What Our Pets Experience After Their Time On Earth With Us — with Karen Anderson, Pet Loss Specialist

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Today’s Guest

Karen Anderson:

I’m so excited to introduce to you today’s guest, Karen Anderson, an award-winning animal communication expert and Pet Loss Specialist.


Karen’s incredible journey began when she was working as a deputy sheriff and was helped by various animal companions to find wanted criminals who were on the run. 

Since this experience she’s written two bestselling and award-winning books, called the Amazing Afterlife of Animals and Hear All Creatures. Today, she’s a Pet Loss Specialist and offers animal communication courses for all levels, to unlock the door to your journey. And she's the founder and CEO of a nonprofit animal sanctuary, Painted Rain Ranch. 

If you’re curious to hear Karen’s incredible stories and learn more about her work now as an animal communication expert and pet loss specialist, be sure to tune into my latest podcast!

You’ll Hear About

  • [01:30] Who is Karen Anderson
  • [05:00] The beginning: Karen's Deputy Career  
  • [07:00] The Cat By the Shed 
  • [10:30] Childhood Animal Communication Gifts    
  • [14:30] The Deer and the Logs 
  • [22:00] Peanut’s Story     
  • [26:30] The Root Of Dog Behavior Problems 
  • [31:30] Why All Dogs Should Be Followers
  • [37:30] The Afterlife 
  • [47:30] Where to Access Karen's Pet Loss Specialist Teachings
  • [50:10] Jack’s Story 

How You Can Get Involved

If you’re grieving the loss of a pet then download Karen’s App: Pet Loss Hope & Healing.

Learn more about communicating with animals by reading her two books, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals, and Hear All Creatures.

Considering becoming an animal communicator yourself? Sign up to Karen’s course via her website.

Links & Resources

Dogs seem to know… See Jack’s intuitive reaction to Peanut’s passing:

Learn more by tuning into the podcast!

Thanks for listening—and again, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes / Spotify to get automatic updates.


~Doggy Dan 🙂

Karen Anderson (00:00):

When you and I lose a beloved companion, there's a feeling of loss and our hearts are broken, and there's grief and there's all these emotions and it's just utterly devastating. And it is a very lonely place, and it's a very horrible experience that we go through. Well, the beautiful thing is, and I want your listeners to really… If they take away anything at all from today, if they take away one little golden nugget, I want this to be that golden nugget that they remember, that is only a huge human experience. Your beloved dog does not grieve. It is not in pain. It does not feel guilt, blame, remorse. They don't blame you for taking their life. They don't do that. The animals are almost instantaneously, just catapulted into this beautiful essence of the afterlife.

Voiceover (01:12):

Welcome to the Doggy Dan podcast show, helping you unleash the greatness within your dog.

Doggy Dan (01:23):

Hello and welcome everybody, to another Doggy Dan podcast show. And as always, I am excited. I know I say it every time. It's true. And today, I really am excited, because I have Karen Anderson with me. And she does something… Works in an area which I'm truly fascinated about, partly because I used to think it was an area of what I would call woo-woo, and kind of make believe. And I dreamt of it being kind of true. And over the last 20, 30 years, I've come to realize there is way more going on out there than we realize, and it's so exciting. And so I know you're probably thinking, what does Karen do? Well, Karen is an award-winning animal communication expert and pet loss specialist, with over 24 years of experience, helping clients struggling with pet loss.

Doggy Dan (02:22):

Her incredible journey began when she was a deputy sheriff and she documented a path of two bestselling and award-winning books, called the Amazing Afterlife of Animals and Hear All Creatures. Karen offers animal communication courses for all levels, to unlock the door to your journey. And she's actively involved with animal rescue and fostering, since the 1980s, she's been doing that. Karen's the founder and CEO of a nonprofit animal sanctuary, Painted Rain Ranch, which I had a good look at and is absolutely beautiful, beautiful concept. And it provides a loving home and final refuge for elderly, special needs and abandoned companion animals in Eastern Washington. Karen, thank you for joining us here today.

Karen Anderson (03:05):

Oh my gosh. Thank you so much, Dan. This is just… I've been looking forward to this for so long. It's a pleasure to be here.

Doggy Dan (03:12):

Yeah. No, it's great to have you on the podcast. I don't know where to start. I mean, I love your bio, but this part of me goes, “Oh, it doesn't do it justice.” Because this is the exciting stuff. I do dog training, but what I really love, if I'm truly honest… I mean, I love training dogs, whether you just kind of change how you're behaving and do something different and the dog changes, or you change something physical. But when you work in the area you work, you're almost using more of a mental, energetic kind of communication method. Would you be willing to dive straight in and kind of tell us what it is you actually do? I know we're going to lose some listeners who are going to go, “Ah, rubbish.” And that's okay. This podcast is not for you. But if you're willing to go through the door and just have a look and a listen at what Karen does, then yeah, we're going to have a lot of fun. So would you tell us what it is you really do?

Karen Anderson (04:13):

I would love to. And for those who are saying, “Ah, rubbish.” To that, I'll just say, “you know what? I said that at one time too.” I thought this was all woo-woo stuff, as you mentioned earlier.

Doggy Dan (04:24):


Karen Anderson (04:24):

And it wasn't until I had my own experience that kind of slapped me upside the head, and I went, what is going on here?

Doggy Dan (04:33):


Karen Anderson (04:34):

So I totally relate to anyone who's skeptical or doesn't believe it's real, or thinks that its all-

Doggy Dan (04:41):

And can I jump in here, Karen?

Karen Anderson (04:43):


Doggy Dan (04:43):

Can you just talk about your deputy sheriff work? Because I used to be a police officer, and I've taught maths and I've been a civil engineer. I've got a civil engineering degree, so that's the opposite end of the spectrum. To be a deputy sheriff, you've got to be pretty skeptical, haven't you? You can't just take everything at face value when you're in that sort of a game, is it?

Karen Anderson (05:06):

Well, that's absolutely where it all started. Or where it all snowballed actually, was when I was in law enforcement. We're trained to collect evidence.

Doggy Dan (05:17):


Karen Anderson (05:17):

And you do not have a case if you don't have proof. So I came from that background, and I needed proof in order for me to believe that any of this was real. And be careful what you ask for sometimes, because boy, oh boy, did I get it. So the crazy part was, I wasn't trying for any of this to happen. I was actually going about my regular patrol as a deputy. And things started happening when I was on the scene of a crime, or if I was looking for a suspect who had fled on foot. Things started happening around me, because I was using a heightened awareness for my own personal safety. So I kind of had-

Doggy Dan (06:06):


Karen Anderson (06:07):

For all the Spiderman fans out there, I had my spidey senses up. My radar was up.

Doggy Dan (06:15):

I love it.

Karen Anderson (06:16):

Because as a police officer, you have to stay safe.

Doggy Dan (06:20):

Yeah, yeah.

Karen Anderson (06:20):

I mean, that's your whole job, is to go home at the end of a shift. And if you've never been through law enforcement or if you've never been in that field, you cannot really wrap your head around the meaning of that, staying safe. So I'm in this heightened state of awareness, I'm going about my business as a police officer, I'm interviewing victims, I'm looking for suspects, and all of a sudden, Dan, these crazy messages started coming through to me. And I could hear them in my head, as I was interviewing or talking to whomever I was talking to. And I couldn't believe what I was hearing, because it was in my voice, so that part was really confusing.

Doggy Dan (07:03):

What sort of messages?

Karen Anderson (07:06):

Well, for instance, there was this one time, and I will just always remember this so very, very clearly. I was talking to the victim of a domestic violence situation, where a woman called in that she had been assaulted by her live-in boyfriend, who had fled on foot. So she was very pregnant and he had gotten out of control and assaulted her. So my partners were looking for him. He fled on foot. So I'm standing back at the house and I'm interviewing this victim, and she was telling me basically what happened. And as we were talking, this little kitty walks out of the front door. And I'm an animal lover, so of course I look at the kitty. It's like, oh, I have to look at all the animals. This little kitty walks over to this shed, a garden shed where you'd store tools or a lawn mower or that sort of thing. Walks over there, sits down and looks right at me. And I heard, in my head, a voice that was my voice. It said, “Inside.”

Doggy Dan (08:18):


Karen Anderson (08:20):

And I thought, what? Because I wasn't thinking that, because that shed had already been searched because the guy had taken off on foot. So he shouldn't have been anywhere near us, because it had already been searched. So that wasn't in my head, so that's what kept throwing me. It's like, why did I just hear, inside? There should be no one in there. And so I looked at that little kitty and paid attention to it, and I heard it again, “Inside.” This time it was a little more urgent, “Inside.” So I took the victim and I made sure that she was safely in the back of my patrol car. I came around to this garden shed, I drew my weapon, and I ordered the suspect to come out with his hands up. Not thinking for a minute, that he would. But guess what? He popped out of the shed with his hands up.

Doggy Dan (09:14):


Karen Anderson (09:15):

So, that is what kick started everything. It blew my mind. I couldn't believe what just happened. I didn't tell anyone, of course.

Doggy Dan (09:25):

Well, I'm already thinking… Because I used to be in the police, so I'm thinking, how'd you go back to the police station and tell everybody what happened? Why did you search the garage? Well, there was this kitten and I heard this voice. No, I don't think I'll say that. Yeah, I can already see the drama and the problem.

Karen Anderson (09:45):

Oh yeah.

Doggy Dan (09:45):

Yeah, yeah.

Karen Anderson (09:47):

Oh yeah. So I was still trying to figure out myself, what was happening. Now the backstory is, that in my personal time, I was sharpening my animal communication skills because I had an interest in this. And I could do this as a child, and so I had kind of reopened that door, I guess.

Doggy Dan (10:11):

I kind of asked a question at the very beginning and then I jumped into the law enforcement side of things. Can you just… It was my mistake. Can you go back and tell us, so what is your childhood kind of gift? What is it that you actually do? The communications, can you just clarify that for people who don't really… Who are still maybe wondering, what do you actually do? How do you…

Karen Anderson (10:34):

Yeah. I think anyone who has lived with an animal, knows that there's a lot more communication that goes on between you and your animal companion, than the spoken word or body language. There's a lot more going on there. They know things about you. They know when you're happy, they know when you're sad, they know when something's wrong. There's this kind of unspoken, energetic connection. As an animal communicator, I am able to tap into that energy that goes back and forth. Like radio waves or like your cell phone, when you call someone and that radio wave goes out there. So as a child, of course, we're unaware of all of these things, but I would have conversations with my childhood pets, that were very silly and something that a five or six year old child would experience. The doggy's tummy hurts the kitty doesn't like their food or whatever it was. Very simple types of communication.

Karen Anderson (11:40):

Now when I was a child, I didn't realize that was unusual. I thought everybody could do this. I had no idea that what I was doing was considered weird, strange, woo-woo. I thought everyone could understand the animals. Plus, Dan, I was born and raised in Southern California. I grew up 20 minutes from Disneyland. If you think about Disney and all the Disney movies, which I was raised on, every animal talks in the Disney movies.

Doggy Dan (12:16):


Karen Anderson (12:16):

They all talk. So I grew up with all of that, and never thinking that animals couldn't talk. So that was my background. So when I started to have conversations with my animals, and I would tell my parents about it, they got really kind of freaked out and they didn't know what to do. So they discouraged me, they told me to stop doing it and that I was… I had an overactive imagination, and really kind of put the lid on it. They didn't want me to do that, because it scared them. They didn't know what was going on. And I was also seeing human spirits at the time. I was seeing great grandparents that had passed away before I was even born. I was being able to share their names and describe them and say that they came and visited me, and that really freaked my parents out. So everything was… I learned very early, that everything I was doing was frowned upon by my parents. So I became very secretive about it, and I wouldn't tell anyone anymore.

Doggy Dan (13:22):


Karen Anderson (13:23):

So anyone who has a child who is talking about things that they couldn't possibly know, I want to please ask you to understand that this child is basically sharing with you, that they have intuitive gifts, that they are able to intuitively tap into this energy. And I would ask that you would support them or at least discover more and learn how you can help them, because it really is a blessing. And I wish my parents had done that for me. Instead, I had to be very secretive and not tell anyone and keep it to myself. And I felt like what I was doing was wrong. And just all of those layers upon me, that kind of pushed all of my abilities down.

Doggy Dan (14:10):

So jumping back to the future. You had that gift as a child, now in the police force, you're a sheriff, a deputy sheriff. What happened after that kitten experience? And did it continue? Or are you even still in the law enforcement? Can you tell us what happened next and how it progressed?

Karen Anderson (14:35):


Doggy Dan (14:35):

And how you ended up doing what you're doing with all your work?

Karen Anderson (14:40):

Absolutely. So I was a deputy sheriff in Colorado, up in the Rocky mountains, and it was a very remote mountain district. We were at 8500 feet, and the district that I worked in, was about the size of the state of Rhode Island here in the US. So it was a huge, gigantic district. And I was the only female officer in this very small district, so I learned very early on, that I needed to step up and be like one of the guys or I wasn't going to be accepted or tolerated in law enforcement. They just weren't going to have my back. So I kept everything quiet when this happened, because there was no way I was going to tell them what was really going on. And I had to do everything better, smarter, faster, quicker, because everybody would, Monday morning, quarterback me, because I was the only female officer.

Karen Anderson (15:38):

But I did a lot of… They'd call me out a lot, because being the only female officer, every time a female was arrested, I would get called out. So I got a lot of those calls. So I realized that there was this overlap between what I was doing with my personal abilities of connecting with the animals, that it was overlapping into my work, and that kind of blew my mind. I was like, wow. Because I didn't try to do it, it just started happening. And it became more and more frequent. And if you know anything about law enforcement, most of the time, it's boring and we're doing paperwork and there's not a lot to it. But then when things get really exciting, they get really exciting, and things can happen in a split second. That's when the next thing happened, where I was called out to a suspect who had rolled his vehicle driving under the influence.

Doggy Dan (16:37):


Karen Anderson (16:37):

And he had fled on foot. He was a known felon, had a warrant out for his arrest, and it was pitch black. It was the middle of summer, there was no streetlights in the mountains, so you have this total darkness all around you. And we're out in the pine trees, out in the fields, and he took off on foot. And we all got called out and everyone was looking for him. And several other officers were half mile, quarter mile down the road, looking for him. My Sergeant told me to stay in the area and maintain the perimeter around the vehicle, so that's where I stayed. And I was there by myself, and as I was sitting there… I was freshly out of the academy, so I didn't know that what I was doing. And I'm sitting there, hearing the sound of my heart pound in my chest, thinking, what am I going to do if I find this guy?

Doggy Dan (17:36):


Karen Anderson (17:36):

So scared, right? So as I'm sitting there in my patrol car, in the darkness, I saw movement across the field. Well, it was a few deer, a herd of deer kind of going by. And I looked at them and they looked at me, and there was just kind of a moment where I still had that thought, where is this guy? Is he hiding? Where is he? And at that moment, a deer lifted its head, looked right at me… And they very close, because they knew I wasn't a threat to them. I was just very quiet where I was. Looked right at me, and I heard the word, “Logs. Over by the logs.”

Doggy Dan (18:20):

Oh wow.

Karen Anderson (18:20):

And I looked over to my right and there were some fallen trees over to the right.

Doggy Dan (18:27):

Oh my gosh.

Karen Anderson (18:27):

Now all the police activity was to my left. The deer kept looking to the right.

Doggy Dan (18:34):


Karen Anderson (18:35):

So I just realized, this could really be something. He could be hiding over there. Why are they looking to the right when all the police activity is to the left? So again, I got out of my vehicle and I snuck back around in the darkness, and I pulled my weapon and I approached this log area where all these trees had fallen down, and I ordered the suspect to come out with his hands up. And just like two little pop tarts, these two little hands popped up out of the grass, and he slowly raised himself up and came into view in my flashlight. Now there was such an adrenaline dump, if you can imagine what was-

Doggy Dan (19:18):

Oh yeah.

Karen Anderson (19:18):

Going on. And all of my backup was down the road. I had no one, it was just me. So I got on the radio real quick and I reported that I had him at gun point. And so everybody, of course, converged, and we got him handcuffed and in custody. And my heart was pounding, it was this total adrenaline dump situation. They're all high fiving me. “Hey Anderson. That's awesome, man. How'd you find him? How'd you know?”

Doggy Dan (19:52):

Oh dear. You got to stop making up another story. Well, I just had this idea. I saw some logs, and maybe.

Karen Anderson (20:02):

Yeah, so that's how things started happening.

Doggy Dan (20:05):

Tell me, what did you… I'm grinning from ear to ear. I'm picturing part one of a TV series here. It's just so fascinating. So what did you actually tell them?

Karen Anderson (20:21):

I told them I just had a feeling.

Doggy Dan (20:23):

A feeling.

Karen Anderson (20:23):

“Oh, I just had a feeling he was over there. It was a gut feeling.”

Doggy Dan (20:23):

And they went, “Oh yeah. Gut feeling.

Karen Anderson (20:29):

Gut feeling.

Doggy Dan (20:32):

Call it a gut feeling. Yeah.

Karen Anderson (20:33):

Yeah. Good police work.

Doggy Dan (20:35):

Good police. The crazy thing is, when you talk about, I had a feeling, a gut feeling, I mean, it's almost like you're allowed to say you have a gut feeling, but you can't say that the animals gave me a gut feeling.

Karen Anderson (20:49):


Doggy Dan (20:50):

Which is kind of crazy.

Karen Anderson (20:51):

It is, because it's-

Doggy Dan (20:52):

Because why would you have a gut feeling?

Karen Anderson (20:53):

It's the same thing.

Doggy Dan (20:55):

It's the same thing. I think that's the key bit, isn't it?

Karen Anderson (20:56):

It is.

Doggy Dan (20:56):

It's the same thing.

Karen Anderson (20:77):

It's the same thing.

Doggy Dan (20:58):

We make this huge division, you're not allowed to speak to animals, but you can have a gut feeling.

Karen Anderson (21:03):


Doggy Dan (21:03):

You look at a pile of wood and you go, oh, I've got a gut feeling there's somebody hidden there.

Karen Anderson (21:07):


Doggy Dan (21:07):

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. But you can't look at an animal and feel that the animal's saying there's something. It's not a big jump, is it?

Karen Anderson (21:15):

No. And I'll tell you what, everybody, right now, who's listening, who has an animal companion at home, you are already doing this. You're already doing what I'm doing.

Doggy Dan (21:25):


Karen Anderson (21:26):

Maybe you're just brushing it off as coincidence. Maybe you're brushing it off as, oh well, he knows my routine or she knows when it's dinner time or whatever. But it is exactly what we just described there. There is an unspoken, energetic message that goes from you to them, and from them to you. And that's all animal communication is, is tuning in to that energetic message back and forth.

Doggy Dan (21:53):


Karen Anderson (21:54):

Now of course, there's a lot more to it to get the detail and all of the imagery and all of that, but that's the basic foundation.

Doggy Dan (22:03):

And once you open that door and say, “I believe, please communicate with me.” It's like the door's open and then it can flow in. But if you keep shutting the door, going, “Well, it can't be that. It can't be that simple.”

Karen Anderson (22:13):


Doggy Dan (22:15):

Kind of, the door goes, okay, well, I won't communicate like this then.

Karen Anderson (22:18):


Doggy Dan (22:19):

Can I share? I'd love to share, if I may. I've had a lot of experiences with animals in this way, and I really struggled to believe it was as simple as you just made out. But that's the big thing, it's as simple as that. It is that simple. And being a mathematician, civil engineer, I was looking for some really detailed, masculine process where I had to learn 1000 wizardry commands to be able to get there. But the personal, really big communication I had with an animal, which is still unfurling as we speak. I pause, because I get quite emotional. But this was my dearest dog, Peanut. And she was just one of those one in 1000 dogs who… The only reason I'm doing this now, is because I became Doggy Dan, the dog trainer. And it was all because of her. If it wasn't that she was such an amazing dog, I'd never have been doing this.

Doggy Dan (23:23):

I thought I was an amazing person because I had this amazing dog. Everyone said, “That's the best trained dog in the world.” And I thought it was me. But then I got some more dogs and I realized, no, it wasn't me. I just got lucky. Peanut was just the genius, so she taught me so much. When she was passing over, as she was dying, I knew I had to be there and be with her as she was taking her last breaths. And she started breathing very heavy, and I had this musical instrument called the harmonium. And Peanut had always danced to the harmonica and she just danced, literally. I never taught her, she just did it. She whooped and jumped off the ground and did big twirls. And I saw someone playing the harmonium, which is like… I'll show you, because I'll attach a video to this podcast and put it on my site.

Doggy Dan (24:12):

I bought this machine and I knew I had to play it to her before she passed away, and that's what I did. And as she was passing, as she was dying, I played this song to her and she looked at me, and in no uncertain terms, she said to me… And it sounded terrible at the time, so this is why it was so funny. She said to me, “You take that sound and you share it. And you will play to many, many people.” Now at the time, I just thought, that's the funniest thing I've ever heard.

Karen Anderson (24:45):


Doggy Dan (24:46):

But she actually swore. This is the weird thing. You know what I'm talking about. It had to be so clear to me, otherwise I'd have laughed. But she quoted a Bible verse, she put the F word in there, and she said, “You take that sound and you share it. And don't you dare hide it under a F bushel.”

Karen Anderson (25:06):


Doggy Dan (25:07):

Now, a bushel is, like in the Bible, they talk about a bushel being like a bush. And it talks about hiding your gift under a bush. And it's like, when you are given a gift, you share it.

Karen Anderson (25:16):


Doggy Dan (25:16):

And it says in the Bible, do not hide your gift under a bush. So she quoted a Bible verse to me.

Karen Anderson (25:21):


Doggy Dan (25:21):

She looked me in the eye, and then she swore, and she got my attention. And I am just about to put some music onto Spotify. I'm just about to go live with my first sounds. But I remember looking at her, going, my God. I swear, she just communicated with me. So deeply.

Karen Anderson (25:40):

That's beautiful. That's so beautiful.

Doggy Dan (25:43):

And I'll attach the song that I now sing and play, and you can… Yeah, it's just hilarious. But that's all it is. It's as simple as that.

Karen Anderson (25:50):

It is. It's very simple. And it doesn't have to be difficult, where when you start making it difficult, you lose the true essence, because then you're putting your humanness on it.

Doggy Dan (26:02):

Yes, yes.

Karen Anderson (26:03):

So you just stick with simplicity.

Doggy Dan (26:06):

So it's been awesome chatting so far. I want to now take a bit of a turn, and dive straight into… There's so much more I'd like to chat to you about, but I would love to just ask you about dogs. I'm sure you've worked with quite a few dogs over the years. Can you tell us a little bit about what your experience is, the main things you kind of come up with? I know you work a lot with dogs who've passed over, is that… Do you do, kind of both dogs that have passed over, and also kind of helping people with behavioral issues? Or what's the work you do with the dogs?

Karen Anderson (26:43):

Well, absolutely. I worked with both pets that were alive and pets that were nearing the end of their time here. And then of course, the afterlife communication. So a little bit of everything. And I think one of the most important things, Dan, that I have learned from my work, is that when I had a session that involved some type of behavior issue… And your listeners may not like what I'm about to say, but most of the time-

Doggy Dan (27:15):

I think I know what's coming.

Karen Anderson (27:17):

Most of the time, I could trace it back to the human. Not the animal.

Doggy Dan (27:26):

I think that's true, except for in my case, with my dog.

Karen Anderson (27:28):

Right, right. Well you're the exception.

Doggy Dan (27:30):

No, no. I'm thinking, all my bad behaviors, the dogs' bad behavior… I hate it but it must be me, but I know it's true. It's true. Yeah.

Karen Anderson (27:39):

Well, but let me put that all into a nutshell. And the reason is because, as humans, we tend to think of the worst case scenario. We tend to focus on the negative. We tend to think of it, exactly the behavior we don't want. Let's say you have an aggressive dog. You get the dog on a leash, you go out for a walk, and before you're even out there, you're like, oh my gosh, is it going to attack every dog it sees? Is it going to drag me across the street? Is going to bark like crazy? Well, all of your thoughts are energetic messages for your dog. So you're basically giving your dog permission to do exactly what you don't want him to do.

Doggy Dan (28:18):


Karen Anderson (28:20):

So when you have a behavioral issue, the first thing that I say is, let's take inventory. Where are you? How are you in alignment? Are your thoughts, your visions, your words and your heart, all in alignment for the same goal? Or are you thinking one thing, but your heart wants something else? I try to trace where they are out of alignment, the human. Because if I can get that human into alignment, just so that everything is a straight line from the top of their head into their heart center, and make sure that what they're thinking, seeing, saying and feeling, is their goal with that particular dog, then we can get onto what the dog is doing. But first, we have to start with human. Human is the first key to success. And that was a big leap for me, because I'd been a dog owner for years. And when I thought about that and applied it to my own situation, I had one of those light bulb moments like, wow, this is really true. I'm not just preaching this, I'm practicing this. And it's really, really true. So, does that make sense?

Doggy Dan (29:35):

Oh yeah.

Karen Anderson (29:36):


Doggy Dan (29:37):

Oh yeah. Yeah. How do people go about… Say you've got a dog… I'm kind of taking… I've got a big dog called Jack, and he can sometimes just be a little intolerant with the little puppies who want to get in his face. And it's something I've worked with for a long time, and I kind of try and trace it back to myself. Say you've got a dog who can just be that little bit reactive, what do you do to kind of… Because with aggression, if a dog makes a mistake, it can be pretty serious. So what do you say to people who are in that state, where they're going, “Well, I'm worried about it going wrong.” How do you encourage people to change that feeling? It's a very, very common question that I'm asked.

Karen Anderson (30:25):

It is.

Doggy Dan (30:26):

Because it's almost like it's a downward spiral, and I know a lot of people will be listening, going, “Yeah. But how do you not worry that the dog might bite the other dog when you've seen it bite so many dogs?” Or something.

Karen Anderson (30:36):

Well again, you have to take inventory of where you're at. So I like to tell my clients, say things out loud. Say what you want. So state out loud to yourself, and state that you want to have a nice experience with this little dog. And then picture that in your mind. What does that look like? What does it look like to have your dog, and this hypothetical situation, and this little dog, just being friendly and just kind of ignoring each other and not getting into it and not having an issue and nothing big escalating? If you can think it and visualize it, say it out loud, and that is your goal, that's how you set yourself up for success and you set your dog up for success. Now of course, you have to step in and be a responsible pet parent and watch for the signs.

Doggy Dan (31:26):


Karen Anderson (31:27):

If your dog is obviously going to be reactive. And that brings me back to the second biggest thing I learned, is most of the time, animals are just doing what is in instinctive and natural to them as a dog. It's not that they're trying to make you mad. They're not trying to upset you. They're not trying… I have clients say, “Well, he knows better.”

Doggy Dan (31:54):


Karen Anderson (31:55):

“Well, she knows that if she does that, I get mad.” No, your dog just knows that when a certain thing happens, you go crazy.

Doggy Dan (32:04):


Karen Anderson (32:04):

They can't connect that dot. That's not a connectable dot. So, that's applying a human thought to an animal. So your dog is acting instinctively, and you have to prepare yourself. You have to have plan A, plan B, plan C, plan D. You have to be prepared and know what you're going to do in the event that your dog decides to go to plan C. What are you going to do?

Doggy Dan (32:32):


Karen Anderson (32:33):

In that situation. And if you rehearse this and practice this, I feel like preparation helps you get rid of nerves. Nervousness, worry, stress.

Doggy Dan (32:43):

Totally. Yeah.

Karen Anderson (32:43):

So practicing many, many times, until it's not a big deal anymore. But if you anticipate, oh my gosh, this is not going to go good and there's going to be a big tussle and I'm going to get all upset and the dogs are going to go crazy. Well, you're just throwing gasoline on that situation. You may as well just light the match and stand back and watch it explode, because that's what you're doing. You're throwing fuel on that fire.

Doggy Dan (33:11):

Beautiful. Yeah. Proper preparation prevents poor performance.

Karen Anderson (33:16):

It does. It really does.

Doggy Dan (33:18):

Yeah. I think that's so true for life. So can I ask you about another couple of issues, which are common in the dog world? One is, the dogs who are kind of distracted and just don't focus on their owners. Is there something… If somebody said that their dog kind of just didn't listen and wasn't connected to the owner, is there a general reason that happens? Or I'm just picking kind of one dog behavioral issue that's fairly common, that people can-

Karen Anderson (33:43):


Doggy Dan (33:43):

Is it specific to the owners, or specific to the dogs?

Karen Anderson (33:47):

I think it's a little of everything. Every situation, Dan, is so different and so unique.

Doggy Dan (33:52):

Yeah, yeah.

Karen Anderson (33:52):

I mean, there's children, spouses, there's other pets, there's jobs and stress levels. There's all this stuff going on. So whatever is going on in your home, under your roof, whatever is going on there… You can expect the best. Don't expect the worst, expect the best. And really, truly, when it comes down to it, I like to use a method where the dog is connected to me with a leash in the house. Safe setting, of course. No one's going to get caught on anything and there's no stairs or anything. And I'll just go about my business in the house. The leash will be loosely around my wrist or connected to me somehow, but I'll just go about my business. I'll go in the kitchen, I'll go out the front door, go get the mail, come back in. The dog becomes follower. Dog follows, follows, follows. And I've learned that when dog knows its place, to be follower, then it doesn't worry about trying to be the leader. And then you don't have-

Doggy Dan (35:00):


Karen Anderson (35:01):

As many of those confrontations, because dog was meant to be follower. Man, human, woman is supposed to be leader. So take away… This is what I tell my clients, “Don't let your dogs make the decisions for you.” Because I have clients tell me this all the time, “Well, he knows better. He knows not to get on the countertops. He knows not to jump the fence.” It's a dog. A dog's going to do what dogs do. You have to be responsible human. So by showing dog, you are a leader, you're not a follower. By taking away dog's decisions. Don't let the dog decide. You have to set that dog up for success, and take away their decision making.

Doggy Dan (35:48):


Karen Anderson (35:48):

That means, before they come into a room, before they jump on the furniture, before they go out a door, human decides when the dog will do this. And is it regimented and structured? At first, yes. But over time, as the two of you find your groove, it becomes a natural sort of thing you don't even think about anymore. And the dog falls into its place in the hierarchy, which is follower. So I think the number one thing that is going wrong, if you're experiencing a behavioral issue… There's always going to be exceptions, and I am just saying, generally speaking, is because the dog is left to make its own decision.

Doggy Dan (36:35):

Wow. Couldn't agree more. I mean, I love what you were saying. So much of my method is about helping people understand that dog is happy when they're follower.

Karen Anderson (36:46):

Yep. Yep.

Doggy Dan (36:47):

I mean, I see it, even having worked in the police. I've seen the police dogs and I've seen all sorts of dogs, sniffer dogs and working dogs. And even those dogs, you still don't want them making the big decisions. You still want to be able to get your police dog out of the van or the car, and you don't want them to start making decisions about which scent they're going to chase or what direction they're going to head off in. So you still want to take control, until you say to the dog, “Okay. Now you go. Now you go.” But you are still in charge, effectively, until you kind of hand over to the dogs.

Karen Anderson (37:20):


Doggy Dan (37:22):

Couldn't agree more. Beautiful.

Karen Anderson (37:24):


Doggy Dan (37:25):

So could you tell us a little bit, Karen, about the dogs in the next life? What's the common kind of question that you're asked? And how does that work, and where do you feel… Where do you believe the dog's kind of have gone? Spirit? Do they all go to the same place? Do they move on very quickly?

Karen Anderson (37:49):

I think it's a beautiful thing that happens, and it's very much unlike what you and I experience, Dan. So when you and I lose a beloved companion, there's a feeling of loss and our hearts are broken and there's grief, and there's all these emotions and it's just utterly devastating.

Doggy Dan (38:11):


Karen Anderson (38:12):

And it is a very lonely place, and it's a very horrible experience that we go through. If you've had to make a decision about euthanasia or if your dog is missing and you never know what happened to them, or if you aren't there when the dog passes, there's just a lot of remorse and guilt and blame and just second guessing. Well, the beautiful thing is… And I want your listeners to really… If they take away anything at all from today, if they take away one little golden nugget, I want this to be that golden nugget that they remember.

Doggy Dan (38:49):


Karen Anderson (38:51):

That is only a human experience.

Doggy Dan (38:55):


Karen Anderson (38:56):

Your beloved dog does not grieve. It is not in pain. It does not feel guilt, blame, remorse. They don't blame you for taking their life. They don't say, well, my mom or dad had me euthanized way too soon. They don't do that. That is a human perception. A human concept. The animals are almost instantaneously just catapulted into this beautiful essence of the afterlife, which is all around us. So it's down by your feet, it's next to you on the couch, it's beside you on the bed, it's all around us. They're not in some far away place. They're not up in the clouds. They're not out in the ether. They are still experiencing exactly the same thing they did when they were in physical form, they just don't have a body. So their energy is still there, and they try, try, try, try to let you know that they're near. And most of the time, our grief, especially right after we lose them, will block that. We can't sense them or feel them, because we're numb or just overcome with grief.

Karen Anderson (40:27):

And as time goes by and our grief starts to lift, then we become more open to receiving an energetic message, or sense them, or feel them, or hear them, or dream about them. But it takes time for us to get there, because our grief is so heavy upon us, where our animals are instantly surrounded in what I can only describe to you as a love infused, joyful space. It's warm, it's inviting. I tell my clients, “I've been to the other side so many times, I don't ever want to leave.” It's so beautiful. It's so comforting to be there. They're instantly greeted. They're never lost. They're never alone. They're never hurting. They're never sitting there, taking notes on all the things you did or didn't do before they passed away.

Doggy Dan (41:24):


Karen Anderson (41:24):

They're not doing that.

Doggy Dan (41:26):


Karen Anderson (41:27):

So it is truly a completely different experience than what we go through, versus what they go through. And they get to a point where… And this is the kicker, when we are beating ourselves up with that grief and the blame and the guilt, that they get to a point where they start feeling like they are making us miserable.

Doggy Dan (41:52):

Oh yeah.

Karen Anderson (41:55):

So they want us to move into healing as soon as we can. I want people to honor their grief, always. Honor your grief and go through all the stages of grief, but know that your beloved animal companions want you to move into healing as soon as you can, because they directly benefit when your energy is positive and loving and uplifting. That's like spiritual fuel to them.

Doggy Dan (42:25):

Yeah. Yep.

Karen Anderson (42:28):

And we're way more fun to be around when we're positive, than when we're sad and depressed, so think about that. If you have ever been around a person who's always upbeat and happy and smiley and sunshiney, and it's like, wow, you just feel energized around this person. Now imagine what it's like to be around someone who's always gloomy and sad and depressed. And it's not fun, it brings you down, right?

Doggy Dan (42:56):

Yep. Totally.

Karen Anderson (42:77):

Same is true with our companion animals. You're not going to harm them because you're grieving. You're not going to stop them from their journey on the other side, because you're grieving. But you're going to be way more fun to hang around if you're positive and loving and happy and balanced and joyful. And they're going to benefit with all of that beautiful energy that's exuding from you. So go get another pet, go foster, go volunteer, go help, be active, be loving, do something positive in celebration of your pet. They will benefit from that, so much more than you sitting at home, beating yourself up endlessly for something that just needed to happen.

Doggy Dan (43:50):

Yeah. I'm very lucky. The last two dogs who passed away, my little dog who was always a very nervous dog, she passed away. The vet came and put a needle in her arm to euthanize her, and she was always the most nervous dog in the world. But this time, when she was being euthanized… She was kind of a little bit reactive to people sometimes. She was absolutely perfect in the final years, but I was still aware of somebody she didn't know, turning up and sticking a needle in arm.

Karen Anderson (44:21):


Doggy Dan (44:22):

And she was lying there very, very poorly. So I was kind of almost ready for her to react at them and snap at them and snarl and say, go away. Don't do that. She just looked at me in the eyes, and just said, “It's all right. It's all good.”

Karen Anderson (44:35):


Doggy Dan (44:35):

“Thank you. I love you.” And she actually died, she passed away, still looking into my eyes without blinking, kind of smiling, going, “It's all good.” It was the most beautiful, amazing thing. Yeah. I just felt how happy she was in those final moments, and she absolutely knew I believed what was happening, if that makes sense.

Karen Anderson (44:77):

I believe. I believe that they… They see us as their caretaker, their mom, their dad. I call us their mom and dad, because we are. We're the-

Doggy Dan (45:05):

Pet parents. Yeah.

Karen Anderson (45:07):

We're their caretaker and they trust us. They entrust to manage their life, to keep them healthy, happy, comfortable. And when that's not possible anymore, when we can't do that anymore, they trust that we will make the right decision. I am a profound supporter of euthanasia, when it is the right time.

Doggy Dan (45:31):


Karen Anderson (45:31):

And only you know that. I never tell anyone, now is the time. Only you know that. That's a personal and a private decision. But they trust us and they know that we're going to do the best we can. They don't see the length of their life as a measurement of success. They see the quality.

Doggy Dan (45:52):


Karen Anderson (45:53):

Of the time they're here. So not the quantity of years. It doesn't matter if they're here a week, a year, 10 years, 15 years. If you were a good parent, if you did your best with what you had at that moment… We could all be better, let's face it. We all make mistakes. We can all be better. But each one of these experiences, you take with you into the next relationship, and it makes you a better human being. It's called evolving and it's called spiritual growth. And as long as you are evolving and learning something from this past experience. Hey, next time, I could be better. Hey, next time, I could do this. Hey, next time, I'm going to try a different vet or I'm going to try different procedure. Next time, next time. As long as you are doing that and evolving as a human, there is nothing there that you should feel like you made a mistake about, because this is why we have our animals. They're here to help us learn and grow on a spiritual level, and boy, don't they?

Doggy Dan (46:52):

Wow. Karen, I could chat to you for ages. I've got so many more questions, but I am aware of the time. And I'm thinking, for people who are listening in, thinking, I've got a dog who's got a problem, or I lost a dog, or I've got a poorly dog. People may want to get in touch with you. I know you kind of do online sessions with people in a one-on-one capacity, I believe. And also, you have a course where people who are interested and want to develop this as a skill, either for… Well, I'll leave it up to you, but are you able to chat about both those things? How people can get in touch? And you've also got a couple of books. So your books, the courses, the one-on-one sessions, tell us what people can… How they can find out more. Yeah.

Karen Anderson (47:39):

Okay. The easiest thing right now, to get access to everything I've been talking about, is to download. I have a free app, it is called Pet Loss, Hope & Healing. So just go to the app store on your smartphone and download it. It's free. Pet Loss, Hope & Healing. And I think it has the ‘&' sign. But I think if you enter Pet Loss, Hope, it'll come up. And register, so you can gain members only content. And a lot of what I've been sharing, there's videos, there's training, there's all kinds of stuff in there for you, if you're interested in this. My courses, I offer from beginning to advanced levels. There's online, self-paced courses. I also offer private coaching, one-on-one, for intermediate through advanced levels, for those people who are already actively communicating. My online course for beginners is really fun. You can login anytime, you can practice whenever you're ready, but you get personal feedback from me throughout the whole course.

Karen Anderson (48:43):

So you're online, you're practicing at your own pace, but every time you submit your information, you'll get a personalized response from me, which is really cool. And actually, my books, I have two books out right now. Hear All Creatures is the first one that documented my journey that really kind of started this whole thing. And it explains how I got my first messages, how you can understand what animals are saying. My second book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals, is all kinds of stories from sessions, with messages from the animals on the other side. It's uplifting, it's healing, it's positive. It will open up all kinds of doors for you, to the afterlife, and to receiving messages and signs from your pets on the other side, because they send them.

Karen Anderson (49:36):

And I'm currently writing my next book right now, and because of that, my calendar for sessions is closed. So I still can help in the capacity of coaching, and of course, my books, and I also have my Facebook page, Instagram page, where they can find me as well. But the mobile app is probably the quickest thing to get to right now. And of course, my website is very simply karenanderson.net. All of that information is on the website.

Doggy Dan (50:10):

Brilliant. Well, it has been fascinating. I've got so many more questions I'm keen to chat to you about. I've got to say it, I did have one. I had a dog. I still have a dog called Jack. When Peanut passed over, I wanted to chat to you about this. When Peanut passed over and died, he was in a car, in the boot of a car. That sounds terrible, doesn't it? But it was in the shade. He's got grates and fans and the windows were open. It's the coolest place on the property. But he actually knew that Peanut had passed over, before I kind of brought him into the house. The other two dogs all ran in, and he refused to step foot in the house. He couldn't see her, but he knew.

Karen Anderson (50:51):


Doggy Dan (50:52):

And it was like… I have the video, so I'll put the link on this page when we post this. It'll be under the onlinedogtrainer.com/karenanderson. And I'll put the link there, of the video of Jack, my dog, turning up at the kitchen door, and absolutely, point blank, refusing to set foot in the house. I couldn't even bribe him in with food. He went, I'm not coming in. She's just passed over. And I don't know what that was, but do you have any sense, Karen? Or do we have to do a session, to kind of tune in? Do you know what I'm saying? He knew. It was the most bizarre experience for me. And he's always had this sense of life and death. It means a lot to him. He knows. He always knows when big stuff has happened. And so I had the camera running, because I knew something was going to happen. I didn't know what, but I certainly didn't expect him to look at me and go, “No, I will not come in the house.”

Karen Anderson (51:55):

I think that's beautiful. And every animal reacts differently. Some are obviously shocked, grieving and looking for their companion, and others act as if nothing happened at all. And they go about their business and check out the food bowls, and oh, more food for me. So you really have the whole spectrum of responses there. But the one thing that I will share, is that when an animal leaves its body or is preparing to leave its body, it's one of the most vulnerable times of its entire life. And that's why oftentimes, in the wilds, you'll see animals kind of break off from their herd, their pack or wherever they are, and they'll go off by themselves, because that is a time where they do not want to reveal themselves, show themselves or be vulnerable. They don't want to put the rest of the animals at risk for predators to come in. And it's also just a very private moment animals.

Karen Anderson (52:51):

They're not necessarily like humans, where we want all of our loved ones to gather around, and huddle around us and hold hands. Animals can be very much the opposite of that, where they want to be by themselves. And the energy can be quite powerful, so I will say, that what you probably saw there, was the reaction to the energies. Because when an animal leaves its body, I shared earlier, that it's almost like they're catapulted out of that physical form, and they leave that physicalness behind. And when they are catapulted out, there is this incredible transference of energy that takes place, and I think that's probably what your other dogs…

Doggy Dan (53:33):

Yeah, that's interesting. I think you're right, because I've checked the visual line of sight, and there's no way he could see anything. There was no screaming or shouting. For the last kind of 48 hours before Peanut passed away, you could barely tell if she was alive or not, because she was lying there, not moving. Just a tiny pulse in her heart, and she was looking. Her eyes were open and she was actually looking at me. But when you looked at her, when she'd actually passed away, you couldn't see any difference. Very hard to kind of say, how did he know? But he absolutely knew. Because it's only happened once in a decade, that he's refused to come inside, and it was at that exact moment.

Karen Anderson (54:16):

It's all about the energy. We can't see it, necessarily, but they can. They can sense it, they can feel it, they know what's going on. And it can put them into a state of just hypersensitivity, and just being more aware of what's going on. Respectful, I think is a word we would use, just because there's something different going on here, just respect that space.

Doggy Dan (54:44):

Yeah. That's what it felt like. He actually went and climbed into the back of my old wagon and lay on the backseat there, and that was the space that Peanut used to lie when she was very young. When I only had the one dog, she used to lie in the backseat of my wagon. And he's really kind of only done that… That was the first time he really did it. And I tried to kind of get him out. I said, “Come on. Out you get.” And then I looked at him and he looked really serious like, “don't touch me.”

Karen Anderson (55:14):


Doggy Dan (55:16):

“I need to be here.” And I looked at him and that's when I got this… I guess I'm only realizing now, that's when I got this picture of Peanut lying there, because he looked a very similar dog. And he went, “Peanut used to lie here, and I need to lie here for a few hours.” And he did. He laid there for three or four hours, and he's never really done it again since. But that's what he does, he holds space. Yeah.

Karen Anderson (55:38):

Yeah, yeah. See, he's holding space and it's just beautiful. It really is. We have so much to learn from them. We have so much that… I have learned so much. It's incredible. And I write about all of this in my books, and how they feel about euthanasia, how they feel about cremation, how they feel about burial. How they feel about reincarnation, and all the different signs they send us to let us know that they're with us and around us. And how they send us other animal companions, because they know that we could definitely learn and grow by having this other one in our lives. Just so much that they can teach us and help us be better human beings, and that's a beautiful thing.

Doggy Dan (56:23):

Wow. Karen, look forward to having you on the podcast again sometime, but I guess we-

Karen Anderson (56:27):

Oh, thank you. Me too.

Doggy Dan (56:27):

Yeah. We better wrap this up. So yeah. Karen, is there anything else you'd like to add, or you're all good? It's been great having on the show. Is there anything else, final words to you?

Karen Anderson (56:41):

I just want to say thank you to all the listeners for tuning in and giving me the space today to share everything. And if you are struggling with the loss of a pet, please reach out. If you need help, there is a safe place for you to fall. Go to my website, download my app, I'm here to support you on your journey and get you into a better place and space.

Doggy Dan (77:04):

Awesome. Thank you Karen. Thank you listeners. Thank you for tuning into the Doggy Dan podcast show, where we believe, in every dog is a good dog, and in every good dog is a great dog. Have a wonderful day, and as always, love your dog.

Voiceover (77:22):

You've been listening to another episode of the Doggy Dan podcast show, bringing you one step closer to creating harmony with your dog.

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Doggy Dan

Doggy Dan is the founder of The Online Dog Trainer, a wildly successful online training program for dog owners. His goal is to continue to share his unique approach to dog training with like-minded people who wish to make a difference in the world of dogs. His training methods focus on creating and building the connection between dogs and dog owners, and are shared and used around the world.

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