My animal family and I have decided to keep the six-month-old poodle. His name is Luca, meaning light in Italian. It is hard to imagine that my Maia, a 115-pound wolf dog, would come back as a 30-pound poodle.
In the wilderness I am a bit worried that Luca is coyote/mountain lion bait, where Maia was my protector. When Maia was around we had certain rules around the house to keep the neighborhood safe from her unpredictable (for a mere human) behaviors. The dogs had to wait on the front porch until the hatch of the Jeep was up and I gave them a sign to run and enter the car, and when they got out of the car they were under strict orders to run across the driveway, across the front yard, and up to the front porch to wait for me. Stormy, my Aussie, is not aggressive, so since Maia’s passing I have been more lackadaisical about this rule with him. But Luca does it naturally, still following this routine with prompting from neither Storm nor I.
When I look at Luca out of the corner of my eye, I sometimes see Maia smiling. But I still miss my wolf-dog. I don’t know what I expected from reincarnation, but it is bittersweet to me. It is a wonder they can come back to us, but I wish they lived longer in their bodies.
I ask my animals, “What have you learned about reincarnation?”
Serafina, my youngest cat, says, “I learned that if you suffered in life, when you come back to life you can come back more playful and with no pain in your body from your past.”
Joey, my oldest cat, says, “When you come back you forget memories of your old life. It must be odd when others remember you, and you don’t.”
Makia, my whitest cat, says, “I learned that in heaven you can become more tame. I believe Maia did a lot of work in heaven to come back the way she did. I am proud of her, but I also miss her old self.”
Bean, my bunny, says, “Sometimes when Luca looks at me I see Maia. I remember being your bunny once before. I believe his memories of being Maia will come back to him slowly.”
Stormy, my 12-year-old Aussie says, “I have learned when you come back you have to start friendships all over but they grow faster. You have to learn to trust each other again. Maia learned how to be happy around people by watching me in her old life. She brought back that wisdom into her new life as Luca. I see my friendly eyes in Luca now.”
Luca, the new poodle, says, “I vaguely remember places and people and I greatly remember being agile. When I came to this family I instantly felt more smart and aware. If I lived with you before, I hope I remember. There is an angel around me that says that I will remember my old life and my life in heaven when I am a little older. They say I must have new experiences first. I feel special but I also feel young compared to the other animals in the house.”
Maia in heaven says, “Every moment the family enjoys Luca I feel more vibrant. Every time Luca learns something I too have more wisdom. There is a flow of energy between us. Right now it is mostly only directed one way. Luca’s experiences flow to me. It is too early to let my wisdom completely flow to him. I have been integrated with all my past lives. I remember them all. As Luca lives, my higher self becomes greater. Once he has a solid basis of learning and being an individual in the world, my life as Maia and all our past lives will integrate more with Luca in your world. Luca is me. I am Luca. This is our path toward enlightenment, awareness, and expansive consciousness.
“I do laugh when I see how he is not that familiar with the forest. Mom, do not worry. I will make sure he remembers to listen, smell, and see like a wolf. All things in time. I will be back even more.”
How strange and wonderful for us all. Maia stretched my awareness in her last life; it seems she is my greatest teacher in her new life as well.