Do we need angels?
Books about angels top the best-seller lists. National magazines run cover articles on them. Angel stores, publications and symbols abound. Our reaction to the losses of Mother Teresa and Princess Diana reveals an underlying need to experience angelic qualities such as unconditional love and compassion.

Do we need animals?
America is having a love affair with furry, flying, swimming, crawling, hopping creatures. 59%, or 58 million, of all U.S. homes have at least one pet. The American Animal Hospital Association surveyed people who have pets and found that 75% of dog owners and 69% of cat owners spend between 45 minutes to one hour each day with their pets. 59% of the dogs and 57% of the cats sleep with their owners. 54% of animal owners say they are emotionally dependent on their pets.

What do angels and animals have in common? According to Allen and Linda Anderson, animal lovers and editors of a newsletter that mines these two deep veins in American culture today, millions are learning spiritual truths and lessons from animals. They call this phenomena "angel animals", and define the term as animals who love, help, protect and bring us comfort. Angel animals are creatures we observe wild or in captivity. Angel animals teach us gratitude, survival, courage, and forgiveness. They help us learn how to give and receive love.

"I've learned so many spiritual truths from animals in my life," says writer and photographer Allen Anderson. "I wondered if others had found themselves marveling at what animals can teach us." Anderson took his idea to the Internet and asked people who browse animal news groups, and readers of pet publications, if animals had improved the spiritual quality of their lives. "Almost immediately I received more than one hundred stories," Anderson says. "People from all walks of life and backgrounds responded."

The Anderson's philosophy is reflected in their Angel AnimalsŪ newsletter. They believe animals are not just creatures with whom we share this earth. Animals teach us something special about ourselves that we don't learn any other way. "The stories, poems, letters and pictures we received were too good to keep to ourselves," says Linda Anderson, co-editor of the newsletter and an award-winning playwright, author and inspirational speaker. "We decided to start a nondenominational newsletter that bubbles over with the spiritual joy we and our contributors have found through our animal connections."

For a free sample of Angel Animals, write to P.O. Box 588, Excelsior, MN 55331-0588, e-mail to: , or call (612) 925-3309 or (888) 925-3309.

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