Pets and the Afterlife



Paranormal investigator, author, and medium Rob Gutro was devastated when his puppy, Buzz, was tragically killed by a car. However, only minutes after Buzz passed, Rob believes that Buzz began to communicate from the other side through a wide array of signs—lights flickering, objects moving, and even the sound of paws tapping across the floor. Out of Gutro’s grief sprang a gift he wasn’t aware he possessed—the ability to communicate with pets who have crossed over. In the past decade, he has used this gift to help grieving “pet parents” by offering them readings. Gutro discusses the complex grief that comes from losing a pet, while three of Gutro’s former clients share the incredibly heartwarming and specific ways their beloved pets communicated through Gutro’s work, and how their sessions helped them find closure.

Have you made contact with a pet that has crossed over? If so, send us your story.

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26 Comments

  1. Burkhard Schmorell

    Let’s be honest. Statistically, there should be some owners who think their pet adored them when in reality the pet was embittered and resentful. But where are those pets’ souls, hm? Why don’t they “stay behind” to gripe about their experience? Why are Gutro’s contacts always pets who want to reminisce about their fondness for squeaky toys and handicap ramps and euthanasia? It’s kind of like how, if you’ve ever noticed, fortune cookies never have messages that say anything like, “Next week’s work schedule is going to suck.” Or like how Joel Osteen never calls out people on the bad stuff they do.

    Strange also, isn’t it, that Gutro can only do these readings once you’ve given him a picture and a name. I should think he would want to offer comfort as soon as possible and be able to perform readings live on the spot… Incidentally, you would be surprised how much I can learn about your “private” life with just a little bit of Facebook stalking.

    Reply

    • Christian Graham

      I normally don’t respond to such things, but perhaps this time I’m speaking up because I was deeply affected by this story. Skepticism is very healthy, and even essential in all aspects of life. But one thing I notice in general, not only in the case of the paranormal, is that bias is something people find it very difficult to navigate around when it comes to thinking about statistics. Even statisticians have to be acutely aware of their own human biases in their professional lives.

      Similar to Gutro, I too am a scientist. I am a Physics PhD, with a highly mathematical mind and work with statistical models for a living. In my bachelor I also studied animal health and behaviour as a part of my scientific pursuits. I think it’s a stretch to draw any conclusions about this case from one episode. Comments like this are very common demonstrations of heuristic cognitive bias – the idea that we oversimplify complex problems, or overestimate likelihoods, based on incomplete information or personal experiences.

      In terms of animals who may be resentful of owners, firstly animals (such as dogs) experience a relatively narrow spectrum of emotions compared with humans, in a very simple way these boil down to contentment, depression, fear/aggression and excitement. While dogs (for example) can be conditioned to be aggressive or fearful, this is a survival based conditioning in response to their daily experiences (such as abuse and neglect) but this is not the same as resentment and embitterment. Humans have a cognitive ability to analyse their own experience and find deeper meaning, making biased assumptions to fill in the unknowns and in so doing, we can experience a wider differentiation of lingering emotions such as resentment, etc. This also leads us to overly personify animals and ascribe human emotions to them, that they are not capable of experiencing. Animals live in the now because they do not have this ability, this doesn’t make them unintelligent, but developmentally, this ability does not serve their survivability. Their behaviour is the sum of their experiences (assuming there is no degenerate brain disorders which might cause abnormal behaviours/emotions). Very simply put: If you raise your animal gently and with love, they will respond in kind. If you abuse and mistreat them, they will respond with defensiveness, cowardice, fear and aggression. This is very well established behaviourally.

      To address why so many of these stories are all so positive. Firstly, this is 1 episode of a podcast, again… not representative of the whole. Secondly, people who mistreat animals, generally speaking, do not place much value on the animal’s life. It then stands to reason they would be relatively unlikely to give any consideration to what happened to that animal after they passed. So why would they care? (although I would very much welcome anyone brave enough to admit that they were cruel to their animals to challenge this ideology and send in their pet’s details… I for one would love to see the results of this, because of course statistically this is interesting to me). Then there is the grey area, a case where perhaps there is someone who cared for the animal but for whatever reason, that animal ended up suffering in some way, there is every chance that animal will definitely recall those experiences, and I believe they have no reason to lie, (this is another human trait). There is nothing to say that Gutro does NOT get these experiences. But to this I add a note on ethics when it comes to psychics and mediums: You can’t control what comes in from the other side. But if you receive information that could be unduly distressing for a person, as a reader you need to deeply consider whether or not that person really needs to know that information. An extreme example of this is seeing someone’s death… Nobody deserves to know when or how they are going to die. It would be cruel and unethical to share information like this. The other thing is that, despite what you see in the movies and what most people might think, not everything that comes through is in-our-face clear. It is always possible to make an incorrect interpretation without being a “fraud”. Bottom line, I think it is reasonable to say that caring for your living pet and caring what happens to them after death is strongly correlated, which easily accounts for the higher proportion of positive stories. If they treated their animals well in life, there is no reason their animal should be resentful in the afterlife.

      In terms of why it has to be an email… Every reader has their own method which works for them. Especially people who come to this later in life, but this is not to say he cannot read in public, but not all psychics and mediums want to be celebrities. Receiving a photo and a name likely gives Gutro a anchor point with which to connect to that animal, and some context to the pet’s life likely gives him a reference point to differentiate other incoming information. As an investigator in absolutely any field… in order to establish integrity of findings we have to first establish very strong contextual arguments and evidence… I assume, based on his own scientific training, Gutro is already doing this, otherwise why would he have been interviewed in the first place?

      In terms of Face-stalking people… again, despite what most people think… it is incredibly rare to be able to briefly Face-stalk someone and make a “Dr.House” statistical deduction about their innate behaviours with their animals/friends/family, not only because people are highly selective about what they display about themselves, but also because this is a rare human ability that usually requires a “reader” to observe the person in real life for some period of time to be able to make a statistically significantly accurate deduction. To relate to this idea, consider how many people do you know who have animals post every one of their most intimate moments with their animals, every toy they had, treats they got, etc? These days you might think there might actually be quite a lot, but your own personal connections on social media are not representative of the whole, so this is an example of heuristic cognitive bias – the idea that we overestimate/oversimplify the likelihood of something because we see is everywhere. Gutro takes cases from all over the world, so we have to consider this on a global scale. Then we have to determine what fraction of those people make their information on their social media public? Of these people, what fraction report on intricate details of their pet’s final days/hours or veterinary issues? And then what are the chances that Gutro would accurately get “all the information he needed” to be 100% convincing? There are many more variables we need to consider, but if we combine only these 4 variables, you will find the likelihood that Gutro could easily just google everyone and come up with a detailed accurate account for that person would be astronomically small. But let’s be overly optimistic and say that the probability in each case is 50%, then that means that Gutro should be able to get everything he needs to know to create a 100% convincing fake report for around 6.25% of his incoming clients. So what about the other 93.75%? given that he has a career and life to live, and also doesn’t charge enough to spend endless hours tracking down information for the remaining people through other channels, I find it incredibly unlikely that he would even be known based on a 6.25% accuracy. He’d be outted in no time.

      Disclaimer: I have not checked Gutro’s reviews, so of course, there could be a myriad of people who have sought his services and gotten something completely wrong. But my point being made is in regard to a general dismissal of subjects based on limited or distorted view of statistics.
      I am not a blind believer in psychics, mediums and the paranormal, I acknowledge there are plenty “cold-readers” and fakers out there. I don’t care for proving the existence of paranormal phenomena, but for myself I am open to, and satisfied, with good evidence which either proves or disproves a phenomena. I think this is an interesting problem which is a valid pursuit of knowledge.

      Reply

  2. Josie Amaya

    My Jack died Thursday June 23rd. I had him since a baby and loved him so much. The night before he died he was like a little puppy again. So energetic and happy. He was such an amazing dog. I was blessed to have him in my life for 13 years. I loved him so much. My heart is so sad.

    Reply

  3. Rob Gutro

    Thank you for the comments and for listening to this wonderful episode. My thanks to all involved in the Unsolved Mysteries Podcast
    and to the folks who were kind enough to share their experiences. Instructions for readings are on my website. You can reach me at http://www.robgutro.com, or rgutro@gmail.com. Reading pets is a very emotional experience for me, too. It’s amazing how much information they can convey, and I enjoy bringing comfort to their pet parents. Thank you, Unsolved Mysteries.

    Reply

  4. Shelley murray

    Hi, would really love a reading from Rob Gutro. I lost my 2 australian terriers 1 year apart. It has broken my heart and would love to know they are safe and happy. Can i please have his email details. Many thanks,

    Reply

  5. Jonathan

    Connect with Rob at http://www.petworks.com.

    Reply

  6. Jayme

    How do we get in touch with him?

    Reply

  7. sam

    I’m not sure what to ask… Lots of spirituality going on and hoping you can translate….

    Reply

  8. Katelynne Welc

    This story had me thinking about my dog scrappy that passed away on Dec 31st 1999 and that I still miss her to this day even though I have another dog.

    Reply

  9. Jennifer

    This had me in tears the whole time. Re h he is story brought back all the loving years of my Husky that past at 14 yrs old and my recent passed 3 yr old German Shepherd/Labrador Retriever. Many of the afterlife accounts I related to with my pups. Thank you Unsolved Mysteries for sharing.

    Reply

  10. Michelle

    I think I cried the whole time listening to this. I could completely relate to everyone and the loss of their beloved pets. I’ve lost 2 dogs and I think about them all the time. It’s good to know that we can connect with them.

    Reply

  11. Peace

    Thank you for this touching episode — it is quite timely given we had to put our dog down this week. Animals are so wonderful, and it is comforting to know our pets are still around and waiting for us.

    Reply

  12. Sleeping_gorilla

    Some very touching stories spoiled by a Charlatan preying on people’s loss and pain. This sort of stuff isn’t victimless. It distorts people memories of their loved ones. The scary thing is that this guy works for NASA!

    Reply

    • camille

      Why were you even listening to this kind of subject would be my question.

      Reply

    • Brett S

      Buddy and I were the subject of the first story. Due to time limitations, it was impossible to convey how Rob Gutro was able to know the unknowable. He knew my dog’s favorite place (a house by the woods in a German village-5000 miles from where I met him). He knew my dog’s last snack. He heard the name of my mother in law. I was not a believer in this stuff either but Rob’s vision defy explanation. I am a veteran warrior -No one preys on me.

      Reply

  13. Marla Rangeloff

    I really enjoyed this podcast. My cat passed away in the spring this year. Hearing the beautiful stories, helps me cope with my broken . Thank you

    Reply

  14. Theresa

    I really needed to hear this podcast today. Yesterday we had to put down our soul-mate dog, Hunter, after 13 years of being together. Many tears were shed listening to this story. Thank you so much Unsolved Mysteries for sharing this with us.

    Reply

  15. Bob Heske

    Excellent episode. I know both Rob Gutro and Dan Miller — as Dan’s story first appeared on my podcast and I can absolutely vouch for its authenticity. Dan was very skeptical and the pig squeaky toy w/ the squeaker that no longer worked blew him away. I remember the one-word text after he spoke to Rob — “WOW!”. That episode is by far the most popular – a colleague at work was inspired to contact Rob and similarly had a positive, emotional experience. Rob is the real deal and a genuine kind man.

    Reply

  16. Ryan Emch

    Thank you so much unsolved mysteries this conjured thoughts about my past dog.

    Reply

  17. Angela

    To “ Vitor” who said they “couldn’t hold back the tears” during this story, you are not alone. This story was bittersweet…. so many good memories of my pets and the happiness we brought into each others life. I love you Topsy, Barnum, little Kimba, Ace, Gus and my sweet rescue girl, Sadie. Here’s to all the fur babies waiting for us on the other side.

    Reply

  18. Vitor

    I couldn’t hold my tears listening to this episode.
    It brought me so many memories from my past.
    Such a heartbreaking and unusual story.
    By the way, I think the transcript link is not working.
    Thank you, Unsolved Mysteries!!

    Reply

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