In another post I recounted how my mother passed on April 3, 1991 and the strange knocking sound which accompanied her passing. Six weeks later, my father followed her from this world.
On the afternoon of the 18th of May, 1991, I received a call from my brother, at whose home my father was being cared for, to tell me that my father had taken seriously ill and that I should come to his home.
I arrived there at around 5 p.m. and sat with my dad for three or four hours. At 9 p.m. I left to go collect my wife and three kids to take them to my in-law's as I prepared to stay with my dad overnight.
On my way back to my brother's house he called my cell and suggested that I should go home and get some sleep and come back later and take over the vigil.
The house I lived in at the time was surrounded at the back and sides by 7-foot high walls with a sturdy timber gate to the front as the only means of entry to the rear garden. I arrived home around 10 p.m., hit the shower and retired at 10:45 p.m. with the intention of sleeping until about 2 a.m. and then returning to my brother's home.
Sometime later I woke with a start to the howling sound of what appeared to be a large dog. This was unusual as neither of my neighbors on both sides had a dog. I arose, looked at the clock and saw that I had overslept. It was approaching 2:55 a.m. I checked the clock and saw that the alarm had not gone off at 2 a.m. as set.
Going to the rear bedroom window, I saw immediately the source of the howling. It was indeed a large black German shepherd, attempting unsuccessfully to scale my walls on either side to escape my garden. I left the house through the front door, opened the side entrance door and the animal shot past me, howling as it went.
As I walked back into the house to dress and head to my brother's, the phone rang. My brother told me that my father had passed at 3 a.m. I looked at the clock and it showed 3:07 a.m.
I had been living in this house for 12 years in 1991 and spent a further six years there before moving on. In all of those years I had never had a dog make it in over those walls. If they did, they were able to get back out again on their own steam.
After the knocking that accompanied my mother's passing, I felt as if my dad had sent me a message to wake me on his passing.