As I raised my head up from the ground to look around, I saw my deceased dog from my childhood bounding towards me. … It was overwhelmingly wonderful. I felt completely at peace and totally happy. I was so excited to see her again, and I did not question the experience at the time. It was as if she had never died and she had always been waiting for me to wake up from my nap in the grass.

These words, taken from case reports collected by the Near-Death Experience Research Foundation, are from a young seaman who was recalling an experience that followed a life-threatening fall from a navy pier. After losing consciousness, he found himself in “an absolutely beautiful green field of grass” with his beloved canine friend.

After the reunion, he suddenly became aware that he was in the medical unit, and a corpsman was shouting at him to “wake up.” The seaman later described those…

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