Animals Who Work Together
By Allen and Linda Anderson


Some businesses allow employees to bring animals to work because they have found that the practice boosts morale and increases productivity. Executives credit having pets when they were children with helping them develop leadership skills. Architects duplicate wasp nests in their designs. Psychologists observe animal behavior for clues to better problem-solving and stress-handling skills.

Animals have been showing people how to work together more productively and effectively for centuries. The only problem is, people have rarely gotten the messages.

In our household, the animals form committees. If you’re like us, you have probably served on many committees. Often they tend to be unfocused and waste a lot of valuable time and energy. As people discuss and debate the issues, sometimes breakthroughs occur. Sometimes the problems loom larger as more energy is put into solving them.

Not so with animals.

For a few months Linda was traveling on a book tour. She had been visiting many cities and usually only stayed away from home a few days. On this trip she’d added some vacation time. One day, while Linda was gone, the Anderson animals must have decided that enough was enough. They formed a committee to study the situation.

Speedy, Cuddles, and Taylor filed into the living room, one-by-one, and stood before Allen. As clearly as if they were speaking out loud, they asked, “When is she coming home?”

Before Allen could think about how odd it was to be interviewed by an animal committee, he answered, “Tomorrow.”

One-by-one the Anderson animal family members filed out of the room and stood, staring into the birds’ cage. No doubt, communicating to their feathered brother and sister that Mommy would be home soon.

Problem. Solution. The simple, animal way of working together without all the human mental gyrations and emotional machinations.

Chicken Love Brings Neighbors Together
We’ve collected stories from around the world about how animals help people in amazing way and miraculous ways. These “angel animals” often seem to effortlessly provide the release of tension and good humor that defuses volatile situations. Are they messengers to help us find a way to bring unconditional love to whatever tense situation we’re facing?

You decide.

Bert and Cynthia from Hawaii were giving constant home care to Cynthia’s ninety-nine year old, bedridden father. One day a young, white chicken with black-tipped wings wandered into their yard. They noticed that the chicken was limping so they took her to the veterinarian for an x-ray. The vet told the couple that this chicken would remain crippled. But Cynthia and Bert wanted to keep her anyway. They named their new pet, Rosie.

Bert built a pen for the chicken in the couple’s back yard. She ate as if she were starving, rested, and in two days was walking normally. Rosie flew out of the pen but decided to stay with the humans who had helped her. She even answered to her name and came when Bert and Cynthia called her. As the couple watched Rosie from Cynthia’s father’s bedroom window, they found that the chicken’s name fit her perfectly. Her antics, even in such a stressful and trying time of their lives, made them feel “rosie.”

Rosie Made a New Friend
Soon Rosie decided that she had more love to give. She began to wander into Mrs. Lee’s yard, an elderly neighbor who Cynthia and Bert didn’t know well. Mrs. Lee was very proud of her immaculate house and garden. She didn’t appreciate when Rosie began walking around in her marigolds. She threatened to turn the bird into chicken soup.

But Rosie wasn’t going to let Mrs. Lee’s heart remain untouched or to become chicken soup for her neigh-bor’s soul. The chicken took upon herself the task of guarding Mrs. Lee and the neighborhood. If rough boys approached Mrs. Lee’s yard, Rosie made such a racket that the elderly woman was alerted to possible trouble. Mrs. Lee began returning the favor by chasing away cats and other predators who might want to have Rosie for dinner.

When Bert called Rosie and tossed food to her, Mrs. Lee began to stand at her window and watch Rosie’s as the chicken pranced and danced. Because of the deepening relationship between Rosie and Mrs. Lee, Bert and Cynthia were able to get to know their neighbor better. They developed a lasting friendship with the woman who they discovered had become fearful and lonely after her husband had died. Mrs. Lee started giving the couple the tasty bakery goods that she was a master at making.

Rosie, the chicken, had built a bridge of trust between these neighbors that lasted until Cynthia and Bert had to move away.

Could Rosie inspire you to break through barriers that surround coworkers, neighbors, or others who need your love? Could extending your hand in service or kindness bring about the miracles in your workplace, neighborhood, or relationships that only unconditional love can produce?

Cow Comfort
One of our favorite stories came from Monica, a health-care product saleswoman in Minnesota. Her heart full of sadness and anguish, Monica stood in the pasture of a farm she was visiting one day and cried. Suddenly she saw a herd of fifteen calves and cows approaching her from a wooded area near the pasture. She had been feeling alone and bereft of all human support. When these cows headed toward Monica, she welcomed an animal presence to assuage her loneliness.

Some of the cows formed a circle around Monica, stopping a few feet from where she stood, as if to keep her from feeling fearful. Then a white-faced cow walked closer and faced her. Monica says, I watched, transfixed, as a tear formed in one of this cow’s eyes and spilled down the side of her nose. I wondered, Could this cow be empathic—sympathizing with my own tears?

Later, Monica remembered that before the cows came to comfort her, she’d prayed to God and asked, “Somebody please be with me!” She believes that God’s answer was to send her a collective cow hug, reassuring her that she is never alone.

Is there someone you work with who needs to know that you understand and empathize with their pain? Has an angel animal been a messenger to bring comfort when you needed it most?

Allen and Linda Anderson are co-editors of the Angel AnimalsŪ Newsletter. For a free sample of inspiring stories from around the world showing how animals help people in amazing ways, call 1-888-925-3309. Look for the Anderson’s new book, “Angel Animals: Exploring Our Spiritual Connection with Animals” (Dutton-Plume) in your local and Internet bookstores. Visit the Angel Animals Web site at .

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