This past Sunday, my friend Diana’s 11-1/2 year old golden retriever crossed over. Yogi was her soul dog, whom she and her husband loved, cherished, and adored since Yogi was a puppy. (I mentioned his origin story two weeks ago.)
I had the honor of hanging out with Yogi each year when I traveled to the Midwest to visit Diana. For me, he was always a vibrant embodiment of joy, play, and true, loving connection.
During one visit, I did some work every morning despite Yogi’s attempts to lure me outside into the backyard with him.
Then one night, Diana, her husband, and I were talking while Yogi relaxed and panted happily next to me on the couch. Diana’s husband (who works from home) told me that sometimes he takes a longer break than he wants from work because Yogi asks to go outside to leisurely roll around in the grass for a while, instead of quickly doing his doggie business and coming back in. When I said, “Maybe Yogi’s showing you that you need to take a longer break from work and have fun,” Yogi stopped panting, turned his head to look at me, and became totally still. It was an eye-lock/mind-meld confirmation that I nailed the message…and needed to apply it to myself.
I sent Yogi Reiki on Sunday during his transition, and he showed me himself in his healthy prime, jogging into a gorgeous pink-and-orange sunset in pure and total happiness.
Whenever it’s time for our animals to cross over, it’s natural to feel extreme grief, sadness, and deep loss. When my cat Willow transitioned, the first thing I thought was, “What am I supposed to do without her??” Through my animal communication work, I know that our animals’ energies are still very much connected with us after they pass, no matter how long it’s been. But as humans it’s so hard to let go of a presence in our physical world that we cherish so much.
The day after Yogi’s passing, I had planned to remove our cat Calla’s cone she was wearing while healing from dental surgery. Even though I’d had the vet’s go-ahead, I woke up that morning in fear that it was too soon. What if Calla rubbed her mouth too hard with her paw or on something else?
Every time I asked my heart how removing the cone felt, it felt like the right thing to do, but I still had doubts. So I shuffled some oracle cards and asked, “What do I need to know about deciding to remove the cone?”
I pulled the “Completion” card, which was answer enough, but in the guidebook it said, “Completion suggests the fullness of the moment and the need to transform an old form into a new one.”
I immediately removed Calla’s cone and for the rest of the day watched her race around in pure joy, jump excitedly into spaces she wasn’t able to with the cone, and play to her heart’s content with our other cat. And the whole time I was reminded of that image from the day before, of Yogi joyfully trotting into beautiful light.
Yogi's message is clear: Take time for healing and for joy, and embrace change and what’s to come with full trust and faith. And all of that comes when we let go of fear and worry.
And thank you, Yogi, for showing me that even painful times can be golden opportunities to learn, live fully, and lean into your example of blissful, unconditional love. 💜