“I’m still here.”

merlin-photo
Merlin

I’m always amazed by the ways that spirits choose to communicate with us.  Read the story below and let me know what you think.  Do you think it was a true spiritual communication or a happy coincidence?

Merlin was a spunky, mischievous, little dog.  A mix of Westie and Maltese, he was my mother’s faithful companion for fourteen years.  She and her wife, Sandra, found him running across Fordham Road, an extremely busy area of the Bronx.  I was in high school when they brought him home.  The first time I saw him, he was a filthy, shaking bundle wrapped in a towel in my mother’s arms.

Mom and Sandra gave him a long bath to wash all the muck off him.  They had thought that he had dark-colored fur, but then Mom said, “I think he’s actually lighter than we thought.”  They gave him another bath to discover that his fur was white with an apricot tinge to it.  I knew from the start that we were going to keep him.  Sandra and Mom were always rescuing animals.

“What should we name him?” asked Mom.

“How about Merlin?” I suggested.  His curly, white fur reminded me of Merlin’s beard from Disney’s Sword in The Stone.  Plus, being Pagan, we always chose magickal names for our pets.

They fed Merlin and then went to take him out with our other dog, Bambi.  Being the friendly soul that Bambi was, he bonded with Merlin immediately.  I think Bambi was thrilled to see another dog instead of a cat, although he was well-behaved with cats, too.

About ten minutes later, I heard a buzz at the door.  Mom sent Bambi up to me.  “Where’s Merlin?” I asked, but Mom was already gone.  I fed Bambi and went back to my homework.  Almost an hour later, Mom and Sandra came back looking bedraggled and carrying Merlin, who was once again covered in dirt.

“You chose the right name for him,” said Mom.  “He did a disappearing act on us.  Slipped right out of the leash!”  As she carried Merlin back to the tub for his third bath that night, she said, “Tomorrow, we’re buying you a harness!”

Merlin and Mom bonded in the same way that Bambi and I did.  He followed Mom about the house, was always giving her kisses, and was extremely protective of her.  He was so possessive of her that sometimes I couldn’t help teasing him about it.  I’d put my hand on her shoulder, look him right in the eye, and say, “My mommy.”  He’d start growling at me.  I thought it was because I had my hand on her, so I tried it without the gesture.  He still told me off.  Then I would start arguing with him, “But Merlin, she is my mother.”  He would keep on barking at me until I relented, “Fine.  She’s your mommy.”  Then Mom would pick him up and say, “See?  He’s a real little boy, Tara!  A real little boy!”  Then he’d cover her with kisses.  Even though I joked about it, I loved how close they were and felt thankful that Merlin was there to watch over Mom.

Years passed and Merlin started to show signs of illness and aging.  Mom constantly fretted over him.  Then one day, shortly after Christmas, the inevitable happened and Merlin passed away.  I was on my way to my old job in the city when I got the call.  Mom was hysterical for days.

Two weeks later, she told me that she was going to go get another dog.  This wasn’t a surprise to me.  My mother always handled a pet’s death by going to get another.  That night she came home with two dogs, Jimmy and Hachi.  She didn’t want to separate them since they were related.  Jimmy was raised as a breeder dog and Hachi is his grandson.

Of course, even with a new puppy and senior dog to bond with and take care of, Mom was still mourning the loss of Merlin.  She knew that I sometimes see Bambi around my house.  One morning, she called me and I could sense that she was more depressed than usual.  “Why doesn’t Merlin come visit me?” she cried.

Holding my phone to my ear and stirring my coffee, I said, “Just because you can’t see him doesn’t mean that he’s not there.”

“Yes, but I wish he would find a way to let me know that he’s still around.  Just give me a sign of some sort, so that I can be sure that he’s okay.  I want him to know that I still love him.”

“I’m sure he knows that.”

“I don’t want him to feel replaced just because I got Hachi and Jimmy, now.”

“Knowing him, he probably sent them to you to make you feel better.”

Mom laughed.  “Yeah.  He probably told God that he couldn’t take my crying.  Make her stop, already!  Here!  Give her two dogs!”

We talked for a bit longer before getting off the phone.  Thinking about Mom, I said aloud, “Merlin, if you can hear me, I wish you’d find a way to let Mom know that you’re still there.  She misses you so much.”  I didn’t think much about it after that.

A little while later, Mom called me back.  “The strangest thing just happened!” she said.  “I was sitting on the couch with Jimmy and Hachi when one of Merlin’s sticks landed by my feet.”

“You mean, you had it on the couch and it rolled off?”

“No.  It fell on the floor directly in front of me out of thin air.”

By this time, Merlin had already been gone for months and Mom had cleaned up all his old chew toys.

If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send an email with your contact information to Tara Theresa Hill at theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview. 

I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

Follow Tara Theresa Hill on Facebook and on Twitter at @TaraTheresaHill for more updates and paranormal phenomena!

“Ghost Cat”

Ghosts seem to follow me wherever I go.  While there are specific places that may be haunted, I believe that most spirits who have been to the “light” and have come back, are able to roam the universe freely as they please.  We don’t see or hear them all of the time because most humans are not aware of them, but it doesn’t mean that they are not there.

While fascinated by ghosts, I take steps to manage how I interact with them.  I do frequent spiritual cleansings to help balance both my own energies and the ones in my house.  The energies in my home are generally peaceful.  I made sure of that before we moved in.  The last thing I wanted to do was buy a house with unhappy spirits attached to it.

For years, I’ve seen the spirit of my dog, Bambi, wherever I have lived.  I have even dreamt of my orange calico cat, Magic, coming to visit me.  A few weeks after we bought our house, George and I got our tuxedo cat, Diana.  Almost immediately afterward, I started seeing flashes of a cat that had similar coloring to Diana appearing inside of our bedroom.  At first I thought I was imagining it because I was worried about Diana sneaking into the bedroom and getting at our parakeet, Skye Baby.

Instead of stopping, the appearances of another cat increased.  One day, I was standing by the counter in our kitchen when I saw the black silhouette of a cat out of the corner of my eye.  Thinking it was Diana, I didn’t flinch when I saw it move to rub up against my legs.  I bent down to pet Diana like I usually do, only she wasn’t there.  I mentioned the incident to my husband, George, who told me that Diana was asleep on the couch in the living room.  George said that he had often seen the same thing and found that Diana was nowhere near him at the time.

After talking about it some more, we decided that we must have a ghost cat visiting us and have since dubbed the friendly, little apparition “Ghost Cat.”  Both of us have seen Ghost Cat around the house.  A few weeks after deciding on a name for our feline spirit companion, I had a dream that there were two Dianas sitting in my bedroom.

“This doesn’t make any sense,” I thought.  Then I said, “Oh, you must be Ghost Cat.”  The cat leaned into the caress when I knelt to pet him.  Whereas, Diana has mostly black fur, including on her face, this cat had white cheeks.  He kind of reminded me of an old man in cat form.

Later, when I told George about the dream and described the cat to him, he showed me an old picture of his childhood pet, Tracy.  The cat in the picture looked incredibly similar to the cat that I had seen in my dream.  Tracy was an extremely loving and friendly cat.  He even used to play with the children that attended George’s mother’s family daycare.

I have seen Ghost Cat come through our front door (while it was closed), jump up on the couch, and walk around our kitchen and dining area.  Diana doesn’t seem to be bothered by his presence.  Sometimes George and I have even seen him at the same time.  Whenever we do, we always say, “Hi, Ghost Cat.”

If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send an email with your contact information to Tara Theresa Hill at theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview. 

I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

If you enjoyed this article and would be interested in supporting my work, please check out my Patreon page. 

 

My Beloved Bambi

 

Bambi Photo
My dog, Bambi. Original Artwork by Jan Mina, 2013

For anyone who knows the loss of a familiar or animal companion.

Bambi and I were inseparable from the moment we met.  He was a handsome Sheltie dog with light brown fur and a white front ruff.  I was eight years old and recovering from the chicken pox when my parents got him for me.  Bambi was an intelligent, loving, well-behaved, and extremely gentle dog.  He never bit anyone and was deeply protective of our family.  He slept with his head on my legs from the first night that we brought him home until the day that I left for college.

During my sophomore year, he fell ill and became progressively sicker.  Then one night during my spring semester finals, I had a strange dream.  I was standing on the edge of this beautiful field.  Long green grass waved in the wind.  A blue butterfly with a wingspan the size of a large notebook appeared by my shoulder and started dancing around me.  Surprised, I started whirling around with it.  At some point in the dream, the blue butterfly smiled and kissed me on the forehead.  I watched as it flew off to join a cloud of other butterflies that had gathered in the field.  My heart was heavy because I knew that I could not follow the joyful little spirit.

When I woke up that morning, I knew that Bambi had passed away even before my mother called me.  I told her about the dream and said that he had come to say goodbye to me in my sleep.  The months that followed were a dark time for me.  I mourned Bambi so deeply that my husband (then boyfriend) bought me a stuffed animal that looked like him to sleep with at night.

I started seeing Bambi’s spirit frequently after I graduated and moved into my first apartment.  I have had four apartments so far and he has followed me to each one.  I will turn around and suddenly see him out of the corner of my eye or enter a room and find him sitting on the floor just as he used to when I was a little girl.  Sometimes I even see him resting next to my darling cat, Diana.  Bambi has the most benevolent soul and his presence always brings me a sense of incredible comfort and peace.  Even through death, we are still connected and always will be.