I know that pets go straight over to the other side. I saw it with my  own eyes when my dog, Oliver crossed over.

After my son, Richie's death, Oliver used to sit next to me all the time and then all of a sudden he would turn himself around and face the corner of a wall and stare.  I used to say, " Oliver, do you see Richie?" and he would make a noise.

Oliver was 18 and he had started to limp for a week and I took him to the veterinarian. The veterinarian said that Oliver had arthritis and gave him medication and shots. I think that the shots actually hurt him rather than helped him. I had to carry him to the veterinarian every week for the injection. He got so bad that he stayed in the corner one day and wouldn't even move to eat or drink. I carried the water to him and had to hold the water to his mouth. I called the vet and Kerri, my daughter, and Daniel, my grandson, came with me.

Oliver was so weak that when I stopped for a red light, he slipped right off the back seat. When the vet checked him, he said, "Mrs. Russell, I am sorry but, he is dying." (The vet indicated that Oliver would live for another three weeks or so.) Well, Kerri was extremely upset. The vet left us alone to "decide" what we wanted him to do. She was crying so hard and said, "Mom, I can't let him put him to sleep.  I can't have another loss." We had Oliver since Kerri was 10. So, she told the vet that she would take him home and care for him and we couldn't put him to sleep.

As long as he wasn't in pain, I said ok, if you can handle it, because I knew that I couldn't. So, the poor thing was laying on the table and the big eyes were just staring at us. So, Kerri picked Oliver up and said, "I am taking him home with me." We got in the car and Kerri is crying and said, "This is the only thing that I have left from my childhood and I am not letting the vet put him to sleep."  The poor thing was on her lap in the front seat not moving a muscle.  Just staring. Kerri started talking to him and saying, "If Richie was here he would know what to do."  And that is why she missed him so much. . . he would have made this decision.

Kerri continued talking to Oliver saying, "Richie would take care of you too Oliver.  Don't you miss him too? Remember how you used to steal his socks and hide them?"  She is bringing up all these memories. All of a sudden, this dog that couldn't move, jumped up off her lap, and sat up with a smile on his face (and as a dog owner, you know that we know when they smile).

And Oliver put his head out the window, smiling and reaching his head all the way up looking to the sky... smiling like crazy!  Kerri started saying, "Oliver what are you doing? Do you see Richie?"  And Oliver kept looking up staring in the sky. 

Kerri then said, "Go ahead Oliver, if you see Richie, you can go with him." And Oliver put his head back in the car, lay back on Kerri's lap and that was it! He was so amazing at the time.  I couldn't believe it. I said to Kerri that if anyone saw that they would definitely believe in the afterlife. I told Kerri that Richie knew how difficult it was for us and he came and took Oliver and made the decision just as if he were here.

Funny thing, Richie knew that Oliver was getting old when he was still here.  And Richie said to Kerri that he was going to take Oliver to stay with him at his new apartment because "Mommy could never handle it when something happens to him."  Imagine that? Ironic, isn't it? This lifeless animal suddenly came to life.  It was something beautiful to see.

Oliver stuck his head all the way out the window, it was awesome! So, Oliver is on the mantle next to Richie's pictures in a gold box with his picture on the front. I said that I wanted the best for him.  Oliver was cremated all by himself and put in the gold box. 

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Music: Homeward Bound by Simon and Garfunkel