Paws & Reflect


Pets are family members who also have become essential home workers. Without them, managing life during a pandemic would be infinitely more stressful and a lot less fun. Empty cages at shelters attest to our understanding that when the going gets tough, we need Ruff, or Fluffy.

During these times of stress and unprecedented loss, we may also be missing the comfort of beloved pets who are now in spirit.

As a medium, I have shared spirit messages for more than 25 years. Some of my favorite spirits are pets. Just thinking about Iggy the iguana who lived in a frat house and Bucky the miniature donkey who loved poetry makes me smile.

Perhaps the most important thing I can say, as a medium, is that beloved pets in spirit never leave us.

Don’t just take my word for it. You can experience the presence of pets in spirit in your life right now.

Here’s how:

Pay attention. Animals on Earth are sensitive to spirits. Pets in spirit may demonstrate their presence by influencing other pets who currently live with you. If your dog suddenly does a “play bow” toward the corner of a room, this may be an invitation to a spirit dog to join in a favorite game. If your dog takes off running around a dining table as though his tail is on fire, tag with a spirit buddy might be taking place. When a cat in spirit named Jezebel gave me a message for her pet mom, it was to solve a mystery. A newly adopted kitten was incessantly tossing a partly bald mouse toy around. “Someone has to show the new one how to catch a mouse!” Jezebel, the cat in spirit, declared. Her pet mom confirmed that this old toy had been Jezebel’s favorite.

Observe nature. If your pet had a favorite place in the yard, or at a park, pay attention to birds, squirrels and butterflies in that area. For example, a Golden Doodle in spirit named Goldy (what else?) gave me this message for her mommy: “I come to visit with the butterflies.” Goldy’s mom explained that one of her favorite activities on Earth was to chase butterflies (but not catch them). These days there are more butterflies than ever — right at the spot where Goldy’s ashes are buried. Chester, a cat whose pet parents were convinced was part bird dog, would sit at the window for hours and chatter at the birds. The day Chester died, an unusually large flock lined up on the branches outside the living room window, seemingly in silent homage.

Let go of guilt. The greatest block to feeling a connection with a pet in spirit is self-blame about the dying experience. Questions like Why didn’t I fix the lock on the back door? (asked repeatedly after a Basenji escaped and was killed in a hit and run). Or Why didn’t I respond when my dog started barking in the backyard? (just prior to her being snatched by a coyote). Was it too soon to release my cat to Spirit? (even though the cancer was inoperable). Pets in spirit don’t reinforce our stories about their deaths. Rather, there is almost always an expression of gratitude for their lives with us. Pets aren’t afraid of dying and appreciate our decision, as difficult as it may be, to release them to spirit.

Remember joy! Our pets in spirit meet us in joy. Whether chasing a ball, enjoying a great meal, laughing or cuddling with a loved one (furry or human), pets in spirit are there. Pets in spirit are where the love and joy are in our lives. As we paws and reflect (pun intended), remember that love and joy are what our pet companions give to us while they live on Earth and that’s what they still share with us once in spirit.

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Hollister Rand has provided detailed messages from spirits for more than 25 years. Her latest book, Everything You Wanted to Know about the Afterlife (Atria Books/Beyond Words Publishing), is available in ebook, audiobook and paperback. Her work on television includes Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood and America Now. Hollister’s radio appearances include Sirius XM’s John Edward Psychic Radio, KOST FM’s Angels in Waiting, KBIG 104’s Radio Medium and Coast to Coast AM with George Noory. Hollister lives in Los Angeles with her impossibly small and very loving rescue Chihuahuas, Bodhi and Amara. To learn more about Hollister Rand, visit


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