The Healing Power of Animals: Sequel by John Cali and Spirit

“The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.” ~ Johnny Depp

02_Molly_Caught_that_Kong!Image Copyright © 2009 by Greg Holland

In our last post, “The Healing Power of Animals,” we talked about animals helping humans to heal.

An article I came across yesterday ago talks about the way a boxer named Romeo helped people heal while he was in the final stages of a fatal illness. His mistress, Riina Cooke, did her best to make his final days as easy and as much fun as possible. She even created a Facebook page for him.

The dog, a boxer named Romeo, became an inspiration to many before he died. As Riina put it:

I have thousands of messages from people saying he’s helped them with their grieving process and that they’ve now given their dogs bucket lists. I’ve had people tell me it’s changed their perspective on their dying animals or even family members, and how they want to stop hurting and instead enjoy every last moment.”


Here’s a video of Romeo’s final days.

Related links:
Pets: Our Teachers and Healers
Until Death Do Us Part
Talking To Animals
The Power of Animals
What Do My Pets Have To Teach Me?


Have you grieved a pet who’s died? How do you feel about Riina’s and Romeo’s experience with his approaching death, and the way they handled it? Please share your thoughts and comments with us.


What other subjects would you like us to talk about in these posts? Please email me.

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About John Cali

John Cali is a writer, blogger, and channel for a group of spirit guides. His next book is Conversations With Spirit: Real Answers to Life’s Pesky Questions, Book 1. John lives in northwestern Wyoming. Sign up for his newsletter here.

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12 Responses

  1. Chris

    I liked that as much as possible Rina continued life as “normal’ for Romeo. Though I’ve not had dogs, I’ve always had cats and have been there with them when they slipped through the kitty door to the other side. Currently I have five cats one of whom is old, arthritic, and with only 1% kidney function. He’s lost nearly half of his normal weight but doesn’t seem to want to leave just yet. I’ve asked him for a sign when he is ready and I’m confident that he will give it. Right now he is enjoying our laps as we sit at our computers, something he was too busy to do in his youth. He was a big cat that patrolled the neighborhood. He goes out now but mostly to enjoy sitting under a tree and observing the beauty of nature and napping. And we all know how cats adore their naps. it’s hard to see him so thin and frail but I don’t think he sees himself that way. Like Romeo he is living moment to moment teaching me to do the same.

    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Chris, for sharing your elderly cat’s story. We all can use lessons on living in the moment. 🙂

  2. Dan

    I guess we often share these stories for ourselves and with luck they strike a chord in someone else. I had a wonderful dog – mix of blue tick hound and black lab. When I first saw him at five weeks old – my then wife had brought him home – don’t remember the exact circumstances as to why he was being removed from his mother so young – but I saw him and said hello, Max – the name stuck. Max was incredibly smart and of course loyal – he didn’t require house training in a conventional sense – he simply cried to let us know he needed to go out.

    Max had the privilege of getting to run free in the marshes – chasing Canada geese – running on the beach etc. – a total joy to watch – dogs are like that. He moved with us across the country and stayed with me when my wife left me. So I can certainly relate to the incredible love our pets can give during dark
    times. In any event, at age 10 he acquired two kinds of cancer – leukemia and another type even harsher. I took him to the vet but also started treating him with hydrogen peroxide – high oxygen atmosphere supposedly makes it impossible for cancer to survive. He did actually go into remission – his giant sore on his face cleared up – however, shortly after that my mother died (I know, sounds like a bad country song) and I had to board him for a week – I wasn’t able to maintain the regimen for him and being apart from me set him back as well. Within two weeks of my return, I had to put him down.

    My biggest concern during those couple of weeks was knowing when it would be the right time – I didn’t want him to suffer but didn’t want to gyp either him or me of our time together – I figured he would let me know. Sure enough, one
    day after we had gone for some errands in the car, he refused to get out. I knew he was letting me know he had had enough. I begged him for one more day and finally he mustered his energy and came inside. That night with him by my feet I wrote a song – which I recorded a couple years later(2004) about how I was feeling at the time –

    The following day – we went to the beach. Max was like a young pup we ran and walked much further than we had before – it was a wonderful farewell. This time when we got home, he refused to move from the car. I called the vet to alert them we were coming. When we arrived, Max jumped out of the car – happy to move on to the next adventure. He was well aware and thanked me with his eyes – a heart wrenching time I will not ever forget.

    I will always be grateful for his joy, comfort, and grace in life and in death. I have been lucky to have had and to continue to have a lot of animals in my life – and glad for this site (John and Spirit) pointing out what should have been obvious but wasn’t – how much they have all taught me… thanks, Max! … and you too, Romeo et al. And to anyone, who managed to suffer through my long tale – thanks for letting me indulge myself – I had a good cry.

    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Dan, for sharing this heartwarming story of Max.

      I did not “suffer” through your tale — I enjoyed every beautiful bit of it! You brought back many happy memories of my own dogs — and the sad ones too. Tears are good! Bless you, dear brother!

    • Barbara

      Hi Dan,
      I did not suffer through your story either It is beautiful and it reminded my of my own beloveds, Max, Harry and Rosie. The story of Rosie’s passing is here on John’s site in the articles “Farewell To Rosie” and “The Far Side of the Rainbow Bridge”.

      Our animals come to us in complete love and ask for very little from us. But I think they must enjoy it even more when they know we’ve learned what they came to teach us and how much we love and appreciate them.

      Love and appreciation,

      • Dan

        Thanks Barbara and John, I revisited the two articles you referenced. It is wonderful you both have had such clear messages from your pets. My own experience has been more subtle as far as day to day communication; but in addition to the song I truly felt Max helped me write – I have written at least 3 others right after the death of my pets and my neighbors. I know that it is akin to channeling when I just start hearing the music – Kamikaze’s song came almost immediately after he (a wonderful black lab who was my wife’s pet first) passed at 19 and it is a wonderful upbeat romping kind of song – I can see him wagging his tale greeting me and talking for food or running around on the trails – every time I play it. So I guess I have my moments too. Animals are great friends indeed!

        • John Cali

          You’re most welcome, Dan!

          Your wonderful musical ability is certainly “akin to channeling” — in fact, I think it IS channeling. Through your music you are channeling your spirit, your spirit guides, your higher self — however you want to describe it.

  3. Margaret

    Very moving to share in Romeo’s final days via the video.
    Riina, it was so loving what you did. I am not surprised it has inspired so many.

    I never had a dog, only cats, but I see them in a whole new light as being so evolved they can express pure love. I would like to think we all can at times.

    Great to hear about Phoenix, how wonderful to be his alpha.

    Thanks John for these posts.
    Margaret x

  4. Emma Marie Hanna

    Phoenix is my rescue dog. We know nothing about him, he came to me while living in Sedona, he was found crossing 5 lanes of traffic, in Phoenix…he was going to be placed into a high kill shelter if no one stepped up to help him. I was the only one who called about him, I took this as my sign. I had been searching for my “forever” dog, didn’t want a puppy, figured there were more then enough grown dogs out there who needed homes.

    He was a mess when he arrived, very confused, tummy issues and so on. He didn’t know what a tummy rub was, or how to play…the vet figured he was around 2 yrs. old and had been kept in a kennel most of his life. He didn’t understand how to be a dog, how to interact with other dogs…how to just BE.

    Phoenix and I have been through a great deal together. We have taught each other how to BE. He also taught me how to be the alpha. I cannot even imagine life without him, I suspect he feels the same about me. He is the sweetest, most lovable boy…he is so devoted and loyal. It’s mind boggling at times to me, he follows me almost everywhere.

    And when I do leave, I feel/hear him saying, “how am I supposed to protect and be with you, if I can’t see you??!!!”

    We have been together for 3 years now, he’s approx. 5 yrs. old. He is an American Bulldog, of the Pit Bull family. At first, some individuals feel afraid of him, but they soon come to realize that he is an overgrown pussycat.

    I really enjoyed what Riina did for Romeo. It was creative and a beautiful way to honor their love and friendship!!

    • Barbara

      What a lovely story, Emma.
      Love and hugs to you both.
      Barbara xxx

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