Service Dog Barks at Coffin During Funeral, Officer Opens It And Finds It Empty
Hard To Accept
His life had been turned upside down by that day. It didn’t just make him feel sick to his stomach that his dad had died, but that deception was also involved.
His father’s current wife, his stepmother, never treated him well, and he never regarded her as a good mother figure.
He was deeply offended that he was not told what happened.
Honoring His Father
Arthur rushed over to investigate once a neighbor informed him of the incident. In addition to arranging the funeral himself, he also paid for it.
Having done it would be the least he could do to honor his late father.
The funeral took place a month later. There was no doubt Arthur had meticulously planned everything out, but it was all being thrown upside down by a sudden turn of events.
Surrounded By Friends And Family
In Arthur’s opinion, the funeral honored his father appropriately.
There were others around him, which was a blessing. Among his guests were his nasty stepmother and all his father’s friends.
While he was grateful for all the people there, one friend he knew he could not live without.
During his father’s lifetime, he was loyally companioned by Spoon, his service dog. Following his retirement from the police department, he adopted the dog he loved so much.
However, Spoon’s behavior had been odd for the past month. In light of the recent death of his owner, Arthur understood.
However, the long whine he let out when he sniffed the coffin indicated something more.
His Father, His Hero
As a child, Arthur Hendrikson had a great deal of respect for his father. When he was a boy, he considered him his hero.
When his father decided to remarry just as he was moving out, things drastically changed.
In his teenage years, he loved Kent County, Michigan, a suburb of Grand Rapids. In his childhood, his father moved from Sweden to this country and never looked back. It explains why the last name is strange.
Out On His Own
In spite of Arthur’s hatred of his stepmother, he recently gained independence from his father.
He had just moved into his own apartment just a few miles from the house he grew up in.
He was unable to convince his father that the woman he had married was unfit for him, which meant he couldn’t do anything about it.
Not Good Enough
Every time Arthur visited his stepmother, Ingrid, for Sunday lunch or birthday dinners, he saw how petty and controlling she was.
His father, however, could not see it because of his loneliness.
Despite Arthur’s efforts, he could not convince him to see. She would remain with his father until the end.
Adored By All
When Arthur was a child, his father Paul served in the police force as a decorated officer. His service was marked by many commendations, and he retired at the age of 50.
Having his new wife and service dog by his side, he looked forward to a long retirement.
Nevertheless, things weren’t going to remain the same forever. The plan his wife was hatching was completely unknown to him.
He suffered a strain in his relationship with his father because he was distracted at a police academy following in his father’s footsteps.
In addition, his conniving stepmother did not help matters. When he was a child, he and his father were best friends.
It was almost as if they were strangers now. As soon as he graduated, Arthur attempted to fix the problem.
Patching Things Up
Upon graduating, Arthur tried to mend things with his father. Attending weekly lunches was his way of hanging out more and he wished he had the time to do so more often.
However, Ingrid forbade her husband to leave the house. It was horrible.
Despite never getting along with Ingrid, Arthur never realized how petty she could really be until he received the devastating news.
A Week Long Silence
With Arthur’s weekly lunches, he at least got in touch with his dad regularly.
That’s why it was strange when he hadn’t heard from his father in close to a week. He just assumed his father wasn’t feeling up to hanging out.
But as Arthur would find out, his father’s silence was far more disturbing than he initially thought. That’s when he got a phone call he’d never forget.
A Concerned Neighbor
Arthur got a call the next day from someone he had never expected. He answered the phone and didn’t recognize the voice until the woman on the other end told him it was his old neighbor.
He remembered her always being kind, but why was she calling him?
Then she explained everything that had been kept from him. It would leave him dropping everything and getting into his car.
The Truth Behind It All
Arthur listened to everything his neighbor had to say before he just said, “Thank you.” and put down the phone.
Tears started rolling down his cheeks as he clenched his fists hard and started seeing red.
How could she have kept this from him? He understood that he wasn’t her favorite person in the world, but how dare she do this.
He dropped everything he was doing and grabbed his keys from the countertop before rushing through the front door.
He turned on the engine of his car and had one destination in mind.
He was going to the place he had grown up to make sure that he had heard the truth from his neighbor. If things were as they seemed, someone was going to have to pay.
Talking To Ingrid
Soon he arrived at his childhood home and used his spare key to get inside.
There he was ready to fight, but when he saw his stepmother on the couch balling her eyes out, he knew exactly what was going on.
She was startled by him but then explained everything. He was still angry she hadn’t told him earlier, but the truth was soul-crushing.
His Father’s Fate
Ingrid confirmed everything that his neighbor had said on the phone. His father had unexpectedly passed away. He had been hiking in the woods and falling off of a cliff into the river below.
It was heartbreaking news, but he knew that he would do right by his father. He decided that he would take over all of the arrangements himself.
He wanted to honor his father the way he would have wanted. But he had no idea that it would all be for nothing.
Making The Arrangements
Over the next month, He made all of the necessary arrangements.
He had the funeral in his father’s favorite church and picked out his favorite flowers.
Arthur even made sure that the people his dad would have wanted would be at the funeral, even his stepmother. But despite all of his hard work, there would be a twist that no one saw coming.
Ingrid never liked Spoon, his dad’s dad, so Arthur took it upon himself to take him in.
The German shepherd cross had a lot of love to give, and he knew Arthur well enough. The dog would have a happy life with his new owner.
But as Arthur would find out soon enough, there was more to this than he was aware of. Spoon would be the key to it all.
The Sad Day
Arthur didn’t have to face it, but the big and sad day had finally come.
He prepared a speech for his father and would give it in front of his coffin with the loyal dog next to him.
He had planned everything out perfectly, but no matter how hard he tried to make it special, something would end up ruining it. And it wouldn’t even be anyone’s fault.
Giving His Speech
Arthur was on autopilot the entire day. He had moved through the motions until he found himself standing in front of a crowd of people with his stepmother in the front row, crying.
Even though he didn’t like her, he did feel bad for her.
He held Spoon’s leash in his left hand as he prepared himself to give his speech. His father’s coffin stood right behind him.
Just as Arthur started his tearjerker of a speech, Spoon couldn’t sit still. He was letting out low whines as his new owner kept trying to read his speech.
He first assumed that it was just because of everything that happened.
The poor pooch was surely just mourning his previous owner. But there was more to it than that. He just didn’t know it yet.
Making A Scene
But as Arthur got into the middle of his speech, the animal started stirring more and more. He just couldn’t still anymore. Arthur tried calming him down, but something had clearly gotten to the canine.
That’s when his stepmother embarrassingly stepped up and told him to control “the mutt.”
He was about to take action, but he had no idea that his dog was about to charge headfirst straight into the casket.
Just as Arthur was about to tell his stepmother to shut up, Spoon slipped out of his collar and bolted towards the casket.
He felt for the poor pooch, but bothering his remains wasn’t going to bring him back. In actuality, Arthur was the one Spoon felt sorry for.
He was clueless to the truth even though the dog was trying to tell him.
Trying To Stop The Pooch
Arthur ran to stop the dog from doing anything, but that’s when he realized that the pooch didn’t want to interfere with the casket.
He wanted to do something much more meaningful than that.
It slowly started to dawn on Arthur, Spoon shared an unspoken bond with his previous owner. He knew better than anyone what was going on. That’s when he started to listen.
Spoon stopped right in front of the casket and started barking at it. Arthur was experienced enough as a police officer to know that service dogs didn’t bark for no reason.
Something was wrong. Spoon was normally a disciplined and loyal dog and he was no different now.
He was set on uncovering a secret that was meant to stay hidden. It was all to do with the contents of the casket.
Everyone at the funeral service was silent. They stood there frozen, watching the spectacle unfold before their eyes. But what happened next shocked everyone.
His stepmother already knew what was on his mind and shouted “Stop!” But it was already too late.
His morbid curiosity had gotten the better of him this time. He was going to open it.
Arthur told his stepmother to stand back as he walked over to the lid. Spoon was clearly upset about something. He dared to find out what it was.
The poor dog longed to be with his owner, he only wished he could help.
But then he realized that he could at least make sure everything was as it seemed. He was in front of the casket with one hand reaching out.
His whole body filled with dread as he looked at the wooden casket.
It was made out of solid varnished oak, the best he could afford on an officer’s salary.
But it wasn’t the casket itself that the officer was concerned with anymore. He was now interested in what was going on inside the vessel.
As Arthur put his hand on the lid of the casket, the service dog stopped barking. He was clearly heading in the right direction, so he decided to start lifting it up.
But that didn’t sit well with the extended family and friends that were gathered there.
They would all make their outcry known to the young cop who only wanted to find out more.
Yelling At Him
Everyone, including his stepmother, started yelling at him.
They didn’t want him desecrating the funeral, but what if his hunch was correct? He had to take the chance.
As a cop, he weighed the heavy options. Then he thought about his justifications. He realized that he had every right to take a look at the casket.
Arthur felt insulted. How dare they yell at him when it was his own father? They didn’t understand him the way he did.
Even if he wasn’t wrong, at least he’d get to lay his eyes on him one more time.
But even with all of Arthur’s suspicions, he could never have anticipated what the truth would be. The biggest question would be who was behind it.
With a bit of heaving, he managed to lift the lid of the casket and readied himself to see his posthumous father lying there. But when he looked down, he couldn’t believe it.
There was nothing there. The casket was weighed down with sandbags, but where was his father’s body?
He turned to the only culprit he could think of – his stepmother.
He confronted his mother with this new revelation, but she seemed just as confused as he was. Maybe it wasn’t her after all?
He didn’t know what to think anymore. It was a crime in Michigan to steal a body, so who did it?
Little did Arthur know that in just a few days, he’d find out exactly what had happened to his father’s body.
A confused and upset Arthur sat perplexed at his desk in his office.
He was a police officer, so surely he could figure out what had happened the previous day at the funeral. Where was his father?
Then a brilliant idea hit him. His father always wore a smartwatch with a GPS tracker for fitness.
With the proper credentials, he managed to get a ping off of the watch, but it didn’t make any sense.
He double-checked the GPS just to make sure it was right. He was astounded at what it was telling him.
The ping was in the middle of the forest. He knew he had to hike out there himself, but he wouldn’t be ready for the truth.
Keeping It Quiet
Arthur kept everything a secret from his father’s family. He wanted to get to the bottom of this before spreading misinformation.
He only confided in one of his fellow officers just in case something happened to him.
He packed his bags one Saturday morning and made the long drive.
Finding The Path
After driving for 20 minutes, he couldn’t drive any further. He would have to hike the rest of the way. He was no stranger to fitness, but this would be a challenge even for him.
He tightened his backpack and let Spoon out of the car. He wasn’t going to leave such a loyal boy behind for this.
The dog was also protection, just in case.
As Arthur wandered deeper into the woods, his mind started to wander.
He didn’t believe in superstitions, but something about the air there gave him the chills.
Occasionally, Spoon was barking at seemingly nothing. Arthur just hoped that it was a squirrel or a rabbit. But he had no idea just how wrong he was.
Losing His Nerve
Going into the woods seemed like a good idea at the time. But now that Arthur had wandered through it for 40 minutes, he wanted nothing more than to leave the cursed place.
He muttered under his breath as he stubbed his toe on a tree root, losing his balance.
He hit the ground hard and lost consciousness. Only to wake up in darkness.
He had no idea how long he was out for, but it was pitch black. He felt the back of his head and felt a wet spot.
Fearing it was blood, he reached for his flashlight to shine on his sticky hand.
But something was strange. The flashlight wasn’t on his belt anymore. Even weirder, he blindly felt around but couldn’t find his backpack either. Arthur began to shake at the idea that something had taken them.
Arthur slowly sat up and rested a hand against the very same tree that had tripped him and caused this catastrophe.
He didn’t even have his GPS tracker anymore. It must have fallen on the ground.
He pawed at the dirt until he felt his phone. Breathing a sigh of relief, he picked it up. But then his heart dropped.
Arthur nearly burst into tears when he realized that his phone wouldn’t turn on.
He felt the screen, and what should have been a silky smooth screen, was a jagged and sharp one.
It was apparent that he had fallen on his phone and smashed it. Without the GPS, he wouldn’t be able to get to his dad’s body or even home.
Seeing Something In The Dark
Just as Arthur wondered what his next move should have been, he saw something faint in the distance.
It was something bright in the dark.
He didn’t care who or what was causing it. He had to get there. Even if it was a potential danger, he’d be ready for the worst. But someone was right behind him at that moment.
Still By His Side
Just as he got ready to head there, he felt something warm touch the back of his hand.
He jumped forward and looked at his attacker. Thankfully, it was just loyal Spoon who hadn’t left his side.
He was beyond happy to see the pooch. But he wouldn’t stay long. He barked and ran towards the light.
Arthur darted after the dog. He was leading him safely to the light source. Arthur should have paid more mind to who might be in the forest, but he didn’t care at that point. He sprinted into the ring of light and saw a firepit in front of a modest log cabin.
He was speechless. Who lived in a remote part of the forest? Then he noticed Spoon approach a figure sitting by the fire and curl up next to him. He leaned forward into the light, and Arthur immediately recognized the grizzled man. How was this even possible?
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.