Perhaps animals have NDEs - new data

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A very interesting paper in the latest Journal of the Society for Scientific Exploration (JSSE), entitled "Experiences of Dying Animals: Parallels With End-Of-Life Experiences in Humans", by Rupert Sheldrake, Pam Smart and Michael Nahm. The article is in the public domain at .

This article reports many examples of pet behavior immediately before death often resembling people’s end-of-life experiences, suggesting common underpinnings to these events. Some of these reports are of behavior closely related to paranormal human end-of-life phenomena - apparent premonitions of death, terminal lucidity, and behavior implying some sort of near-death visions. If as this data indicates, animals have some sort of inner life similar in many ways to humans', and exhibit behavior in some of the categories of human paranormal at-death experiences, this may imply that perhaps these pet animals went on to have immediate at-impending-death experiences related to those experienced by humans in NDEs, leading to the possibility of an afterlife for these animals. 

There has  recently been  an increased interest in end-of-life experiences (ELEs) in humans, but ELEs in  non-human animals  have not yet been assessed. In  this paper, we present findings from a study we performed to collect  and analyze reports about remarkable  behavioral  aspects of  animals  during  their  last  phase  of  life. After  public appeals in which we  asked for reports about ELEs in animals, we  received numerous responses  from  pet owners. We were able  to group  these experiences  into  specific categories, which we termed  the last goodbyes, last visits, last rally, retreating into solitude, unusual premonitions of death, somatic surprises,  terminal lucidity  in animals,  and potential near-death visions in animals. We present 43 case reports pertaining to these different categories. Many of them show striking similarities to remarkable behavior reported by dying people. This similarity between animal and human ELEs might be a sign of a common physiology underpinning such experiences and could also increase the recognition that animals share an inner life similar to that of humans during all phases of life...

Excerpts from the long list of cases in the paper:

"Last goodbyes":

Quote:"The dominant feature in many of the case reports is that the pet seeks to say goodbye to their owners or other loved ones. Typically, these pets are already very weak, and they die soon after this final farewell. Gaddis and Gaddis (1970) already reported such a case. During the prime of its days, tomcat Pussy was taught by the couple who kept him to hold out a paw to shake hands. As Pussy grew older, he suffered from severe chronic dysentery and had to be put down. When the vet arrived, the cat dragged himself out of his basket, walked straight to its sorrowful keepers, and held out his paw to each of them in turn. He then crept back into his basket, buried his head in his paws, and awaited his fate. Some of the reports we received are remarkably similar.

"Our cat lived an incredible 21 years but suddenly became ill. We knew she was beyond her life expectancy but didn’t want her to suffer. However, before we could take her to the veterinarian, late one Sunday afternoon, and with all of the family home but in separate parts of the house, she made her rounds to each of us, gently pushing her head against a leg and looking up very lovingly and very softly, meowed, and walked away. Although she was a vocal and very affectionate cat, I can still recall all these years later what a profound feeling I had at the time as she walked away from me. Later as evening fell, we found her dead, peacefully, as if sleeping. Each of us in the family, my wife and two children shared our stories with one another and concluded that the cat said her “Goodbyes” in nearly the exact same manner.

This is the sad but true story of what our family experienced with our dog Foxi. We all loved the dog because it was so friendly, devoted, and loyal, as well as very watchful and clever. When the dog became old, it could not hear so well anymore, ate less, and became weak. Finally, at the age of 14, it could barely move from its resting place. Then one day, the following happened: The whole family sat at the dinner table when the good dog struggled to its feet, went around from one to the next, sadly looked at everybody, and gave paws to each member of the family. Then it trudged back, slowly lay down - and died. You can believe me, we had tears in our eyes after this goodbye scene. The dog had felt the end and pulled itself together for a final goodbye to all of us.

Terminal lucidity:

Quote:My  pet  was  a  six-year-old  Chihuahua  that developed  a brain tumor. He  was basically out of it, did not respond to my wife or me, and was having occasional convulsions. the night before, he was to be put down at the vet for a brief time, about  30 minutes,  and  he  was  completely normal. He jumped up in my lap, wanted to play like everything  was  normal,  then  went  to  my wife and did the same thing. All  of this happened in about a 30-minute time frame, and then he went back into “out of it and convulsing.” We told the vet about this, and he said he had never heard of this before and that the  dog would not recover. Anyway, that did happen, and  my wife and I believe he was saying goodbye.

My cat Cleo was dying, and I was sitting with her. She was nearly  comatose, not moving, her eyes  glazed over unseeing.  Her legs  were very cold. This state had been  progressing upon her for days, and because of the coldness of her legs, I felt she might be very close. But I was just sitting  there, mostly, not  even  really  petting  her. Suddenly she woke up. She put her paw upon my hand and gazed into my eyes with intensity. She was  saying goodbye to  me. That  was perfectly clear. Within an hour, she had passed.

What may have been near-death visions:

Quote:Our dog Snowy died on 30 June 2004. She was in a coma for several hours: Initially, her level  of  consciousness  fluctuated  somewhat,  and she was calmed. Then she fell into a deep coma in  which she was  unresponsive  to sound stimuli, from about noon that day  until her  eventual death at 11:45  p.m. At about 6 p.m., she  was more  clearly  very  weak  and  had  altered  consciousness. She  did not respond to tactile stimuli, which were not painful (we did not perform painful stimuli for humane  reasons).  At about  7 p.m.,  Snowy  suddenly sat  upright, looked as  if she was looking at an object very, very intensely, and followed that object with her eyes, her head moved slightly from side to side. If a  dog could smile, she would smile.  You  could see  a certain happiness radiating from her. She started wagging  her  tail for a  few seconds,  then collapsed and fell back into a coma. All four members of my family witnessed this. My wife, myself, and two teenagers (my daughter and my son), although I and my daughter were particularly aware of this. We  both  independently  and  immediately  noticed that it was a very strange thing happening. We spoke  almost simultaneously, recording our amazement. I interpreted this as a possible near-death vision.
(This post was last modified: 2023-05-09, 02:21 PM by nbtruthman. Edited 3 times in total.)
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Really interesting. Thanks.
Some more excerpts from the paper:

Premonitions of death:

Quote:"In  the summer of 1997, my daughter was working on a grant under Dr. […] at a university in California. Part of her duties was to retrieve the cage with the lab rats. They were part of a cancer research program and, as such, had been injected  with  live  cancer  tumors  and  then  different medicines to study the results. Each of the  rats was color dotted to determine how long they had been on the medications. And, every so often, the rats would be “sacrificed” so the cancer and the organs could be studied. My daughter, not really sympathetic to lab rats, became concerned when she noticed a regular phenomenon.  On the day the rats were to be sacrificed, unlike days when they were being weighed and measured, the rats would  all  gather  in  a  corner,  heads  facing  the center of  a circle, and they would be squeaking and showing signs of alarm. As my daughter said to me, “Mom, they know. Somehow, they know.”"

This apparent precognition is certainly strange, especially since animals including the higher mammals aren't supposed to have a conception of death and its meaning (apparent annihilation).

Last visits:

Quote:"For many years  I had a mongrel dog called Bruce. When I started courting, I spent less time with him, although I still loved him.  In turn,  he turned his affection toward a girl who lived not very far away who took him long walks, and occasionally she would ask if she could keep him at weekends. After mother died, my father decided to move house several miles away. What to do with Bruce was a problem, which was  resolved when my friend said she would love to have him. Many years later, on a lovely summer’s evening, I heard scratching outside the bedroom window of my new home. I opened it and looking down, I saw the white-haired face of Bruce. You can imagine the excitement in the household. We made such a fuss over him. However, in the early hours of the morning, he made indications it was time to go. I  can still  see him  walking away over the field, stopping and looking back. I met my friend whilst shopping a few weeks later who informed me  Bruce had died. He had gone missing one night, returning  early the following day – and had passed away three days later. It is especially remarkable that Bruce had never been to the new address, and we had  been parted for over five years. The dog had to cross over a bridge and travel over three miles to find me in my new address."

The last rally:

Quote:"Princess  Lavender  was my  baby  girl  for  11 years. She had congestive heart failure for eight months before she passed. Her veterinarian prescribed  medicines  that  helped her. On  March 4, 2021, she passed away. Around 1 a.m., I was up with her because her breathing was very unsteady, and she was not able to stand on her own. I had to go to work at 3 a.m., and my husband was with her till I came home at 10 a.m. While at work, I called the veterinarian’s office and was told that the vet would see her at 10:30 a.m. We decided to  help her pass with the doctor. When I got home, she was her young self, she was running around, playing, jumping up and down, giving me kisses, just her young self! We went to the vet’s office, and the doctor looked at her and told us  she would not do what we had planned, that she was doing very well. So, we decided to go on vacation (we had already planned to leave on this day) and drove four hours to the house we were renting. Princess loved the drive. When we arrived at the house, she bounced out of the car and took off running, checking out the place and smelling like crazy. She ate, drank water, took a nap, and then played a little with her ball and me and was doing great. Around 7 p.m., I checked on her and she was not doing good with breathing. I held her for five minutes, telling her how much we loved her, how much we would miss her, and telling her that it was OK to pass on. She gave me a kiss and took her last breath.

We lost our dog Ollie of over nine years. A few hours before she passed, we knew it would be her final hours due to her different behavior along with physical symptoms of ill  health. She sat  watching  the  sunrise  for  minutes…  transfixed, then walked round slowly looking at all parts of the  house, garden, etc. This may not seem unusual. But to us, it was a very distinctive behavior that was very different... and we knew it was her time. The day before, she had an amazing longer walk that she had not  been able to walk anymore for quite some time. What reminded us of our other dog Barney who passed at the age of 18. He also had an amazing walk in the morning on the day he passed. He was virtually blind and previously unable to walk a few yards without stopping."

"Somatic surprises" (uncanny temporary recovery from incapacitation):

Quote:"I have a story about a cat that I found on the road with a broken neck and brought home to die. It was with me three days and never moved, just panted. Just before it died, it got up,  stretched, meowed  very  loud,  purred  into  my  hand,  and then lay down dead.

I want to share an experience with our 16-year-old dog Lucy. Lucy’s hips were giving up, and she dragged her right leg to walk. We made arrangements for a vet home visit to end her pain. We had a carpet laid out in the backyard for what turned into a beautiful ceremony. After the doctor arrived, Lucy immediately walked outside with no limping to the carpet and lay down."

I have a story about a cat that I found on the
(This post was last modified: 2023-05-10, 08:58 PM by nbtruthman. Edited 3 times in total.)
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Related to this the Life After Life has some stuff about pet & animal afterlives:

Do Our Pets Have an Afterlife?

Quote:I have also been assured by P.M.H. Atwater, another well-known NDE researcher, that it is not just dogs and cats that are perceived by NDErs, but pet birds as well.

Here, however, in line with my previous blogs, we will focus just on cats and dogs. And for this purpose, we can draw on the work of Jeff Long, another prominent NDE researcher. Jeff also hosts the most important and widely regarded NDE website, The Near-Death Experience Research Foundation (or NDERF), and has collected quite a few cases of this kind. Let’s now just consider several of those in his files.

I will not take the space here to quote the entirety of these NDE reports or give the circumstances of their occurrence. Instead, I will just quote the relevant portions concerning their perception of deceased pets...

So perhaps not the strictly investigated NDEs of, say, The Self Does Not Die, but some interesting reading.

See also:

Our Beloved Pets Never Leave Us
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell

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Rupert Sheldrake has also found evidence that animals can also have deathbed visions!

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(2023-06-09, 08:19 PM)David001 Wrote: Rupert Sheldrake has also found evidence that animals can also have deathbed visions!


I've been thinking a lot about Terminal Lucidity recently as it is seen as one of the "minor" evidences for Survival, at least that is what I gather from reading the literature...but I think it may be more profound than it's given credit for.

As noted in the Psi-Encyclopedia ->

Quote:A woman aged 91 suffered from two strokes. The first paralyzed her left side and deprived her of clear speech. After a few months, the second stroke rendered her entirely paralyzed and speechless. The daughter who cared for her was one day startled to hear an exclamation from her mother. The old woman was smiling brightly, although her facial expression had been frozen since her second stroke. She turned her head and sat up in bed with no apparent effort. Then she raised her arms and exclaimed in a clear, joyous tone the name of her husband. Her arms dropped again, she sank back and died.7

Quote:The relevance of terminal lucidity to psi research is twofold. First, cases involving patients with severely destroyed brains (such as in terminal stages of Alzheimer’s disease, tumors or strokes) who become fully lucid shortly before death might provide a pathway to further assess the possibility that the human mind including memory is not entirely generated by the brain, but that the brain functions as a kind of filter or transmitter organ.8

Second, it is not uncommon for terminal lucidity to be accompanied by deep spiritual experiences or so-called ‘deathbed-visions’, as exemplified by the case of the stroke patient above. Such features link terminal lucidity to a number of other end-of-life experiences and also near-death-experiences.9 Given that these types of experiences in near-death states regularly contain psychical aspects, they have long played an important role in psychical research, with the potential to facilitate further study into subliminal layers of the human psyche and provide evidence for post-mortem survival.10

Also, in addition to connecting well with other Survival evidence, Terminal Lucidity stretches Super Psi into the bizarre territory of explaining how Psi provides functioning power to the brain for a brief duration yet said power is also dependent on that very brain...
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell

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