Dog Day Afternoon

Two weeks ago, I had an intuitive vision of me scattering ashes, as in those belonging to a loved one. The only remains in my possession are those of my late dog, Bucky, who passed away four years ago. Yet, I had no plans to take his ashes away from their handsome wooden chest.

Spirit works in mysterious and beautiful ways, and, perhaps, even more so when elements of nature are involved. I’m very fortunate that Santa Barbara has not only the ocean and mountains, but, also the Douglas Family Preserve, a bluff of 70 acres filled with eucalyptus, cypress and pine and topped off with postcard-perfect views of the Pacific. I stroll the Preserve frequently, as it’s an ideal spot to meditate, as well as to watch leash-free dogs chase Frisbees and tennis balls.

My visit last Wednesday afternoon was extra special. Walking up to the entrance, I thought of my late Bucky. A pet of 15 1/2 years, he and I had many adventures together, including trips to both the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. “I wish Buck was here; he never got to see the Pacific Ocean,” I said, feeling a little melancholy. “I know he would have loved this place.”

I continued my leisurely walk through paths surrounded by wild brush that led to marine vistas. After inhaling a second lung full of salted sea air, I noticed a nearby old stump, the remains of a toppled tree. Atop its wooden mesa, a brass plaque – about the size of an index card – had been installed. The inscription read: In Loving Memory of Otto. Someone had paid tribute to their late pet and had scattered the ashes out into the Pacific, I concluded.

Then, I remembered my own ashes vision and sensed that I was being led to do the same for Bucky! Being able to visit him at the Preserve, where I’d mark his legacy with a plaque on another stump, made more sense to me than keeping his remains cooped up in a container housed in my laundry room. I began to cry, not because I was sad, but, because I truly felt Bucky’s loving spirit around me. I could almost hear him say, “Daddy, I’m right here with you!”

For Bucky’s final resting place to be along the Pacific and where other canines roamed happily, it seemed like a slice of heaven. Now, all I wanted was a “sign” from Buck that he was ok with the plan.

I stayed for another 20 minutes, with about ten of those devoted to meditation. Despite the calmness of my surroundings, no message from my late pet came through. As I was making my way toward the Preserve’s exit, I saw a man with his chocolate lab/mix dog a short distance ahead of me.

I smiled; I’d received my sign: Bucky was a chocolate lab/mix.

Love and light,



My favorite picture of Bucky.

26 thoughts on “Dog Day Afternoon

  1. John

    Wow Tony, thanks for sharing! A nice reminder that our “pets” continue to love us and live, even when they’ve crossed over.

  2. Linda Carlson

    Beautiful story and brought memories of my beloved, furry children. I’ve thought about their ashes and wondered if I should release them. It is so difficult losing them and even more difficult parting with their ashes. Seems so final. I also wonder if I could ever part with my parents ashes.

    1. Tony Post author

      Different people have different reasons for doing or not doing something. I just felt I was being led – perhaps, even by Bucky’s spirit – to release him over the Pacific. That way, I’d have an extra special place to be with him. Hugs!

  3. Vicki Morris

    Awesome story and the universe is so ready to give you a sign when you are ready. Here’s to Bucky’s spirit, forever freely roaming in your heart wherever you roam!

  4. suz

    Beautiful story, and as I read it I might have shed a couple of tears for our sweet 17 year-old girl we had to say good-bye to last year. What a handsome guy your sweet Bucky was!

  5. Kim Bass-Cook

    Beautiful! Bucky was lucky to have such a loving daddy. The story made me feel Bucky’s spirit. I felt Bucky’s happiness to be in a beautiful home! He’s free!

  6. Beth

    I LOVE this so much!! Thanks so much Tony! Bear is our son—17 years old–I can’t even imagine him not here. Love you, V V

  7. Ricky Ray

    The perfect place for beautiful Bucky… a beautiful happy soul with a loving energy… I”m sure he’ll truly enjoy the scenery, the water and the other pet souls! One more place to to run and play!!!

  8. Katie

    What a wonderful tribute to Meester Burch. I loved him so much! I know he is happily & joyfully chasing those monsters away. XOXO

  9. Beth Bryant

    Love this! There is nothing like the love you feel with your four-legged kids! I, too, have seen, smelled and felt my big dogs after they crossed over. Those are moments I will never forget!!

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