A Healing Circle of Angel Animals
By Allen and Linda Anderson



When someone in a human-animal family faces a health challenge or crisis, this is often the occasion for a circle of healing within the home to form around the sick individual. That certainly happened in the winter months this year as we dealt with the diagnosis of Linda’s breast cancer.

Fortunately her annual mammogram yielded an early detection that enabled surgeries (a total of four!), Chinese medicine, acupuncture, herbs, supplements, chiropractic, homeopathic, pray-er, and other methods of healing to keep the cancer from spreading. Gratefully, Linda is now on the mend. Throughout this journey she’s had much assistance from the animals in her immediately family. They’ve been part of what she calls her “Circle of Angels” composed of friends and other family members who have and continue to support and love her throughout this ordeal.

Because we know that we’re all spiritually connected souls springing from the same divine source, we pay special attention to the souls in animal bodies who share our home. We’ve learned over the years that God uses animals in the home or in nature as vehicles to deliver messages of warning, protection, and love.

One of the early warnings that something of a female-related nature had gone wrong in our family occurred when our cockatiel Sparkle developed a life-threatening hormonal imbalance. This condition caused her to become infected and weakened her to the point where the veterinarians had given up hope of saving her. One evening, we brought Sparkle’s nearly lifeless body home and prepared for a nightlong deathwatch.

 Inwardly we connected with her at a spiritual level and asked if she wanted to leave this world at this time. We were surprised to discover that Sparkle seemed to have some conditions that were making her life intolerable. When we understood how disturbed she felt and why, we promised to right the wrongs that had caused her think it would be preferable to check out. We’d been pretty dense about paying attention to her needs. Until we asked, she didn’t know that she could communicate them to us.

Much to everyone’s amazement Sparkle made it through that fateful night. The next day we immediately set about correcting the situations that had been troubling her. Today, she’s still with us — at least until she decides it really is time for her to go. We’d averted a close call by asking and listening to her, soul-to-soul.

The experience with Sparkle made us think about how our own emotional, physical, and spiritual needs were or were not being met. Since Sparkle’s serious health conditions manifested in the female organs, Linda began to wonder if Spirit was also delivering a warning about her body. Sparkle’s experiences became a catalyst for Linda to make important health changes and improvements. Since many of Sparkle’s ailments had been directly related to the bird’s emotions, Linda decided to also take a look at the care and expression of emotions. As a result she started taking more time to nurture herself, to play, and to be creative.

About six months after Sparkle’s illness, Linda learned of her own breast cancer condition.

Sparkle taught Linda that the physical body starts shutting down when emotional needs are severely neglected. As a result of this warning, when Linda’s cancerous tumor was removed through surgery, the pathology report came back with some very surprising results. God had delivered a message not only of warning but had protected Linda from the harmful effects of the disease.

Of course it’s hard to tell exactly when things happen within the body, but it appears that at some point — we think when Sparkle let us know what she needed and spurred Linda to take better care of herself — the cancer cells that had started forming began to change. One of the characteristics of cancer cells is that they don’t die like healthy cells do. Instead, as Linda’s Chinese doctor explained, cancer cells are “bad children” that go out of control, growing and spreading where they don’t belong.

In Linda’s case the cancer cells were non-invasive and never became anything else. In an attempt to stay contained in one breast and not go anywhere, the newer cancer cells had grown on top of the earlier ones and killed them. This was a very unusual attempt by the body to protect itself. The immune system had kicked into full gear and reversed the process of allowing the cancer cells to kill off to behave like “bad children”, running rampant and unchecked.

Sparkle had told us how and why she wanted to live. Linda had been reminded to attend to her precious life in a most timely intervention. This little bird had let Linda know that it was imperative to give herself much more emotional, physical, and spiritual nourishment.

Through these months of illness and recovery, Sparkle and all the other angel animals in our family have done everything they can to help.

When the other animals are put downstairs, Sunshine and Sparkle came out of their cages and often perch on Linda’s chest, singing and cooing to her. Sometimes Speedy, our tabby cat, places himself in position so he can keep his paw on the sore left shoulder where Linda still feels pain from the surgeries. Cuddles, our black and white cat, sleeps curled up next to Linda’s side or by her pillow, rarely letting her human charge out of sight. Taylor stands as still as a post while Linda uses the dog’s back to steady herself when she has trouble standing up. Each animal is attentive, loving, and supportive in his or her own special way.

For years we’ve gathered hundreds of stories from those who write or tell us about the animals who have helped them heal and deal with health issues. Although we’ve experienced the nurturing nature of animals ourselves, our hearts filled with gratitude at the special displays of God’s love in action when our Circle of Angel Animals helped Linda find her way back to the rest of her life.

A Special Healing Book  
If you’d like to read more stories and remarkable research about how animals help people heal in every way, we’d like to recommend a new book by our friend, Dr. Marty Becker. Dr. Becker is the co-author of the Chicken Soup pet books and he wrote the foreword for our first book. His new book is “The Healing Power of Pets: Harnessing the Ability of Pets to Make and Keep People Happy and Healthy” (Hyperion, February 2002, $22.05). Dr. Becker co-authored this book with Danelle Morton, a distinguished journalist. In this book the authors show how animals are detecting, treating, and curing diseases and conditions ranging from cancer to heart disease to psychological problems. Enlightened doctors are now prescribing that patients get pets as part of their healing protocols.

Warnings, protection, and love. What are the animals in your life trying to tell you about your health?

Allen and Linda Anderson are co-editors of “Angel Animals: Exploring Our Spiritual Connection with Animals” (A Plume Book, 1999) in local and Internet bookstores. You may get their free online newsletter at . Story sub-missions for their next book, website, and articles are grate-fully accepted at P.O. Box 26354, Minneapolis, MN 55426 or by e-mail at . For more information call (952) 925-3309.  

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