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One night, about 3 years after we had put down Sean, our black Labrador Retriever, I had a dream of him. He looked young and healthy and his coat was a shiny black (he was 14 and had grayed over the years when we said our goodbye to him). In my dream, Sean communicated by telepathy to my husband and me that he was indeed alive, healthy and happy. In my dream it did not strike me as odd that Sean could communicate this way - it seemed natural. He looked so good! He then communicated that he had "a pool and a Frisbee waiting for Gretchen."

When I woke up, I remembered the dream - for it seemed so real and shared the dream with my husband. We both laughed for Sean had never met Gretchen, our golden Retriever who was only two years old. I just thought it was a silly dream and that was that.

Three days later, I rushed Gretchen to the emergency vet in the early morning. She died later that day of an aneurysm - there was no way for us to know that she was that ill. Even the emergency vet ran a cat scan that did not show any signs of it. She then had a massive shutdown of her heart and respiratory system. We were devastated.

That first night without Gretchen, I remembered the dream about Sean and knew, without any doubt, that he came to comfort us. The vet said that there was nothing we could have done about her condition, even if we knew about it ahead of time. The message from Sean was no warning, only a reassuring and comforting message that life continues - not just for humans but for animals as well.

If I had the dream after Gretchen's death, my mind would have said that I made it up to comfort myself. The fact that it came three days before Gretchen's death serves as a reminder that I did not make this up. I have not had a dream about Sean before or since this incident.

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Music: All Things Bright and Beautiful

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.

The purple-headed mountain,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning,
That brightens up the sky;

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one;

The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows for our play,
The rushes by the water,
To gather every day;

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.

All Things Bright and Beautiful
     Lyrics by Cecil F. Alexander, 1818-1895
     Original Music by Louis Spohr, 1784-1855
     Updated "jazzy" version by John Rutter, 1945-