Animal “Walk-Ins” – A Different Kind of Reincarnation

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Is this Moose, Merlin, or both?

What’s going on? The number of reincarnation cases I’ve been getting these past few weeks has been mind-boggling. Maybe it’s just a reflection of the fact that more people are believing in the fact that souls reincarnate… including animal souls. Or maybe it’s because more souls are striving to evolve more quickly by existing on our planet (which I have read somewhere). Whatever the reason, many of us are searching like mad for those special animals we have lost, hoping they come back to us SOON, so that we can continue to share this lifetime together.

To say the least, this has been a very interesting time, and one of the aspects of reincarnation that has been coming to the forefront for me lately with the animals is “walk-ins.” Moose/Merlin, to the left is a perfect example.

But first, for those who may not be familiar with the term “walk-in” as it applies to reincarnation, it simply means that one soul trades places with another soul and takes over that soul’s body, with both souls in agreement. Apparently this is more easily done when there has been an accident or a near death experience and the soul previously inhabiting the body is ready to leave. Usually one soul replaces the other, but sometimes both souls “share” the same body–again, by agreement. And, at least as far as my understanding goes, the souls are usually members of the same “soul group.”

I never thought about how this might apply to animals until a few years ago when I had my first walk-in case where a deceased dog entered another dog who was at a rescue sanctuary. The person involved was very drawn to the particular rescue dog in question, so the soul of her deceased companion zipped right in–by agreement–and co-inhabited the body of the rescu’ee, who was four or five years old at the time and was happy to share her body but not ready to leave. This was my first up-close-and-personal insight into this phenomenon and the fact that it occurs with animals as well as humans. In this case, how the departed spirit chose to display her traits and prove who she was to her person was most fascinating and very specific.

But back to Moose/Merlin. I had an inquiry (through this blog, actually) about a kitten who had come to the attention of a woman whose cat, Merlin, had crossed the Rainbow Bridge not long before. Merlin had been a beautiful black cat with great wisdom. The new kitten was black but, well, he had a lot going on. He had obviously been through major trauma and had some injuries, including a broken jaw. He was not even old enough to be weaned but had somehow found his way into our subject’s life and heart. She of course was not looking for a Merlin replacement but took the kitten in to help rehabilitate him.

And so began the story. Shortly after taking him in, she began to realize there was something special about this kitten and the way they had come together, even though he was born before Merlin departed. The kitten also exhibited a few very particular kitten traits that had been predominant in Merlin when he was a wee lad. Too much to ignore. So, while she called him “Moose” starting out, our reader feels sure that Moose is Merlin, and came back to her as a walk-in, in spite of great odds and life-threatening circumstances. And I happen to agree.

This is how it often happens. Seemingly by accident. Not in ways one could predict. If we are meant to be together, we souls have a divine knowing and understanding of how to make that happen. And sometimes, if all else fails, it’s through coming into a body that already exists, trading places, and settling down into the niche we’re meant to be in–with the person who’s waiting for us.


  1. This post brought a question to my mind–not about animals, but about people. You mentioned that people can also have “walk-ins”. Is it possible for two souls to inhabit the same human body and wouldn’t something have to give by the time the body was nearly 50 to bring this to the forefront of the body’s “original” conscious? Could you possibly direct me to further information? I can give you more background on why I’m asking if that will help.

  2. Hello Joyce – Well, I can’t answer all of your questions here, but yes it is possible for more than one soul to share a body. It is sometimes called a “soul braiding.” I haven’t “read up” on walk-ins in 20 years, so you might just Google for books and information. Include the “soul braiding” words and see if you find anything interesting – I have a feeling you will! This is very fascinating, so come back and let us know what happens. Thanks for posting! Leta

  3. Hi, can you fill me in on the process on the walk in process with a Pet that has just passed over :: How long does it take for the Same Animal Soul to return to you in the same lifetime…. and what sort of signs can I expect….. how can I make sure that My Companion and I do meet each other….. I ask for as much info on this issue as possible…… thankyou very much

  4. Hi Grace, and thanks for posting! Wow, this is a tough question, but I’ll do my best, at least according to my own understanding of these things. First, please go to my blog entitled “Animal Reincarnation” and read the reply I just posted to Grace about what kind of signs to expect regarding a reunion with your animals in this lifetime, as well as when to expect that might happen. But, regarding your first question regarding walk-ins, that is a different topic altogether. A walk-in situation is when one person or animal is dying in the physical body and another soul who is not incarnate comes in and takes over that body. Walk-ins occur ONLY BY AGREEMENT OF BOTH SOULS. (Otherwise, a soul taking over another body would be considered something more like “possession” and is done without the permission of the body being taken over.) So, if your pet does decide to come back to you in this lifetime, s/he might possibly come as a walk-in, or s/he might come in as a new life. Unfortunately, there is no time table or average time souls come back. Each is individual who makes decisions about such things while in spirit and can chart its own course and timing. Since time is a continuum that exists for us humans to track by, but doesn’t really exist, “time” for a soul in spirit form is different than it is for us. So there is just no telling when these kinds of reunions might occur, or in what form. To elaborate on that, again, please go read the message to Grace, and I hope some of this input will be helpful. You might also start searching online for good books on reincarnation and also specifically on walk-ins. They are both fascinating topics. Stay at peace, keep breathing, and keep your heart open. Trust yourself. You know more than you think you know and you will be able to perceive important signals and messages when they come your way if you are relaxed and open about all this instead of overly worried or concerned. Best! And thanks again for posting! Leta

  5. Hi Can you shed any light on how long the walk-in process might take for a Cat….???? who left this world very suddenly and violently…. But I do believe and feel that She is coming back… so is there any amount of time that I should wait before looking for Her again, or how can I tell She might already be in/with the New Cat I have recently adopted….. hoping you can shed some more light on this very fascinating area of animal reincarnation…. thankyou Grace

  6. Hey H&A,

    I want to share you my experience with what I think might be a walk-in. This happened in the past month.

    On the 18th of April my dog died on the age of 8 (almost 9) quite suddenly and most probably of an aggressive form of cancer my vet said. She’s always been attached most to me and I’ve been attached to her a lot too. I knew exactly what every reaction of her meant. Suddenly the house felt so emtpy, eventhough I have 3 other dogs.

    I called the breeder of a puppy I had picked up 6 weeks before my precious died. He was shocked also, had no words for it. Since we didn’t want the pup to grow up without a friend her own size we signed up for a particular nest he had. They were almost 6 weeks old at that time. Were born 5 days after we picked up the pup. He reserved all black & tan puppies for me to pick from, cause I was certain I needed a black & tan puppy.

    Wrong. When it was finally time to pick a puppy he turned out to have Chocolate & Tan puppies and my eye fell on one right away. The breeder told me that she was supposed to be picked up the night before, but that person never showed up. And that she was mine if I wanted her cause he didn’t have much fate in that person anymore.

    This is kind of what happened to the dog that died too… Another breeder was supposed to pick her up, but never did because he turned out to have a female in his own nest.

    Back to the day I picked out the Chocolate & Tan puppy. They were from the same nest as the Black & Tans. And the puppy my eye had fallen on started licking me all over at the moment I picked her up. As if she had missed me for a long time.

    Now at home she’s starting to show some behavior of the dog that had died 3 weeks before picking up this puppy. At first I was like “It can’t be reincarnation, the puppy was born before my dog died”… but then someone told me about walkins and I got to this website.

    What’s also funny is that my old dog had 9 nipples (instead of 8) and this puppy has 7 nipples (instead of 6). They both have an extra nipple.

    Could she be a walkin?

  7. To KIM…… about WALK-INS…… please read
    If the souls of both of you still have work to do, (and you will feel this in your heart and soul), then the Universe will bring you back together, in the most AMAZING and miraculous way, and there is nothing that can stand in the way of this happening…. (as you have already found out !!!!). The only way to tell if this is your beloved companion, is to look deeply into their eyes, and ask them, if they are you precious Beloved returned back to you. And you will feel their answer either in your mind, or your feelings…. Please look up Brent Atwater.. she has a lot to say about this process of “walk in”…… and most of all, TRUST your heart and listen to what your feelings say… for this is HOW your beloved companion may choose to answer you…. or if you prefer, ask the universe for signs (clear yes or clear no….) this works too !!!!!!!!!!! there are infinite ways we can find the answer to our most urgent and pressing animal questions….. I hope you read this KIM.. and find out for sure…. bless you

  8. Hi Kim, and thanks for posting. I giggled when I got to the spot in your message where you said, “…I was certain I needed a black and tan puppy. Wrong!” You were led in just the right way to see the puppy you were to have. I love that. And you trusted yourself. I like what Grace has said about how, if we are to be reunited with another soul, there really is nothing that can keep that from happening. And listening to your own heart, asking, looking into their eyes–all of those are great ways to affirm. But it’s that trusting it will happen that is so key. I hope a lot of people read your story so they will understand how they don’t have to “make it happen” or look too hard to find their beloved animal companion again. Thanks again – wonderful story! Leta

  9. I agree, Grace. Thanks for posting and addressing Kim’s message as well as for giving a good reference. Thanks for posting! Leta

  10. Please do not look up Brent Atwater – choose your own animal communicator who is not insistent you have to use her services in order to post on her site.

    Trust your instincts.

  11. Because the subject of Pet companions and communication is so close to our hearts and souls, it is always wise to simply follow your own inner intuition and check out ANY site that you feel guided to follow. there are many people on the net who deal with animal communication. And No person has the right to tell anyone Who or who NOT to look up. We are all FREE sovereign beings with FREE WILL, able to choose whichever site we desire. Sadly, some animal communicators ABUSE their power and use it for self gain. If one is wise and discerning, one will recognize such people immediately. Let us hope that one day, such people will simply share their knowledge and insight FREELY to those who desperately need it, without demanding their “due.” Has anyone considered that the information that these people have is simply GIVEN to them FREELY to pass onto the relevant souls concerned FREELY…. it is the epitamy of such a greed based society that no-one can simply GIVE these messages to the People concerned without the taint of money. such communicators are doing NOTHING, they are simply passing on messages that belong to the caring Pets owner… therefore they do NOT have any right to charge ANY fee whatsoever.. anyone can be an animal communicator… it simply is a matter of being OPEN to the Divine Truth that All beings are immortal, including our Blessed Animal companions.

  12. I would like to know how long it would take an animal to reincarnate? I had a cat (Pandora) pass on Jan 4 2014. In Oct 2014 I adopted two cats I went specifically for the black Bombay mix (Penny) since she looked like my black cat that had passed, and ended up taking also a beautiful grey cat that was a year old. Penny’s Bday is March 15 2014. I never thought this young black cat could be my Pandora, until she started to act like her in many ways. When I first brought her home she hid and she picked the hiding place Pandora used when ever someone would come over she did not know. She also would not allow the other cat I adopted to go in it. Penny started to go to my night stand as if she were looking for something to be there. I used to keep a glass of water by the bed and Pandora would drink out of the glass, so I put a glass of water on the night stand for her. I took Pandora’s glass and put it on my night stand for Penny immediately she knew it was for her and she drinks her water from the same glass. Is this just a coincidence or is it because both cats came from the same breed of the Burmese and it is just a personality trait of the breed?

  13. Hi Cate, This is a sweet story, and I appreciate your sharing it. And it sounds like Penny could either be a reincarnation or just share breed traits. But either way, I think it’s delightful and probably heart-warming for you. As to your question about how long it takes an animal (or person) to reincarnate, there is no set time frame or formula. From my experience and research, I believe it can happen almost instantly or years later. So who knows? Ah, the mysteries of the Universe! Thanks again for posting. Leta

  14. Hi there,
    My cat recently died on December 11th. A few days after he died, I felt he would reincarnate, and soon. We were very attached to each other. It’s been about 6 weeks and I know the earliest possible day he could be born. Well, last week I saw the shelter post a photo on Facebook of an 11 month old female cat that looked exactly like him, but with a half orange face (she’s a chimera). I felt very drawn to her and went to see her but she is extremely sick. I am torn. If I adopt her, how will I know if it’s a walk-in, or if she is just a special soul that needs saving from the shelter, or if my boy cat’s soul will be scared away if he thinks I have replaced him? I will do my best to find him. I’m new to the idea of reincarnation so this is all very odd for me.

  15. Hi Nat, and thanks for posting. Excellent question and I’m sure this kind of quandary is shared by many. The important thing here is to follow your heart! If you do this your cat who passed will only support you and love you more for it. You were not drawn to this dear female cat for no reason, so if you feel a connection and like you are supposed to take her and help her, then do so. In no way would it ever keep your other cat’s spirit from coming back to you; and yes, it could be a walk-in too, I suppose. If that were to be the case, since this cat is already 11 months old, I would imagine she would “share” the body with your deceased cat rather than have his soul replace hers altogether. You will probably be able to tell a lot if/after you take her, but the bottom line is that it doesn’t really matter either way. It’s all about keeping our heart and soul open to love, and your male cat knows that! All the best and thanks again for posting! Leta

  16. Thank you for getting back to me so soon. I really appreciate your advice! I’m going to check on her tomorrow.

  17. To Nat, “the walk in process is a magikal,mysterious event, directly related to the person and their “animal soul” companion. the best way to know if it is Your Animal that has come back through this process, is to LOOK into the animals eyes (the new one), and if you recognize those eyes to belong to your companion that had previously passed, then TRUST what you feel. The eyes are the windows to the soul, and this includes animals as well…. I myself have seen my beloved Companion in the eyes of another body, within a month of Her passing….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!It is the type of experience that makes the hairs on your neck stand up….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! because you know in your heart that You Animal companion HAS come back. It cannot be explained, or rationalized in any way. Sometimes the Loss of such a companion breaks one’s heart beyond healing, and the only way for the heart to be healed is to SEE your companion again… in another body….. People who do NOT have animal companions have NO idea of what such a loss feels like, the devastation and despair that can come with such a loss…. Animal connections are infinitely MORE powerful than human connections….. human connections pale in comparison to the Love that is shared, and the intimacy that can exist between the animal and Her Human companion. Trust what you heart tells you, and SEE with clear eyes if YOur companion has come back…. you will SEE them in the new animal’s eyes…. ALWAYS………..

  18. Thank you very much. I think it was more that she was beautiful and looked a lot like my cat. I called this morning and found out she was adopted! I’m very happy. Thank you.

  19. Fate is appearing to be sending a little dog to me. I had said on a FB page about difficulties of me getting a dog because I was disabled and someone said they had the perfect dog for me. She’s small and black. (My Inca was large and mostly black and I’d asked her to come back as a smaller dog) this little dog hasn’t got the same white stripe down her chest though, she’s all black. I haven’t got a close up of her eyes but can’t see Inca in them, but the photo’s I’ve been sent were taken before I posted on this page and the person replied with a photo.
    The rescue and fosterer think I’m the perfect home for her, will Inca (my dog that passed in March) take this opportunity to use her body to return to us? How will I know? Will she wait until she is being delivered to me? the dog will be travelling from the other end of the country so she could use that time to transition during transit as I assume her spirit will know when this dog is on its way to me for her to take the chance to join us again?
    The little dog has had a major trauma interestingly (as mentioned in your blog above) she was in a car accident and had to have her front leg amputated. (so she’s a Tri Paw) I’m not sure when this was and if it was before my old girl passed or after. maybe the dogs made this agreement before I decided to post and Inca implanted the thought in my head to air my frustration on that page so the person would say they had the perfect dog. As oddly, without knowing this little dog existed I said I loved black dogs (which is true) and didn’t mind if it had 3 legs!! still no idea why I typed!

  20. Okay this is going to sound nuts. But i really think my cat is a reincarnated person. We have had her for 10 years now and i have always felt this way. All my previous cats had their own personalities but this one is the most intense cat ever. She stares into your soul And meows like she is trying to tell you something. She tries to talk during all the families most deep conversations like she wants to put in her two sense. Like she understands what we are talking about and desperately wants to put in her opinion. In my family when we all got together we would fight and argue over current events and that is what she seems to be doing…yelling at us when we discuss certain things. Is it possible she could be a former person?

  21. WOW our dog died suddenly massive stroke..we were so saddened we after only 3 weeks needed to get another one…we could not stand the silence…we went to the pound, there was not a single dog there for us…so the next am my son asked me if I wanted to go to pet smart to see if they had any thing….we were very sad cause they had only five dogs there….we were looking at a 5 month old pittie pup, but this one dog who almost was a clone of our old dog Josephine would not leave my son alone….every time he tried to look at one of the other dogs he would block him as if to say sir lLOOK at me…so my son realized he

    wanted to be seen….funny thing is he looks very much like our dog that died… so we did take a look and we were both drawn to him…..he found a HOME …..JOSEPHINE adored my son and this dog does also he also does things that she did also (MANY SIMILAR THINGS ) and I jokingly said to my son that Josephine back….every day we see things that make me know without a doubt that she indeed is in his body and we now have 2 souls living with us ! he could not be any more like her if he tried….people think I have lost my mind and am a little crazy…but for me some how I understand and I am so pleased she chose to come back….how lucky are we ?.

  22. Hello I had a dog named Zoe she was a pure bred boxer and she was my best friend. I loved her so very much. My wife and I went on vacation and due to unforeseen cercumstances we had to place my Zoe in a boarding kennel which we had never done before, my Zoe became so distraught she barked until her stomach twisted. I’ll never forget that call when the vet said if they don’t operate she will die. The operation went well and I came home the next day and was able to bring my girl home again. That night somewhere between darkness and dawn she became very sick again and I prayed with her for God to help. Once my vet opened I rushed her back in I was told she was in shock and she needed an er what was going on was more than he could handle We rushed Zoe in and found that her stomach had perforated they operated again but this time my Zoe didn’t make it. I got there just in time to say goodbye to my best friend. My Zoe! She died rite there on the operating table . The pain that followed was something alien to me, I’ve never hurt like that before in my 35 years I hurt to the core of my being for the very first time, truthfully I’m crying telling this story, I miss her so very much and my heart has broken into so many impossible little pieces . After my Zoe’s passing so many signs have popped up leading me to this new breed of dog I’ve never even given a second glance at and truth be told I didn’t want another dog but somehow found myself buying him. Could this be Zoe guiding me to find her again? He was born 17 days before my Zoe died and I hope in some way this may be her finding her way back to me . I do believe love finds a way and I’d love to think this is her but I have my reserves . Zoe was a dog I didn’t want but I’m so glad now that I shared those 8 years with her . I’m thankful for the pain I feel . Without a love as strong as what I had for her ( and I know without a doubt she had for me) I wouldn’t feel this horrible pain. I got to share some of the best years of my life and one of the worse days with her . If in some way reincarnation is real I hope she will find her way back to me. To all of those out there looking for the same thing I am don’t lose hope. Love will cross that Gap between the rainbow bridge and the plain of our existence . Zoe taught me how to love unconditionally , wrecklessly and without reserve. She showed me colors my eyes could never touch. And all she ever wanted in return was love. I go to get my new puppy on the 14th of this month i can only ask God to help Zoe find her way back to me.

  23. I lost my beloved 14 year old poodle in June. I am now going to adopt a 6 year old retired breeder who was never bred for one reason or another.
    I feel a pull to this dog. I am not sure how to recognize a walk in. I will get the dog in a couple days and I am feeling a good anxious to have her. I do still feel my deceased dog around me. I am not sure if it is possible for her to be a walkin if I am still feeling her spiritually.
    Thank you,

  24. Dear Janet, Thank you so much for posting. And I’m sure you’ve given up on me by now, as far as getting a response. I cannot apologize enough, and I don’t want to make excuses, but I realized yesterday I had missed all comments since July, and I know this is because that’s when I began a 4-month health struggle with my own beautiful dog, Bear, which culminated in losing her just this past week. In spite of all I know and understand about the spirit and death and dying, as well as having lost many animals over my lifetime, her demise completely undid me—I cancelled two fall workshops and quit taking consults until after the 1st of next year. So I am so sorry not to have answered in a timely fashion—please accept my apology! As for your situation, I realize your decision has probably been made and you either took the dog you were drawn to or not. But to answer your question as to whether a walk-in is possible even if you still sense your poodle’s spirit around you: I really don’t know if that is possible or not. Given all the permutations our souls are able to manifest, I would suppose it is possible, though I would not venture to try to explain how that works. But another possibility might be that this new dog is a reincarnation of some other person or animal in your life who was very important to you. I think the important thing here is to listen to your heart and follow it. The heart knows what it wants, and sometimes there is no explanation available or necessary. If you feel like writing back and letting me know what you finally did, I would welcome hearing from you. Take good care, and thank you for your patience and understanding.

  25. Dear Steve, Thank you so much for posting. And I’m sure you’ve given up on me by now, as far as getting a response. I cannot apologize enough, and I don’t want to make excuses, but I realized yesterday I had missed all comments since July, and I know this is because that’s when I began a 4-month health struggle with my own beautiful dog, Bear, which culminated in losing her just this past week. My reaction to her loss was much as you describe in your post, so your message touched me deeply. In spite of all I know and understand about the spirit and death and dying, her demise completely undid me—I cancelled two fall workshops and quit taking consults until after the 1st of next year. One thing I have come away with is that some losses in life serve the purpose of opening us back up to old griefs that perhaps were never released or processed. It’s as if they reach down into the subconscious and “stir the pot,” so to speak, so that everything we’ve ever mourned is felt again, even if we don’t know what that is. So I too am working through the kind of shattered emotions you describe. And I am so sorry not to have answered in a timely fashion—please accept my apology! As for the dog you were drawn to, I would love to hear what happened. I have to believe there was a reason for this draw–and maybe Zoe was a part of it, whether or not she is part of this new dog’s spirit or physicality. I truly believe each being has its lesson for us and something to help us with in ourselves. But how we then go through the “lesson” may not take the form we think it should or wish it might. Just trust, and hopefully you have found some peace by now about Zoe’s loss and with this new little dog’s being in your life. Thank you for your patience and understanding, and I apologize again for such a late reply.

  26. Dear Judith, Thank you so much for posting. And I’m sure you’ve given up on me by now, as far as getting a response. I cannot apologize enough, and I don’t want to make excuses, but I realized yesterday I had missed all comments since July, and I know this is because that’s when I began a 4-month health struggle with my own beautiful dog, Bear, which culminated in losing her just this past week. In spite of all I know and understand about the spirit and death and dying, her demise completely undid me—I cancelled two fall workshops and quit taking consults until after the 1st of next year. So I am so sorry not to have answered in a timely fashion—please accept my apology! Your experience sounds fascinating, and I imagine your compulsion after just three weeks to go find another dog had a lot to do with this new dog’s waiting for you. And you KNOW I don’t think you’re crazy! I’m sure you are quite right, and that Josephine is right there with whoever inhabited that body before, and what a joy! You are indeed very blessed, and especially since you are not doubting and are accepting and reveling in how this all worked out. Thank you again for posting and for your patience and all the best with your new boy!

  27. Dear Julie, Thank you so much for posting. And I’m sure you’ve given up on me by now, as far as getting a response. I cannot apologize enough, and I don’t want to make excuses, but I realized yesterday I had missed all comments since July, and I know this is because that’s when I began a 4-month health struggle with my own beautiful dog, Bear, which culminated in losing her just this past week. In spite of all I know and understand about the spirit and death and dying, her demise completely undid me—I cancelled two fall workshops and quit taking consults until after the 1st of next year. So I am so sorry not to have answered in a timely fashion—please accept my apology! About your cat – ha! Yes, she sure does sound like a person–probably a former family member. Did your family have a grandmother or great grandmother (or father) at some point that you are aware of who was ALWAYS in the middle of these discussions you describe? The Buddhists believe humans can reincarnate as animals, and I totally agree. So I think you have an ancestor in your presence. What fun! You might seek out a medium or psychic to check this out for you. Thank you again for posting and for your patience, and I apologize again for taking so long to respond!

  28. Leta,
    My heart breaks for your loss of Bear. I know that specialness of one particular pet even though we have had other loves in our life. That is what Sara was to me.
    I have adopted the aforementioned dog by doing exactly what you said “follow my heart”. I have no doubt that Sara brought her to me. Natalie, my new 6 yr. old poodle is a sweetheart with many characteristics of Sara and other pets I have had. Your email these months later serves as a confirmation of all the things I have been thinking and feeling. I truly did let my heart guide me and lo and behold it never lets us down!
    I will always think of Sara as the love of my life, but I know she is guiding Natalie and speaks to me thru her now and then. I want for Sara to rest in peace and move on to a fulfilling life if that is indeed what she needs to do. I will be happy and look forward to the moment when we meet again.
    Thank you for your response. You will never know what this has done for me.
    I am truly sorry for your loss,

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