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A Piece of Your Heart Remains With Your Departed Pets

It feels that way for a reason. When you lose your beloved companion a piece of your heart goes with them. It will never return. It isn’t meant to. It is supposed to open a new space in the core of your soul that encourages you to search for new answers and find your new ‘normal’ way of life without them.
Like flowing lava, the true meaning or purpose of being with your pet will enter your heart. It will flow in and slowly begin to fill the broken pieces of your heart.
You cannot and will not ever get over your loss.
You will get through it.
Minute by minute.
Hour by hour.
Day by day.

What is the true meaning of why your pet was with you?

From the most obvious to the most subtle, there is a reason you are experiencing this life and this loss with your pet. While it may not be clear at first, in time you may sense that even in the most traumatic losses there is a new you emerging.
You will never be the same again. But why would you want to?
Your pet’s love and loss have changed you forever.

There is a Fine Line Between Despair and Hope

This fine line between despair and hope is what moves you forward into healing. Your loss is devastating and measurable only by the ache in your heart and the tears that have fallen.
Your hope is merely a blip on the radar as you stumble through the fog of grief. But it is there. Patiently waiting for you to emerge.

“Grief is not meant to be your soul’s final destination;
rather a resting place for the heart as you emerge onto the path of healing.” 

I received that divine message during a particularly devastating time in my life. I wasn’t ready to hear those words. I just wanted to be miserable in the depths of my pain.
As I read that statement now, I cannot feel the intensity of the pain anymore. It has subsided.
So what has changed?
I still grieve the loved one I lost. The grief just isn’t as heavy.
Do I know the meaning of the loss I endured? I do.

Your journey through grief is part of the plan…

But it took a while for me to get there. And you will too. You will get there.
Hold on to the hope that everything is happening for purpose and meaning. You are here as a spiritual being having a physical experience on Earth.
Everything you are experiencing is part of your journey.
Remember, you energetically signed up for this journey when you accepted your pet into your heart. I’m sure you would choose to do it all over again if given that choice.

One minute at a time.
It will happen.

I encourage you to share your experience in the comments below. I read and respond to each message.

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Karen is an award-winning animal communicator and best-selling author who specializes in pet loss and the afterlife. She has documented her journey with her heartwarming and inspirational books, The Pet I Can’t Forget, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals and Hear All Creatures.
She also offers a free app and animal communication coaching programs for all skill levels as well as loving support and guidance for those struggling with the loss of a beloved companion.
Karen is the CEO and founder of Painted Rain Ranch Animal Sanctuary a non-profit charity that serves as a final refuge for elderly, special needs, and abandoned companion animals. Karen saves the pets no one else wants on her 30-acre farm in the Inland Pacific Northwest. Proceeds from Karen’s books and coaching benefit the animals at the sanctuary.
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  1. Marcia Olson says:

    Chester Bubba Olson unexpectedly took his journey to Heaven while laying on my bed in the early morning hrs on a Sunday one year ago on Sept 15th, 2019.
    I talk to him every day and kiss his picture every night. It a very lonely feeling in my heart. I pray for him to give me signs that he is with me. I have received some wonder signs but scared that one day that will end.
    I always tell Bubba he is always welcomed to come with me where ever I go, even to work!!
    I would LOVE to connect with him through a communicator just one time
    I tell Bubba if there was a stairway to Heaven I would be up there in a heartbeat!!
    Pray, Wait, and Trust 🙏❤🐶
    I am forever changed ❤❤

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet boy, Bubba. It is wonderful to hear you have received some signs from him. Remember, it takes a lot of energy to do so and they need fuel to send signs. Your positive energy is fuel, crystals such as quartz provide spiritual fuel and even a simple pack of batteries helps. Those who don’t feel the need to send signs are the ones that are around the most. So not to worry if those signs end. He is likely right there by your side and you’ve become used to his energy and desensitized to those subtle messages. He will ALWAYS be with you. That I promise to you. I’m sure his love has forever changed you. Sending love and healing.

  2. Renee Ferrero says:

    Thank you Karen. I just had to put my 18 year old orange tabby Cinnamon to sleep after her body was weakened from 8 years of medications for diabetes and 4 years of hyperthyroid and IBD conditions. She was a real fighter but the years caught up with us. I miss her so much and feel so badly that I had to make the decision to end her life. I just couldn’t bear to have her suffer. She deserved a peaceful passing with grace and dignity. She was the love of my life and I am empty without her.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for your loss, Renee. It is an impossible decision even when we know we must make it. I am also troubled to make this painful journey to the vet office. So many doubts and what-ifs run through our minds. What we don’t realize is that our beloved pets know that we are helping them. They don’t want to be in a body that is failing them. They entrust us to manage their care and balance their pain or discomfort. They trust us. They know we will make a decision with their highest and best interest at heart. They never hold us responsible or feel we took their life. I hope you have a copy of my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals. There is so much information in the book about euthanasia and what happens at the end of their lives. It is still an impossible decision but one we must make for their sake. You have done exactly what you needed to do. She is no longer in a failing body, she is happy, balanced, and loving you even more. Feel good about being a good mom to your Cinnamon. Are you part of my VIP family? If not, please opt in. I will send you helpful and healing info. Sending love and healing.

  3. Bobbie Denlinger says:

    Hi Karen
    I had to put my beloved Koumba down about a month ago, she had degenerative myelopathy, it broke my heart, we had a vet come to the house. The vet was so nice and caring. I think Koumba was better off not having to go into the vet. A friend was with me, he loved Koumba almost as much as I did, he is the one who kept her when I traveled.
    So many people loved her, the vet tech told me she was “the world’s most perfect dog”.
    I am thinking of getting another puppy. My friends all say “no more big dogs”.
    But when I looked at the breeder’s web site, with all of her beautiful dogs, I thought I can’t see myself without a Ridgeback. I hope you can contact her some time, I want to know she is all right, we buried her in the back yard. Ginny, her breeder thinks she got the gene from her father. I have gone through guilt and many, many tears.
    Thanks for listening, I know this is too much!

    • Karen Anderson says:

      Bobbie, I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved, Koumba. She is the most perfect dog. You are such a good mom and you took really good care of her so I am sure she is doing great, alive, and well in spirit and watching over you. Choosing to get another pet can help ease the pain from grief. It provides us with someone to love and care for when our hearts are breaking. Whatever you decide to do listen to your heart and choose wisely. Grief clouds our minds and thought processes. We’ve known each other for many years now with many sessions in the past so you must remember that we don’t have to worry about those who are on the Other Side. They are in a supercharged, beautiful space filled with love and happiness. Feel good about being the best mom and cherish all those memories of your life together. Your girl loves you so much. I hope to connect with both of you again. Sending love and healing.

  4. Denise H says:

    I’ve had trouble getting through the grieving process before when I had to say goodbye to my most beloved fur kids (and of course losing my dad in 2017), but I always found a way to function after a certain amount of time.
    Even with that said, and even though I know that he guided me to finding Chloe after he passed, I still cannot get past Sebastian’s loss. It is even worse because nobody seems to be able to connect with him – no messages at all. I’m literally having trouble functioning 15 months after he passed.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for all of your losses. It is hard enough to lose just one. Losing your dad as well must be devastating. I love that he guided you to Chloe. When you say no one can connect with Sebastian do you mean you have had sessions with other Animal Communicators and they cannot connect with him? That is extremely rare but powerful. What I have learned is that there are a few very rare souls that ascend to such high levels on the Other Side, the level of Masters, that they are as close to our Creator/God as they can possibly be. This causes them to be very transparent energetically as they merge with Source. It is a misunderstanding that they can’t connect as actually they can but the communicator needs to raise their vibration to the highest possible level and many just can’t or don’t know how to do so. I shift my energy and lock into hyper-speed mode to make such a connection. Impressions and communication from them are very profound, subtle, and mind-blowing. I’ll bet that is what Sebastian is doing. Few know how to access those high frequencies in the higher levels. Trust he is progressing on a journey like this and that is always near and watching over you. There is nothing that will ever break the bonds of love you share. Sending love and healing

  5. Elizabeth Acree says:

    I know I learned patience from my sweet kitty, Mia. She was plagued with bladder infections for several years. We had many trips to the vet, daily medications, vomiting at times. We adjusted to all and became very close, as if “working” together. I know there are more reasons to come.
    I just wish my sadness and depression would move on.
    I listen to your book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals often. It gives me comfort.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of your angel, Mia. Those types of medical issues are very painful and it takes a toll on them. You did your part by managing her to the best of your ability, medicating her and always being there for her. She knows that and I’m sure she is right there by your side trying to let you know that all is well. The sadness is heavy now. As you move through the pain it will ease in time. I don’t believe it ever truly leaves us. There is too much love and too much loss to fully disappear. I’m so glad you have my book to help you on your journey. You will find your smile again. Remember to make her life more important than her death. She wants you to move into healing as soon as you can. Sending love and healing.

  6. Lesley Finlay says:

    I have lost several dogs and three cats. Most had passed from old age. My first collie was only 7 1/2 years old. It was devastating. I just didn’t understand. I still don’t. The most difficult loss however was the loss of my “heart dog”. I held him as he passed and I swear my heart shattered when he left me. The one thing I realized with all the losses is that I would never have given up the opportunity of having them to prevent the pain of their loss. I miss them all so much but thanks to your books I realize they are always with me! ❤️🐾

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of your angel. I agree with you. I would never give up the opportunity to love them and spend their life with them to prevent the pain when they leave. Losses make us who we are. They make us learn and grow and expand our hearts. It doesn’t always feel good but most things that we learn from the most don’t! I am thrilled to hear my books have helped you on your journey. May you be blessed with cherished memories of your sweet baby.

  7. Gloria Lord says:

    I just this Friday Sept.11th, 2020 I said goodbye to my precious, Mary Louise Litefoot. A rescue from a local shelter.
    I had the gift of a lifetime a loving beautiful Maine Coon cat. She was a princess. She loved guests in the house. Always supervising. She loves us. A friend animal. The physic said she was finally ready to cross. So I had her put to sleep.
    Her journey to old age wasn’t kind list her sight her hearing mostly lost weight. She only weighed 8 lbs. To begin with. Her St. Francis medallion kept her safe. She liked her life here. Make fee and plenty of food which she was very fussy about.
    Her pal here is Cinnamon Bear Paw she helps raise from a dusty kitten. She’s buried near a garden she will bless. It’s fresh and raw. Took my whole being to let her go.
    Quality is better than quantity. My Cats Tarot cards are helping is she over the rainbow Bridge is she with her mom and littermates. I know she is. And the many Cats that have given me the life that humans fail me often.
    Thank you Mary Louise Littlefoot!

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of your angel, Mary Louis Litefoot. It sounds like she is an amazing soul who has helped you in so many ways with her love and devotion. You are so blessed to have her in your life. I hope you have a copy of my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals. It will help you on your journey through the grief. Hold onto the love not the loss. Sending love and healing.

  8. Ann Hawks says:

    I lost my precious companion cat, Merlin, three years ago. What made his loss so devastating for me, was that we both had cancer at the same time (2017). I was too ill going through chemotherapy to notice that he was having problems too. When I got home from a month stay in the hospital, he would sleep on a blanket on the floor by my feet while I slept in a recliner chair. He was near me the whole 18 weeks I went through therapy.
    When I finally had the strength to get up and around, I realized he wasn’t looking well and had a swelling in his stomach. My husband and I took him (June) to a vet who had ultrasound training and found that he had cancer all over his abdominal area just like I had. He was too far advanced for any drugs like chemotherapy. I was devastated to think this had been developing the whole time I was ill and couldn’t do anything about it.
    It was my fault. I adopted him as a 9 week old kitten at a PetsMart in Ohio, and I promised to always love him and take care of him, and I didn’t catch this one. I did what I could for him with the vet’s instructions. I watched my beautiful strong kitty weaken by the day. The vet prescribed morphine that I could put on his lips.
    On what I knew was going to be his final day, I anointed his head with frankincense oil and told him now he belonged with the angels. I wrapped him in a little blanket and sat and held him in my arms while he took his last breaths. I have never felt so empty, my heart and my stomach hurt.
    I wish I had known about you, Karen, and your books. They have helped me get over the huge fear of that unknown thing called death, and spirituality. Even though I have adopted two little girl kitties since his death, I still look at his photos and talk to them daily. I think somehow he directed me to your books while I was on Amazon, so I would understand and be happy for him instead of grieving.
    Thank you for the information you send out.
    Ann Hawks

    • Karen Anderson says:

      Ann, I am so sorry for your loss and for the painful experience of feeling as though Merlin’s death was your fault. My books have helped you on your journey and I am so grateful for that. But please know that you are not at fault. You did not set out to harm him nor did you cause his illness. As hard as it is to hear this, we are not meant to cure diseases, we are not meant to catch everything that happens within their body. That is part of our purpose and meaning.
      Experiencing an illness, loving, and caring for them during their treatments and up to their final moments. There are times that I miss things with my own pets. That is not a personality flaw. It is not being careless or lack of love or lack of attention. It is life. It is part of our reason to be with that pet. To experience the good, the bad, and all that happens.
      I’m sure Merlin does not hold you responsible for his death any more than he would hold you responsible for his birth. You did exactly what you were supposed to do in this lifetime with him. Trust that and honor that and allow your broken heart to expand with the love from all your cherished memories with him. Sending love and healing

  9. Laura says:

    Lady Jane’s passing on May 13th (here is the tribute I wrote for her: was the hardest loss I have ever endured, furry or human. I have no question that her spirit helped us find kitten Linn and adopt her 7 1/2 weeks later, on July 5th. What has helped most is knowing, for sure, that Lady knows how much we loved her, and still feeling her presence from time to time. Especially in that first 24 hours after we buried her. I literally felt the bed move with her spirit as she snuggled in next to me. It helps that we aren’t afraid to cry and grieve – we don’t try and keep the tears in, just let them go. But we love that she still checks in with us, and that she knows how special she was, and how much we loved her. And we know she felt the same about us. Lady Jane passed at age 17. I was able to spend over 13 of those years with her. My life was immeasurably enriched as a result. My husband and I are so grateful for all those years with her.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      A beautiful tribute to your special angel, Laura. I am so sorry for your loss. May your cherished memories bring peace and healing.

  10. Renee Ferrero says:

    Thank you so much Karen. Your reply has eased my heart and soul. I have both of your books and they have spoken to me and given me great hope for the afterlife with all of our precious fur babies. I am on your VIP list anxiously awaiting an opportunity to schedule a reading with you in the near future.

  11. Tina says:

    Hy Karen!
    I don’t want to make this comment about me, but about my 8yrs old Terra, mix staff/black with a white stripe between her eyes and legs, and her toes! Stubborn, smart, protective, and brave girl. Doctors and I made a mistake so she suffered a lot last Friday and Saturday. So bad that she barely walked, woke up after surgery only to say that it is too heavy to go on like this, so 5 min after I was there, tell her that she is so brave, that if she can forgive me and that her loved ones are waiting for her at home, her heart stopped.
    I just hope that you can help me talk to her, to hear some answers. I really don’t care about the house, job, or other stuff, I just want my baby treat her just for one more day the way she deserves it! Cause she is a hell of a girl! I met a lot of animals while rescuing them or just talk to them for a few mins on the street, but she is only ONE, so special, there is no word for that being. I am lucky to get to know her. Sending love, Tina!

    • Karen Anderson says:

      Tina, I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet angel. I’m sure you did the best you could for her and she loves you so much. Keep telling her how you feel as you do not need me to relay those messages. The love she has for you far outweighs everything else. Trust that she is by your side and she can hear your words and sense your feelings. I hope you have a copy of my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals. It will help you understand how to stay connected to her on the Other Side. Sending love and healing

  12. Jodie Hickman says:

    I have lost many dogs over my 59 years. I personally feel they are angels on earth. I drive rescue transport for many organizations through Arkansas. That way I get to experience all breeds of love.
    I read your book back in January. I’m preparing for a loss of the best dog I’ve ever had. She is a long haired dachshund and my first longhair. I’ve had dachshunds my whole life. She trusts me to do absolutely anything to her or with her. She will be 16 on December 1, 2020.
    By surprise this spring my Yorkipoo got sick and had to be put to sleep April 3. I was SO GLAD I had read your book! I put her picture big on my screen on computer and commenced to talk to her everyday and still do about 4 times a week. I think I’ve gotten a gift from her in July. Our son’s Yorkiepoo mated wit a Maltipoo and in July we got her only girl at 8 weeks. Everyday we are blown away at how much she acts just like Addie who we lost. Ivy has brought some life back into our elder Sweetpee. She took her in like she was her own.
    This week we are coming upon the ending point o Sweetpee’s life. She had back surgery from IVDD paralyzation 4 ½ year ago. Miracle surgery! She came out of surgery already pulling up her hind legs. She has been major babies since. Three and a half years ago she became diabetic. She is now deaf and almost blind with cataracts. She is losing bladder and bowel control. It is so difficult making decision to euthanize, but I want to protect her dignity. I am having a very hard time writing this because my eyes are tearing and I can’t see.
    I have your Boom app on my phone as soon as you posted about it. I just want to thank you with all my heart for what you do. I have shared information about your book with so many people. If you don’t love animals your probably not in my circle of friends. 😂. I plan to set an appointment with you when I’ve had good time tomorrow so we can maybe get in touch with her.
    Again my gratitude,
    Jodie Hickman

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for all of your losses, Jodie. I’m sure each one has taken a piece of your heart with them. It warms my heart to know my book has helped you during a difficult time. Going forward you will know so much more on how to prepare for each one when their time comes. Thank you so much for downloading my Boom app! I hope we can all connect some day and until then love your babies each and every day as they are a gift and a blessing in our lives

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for all of your losses, Jodie. I’m sure each one has taken a piece of your heart with them. It warms my heart to know my book has helped you during a difficult time. Going forward you will know so much more on how to prepare for each one when their time comes. Thank you so much for downloading my Boom app! I hope we can all connect someday and until then love your babies each and every day as they are a gift and a blessing in our lives. Sending love and healing

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