Friday, June 4, 2010


A few days ago I printed Kathy's first story about her dogs.  I asked her if she had any other interesting stories to please send them to me.  Well she did and this story is my favorite of the two.  I knew immediately that I wanted to share it with my readers here.   Thank you once again Kathy for sharing a part of your life with your dogs here with us. 

When our dogs leave this earth, are they truly gone?  Of course a part of them remains in our hearts forever.  Sometimes dogs that I've lost come to pay me a visit in my dreams.  They are exactly how I remembered them to be, only they're gone when I awake which makes me long for them even more.  But what about Kathy's dogs?  Did she and her husband Joe grieve so hard for their beloved dogs that their dogs felt a need to return to them to let them know it was alright to say goodbye?  Do you believe that animals have souls?   Do you believe in ghosts?  It's one of my favorite type of stories!  I can get lost in them.  Read on.....

The Magical Mulberry Tree

October 24, 2007 – Kathy Sater-Partch

There was once a man that was down by a river pondering his life. There appeared a man that spoke to him of many wonderful things to come; he then vanished as quickly as he appeared. Many years later this same man appeared to him to teach him more wonderful things. He asked this familiar person, aren't you the man that came to me while at the river many years ago? The man's response was: why don't you go back there and ask him?

A true teacher will not validate or invalidate a person's experience. It is always up to us to discern what is real to us or not!

I would like to share this phenomenon with you. About two years ago my husband, Joe and I were sitting at our kitchen-Island reminiscing about our late, white German Shepherd Dog, Lobo and how much we missed him. Shortly after that conversation I got up and went to the kitchen sink. When I looked out the window above the sink at our large mulberry tree in the back yard, there was a perfect image of Lobo's face on its trunk. I had to look twice to believe what I was looking at. I said to Joe, “Come quickly to the window and tell me what you see on the mulberry tree.” In a second of his glance he said, “Oh my! It’s an image of Lobo's face!” Not the image of any shepherd. It was the exact image of this photo I had taken of of him laying by that tree years ago. The same photo I used in a story I had written about him, titled: "Divine Messenger." It wasn't my imagination; Joe saw it right away too. I ran quickly for my camera. But by the time I got to the tree, the wind came up and totally distorted the perfect image that had been placed there by the sunray’s coming through the tree leaves. I waited for the wind to calm down, but by the time it did, the suns’ position changed just enough for the image to not reappear. I looked at the clock to see what time it was so I possibly could see the image again the next day -- it never returned.

All day I haven’t been able to get Lily off my mind. I think of her often, and miss her deeply. We shared an incredible fourteen years and some months together. [It will be a year this November eleventh since she left us].

Some time has gone by now since Lobo’s passing. And with Lily gone too, and no more dogs at the moment, I think of her constantly. Joe and I are sitting at the kitchen-Island once again for a lunch break as Lily’s memory lay strongly on my mind. I cannot tell you why I did this, but within seconds of intense thoughts of her, I looked out at the mulberry tree. And there she was! A huge chill ran up the back of my neck as goose bumps covered my arms. I’m so thankful Joe was there once again to share another unusual occurrence. “Joe, look quickly on the trunk of the mulberry tree,” I said. “Can you believe what’s there again?” He rushed to the window, and calmly said in a subtle voice, “It’s Lily.” “Am I crazy or what?!” I asked myself. “Well, then we both are because that's Lily’s face,” Joe said. Once again I hurried for my camera. And this is what I finally captured. Evidently Lily's spirit-energy was strong enough to allow me at least four different shots of the image. Then her image started to move around with the wind, just as Lobo’s image had done. I checked the time on the clock when it appeared. I waited for the next day to possibly see her again – there was just a slight image left. Probably the average person couldn’t have made it out unless they had seen it the day before, but she was still there.

And just think; Joe and I were there both times to witness the extraordinary likenesses’ of Lobo and Lily on that mulberry tree. Maybe for only a few minutes, but for both of us, I think was extremely quaint. There must be something magical about this mulberry tree, because my German Shepherd Dog, Koda now lies in the very same place as my other shepherds use to rest in the hot summer days of Arizona.

The image as we saw it on the mulberry tree, October 24, 2007. When you sit back a bit, the image becomes unmistakable.

Wasn't that incredible?  Just look at how much that image on the Mulberry tree looks like the picture of beautiful Lily! Wow, I wish I saw some of my beloved dogs that are no longer with me come visit me like that.  Well maybe......or maybe might just freak me out also, so I better be careful what I ask for!

My rating:  believing animals have souls: (4)

From the book "GHOST WHISPERS: TALES FROM HAUNTED MIDWAY".......Have you ever felt uneasy chills upon entering an old house or cemetery? Sensed someone watching you from the dark at the top of the stairs, when you knew you were alone? If so, then dim the lights and stoke up the fire. These stories will thrill and bewitch you, and unveil the hauntedness in us all. Read them and be scared... With his first book, "Ghost Whispers: Tales from Haunted Midway," local author William Gorman journeys deep into what modern master and Illinois native son Ray Bradbury called the 'October country'; that dark, unseen region where the natural and the supernatural worlds touch and sometimes bleed into each other. Only this time, it's right here in our own back yard: Rockford, Illinois, and her nearby environs. Within these pages you'll meet the ghost of a murdered girl who still wanders her former Haight Village neighborhood on rare, dread occasions; a southern-born taxidermist who lived as strangely as he died, and whose moody soul now will not rest until he finds his lost burial casket; the spirit of an old woman from Belvidere named Nellie, who donned her faded wedding dress one night and walked into the river like vapor; the vengeful phantom of an infamous Freeport assassin, who once killed a U.S. president and was hanged for his crimes; and lingering ghosts of a Rockford gone by, as three young boys take a coming-of-age midnight stroll through their fair city as it was in 1905, a burgeoning place filled with fleeting shadows and with a present already sadly becoming past. Plus many, many more. At times unsettling, at other times lyrical and life affirming, and at times just plain frightening, there's something here for everyone in this macabre collection of spooky tales. True or not, folklore or fact, strangers who visit this upper Midwest region-after reading these chilling accounts-will arrive from now on with a new appreciation of its spirited history and its somewhat haunted landscape. And local residents will never pass by and look at their own Gothic architecture or tree-shrouded graveyards in quite the same way again.


  1. Josh Groban put it so well in his song "A Breath Away"...while the physical body may give way to the test of time, what makes you YOU (or in the Dogs case, what makes them the wonderful creature they were)never truly leaves. You cannot kill is eternal. I know that those who have crossed over are around us each day, guiding our footsteps. My baby boy Krunch1 passed away 7 years ago..and when I close my eyes and put my hand where his head would have been, I can still feel his presence next to me.

  2. I truly believe dog's have soul's. I have not had anything so vivid as Kathy's experience but there is no doubt in my mind that our present dog, Bozwell was sent to us by our deceased dog Ben. I can't put my finger on how I absolutely know that but I do. After over a year we were still grieving our dog Ben so badly we couldn't mention his name without crying. I still miss him so very much and still cry because I miss him and loved him greatly. Bozwell, Sarah and Gypsy have not only filled the void but exceeded it.
    Bozwell was not yet born when Ben died, but after stating no more GSD's for us, because it wouldn't be fair to another GSD, as we knew we would compare any GSD with Ben.
    Ben adopted us at a kill shelter and not the other way around. He literallly chose us. He lived to 13 1/2 years and died of natural causes, and had a happy fulfilled life. In his last few weeks he went blind and I became his constant seeing eye guide friend. He let me lead him safely which was total trust.
    Bozwell has characteristics - not traits, just like Ben. When he looks at you I can see the very same understanding in his eyes that Ben had. I don't know exactly how I know but he had a deceased mentor that let him know how to react and behave. His responses and communications are Ben all over again. Some would say if anything it is a coincidence but I know it is not. Bozwell is not Ben, that much I know, but he is certainly influenced by Ben's spirit. That much I do know. After Ben we didn't think we could love another GSD enough - especially like we did Ben. That proved wrong, we love all three of our dogs and still love Ben even though he is no longer with us. Just when you think it won't get better - it does. Just when you think no one could replace Ben - they do. When you think you couldn't love dogs any more, we do.
    Bozwell didn't replace Ben, he is so similar to Ben's character that he is just like Ben. He has a different personality but is so much like Ben it is uncanny. There just has to be a doggy heaven.

  3. Thanks for sharing your heartfelt story with us Bruce. Your story is so much like those that some of my puppy buyers used to tell me. They would say that they lost a beloved dog and no other dog could ever take their place. How wrong they were! They may not take their place, but they squeeze him over just a little bit in your heart knowing there's room for him as well. The heart is so capable of loving more than once!

  4. I'm quite sure there will be some people who don't believe these things can actually happen. I still have the four different photos I had taken of the image at different angles. So this in my confirmation to its reality. They are in a safe place forever. The day Joe & I saw that image of Lily on the tree we went out that evening to supper with our neighbor's, Scott & Deb. They love animals & have many. I could hardly wait to tell them what we saw that afternoon. The look on Deb's face when I told her was unbelievable. Just like SURE you did. And Scott just starred at me with a blank look on his face & never said a word. Then Joe said, "It's true. I saw it too!" Deb asked a few more questions -- I answered, but she still didn't believe me until I told her I had four photos of the happening. The smirk left her face. She said, "WHAT?!" She came over to our house after dinner & when she saw the photos she couldn't speak. She just sat there in trance to the photos. I finally said, "Now do you believe me?" "This is spectacular," she replied back. And just kept starring at them. What I think is amazing also is Joe & I were home to be able to see this. Or to even look outside at that right time.

    I felt Lily's spirit in our house for some time after her passing. I felt her by every place I sat. And by my bed side every evening. Matter of fact, she wouldn't let my new GSD puppy, Koda lay underneath my computer desk. For weeks I tried to get him to come into my computer room to be with me & something kept bothering him & never wanted to stay in the room. It was weird. One day I finally got him to come into the room. I asked him to lay underneath my old antique oak desk where all my dogs loved to lay. When he got under there, he did a deep-serious growl, hackles went up & backed all the way out of the room. And wouldn't come back in. I have to say it was quite humorous to see him back all the way out of the room. Probably in his little mind he figured he didn't have time to turn around after Lily said, "Get out of my space!" Finally, Joe said; "You may have to ask Lily to leave the house." I thought about what Joe said & didn't take him seriously at first. The next day as Koda lay out side the hallway from my computer room I decided to ask Lily to please go to the "Bridge" with the rest of her family. And that I will be there some day to meet her again. It broke my heart to ask this of her when knowing she evidently still wanted to be with me. OMG! A couple of days later, Koda comes into the computer room on his own. He has been here with me ever since. Even under the antique oak desk where Lily use to lay. So, I guess Lily finally went to the "Bridge." [sigh]

    Dreams. They do say a lot about what's important in our life. Dreams are the message to what's important in our hearts & souls.

  5. My Ben, Raven, Max and Eagle grace me with occasional visits in dreams. I was in such pain this week and spent most of it in bed, and they all visited me in one dream. I felt supported by their presence for days afterward. They are all at the Bridge, but I do get the occasional "visit", and I still miss them so very much.

  6. Kristal, you will always miss your Ben, Raven, Max & Eagle. Their "dream visits" will help you in more ways than you'll ever imagine. This helps the soul to heal. Kathy