and indeed once as my daughter whom I’ve lost. And I was also told she would be back with me again – in this lifetime!
    Her last year, although filled with some limitation, was perhaps the most happy and intensive time.
    When Sioux finally had to go, at precisely the right time despite my deep sadness, I became aware of the fact that for this year’s diary I’ve picked one with a cover by Laurel Burch, which shows a woman’s face with tears running down. But only now I’ve discovered a little inscription by the Artist, which reads:

    “The Soul would have no Rainbow if the Eyes had no Tears.”

    Nothing happens without reason. And this also goes for Robert’s lovely and wonderful article. It came for me at precisely the right time. Thanks, Rob!

    • Chrissie November 12, 2014 at 5:27 am #

      Your words and energy really resonate with me, I definitely needed to read this today. Thank you so much for sharing!

  6. Kiran June 14, 2015 at 7:42 am #

    I fully agree with this. I have just brought a pet puppy home and I experienced that someone is always there to guide him. It’s really an amazingly spiritual experience for me!! He has made us feel so light just by removing our stress by his unconditional love and playful jesters. I am greatful for this magical gift!!

  7. Janet January 28, 2016 at 11:16 pm #

    I cared for my mother with Alzheimer’s for 6 yrs and the first year decided to get a cat for her since animals are so important for a person with such a disease. It ended that Sammy (cat) provided more comfort for me during those six years. He was only seven and I found he had cancer 2 1/2 yrs after my mother passed. He passed away only seven months ago and I can’t tell you how I still cry everyday for him and miss him dearly. I have always been an animal lover since I was a small child and always felt closer to animals. I loved my mom so much I can’t say and I cried and missed her so bad after she passed. Sammy also mourned her for a good six months after my mom passed until one day he just bounced back. I am having a very, very hard time over losing him and just can’t imagine why he had to leave. I have absolutely no one left, he was my only family. I needed him so bad after my mom passed and it is just so odd he got sick so fast and always seemed the picture of health. It just puzzles me everyday that he came into my life for my mom as a little stray given to me and only stayed around a short time after my mom passed, Sammy and I were so close I can’t believe he has gone.

  8. MJ L May 26, 2016 at 11:46 pm #

    Thank You. Be Well.

  9. Our Shifting Perspective October 21, 2016 at 10:29 pm #

    Reblogged this on Our Shifting Perspective and commented:
    “How do pets heal us? There is no greater healing power in the Universe than that of unconditional love. Yet, beyond unconditional love, pets heal by transmuting energies. Even when we feel weak and small, our pets still come to us for care and so remind us that we are strong enough, capable enough to provide it. Even when we are enmeshed in anger or blame, they sit joyfully at our side, radiating contentment and instilling peace within us. When we feel shame, guilt, or unworthiness, they look at us and see only perfection. Our pets see us as light, the light of which we are literally made, the light we knew ourselves to be before we were born. When we lose sight of our magnificence, they remind us of it.”

  10. Khushi December 21, 2016 at 7:44 pm #

    This is a great article! Yes we are all here to learn about love. There are many times when pets become sick when we are low I have witnessed this many times. This comment is in the memory of all my pets. I wish to share my life with them again and again with love ever…..
    In the loving memory of Rosey and Love and the yellow Bird and Icy my bunny……

  11. summerspecial28 April 28, 2017 at 3:35 pm #

    This I truly resonate with.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Lorena Gaxiola - April 21, 2014

    […] Robert Schwartz says there’s no greater healing power than what pets provide—unconditional love. They heal by transmuting energies. When we feel weak and small, our pets still come to us for care and remind us that we are strong and capable enough to provide it. Even when we are enmeshed in anger, they sit joyfully at our side, radiating contentment and instilling peace in us. And when we feel shame, guilt or unworthiness, they look at us and see only perfection. Our pets see us as light—when we lose sight of our magnificence, they remind us of it. […]

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