Yesterday, we lost our beloved dog, Heyoka (that’s her in the picture above, and in the gallery at the bottom of this post). She’d been with us for 15 years, having come to us when she was only one year old, along with another dog, Sage (who survives her).Heyoka was considered so closed down by the pound that her foster carer said she didn’t relate to anyone. Well, she related to me. Her adopted sister, Sage, was saved despite being almost overlooked as “just another black dog.” (I will always bless her carer for standing up and saying no to her being killed!) The two dogs bonded deeply, and to watch Sage say goodbye yesterday was heartbreaking.
Heyoka was a huge presence. There is so much more to these people with fur and four legs, and it’s one of the reasons I am against killing and violence (besides it being just morally wrong). She was a soul with a desire to teach.
Heyoka was strong-willed, with a huge personality, and what she wanted most of all, was attention.
She nearly died several times over the last two years. But she responded quickly and well to homoeopathics and herbs. It was quite incrdible. It was never her time, and she bounced back over and over. Our bedroom became an apothecary, with all manner of remedies from essential oils to flower essences. Piles of puppy pads, tubes of magnesium, baby wipes and baby nappies. Vials and vials of different homeopathic remedies.
There is a huge hole now on our bed, which was the spot she called home. There, and the couch, which was her other home. Maeve, our wolfhound, is doing her best to claim those spaces for her own, to make them less empty.
Hospice care is not easy. Tamsin spent too many months on night duty, letting us sleep so we could work. Difficult. And I honour her for it. So much. Heyoka hated being alone, especially at night. And unfortunately if we were asleep, she grew to think she was alone and would bark to wake us up. Thanks to Tam we could get some sleep, but she had to adjust to a completely different sleep pattern. And she did it. So much kudos. I’m so proud of our daughter.
I have cried buckets over Heyoka as I tenderly cared for her, especially in the last weeks and months. But I would never abandon her. To me an animal is a sovereign being and they need to have agency over what is done to their bodies. They have a right to choose the moment of their departure.. and slip away in peace, not fear. They have a right to ask for help, if needed, not have others assume they need it, because there is sooo much going on behind the scenes of the dying. It’s an incredible time of life for huge spiritual growth.
I teach a class in Conscious Dying. Being strong in the clairs means I have an advantage in navigating this final passage. When I was doing animal communication for others, I could see which animals were earthbound because their lives had been cut short. And when I do my monthly service to the wider animal community by releasing the souls of those who are trapped on earth because their life was cut short by humans, I am greeted by so, so, so, so, so many. Grey kangaroos hang around in droves, angry. And they have been for the two decades I’ve been doing that particular work. Our world is indeed populated by ghosts!
I’m very familiar with the natural dying process. So, it was no surprise to me that, when Heyoka started dying the other night, she came back again — to wait for her friends. There are always spirits who come for the dying. A bunch of our previous dogs in spirit came in my dreaming to collect her and I knew it was her time. So I alerted the family and Tam and I sat with our beloved dog all day and night, tending her, just being with her, communing with my beloved Daisy in spirit, and finding out the true nature of Heyoka’s soul.
Animal souls transmigrate and I talk about this in my book Secret Animal Business. You never know who that soul in a fur body might be. I’ve got seven monks in my cow community. My dogs Willow and Heyoka both belonged to the fae. Western civilisation dismisses the fae as fairy tales… at their peril. Believe me, the unseen are alive and well and keen for the human creatures to remember them.
There was a big flood event coming, and I knew that was when Heyoka would leave and not return. The elemental spirits often put on a show when a big soul leaves their body. She wanted the shamanic service right at the end, to energetivally make it easier for her soul to travel. Before then we had done other major work, like massive Ho’oponopono and calling all her soul parts home.
She wanted me to write her truth in my “storybook” and for the first time in a long while I started hand writing in a journal. She hated it when I tried to make the space sacred with “healing music.” She wanted to hear normal family sounds. The birds chirping, Maeve barking at the horses just outside, the drone of us all talking as we do the cats. The rain on the tin roof.
Singing the soul home is another practise that comes naturally to me. A rememberence from other lives and times. I knew she needed this too… to ride out of the highest chakra on the gentle sounds of a lullaby, made up on the spot, just for her.
Years before, I found myself spontaneously singing a similar song to our dog Cedar, which gave me the heads up she was leaving too. She passed the next day.
So in the end, there was music and peace, the low sounds of a lullaby, the patter of rain. She effortlessly left, peaceful and beautiful, just after midnight. She did not come back this time, as I knew she wouldn’t. But as I looked into the etheric, I saw her fae girl child soul self, hand firmly clasping an elder’s. She grinned widely at me as they walked away, and said, I’ll be back”.
And then it bucketed. And we were flooded in, an island again.
The three of us spent time recalling her bright form and antics. How she hated the car and the heat. And how the four black kelpies (she was German Shepherd x kelpie) would play ball together and, without training, would hold orphaned wild baby goats by standing around them in formation, so we could take them in, and bring them up inside the house. Safe. Incredible times. Incredible dog forms. Without training!
Today, as I finish other work and tending, is the day I get to the cleaning part of my grieving ritual. I’ll put away the nappies, the homeopathics, the oils. I’ll clean and do a space clearing, and reflect on what a truly incredible journey I have been privileged to experience.
Like everyone, I used to have career dreams and passions. But not any more. These days, I am reminded by the spirits here over and over that it is time to go within. We are all beings on a spiritual journey, humans and non-humans alike. I give thanks to the beings, like Heyoka, who stretch us and stretch us, to bring us closer to the Divine within.
I’m not a fan of death and loss, but each one is a magical learning. And each one shows me how much more this life on earth really is. And how incredible the other species are. They truly deserve our reverence.
Heyoka, thank you. You leave an emptiness in our home, but not our hearts. And you leave lots of wisdom. I look forward to meeting you again in your new form. I miss your old one so much. I will never forget you.
What is remembered, lives.
Please enjoy these pictures of Heyokah from across her life. Click the image to navigate.