Acts of Compasion: When Our Pets Absorb Our Illnesses

I have mentioned pets as spiritual beings a couple of times on this blog. In one posting entitled, Do Pets Have Souls?, I discussed the souls of pets and their places in the afterlife.  Often during client healing sessions, I see all types of pets from the traditional dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, and birds to the more obscure turtles, iguanas, and even some farm animals.  The energies of these animals present themselves to verify their connections to their former human owners even after the physical existence.  The bonds between humans and their pets are strong and sometimes these compassionate animals do something extraordinary; they absorb the illnesses of their humans, so their owners do not have to experience the physical suffering or so that their humans can spend more time on the Earth.

Last year, my youngest brother, Kyle battled testicular cancer and won.  He received chemotherapy treatments at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.   Over the course of four rounds of chemotherapy, he remained in New York for a full week during each round.  When he returned home, Kyle spent most of the following week in his bedroom, recovering and battling nausea.  As he regained his strength, his dog, Simon, an eight-year-old spunky yellow Labrador Retriever, sat at the end of his bed until Kyle was well enough to resume his normal routine.  Throughout all four rounds of chemotherapy, the dog remained by Kyle’s side.  After his rounds of treatment, Kyle endured a lymph-node removal surgery, in which the doctor’s extracted eighty-two lymph nodes from his groin area up through to his lungs.  The recovery was painful and Kyle couldn’t eat solids.  He spent almost seven days in the hospital.  When he returned, Simon was once again next to his bed until his master recovered.

I had a premonition this past November that my brother would once again have cancer in March of 2011 because although he had beat it physically, he had not fixed the root cause of his disease.  My brother had a feeling that he would get cancer again, as well.  He stressed often about it, though his scans and blood work came back clean each month he could not shake the feeling that the cancer was biting at his heals, again.

In March of this year, Kyle got his scans and they came back clean.  But Simon was not as lucky as Kyle.  Simon had an issue and he went to the veterinarian for some testing.  They found that Simon had cancer–the same type of cancer that Kyle had.  The cancer had spread from his groin area through the stomach and up to his lungs–the same tumor pattern as Kyle had.  The doctors determined that they could keep him comfortable, but because it has spread to his lungs, Simon would eventually pass from the disease.  How does a completely healthy dog develop the same exact type of cancer as his owner?  He had gone to the vet 4 months earlier for his annual exam and blood work.  There were never any signs of the disease.  Yet he had a baseball size tumor in his groin and cancer straight to through his lungs. The veterinarian did not have a really logical explanation for the disease.  Our explanation is that the dog had in fact absorbed the disease, so my brother could live longer on the Earth.

As soon as I heard the news of Simon’s illness, I called Kyle.  He was very emotional about it and knew that the dog had taken the illness on for him.  We discussed ways to keep Simon comfortable, which included weekly treatments. Kyle, a Reiki Master, agreed to give Simon weekly Reiki sessions.  He felt it was the least he could do to repay Simon for such a compassionate act.  I witnessed a session in which Simon rested comfortably, as Kyle gently swept his hands across Simon’s chest massive chest–his breathes were deep and relaxed.

Simon doesn’t display and visible signs of the disease.  His eyes are bright and his coat shines in the sun, as he continues to run about the yard fetching after tennis balls and any other toys we throw to him.  I think there will come a time this fall when he will grow weaker and feel the illness.  But for now, we enjoy our time with him and give him lots of love and affection.

Our pets are companions and sometimes they make the ultimate sacrifice for us.  We can learn the deepest sense of compassion from them. Maybe God created them so we can learn how to be selfless. One thing is for sure, they make our lives comfortable.  They brighten our days, comfort us when we’re lonely, and warm our hearts.  Pets are pure love and we should be grateful for them because they give so much more than they take in life.

Bright blessings,


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2 Comments to “Acts of Compasion: When Our Pets Absorb Our Illnesses”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this posting. This is a topic I have recently considered because I have a pet dying from a tumor. 7 years ago I had a cat and a dog diagnosed with different cancers within 2 months of each other. They both died within 4 months of each other. My dog was 8, my cat, almost 14. Now, my 18 year old cockatiel has been diagnosed with either a brain or sinus tumor, inoperable either way. Why must my pets suffer so? The rest of my family is healthy always. My pets are loved. So incredibly loved, and they know it. I don't usually reach for beliefs in such ways, though I am strong in my faith. I do believe that pets don't just die, however. I completely believe I will see my pets again someday, and I find solace in this. Anyway, thank you for these thoughts you shared, I'm glad I found this.

    • Thank you for your comment and I am so sorry about your pet that is getting ready to transition to the other side. I had a dog with the same type of tumor and he passed very quickly. It is a struggle to watch our pets suffer. I am glad that you found this article helpful. Sometimes we find the right thing at the right time. It believe it is the universe's way of helping us along.

      Love and light,