I will have a dog waiting on me

By Rick Hinton

Every now and then you hear a story that makes you pause. One that resonates due to age, health conditions and the journey through life thus far. And also, the nagging question that lingers in the back of the mind: will I again see the things that meant the most to me during my sojourn? When I die, will it be someone or something I was close to that comes to lead me home?

Steve Edwards, painter and friend, doesn’t often speak of his past. Especially his paranormal past. Recently on Facebook he did:

My longtime paranormal mentor, Steve Edwards. (Photos by Steve Edwards)

“I promised you all a story a few days back. It is a true story and explains why I am so sensitive to losing a dog more so than many. In 2008, I had surgery on my left knee. My meniscus was shot and causing me pain. I was told I’d be back to normal within two weeks. I still limp and favor that leg. The one thing that I was not told was the danger of blood clots.

I was watering flowers for Sheree (Steve’s wife) one Sunday morning before she got up. The last thing I remember is the water spraying from the nozzle and me sitting on a stone bench in the backyard watching it. The next thing I knew was I felt a wet tongue licking me on my face. Opening my eyes, I was face-down in the grass. As I turned my head I was stunned. There before me wagging his tail and nosing me was my long-gone old friend King, a Shepard and Collie mix that had died in 1985. He was absolutely one of the best dogs I have ever had. He lived to be almost 18 years old and when his time came it was sudden. He had been by my chair, he sat up and whined. I dropped down to him and he laid against me and died as I held him.

King. Do former pets ever really go away? Some say No.

But here he was before me as I lay there looking at him. He started to lick me again and I told him, ‘King, you know I don’t like that.’ Going down to the ground, my face in the grass, I realized that he was long dead, and I shouldn’t be seeing him. I looked back up but there was no sign of King. It was then I realized my situation. I couldn’t get up as I got violently sick. Tried calling for help, but no neighbors. I finally crawled and got myself into the house somehow and aroused Sheree, who then called 911. Clots had blocked up my lungs and were causing my heart to race at over 240 beats per minute. The rest is medical history. When I had recouped enough, I told Sheree about King.

So, after it all was said and done, I was able to put two and two together. King came back to revive me. It wasn’t my time, but he let me know he will be there for me when it is. So, when I pass, unlike many people who will see that departed person they miss; I will have a dog waiting for me. We’re going to walk that road together into the next world, him leading me.

True story. And that is why animals hold a special place in my heart. And I have faith that they go on.”

It’s food for thought.