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63
PET
Corner
When Women
Love Animals
By Allen and Linda Anderson
When women love animals
and are determined to express
it, they are invincible in their
pursuit. A classic example is sci-
entist, author, and inspiration-
al speaker Jane Goodall. Her
love for chimps in the forests
of Gombe catapulted her into
becoming a respected spokes-
person for the protection of en-
dangered species and animal
welfare causes.
The pristine forests offered
Jane exquisite peace and tran-
quility. In a passage from her
book Reason for Hope (Warner
Books 1999), she writes about
what close contact with animals
means to her.
"On an open grassy ridge the
chimps climbed into a massive
mbula tree, where Fifi, replete
from the morning's feasting,
made a large comfortable nest
high above me. She dozed
through a midday siesta, little
Fanni asleep in her arms, Fro-
do and Freud playing nearby.
How healing it was to be back
at Gombe again, and by myself
with the chimpanzees and their
forest. I had left the busy, ma-
terialistic world full of greed
and selfishness and, for a little
while, could feel myself, as in
the early days, a part of nature."
Women turn to animals for
comfort, playtime, serenity, un-
conditional love, and a num-
ber of other spiritual qualities
they can't find as readily from
any other source. They nourish
and rescue animals and receive
similar blessings in return from
them.
Leslie Robinson lives on a
small farm in Bell, Florida with
her husband Ric and a large ani-
mal family. She is an RN home
health nurse. For our Angel Ani-
mals Story of the Week, July 12,
2009 newsletter, Leslie wrote
about her mule Candy Mae and
the amazing relationship these
two females forged with each
other.
HER bFF IS A MUlE
I had just thought about look-
ing for another mule to add to
our family. It already contained
a donkey, two horses, and a
mule. Nothing set in stone, just
a thought.
I was attending a clinic taught
by a mule-trainer from Montana.
Just for fun, I asked if he ever
sold any of his mules and he
replied, "Nope." So, that was
that!
Later in the weekend, he ap-
proached me and said that his
wife was selling her mule and
asked if I would be interested.
I was thrilled but I needed to
know more, namely how much
would she cost? I figured that a
mule trained by a good trainer
was going to cost a lot. After
all, she lived in Montana, and
I lived in Florida. But the price
was right. I bought a plane tick-
et and off I went to Montana to
meet Candy Mae.
I liked her right away. I knew
when I boarded the plane I was
going to buy her. Six months
after meeting Candy, my hus-
band and I hitched up the horse
trailer and headed to Missouri
where we were to pick her up.
When I went into the barn
for the first time in Missouri and
she brayed at me (mules bray
instead of whinny), I got chills.
How did she remember me af-
ter only meeting me once six
months prior in Montana? We
made the trip back to Florida
and ever since consider our-
selves blessed with the dearest
friend, Candy.
Candy was born in Idaho and
owned by a lady who loved her
a lot. The lady came upon hard
times and had to sell Candy to an
outfitter who put her on a pack
line. She didn't last but a few
months at that job when the
mule-trainer bought her for his
wife. When I came into the pic-
ture, it had been five years later,
and Candy's life had changed.
Candy is 22 years old with
long eyelashes and the kindest
eyes you have ever seen. She
isn't a big mule, but what she
lacks in size she makes up for
in heart. Nowadays, we are
learning the art of dressage and
hope to make it to a show some-
day soon. We also enjoy riding
in the beautiful woods in North
Florida.
As two middle-aged ladies,
Candy and I are in tune with
each other every step of the way.
Candy is part of a veterinary ac-
upuncture school here in Flori-
da. She is one of the animals
the vets practice needling tech-
niques on. She is very willing to
help them, standing still and al-
lowing up to ten people to work
on her at a time. I tell her that it
is her job to teach the veterinar-
ians, and she understands what
she has to do.
People are drawn to Candy,
especially her long soft ears. It
is surprising how many people
aren't sure of what a mule is.
Some people ask, "What do you
do with her?" I consider Candy
to be a Mule Ambassador.
I am a nurse, so I understand
the healing qualities animals
possess. I started thinking about
how helpful Candy would be to
people who were sick. I came
upon information about the Del-
ta Society and its Pet Partner Pro-
gram. Animals serve in hospitals,
nursing homes, schools, etc. to
help people feel better. Usually
these animals are cats, dogs, or
birds.
I took the Delta Society class
to start the process of Candy and
I becoming Pet Partners. Just a
month ago, we were evaluated
by Delta and passed our test with
flying colors. We are now able to
visit people who need some ani-
mal healing and love.
A couple of places are in-
terested in Candy visiting, and
I am sure we'll have more. We
have to visit outside, of course,
but I don't think that will stop
us. If we can make one person
feel better, we will have done
our job.
The Delta Society is a won-
derful organization that opens
the doors for human/animal
interaction. I am proud of Can-
dy for being one of the few
equines, if not the only mule
registered with the Delta Soci-
ety as a Pet Partner.
My husband and I are very
thankful that Candy is part of our
family, and I am so glad to be
sharing her wonderful personal-
ity with others. Candy found her
forever home and I found my
best girlfriend.
Who are your animal best
friends and how are they help-
ing you become more aware of
the blessings embedded in each
of life's experiences?
Allen and Linda Anderson are
founders of the Angel Animals Network
and authors of a series of books pub-
lished by New World Library about the
spiritual connection between people
and animals. "Horses with a Mission:
Extraordinary True Stories of Equine
Service" is their new book of inspiring
stories. Subscribe to the free, online
newsletter at www.angelanimals.net
and participate in the Angel Animals
forums and blogs. Become fans of An-
gel Animals on Facebook and follow @
angelanimals on Twitter.
To know that even one
life has breathed easier
because you have lived,
that is to have succeeded.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson