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Snowy's Experience

Experience description:   

Our dog Snowy passed away on June 30th 2004.

She was in coma for several hours: Initially her consciousness level fluctuated somewhat and she was obtunded.  Then she went into a deeper coma in which she did not respond to sound stimuli  from about noon that day until her eventual time of death at 11:45pm. 

She was more consistently very, very impaired in consciousness from about 6:00pm. She did not respond to non-painful tactile stimuli  (We did not test painful stimuli response for humane reasons).

At about 7:00 pm  Snowy suddenly sat up bolt upright, looked as if she was looking at an object very, very intensively and following that object with her eyes and her head slightly moving from side to side. If a dog could smile, she was smiling. You could see there was a certain happiness radiating from her. She began to wag her tail and within seconds she then plopped down and went back into coma.  

The four members of my family witnessed this. My wife and I,  and two adult children: my daughter and my son, although my daughter and I were particularly cognizant of this.  Both of us independently and immediately noticed this very strange happening. We spoke almost simultaneously registering our amazement.

I interpreted this as a possible NDE and if indeed it were so, this is the first reported near death experience in an animal (in a dog). 

I happen to be physician practicing behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry, who has significant knowledge and expertise in the area of near-death experiences and altered and impaired consciousness states.

Vernon Neppe, M.D., Ph.D.
For More Information on

Deja Vu:
Anomalous experience:   http://www.pni.org/research/anomalous/

DISCUSSION BETWEEN Dr. NEPPE & JODY RE: Categorization of Experience.  This demonstrates the difficulty in categorizing experiences when there is no universally accepted definition of the Near Death Experience (NDE).


I felt that Snowy's experience closer matched the nearing end of life experience (DBV).  We have another similar experience in a person. 

8.  Andrew's Mother's DBV  6/22/03 Chinese Account.  There is well recognized phenomenon among the Chinese which is like a DBV.  It is called HuiGuangFanZhao (The Light returns). This is a commonly reported situation where a dying patient would be comatose or confused but suddenly becomes alert and lucid, often acknowledging the loved ones around him/her before dying.  During this phase, they may or may not have a vision of their departure.  My mother was dying of Ca breast with liver mets and was going in and out of a coma but was very lucid and alert and could recognize the people around her seconds before she drew her last breath.


Snowy's was not an OBE so that is wrong.
Sorry, I still would define an DBV as a type of  NDE.
By definition, if someone is dead, they are dead.
If someone has an NDE, they are near death and may appear clinically dead but they did not die so they were not dead by medical certificate.
Someone with a DBV is as near dead as anyone having an NDE. The only difference is they don't report it after recovery because they don't recover. But there are signs anyway.


While a DBV may be considered as a type of NDE, I think that it is a class of experience that should be studied separately from the NDE.  There is a spectrum of experiences.  For instance, the spontaneous OBEs.  Some may say that the NDE is one of the most extreme types of OBE, but we have a website devoted to OBEs.  The elements in the DBV and the OBE are very different from what is studied on the NDERF website.  We also know that the NDErs have statistically different elements from those who just have OBEs.  Therefore, I would say that the DBV is part of the spectrum, but isn't a NDE, per se.