It was about two months after my wife and longtime best friend unexpectedly and suddenly died. In the middle of the night, I heard my dogs stirring. They had all gotten up – I think I saw the last of their waking up and wandering around. They were walking around and making somewhat pathetic little whining sounds.
I wondered what was going on. The house was okay, no problems or break-ins. They all seemed healthy, had eaten, had water; none were acting like they had to go out.
I wondered what was going on.
They kept milling around, making these little whiney sounds. Which was unlike them. I had never seen or heard them do this, and they never all got up in the middle of the night like this.
I must have asked for help, because what I did next was highly unusual.
I told them some things, and a story. It went something like this.
First, I told them that my wife Britta was gone and they would not see her again on earth. In heaven, likely; but not on earth. Never again.
Second, I told them about something Britta had said to me one day. She asked, “When you get to heaven what is it you want to hear?”
I had never thought about that before. I replied, “Well…probably…well done, you good and faithful servant.” I felt like I had borrowed someone else’s idea, stolen it, actually. But it is the best I was able to come up with.
One or two beats later, I asked her – and the dogs were all standing still now – not milling around any more. Silent and staring at me. I asked her, “What do you want to hear?” I suspected she had really thought about this.
She replied, “All your previous pets are here, waiting for you; wondering where you’ve been all this time. And they are very eager to see you.”
Then I told the dogs about something else. About six people had come to me, telling me they had seen a vision. Of Britta looking down from the Cloud of Witnesses, with either one or two angels by her side. Saying that she was fine, everything was okay – even very good! And sending greetings.
One man, a Pastor of a good friend of mine, told me he’d seen two angels and the power from them was so strong it sent him stumbling backwards.
There was one interesting variation. One person saw Jesus next to my wife. Jesus gave her a puppy. (Something that made more sense if you knew what she first wanted to hear when getting to heaven.)
After I told them that, they each turned around, quietly, each one lay down. And quietly went to sleep.