How Do Pets Handle Your Traveling?

In our household Allen travels as much as a week or two at a time for his day job. Each pet handles Allen’s absence differently.

The cats, Cuddles and Speedy, pretty much ignore the fact that Allen is not around. Linda doesn’t notice any change in their behavior. They do tend to jump in and out of the suitcases while he’s packing, but this seems to be more of a game than a statement about what will soon occur.

When Allen returns, Cuddles is the first to rush to greet him. She’s overwhelmed by the dog but eventually breaks through the chaos to receive her pat on the head.

Speedy takes his time acknowledging Allen’s return. He’s an older guy who has seen it all and isn’t impressed with human comings and goings.

Our yellow cockatiel Sunshine screeches at the top of his lungs to herald Allen’s arrival. No easing back into the homefront with Sunshine around. He notices and remarks on everything.

Leaf, our cocker spaniel, is most affected by Allen’s leaving and returning. While Allen packs, Leaf becomes nervous as the suitcases fill up.

We take Leaf with us to the airport so he can see Allen leave and associate this, we hope, with his coming home again. As Linda drives away from the departure area, Leaf gives her a look that seems to ask, “Why did you let him go away?” Then his head slumps and he sleeps on the ride home.

During the week Leaf mopes a bit, so Linda takes him to doggie daycare for a few hours to play with his friends. He definitely sleeps more while Allen is gone, probably feeling somewhat depressed at not having his constant companion nearby. He spends time with Linda, but she’s incredibly boring compared to Allen. Leaf adores male energy and bonding.

The most fun, of course, is watching Leaf gyrate after he recognizes Allen at the door. First, he barks at the “intruder” with a fierceness that communicates, “I mean business. Get out of my house.” Then he hears Allen’s voice, and it registers: He’s home! Life is worth living again!

Leaf wags his tail with such enthusiasm that we are grateful it remains attached to his body. He rolls over to have his tummy rubbed.

After his initial joy and excitement Leaf does a very odd thing. He rushes over to Linda and with great care and an expression of gratitude in his eyes, he showers her with wet doggy kisses. This goes on for much longer than usual. It’s studious, deliberate. The message we receive during this ritual is: “Thank you for bringing him back home.”

Somehow, Leaf has associated Linda’s taking Allen to the airport (making/letting him leave) with the assumption that she’s now responsible and needs to be thanked for his return home.

Well, she’ll take those doggy kisses any way she can get them. All is right with the world, as Leaf’s pack is brought back together.

What do your pets do when you leave and return home?

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network
www.angelanimals.net

A NEW contest will gather true stories that demonstrate the extraordinary nature of relationships between women and dogs.

A BizRate research study found that over half of the women surveyed believed their pets are more affectionate and cuter than their partners. A new contest will gather true stories that demonstrate the extraordinary nature of relationships between women and dogs.

We’ve all seen them – those tiny women tugging on a leash attached to a big, burly dog or the ladies who carry their little pooches everywhere.

What’s the big attraction between women and canine companions? Allen and Linda Anderson, best-selling Angel Animals series authors, plan to spend six months sponsoring a contest to gather true stories of dogs and the women who love them. Linda Anderson says, “We’re looking for experiences women have that show the benefits of finding unconditional love, acceptance, and fulfillment with dogs. Women and dog teams often become outstanding partners, giving service in extraordinary ways. We want to find their stories for possible publication in our next book.” Full description, rules, prizes, and entry form for this free contest are at www.angelanimals.net/contests.html

The contest the Andersons are sponsoring is designed to find life stories of remarkable women who are fulfilling their purpose in life with the help of dogs. From dogs as protectors to partners in the dance of life the winning stories will honor a relationship that is like no other.

Any contest entries, but especially those of the winners, will be considered for possible publication in the new book Dogs and the Women Who Love Them by Allen and Linda Anderson to be published by New World Library in Fall 2010. Previous books in the Angel Animals series have included many stories that were contest entries.

The Andersons suggest considering the following questions and entering the contest by writing about profound experiences:

• Has a dog been there for a woman during challenging times or major events in her life?

• Have there been times when a dog has protected people or warned them of possible danger? Has a dog performed an act of compassion, protection, healing, or heroic courage?

• Have a woman and a dog teamed up to fulfill a life purpose and/or perform acts of service?

• Did a dog lead awoman to finding her purpose in life? Has a dog taken on the mission of giving service?

• Has a dog brought people a message of love, acceptance, gratitude, or inner direction?

• Has a relationship with a dog been a catalyst for physical, emotional, or spiritual healing?

• Has it been apparent that a dog was meant to be in a woman’s life at a certain time for a special purpose?

• Has the example of a dog caused a woman to become a better friend, spouse, parent, or family member?

• Are there examples dogs have shown for how to handle life’s challenges, deal with change, heal, trust, or creatively solve problems?

• How has a dog’s ability to live in the now helped a woman or others become present to their own life?

• Has a dog been a mirror to a woman’s life, health, or attitudes by reflecting them back to her in some way?

• What have dogs taught a woman about death, dying, grieving, and the afterlife?

Allen and Linda Anderson are a husband and wife writing team, founders of the Angel Animals Network, and inspirational speakers (www.angelanimals.net). They are authors of the popular anthology series that includes Angel Dogs with a Mission (New World Library 2008) and Angel Dogs: Divine Messengers of Love (New World Library, 2006).

They founded the Angel Animals Network to use the positive power of story for the benefit of people and animals. They donate a portion of their book revenues to support animal shelters. Their work has been featured on NBC’s Today Show and on ABC’s Peter Jennings Nightly News. They have been the subject of numerous national magazine and wire service articles and have been interviewed for London newspapers and BBC Radio. They write Reader Blogs for the online Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Houston Chronicle and host the Angel Pets Fan Club at Beliefnet.com.

Press Kit for Allen and Linda Anderson and Angel Animals Network at www.angelanimals.net/media.html and more information about the contest at www.dogsandthewomenwholovethem.com