When Dog Spirits Speak: Q&A with Psychic Irma Slage

Pay attention to that bark in the night: Your dog might be seeing spirits.


Irma Slage is a Northern California psychic whose books include Phases of Life After Death and Psychic Encounters: A Guide to Having Your Own Spirit Contact. She sees clients privately, leads workshops, and travels extensively visiting haunted houses and lecturing about otherworldly dialogues. An animal lover, Slage is quite certain that our pets have important messages for us — on both sides of the Rainbow Bridge.

Dogster: Do you believe animals have spirits that endure after death?

Irma: Yes, definitely. They can see spirits in this life and become spirits themselves.

My Persian cat, Sterling, was sick for several weeks. Finally, my daughter took him to the vet. While she was at the vet’s with him I was at her house, watching her kids. Suddenly I saw Sterling running down the hallway. Obviously he couldn’t have been in the house, because I had seen her driving off with him in the car. But there he was, running around. I looked at the clock. It said 1:20.

An hour later, my daughter called. She said Sterling had passed on while the vet was examining him. I said, “What time did he die?” My daughter said, “1:20.”

Do the spirits of dogs ever “come through” when you are giving psychic readings to clients?

They sure do. I had one client whose dog had died three years before. The loss of that dog had left her absolutely devastated. Over the years since its death, she often felt the dog jumping onto her bed and lying near her face.

This woman had been feeling sick, so she went in for a complete MRI. Well, imagine her surprise when she saw the image of her dog in several sections of the MRI. Gazing at these, she asked her doctor if she could have them to take home. He said, “Certainly. I’d be surprised if you didn’t want to keep these” — because he saw the dog’s image, too.

She asked me whether she could bring these pictures over and show them to me. I said of course she could. And she was absolutely right. You could clearly see that dog in the MRI. It was a large, beautiful dog with long hair. I don’t know the breed. I shouted to my husband to come and look, as I felt that I would never see anything like this ever again. He said, “Yes, there’s the dog!”

The whole body of the dog was sitting there in that MRI, looking out at the viewer as if to say, “Here I am. Don’t be sad about me.” The dog wanted her to know that she would be fine — and she was.

How else do dogs figure into your work?

I have been hired on many occasions to find missing dogs. When that happens, I just send one of my spirit guides out to find where the pet is. It’s actually easier to find missing pets this way than missing people.

I send out one of my guides with directions for getting the pet home if it’s lost. Sometimes this means the pet finding its own way home. But sometimes the dog is so lost and so confused and hungry that what my spirit guide does is make sure that someone sees this dog and notices this dog, whereas otherwise they wouldn’t. Suddenly someone will stop and check the dog’s tags, and feel moved to help out by taking the dog to a shelter so that the owner can be called.

But if a missing dog is in someone else’s possession, if it’s been taken and locked up, then I can’t get that dog home, which is very sad.

Sometimes during readings, dogs that are still alive and not lost give me messages for their owners who are having trouble with them. I can understand the messages because I hear words from those dogs in my head, and it sounds like English.

The owner will ask me, “Why is my dog doing this or that problematic thing?” And I just pick up the answers and relay the answers to them. Usually it’s something like, “Your dog wants its own toy. It doesn’t want to share with the other dogs in the house. It also wants its own bed and its own space.”

Can dogs really see spirits?

Of course they can. One of my clients had a dog named Chloe and a husband named Bart. Well, Bart was in the hospital, and one morning about 6 a.m., my client got a call from a nurse asking whether she could give Bart morphine, because he was in pain. My client said yes. After that call, she and the dog both went back to sleep.

But suddenly Chloe woke up and began barking wildly. Bark! Bark! Bark! She started running all over the house. She ran to the door, barking at the door. Awakened by all the barking, the lady looked around the house but found nothing wrong. She opened the door and saw no one outside. That’s when the phone rang — and it was the hospital, telling her that Bart had died.

Chloe knew that Bart had come back to the house to say goodbye.

Learn more about Irma Slage at her website.

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