Why Are They With Us?

Why Are They With Us?

I believe that the animals who come into our lives do so for a reason.

I didn’t always believe this. But then I met my beloved Thoroughbred, Nikos, who told me we had been together for many lifetimes and introduced (perhaps reintroduced) me to the work I do now. He told me that we are one spirit, separate yet connected. He told me that we will be together until the end of time.

And my little white dog, Elika, my constant companion, the bright light of my life. When she told me she was mine, I had no interest in little white dogs, but she said she had come to teach me about my wildness, and so I took her in, and my life was changed.

Several months ago, I was invited to a barn to do mini-readings during a holiday event. A teenaged girl came up to me as I was preparing to leave and asked if I could speak with her horse. She had been trying all evening to decide if she wanted to do this and was clearly still reluctant.

She told me again that her horse was for sale. She had told me this at the beginning of the evening when I first met her. When I’d commented on her horse’s beauty, she’d said, “Do you want to buy her? She’s for sale! There’s another one I want to buy.” Her tone had surprised me. I was a bit taken aback at her eagerness to give up her horse. But now, as she asked me to do the reading, her tone had changed. There was sadness in her voice, in her posture; she said she didn’t know what to do.

When I spoke to the mare, she told me that the girl should not feel guilty, that the mare had come into the girl’s life not only to make her a better horsewoman, but to open up places in her heart as well. She said that the girl had learned the lessons, that she, the horse, had always known that they would not be together for long and that it was time for them to say their good-byes. She asked only that the girl be patient and careful in choosing the mare’s next home, that she closely listen to the guidance of her heart.

A client recently asked me to speak with his Border Collie. The man will be going abroad for several months this summer and will have to leave the dog behind. Even though the man’s wife will be joining him overseas for only one month, and even though the dog will be staying in the home of someone she knows well and loves during that month, the man was feeling guilty about leaving her.

The dog told me that she was well aware of the trip, and that she was fine with staying home. She said, “This trip is particularly important. Something that has been germinating will be born. Do not look for something huge, something that will knock you down. Look for something small and subtle, like a feather. It will brush your cheek and completely change your life. I do not need to be there. I will keep the space open here.” She went on to say that her human companion is quite the worrier, that when one worry is over, another begins. She said that after this trip, “the worrying will stop. That will be part of the change. He will feel giddy, light—a weight gone.”

Some years ago, a woman contacted me to speak with her cat, who was having digestive disturbances. I channeled Reiki healing to him, and we spoke about what was going on. He was a very calm and centered cat, self-assured, and so I was surprised when he suddenly asked for Holly, which is a Bach flower essence used to treat unresolved anger. This made no sense to me until I finally realized that he was suggesting it for his human companion, the woman who had hired me. When I spoke with her about it, she revealed that she had been sexually abused as a child and that she was indeed still suffering the effects.

And then there are the countless horses who say they are with their women to help them to find their courage, to speak up, to break out of the prisons they have constructed for themselves, to learn to trust their instincts, to listen with their hearts. Just today a horse said to me about her human companion, “She worries quite a bit, but that seems to be changing. She is softening, taking her time, listening. She second-guesses herself, though. Tell her she doesn’t need to do that. She is connected; she can hear; she is hearing correctly.”

And so they come forever or for a little while. They come to bring the joy that comes with play, to teach or to learn, to provide companionship, to make us brave, to soften our hearts, to help us heal or to be healed. Maybe it is worth considering: Why is this horse in your life, this dog, this cat, this cardinal outside your kitchen window?

Until next month,

Be well,


*This column originally appeared in From the Horse’s Mouth in April 2007.

© 2007 by Pamela Sourelis