The Afterlife for our Pets: An interview with Anthony Grzelka


While we often talk about preparing for saying goodbye to our senior pets, we rarely think about what happens after we’ve actually said it.

And no - we’re not talking about whether you’ll have your pet cremated, or what you’ll do with their ashes - we’re talking about their soul. 

Our marketing manager, Sharon, said she recently began thinking about this after an interesting dinner conversation which sparked her to consider what that actually meant. She’d always planned to wrap her senior dog, Dexter, in a shroud and have a little ceremony with all the people who had met him, walked him, fed him and helped out. A cremation is planned, and then spreading his ashes at his favourite beach - but she’d never thought about whether or not he had a soul, and where it went after.

Enter: Anthony Grzelka, Australia's Ghost Whisperer - whom Sharon was lucky enough to have a chat to about the topic! She asked him all there is to know about our pets, the afterlife and how readings work when “talking” to your pets who have passed.

Do animals have souls?

Anthony: The really interesting thing about that is when I was a child, I was born and bred a Roman Catholic. Now, I don't have any problems with religion or anything like that, but I can really distinctly remember my religion teaching me that animals don't have souls. And I always felt from a very young age that wasn't right. It never felt right to me. And I had long debates with Father Patrick about it, whether animals had souls or not. And of course, working as a medium, I now realize very, very intimately that animals do have souls. They absolutely do have souls.

Do pets appear often in readings?

Anthony: There wouldn't be too many readings I would do that wouldn't include an animal coming through from little dogs to big dogs. I've had snakes, I've had cats, I've had dogs. I think I had a camel once as well and all sorts of animals that come through from the other side. Animals are very close to us here. And so it makes sense that when we cross over, we will see those animals that were very close to us.

Do people get emotional when they are reunited with their pets?

Anthony: It's funny because quite often when I'm doing a reading, I'll do a reading for somebody and their grandmother or grandfather or parent comes through and they hold it together. But when I bring the pooch through, they lose the plot. That just shows you the connection that people actually have to animals. And animals definitely have souls on the other side. They connect to us. They have an immediate response to us getting to the other side.

Has there ever been a time when a pet that has passed has played a significant role in a reading?

Anthony: A few years ago, I had a lovely family. It was a family of 10. They came to me for a reading as their son was very ill. They actually had to bring him out of hospital to come for this reading. Sadly he was dying - he had terminal cancer. But he wanted to come with his family to find out what was waiting for him as his passing was imminent.

I remember the very first thing I saw when I opened up to the other side was a blue heeler dog- it just came bounding out of nowhere. It's a very unusual way to start a reading because that's not the way it usually happens. I said to the young guy - I've got this dog coming through here. I think it's a blue heeler dog, and it's just ecstatic to be here and wanting to connect to you. 

I remember the look on his face. The tears filled his eyes and he cried uncontrollably. I could have left the reading there and then, because he said to me  "All I needed to know was that my dog was going to be there waiting for me."

And a few years later, some of the members of that family came back for another reading, this time they wanted to connect with their son. I remember talking to him during the reading and it was amazing for me as a medium, but also for the family because one of the first things he said to me is that his dog, Champ, I think his dog's name was, actually barked him across. So instead of the grandmother coming across and saying, "Come on, you can come to the other side with us," it was actually the dog that greeted him on the other side.

So you have connected with many pets on the other side - Are there any messages you can share with us from them?

Anthony: People are very fond of their pets, they like to dress them up, give them funny haircuts and do crazy, silly stuff like that - even give them silly names. Those animals come back and often tell me about that. And they actually bring it up in readings, coming back with "You remember when you did this to me?" So it's really interesting, remember, whatever you do to your animal, your animal remembers it on the other side and will come back and maybe haunt you with it.

So as Anthony said to Sharon -  “When you ask whether animals have got souls, I can tell you they definitely do. And they are very, very alive and well on the other side”.

When you say goodbye, it might not really be a goodbye, but a see you later