PET CORNER
Are Animals Really Angels?
By Allen and Linda Anderson

 

 

This New Year begins with a fresh perspective on the necessity of cherishing the spiritual con-nection with animals. As we write, we are being watched (coached?) by our rescued cat, friend, and co-worker Cuddles. She curls up and observes with her loving eyes gently focused upon us. Throughout a bout of licking her paw and stretching, Cuddles continues to be steadfast in her presence.

Is part of her spiritual mission in this life to support ours? We believe it is.

We, as do others, have important messages to bring to a world where there is so much suffering, turmoil, and loneliness. We long for people to understand that the bonds of divine love between people and animals, and among animals for each other, transcend fear, anger, rivalry, and isolation. Repeatedly, it is the animals who teach a better way to all of us.

In our book “RESCUED: Saving Animals from Disaster”, excerpted below, we tell the story of a man who witnessed the heroics of an animal during the worst conditions. This man marveled at a dog who loved his mate more than he valued his own safety and comfort. His story sets the tone for our book and for the New Year. With the retelling of this heart-opening experience, we pause to remember that animals often fulfill the spiritual mission of showing people how to be more compassionate human beings.

”Days after the levees in New Orleans broke, Chris Cutter, communications director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, worked on a boat that maneuvered through toxic water. No one, human or animal, would have wanted to spend a minute more than necessary in it. Chris recalls, ‘We saw a dog swimming in the muck.’ Chris’s boat steered toward the dog. Instead of allowing the rescuers to help him into the vehicle, the dog turned around and swam away from the boat. That is when they heard barking coming from inside a house.

“The rescuers steered to follow the dog. He led them to the back of his house where a female dog, ‘his girlfriend’, as Chris calls her, was trapped inside. Only after the rescuers freed the female dog did this big, shaggy husky allow the rescuers to haul him into the boat.

“As the boat moved away one of the rescuers petted him, saying, ‘You’re such a good boy.’ Her hand jerked suddenly off the dog’s head, as if she had touched a sizzling stove. ’My hand is burning,’ she told Chris.

“‘The dog could have saved himself,’ Chris says. ‘Instead, he swam off so we would find his girlfriend. When you are dealing with things like that, it is hard not to think that there is a validity in what you are doing. That there is something bigger going on.’”

There may be naysayers, but we believe this dog made a conscious decision and was acting with purpose to save a life. Thank goodness for Chris and his band of rescuers who listened to their intuition and inner guidance and decided to follow this brave dog back to his barely surviving mate.

Sacred Missions of Service
Service is an essential ingredient of anyone’s spiritual mission. Often, the service of a helping paw turns an intolerable situation into a life lesson.

In the following story, Michelle Christian from Shreveport, Louisiana, shares how a rescued dog came into her life and fulfilled a sacred mission. Michelle adopted Ansley from her local animal shelter. The dog had been thrown out of someone’s car and abandoned. Shortly after she brought Ansley home five years ago, Michelle became very ill. Although only thirty-years old at the time, she was diagnosed with Relapsing Polychondritis, a very rare disease.

Michelle writes, “Throughout all the hard times I was blessed to have my sweet Ansley right beside me. When I did not feel I could go on anymore, the days when I felt I could not get up out of bed, I did because I knew I had to feed Ansley and let her outside. I got up everyday, not minding the pain, for her. Now I have been in remission for two years and know I owe Ashley my life. Without the love I felt for her, I would have simply given up. She helped me not give in. She showed me unconditional love. No matter what I looked or felt like, she was always, always loving me.”

After Michelle recovered from her illness, she went back to work. But her thoughts were at home with Ansley whom she believed needed companionship. So Michelle adopted an eight-week-old female Labrador retriever named Amber. The pup brought a full dose of love, energy, and friendship into their home.

Michelle says, “I think Amber is also an angel dog. For she is teaching me patience, a quality we sometimes we forget in our busy lives. I am blessed to have both dogs teaching me something special everyday. I do not know what I would do without my babies. They fill my heart with joy each day when I come home. I know we are giving each other much more than words can say.”

Not content to only personally adopt dogs, but also inspired by her own dogs, Michelle belongs to the Krewe of Barkus and Meoux, which is a Mardi Gras group focusing on helping low-income animal lovers with heartworm prevention, spaying and neutering, and also raising money for local animal groups, such as the Shreveport Police K-9 Department.

What are the missions of angel animals in your life? How are animals helping with your spiritual mission?

Allen and Linda Anderson are founders of the Angel Animals Network and authors of New World Library’s two new books, “RESCUED: Saving Animals from Disaster” and “Angel Horses: Divine Messengers of Hope” (the latest in their Angel Animals series). Subscribe to the Angel Animals Story of the Week at www.angelanimals.net. Also visit their new website www.rescuedsavinganimals.net


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