By Luellen Hoffman —

Recently while doing research for my book, Special Dream, I asked people if they ever had someone close to them die and then appear to them in an unusual dream. Over three hundred people responded and out of that group, five people wrote to tell me their dog had died and then appeared to them in a dream. I couldn’t use their stories in my book, but when I saw the web site about the death of pets, I knew this would be a wonderful place to share their heart-warming story.

Here is one story, related to me by Margaret B.
I have never seen a dog like my fawn whippet that was born on Christmas day. He was one of seven puppies and the breeder named all of them after Santa’s reindeers. My dog was named Dancer and was the most faithful dog I’ve ever owned. Housebreaking him required merely opening the door at my apartment and pointing to where he should go. He marched out, did his job, and promptly came back in!

At that time I was working on a horse ranch, and Dancer spent his days with me working outside. We were always together and he would patiently wait as I worked the horses till the day was over. I think these were Dancer’s happiest times because he had total freedom to run. Even with all this space to roam, he never showed any temptation to stray, and never went far from my sight. He always kept a protective eye on me and was my constant shadow.

Our other family dog was a little Chihuahua named Rascal. At the end of the day little Rascal decided he would tip toe up and sit on top of Dancer as he lay on the couch, for that extra warmth and companionship. It was a funny sight to see and Dancer never minded sharing his space with his little buddy.

After moving back to the city, I was forced to take an office job and felt bad that I didn?t get to spend as much time with my beloved Dancer. Now, my day-to-day living demanded all my time indoors and work has a way of distracting us from the important things in our lives. It wasn’t long before I started to notice that the bulging muscles in his legs where almost non-existent. I thought maybe it was because he wasn’t getting enough exercise so I had our horse vet take a look at him. I noticed too that he would limp every now and then, but at ten years of age, these things are expected.

At first the treatment the vet prescribed for him seemed to help, but then Dancer started taking a turn for the worse, so I immediately took him to another veterinarian who diagnosed him with kidney failure. When hearing this, I felt guilty and totally responsible for not catching his symptoms sooner. I treated him at home for almost two weeks until it became apparent that he was suffering a great deal. As much pain as he was in, I could tell he was ready to go — but I didn’t him want to leave me; I didn’t want to let go. I can still remember just how soft his ears were; they were just like velvet.

I had the vet come to the house to put him down because I wanted to bury him on the property so he would always be close to me. I placed him in his grave with his favorite blanket and sadly said my good-byes. The next day, I found a wonderful boulder that had quartz in it that sparkled in the sun and had a slight yellow hue like the color of Dancer’s coat. This marks his gravesite along with some serene Birch trees to shelter it.

I was in such distress with the guilt over his death and felt I would never own another dog again. It took me a month before I could think of him without crying. About three months after he died, I had this wonderful dream.

Dream: I was walking around outside on our property, and there he was beside me, running along. His eyes were laughing and tongue hanging out and he did what I called a “whirly gig.” This was a movement he would do when he was really happy and he would spin in circles so tight and small and so fast you would wonder how he could do it.

When I woke up, I realized that he had made it to “doggy heaven,” and that he was free from pain and happy again. I sit here now with tears in my eyes recalling this story. I’ve had many animals in my life but never had such a strong connection as I did with this dog and it is still hard for me to accept that he is gone. I’m just glad he came back to me in a dream to tell me he was okay.

Luellen Hoffman is author of the book, Special Dream, which is available at

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Luellen Hoffman

Luellen Hoffman was an adjunct professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and has a successful career in the Washington, DC area. She has won top awards and recognitions from, VNU/Nielsen Business Media for her outstanding people and communication skills. Hoffman is a feature writer of a children’s column with a Chicago based magazine for over fifteen years and is a feature writer for "The New Barker" magazine in Tampa, Florida. She also created an equestrian scholarship at Dartmouth College in 2002. Her husband Michael died unexpectedly in 1994 which led her to write the book “Special Dream” and share her experience of a Special Dream in hope of reaching out to others who may be have had this same unique experience. She has two sons, enjoys art, music, and sports. Luellen appeared on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” with Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley to discuss “Continuing Bonds Through Albums and Stories.”

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