Whose Happy Birthday Is It, Anyway?

We wanted to know how pet lovers celebrated their pet’s birthdays so we asked that question in our blogs.  The responses were delightful!

QUESTION:

How do you celebrate your pet’s birthday? If you adopted a rescued animal, when do you celebrate his/her birthday?

Scooby Doo-Kennedy: “I have two birthdays. Since I was rescued, my mum celebrates my rescue day, and we share the same birthday, which is handy. This year, we went camping for four days, and I got to get her up at five o’clock each morning for her exercise. Its always a real doggy day.”

Patrick: “I made Cpl. J.R.’s birthday the same day as mine. He literally came into my life when I needed help the most and rescued me. Our lives are intertwined on all levels, and I am proud to share my birthday with him!”

Flo: “Well, presents, cakes, candles, friends. All is there. And of course, my dog is sitting with us on the chair (he loves it) at the table. A king! My king!”

Pamela: “I only know the true birthday of one of my terriers. For the other two, we just celebrate their Happy Gotcha days. We go for a car ride (they LOVE it), and then they each get a new toy and a treat.”

Sue Ellen: “One of my cats is terminal, so every day is celebrated as his birthday.”

Tatumn: “New toys for all three of them! However, I tell them everyday I’m going to give them a reason to wag their tails and smile. It’s my job!”

Shari: “My rescued pets’ birthdays are the day I adopted them. We go to PetSmart followed by a few hours at the park. Luckily all my rescues have been in early spring or fall.”

Tom: “I get them toys and a special dinner and I treat them EXTRA special. Plus one of the two shares their birthday with me. It’s great, because he doesn’t like people other than me and my fiance  who is brand new to him.”

Johanna: “We buy her doggie ice cream and sing happy birthday. We tell her all day that is her birthday and how happy we are to have her in our lives. She is a true gift from Spirit.”

Edith: “We sing happy birthday on the estimated birth date, basically singing all day long, and we eat vanilla ice cream.”

Andrea: “The horses get baked carrot cake, muffins or cookies, carrots, and apples. The cats get catnip, gourmet food, and toys. The dogs get huge chews, squeaky toys, collars, and pampering at the parlor. They get these at Christmas too. All spoiled!”

Persis: “I celebrate my Blessy’s birthday with a cake and a candle, make her wear a birthday cap and also garlands. In Indian tradition we put vermilion on the forehead (red color powder) on people, on good days, so I do the same for my Blessy. . . She gets loads of treats, and a good walk to the park, and also distributes her cake to her doggie friends in the neighborhood.”

And our favorite – drum roll, please:

Pat: “I always sit them down and tell them the story of how I found them and brought them into my life.”

What do you do to celebrate your pet(s)’ birthdays?

We welcome you to answer this question and the “Something to Think About” question at our blogs and forums, so everyone can see your comments.

***

If you’d like to hear the interesting (and funny) interview of Sage Lewis talking to Jenny Pavlovic and us on her radio show, “The Pet Playground” at the Minnesota State Fair, click on the link below. Stay tuned through it for when the horse walks through our interview while we’re talking about our new horse book. And don’t miss the teenage tap dancers!

http://thepetplayground.mypodcast.com/

* * *

The launches for our new book, HORSES WITH A MISSION are on Tuesday, October 6th, 7:30 p.m, CDT, at Garrison Keillor’s Common Good Books in Saint Paul, Minnesota and Saturday, October 10th at Borders Books & Music in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Hope to see you there!

Go to www.horseswithamission.com to read excerpts of the book, see video clips of stories, and join in the fun of launching this exciting new book.

***

Consider HORSES WITH A MISSION: Extraordinary True Stories of Equine Service (New World Library, September 1, 2009). It’s available, autographed, at Angel Animals Online Bookstore, www.shop.angelanimals.net, Amazon.com (http://is.gd/2idLM), Barnes & Noble (http://is.gd/2iHQy), Borders Books & Music (http://is.gd/2iHWO), New World Library (http://is.gd/2iI1P) and other online and independent bookstores.

“HORSES WITH A MISSION allows up to travel into the world of the horse from so many unique perspectives and introduces horses that have touched and changed the lives of many people. To have our own writer, Cooky McClung, featured in this wonderful work makes it all the more fun. It’s a fabulous read.”
–Mason Phelps, Jr., president, PhelpsSports.com

* * *

Don’t forget to enter the Dogs and the Women Who Love Them True Story Contest described in the announcement below. We’re looking forward to reading your stories. CONTEST DEADLINE — SEPTEMBER 30, 2009 — IS FAST APPROACHING.
Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network
www.angelanimals.net

Having Things Your Way

Speedy

Speedy

One day, our cat, Speedy, took a liking to a large brown paper bag from Menards, a hardware store that sells home repair and remodeling items. After we took items out of the bag and it fell onto the floor, Speedy rushed from downstairs where he’d been sleeping. He ran into the dining room and curled inside the bag.

Thus began a ritual.

We’re not sure why. We thought we knew our unflappable, immutable, household Lion King from all the years we have shared our home with him. He has the couch, soft chairs, and the bed to rest and sleep on. But from the moment when he first discovered the bag on the floor, Speedy slept either inside or on top of it.

He even tried to carry the bag with him to pull up onto his favorite chair. When that didn’t work, he gave up the chair and returned to sleeping on top of the bag every chance he had. He made it clear that this bag belongs to him. Everyone, including our other pets, and the human family members, had to learn to live with Speedy’s new best friend.

For about three weeks, Speedy continued his love affair with the hardware bag. Then one day, we found him sleeping again in his previous favorite spots. The hardware bag lay crumpled and abandoned on the floor. Finally he had given his imperial permission for us to discard this unsightly treasure. Go figure!

We believe that everything is connected and animals are often spiritual messengers, so we decided to see if we could find a bigger picture to Speedy’s love for a Menard’s bag. Was Spirit showing us something about ourselves? Animals have a way of letting people know things they would not normally figure out on our own.

Since Speedy seems to have turned into a case study in attachment, we asked ourselves what we might be excessively attached to. Where were we rigid in our thoughts, opinions, and comfort zones?

Contemplating on the subject revealed aspects in our lives where we were acting as attached as Speedy to the paper bag. In other words, we had fixed ideas about the way certain projects should turn out. Speedy became a great reminder to stop and whisper to Spirit: “Thy will be done.”

What might the animals in your home or in nature be reminding you about yourself or about life?

We welcome you to answer this question and the “Something to Think About” question at our blogs and forums, so everyone can see your comments.

***

NEW, ONE-WEEK SALE AT ONLINE BOOKSTORE Go to shop.angelanimals.net for a great sale. Both HORSES WITH A MISSION and ANGEL DOGS WITH A MISSION are being offered for 40 percent off this week. The sale ends on Monday, October 5th. The books will be autographed for you. It’s a great chance to buy gifts for you and your animal loving friends.

DON’T MISS!!!
The launches for our new book, HORSES WITH A MISSION are on Tuesday, October 6th, 7:30 p.m, CDT, at Garrison Keillor’s Common Good Books in Saint Paul, Minnesota and Saturday, October 10th, 2:00 p.m. at Borders Books & Music in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Hope to see you there!

Go to www.horseswithamission.com to read excerpts of the book, see video clips of stories, and join in the fun of launching this exciting new book.

***

Consider HORSES WITH A MISSION: Extraordinary True Stories of Equine Service (New World Library, September 1, 2009). It’s available, autographed, at Angel Animals Online Bookstore, www.shop.angelanimals.net, Amazon.com (http://is.gd/2idLM), Barnes & Noble (http://is.gd/2iHQy), Borders Books & Music (http://is.gd/2iHWO), New World Library (http://is.gd/2iI1P) and other online and independent bookstores.

“Many pets are here on this earth to help humans in the journey of life. Horses, with their primal nature as prey animals, daily make choices to override their fears, get past traumas, and put themselves in danger to be one with the humans who love them. The stories in this book are great examples of the power of unconditional love, which I am reminded of every day in my work helping clients.”
–Lydia Hiby, animal communicator

* * *

LAST CHANCE!!!
Don’t forget to enter the Dogs and the Women Who Love Them True Story Contest described in the announcement below. We’re looking forward to reading your stories. CONTEST DEADLINE — SEPTEMBER 30, 2009 — IS FAST APPROACHING.

Meet the judges for this contest by going to www.angelanimals.net/contestdatwwltjudges.html

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

What Does Your Choice of Pet Say about You?

Question: Why would the University of Oregon College of Business Administration be profiling 667 pet owners?

Answer: People with pets are major players in the world of business.

The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association reports in its National Pet Owners Survey that 62 percent of U.S. households now welcome at least one pet into their homes. These humans are fueling $31 billion in pet products, more than people spend annually on human toys or candy. Add to products the popular pet services — massages, chiropractic, acupuncture, liposuction, gourmet dinners, and hotel accommodations — and you get an industry that is vitally interested in what will make you buy that designer dog dish or French day bed. (“New Survey Shows America’s Love Affair with Their Pets Stronger than Ever” by Tierra Griffiths and Julie Rowe)

So Oregon’s College of Business Administration graduate students, under the leadership of Lynn Kahle, head of the marketing department, tried to figure out what your choice of a pet tells about you. With that essential information, marketers can appeal to your sensibilities and convince you that Precious really does need a plastic bowl with a lid that doubles as a Frisbee.

Here’s what they found with their questionnaire:

–Dog owners tend to be more honest and forthright than most other people. They are loyal and religious;
–If you consider yourself to be a cat person, you probably are a bit of a loner yet have fairly high job satisfaction. You tend not to toe the line when it comes to the rules and rituals of an organized religion;
–People who are primarily attracted to fish as pets are more optimistic than most and not as materialistic or concerned about social status.

Kahle concludes, “A more thorough understanding of the motivations, values, and lifestyles of pet owners can help marketers design more effective advertising approaches, both for pet products and in advertisements for nonpet products.” (“We Lavish Love, Money on Our Pets Study Reveals Psyches of Animal Owners” by Ranny Green, Seattle Times, 1993)

So the gathering of this kind of data is how pet commercials are targeted directly at what excites and interests you — not your animal companion.

Well, we have a slightly different take on the subject. We think that not only do animals often reflect a person’s psyche, they also mirror their souls, or the amount of love in their hearts. It’s our opinion that a person who says, “I don’t like animals,” is experiencing a disconnect between the heart and the mind. Ask any animal lover and they will tell you: Animals are our hearts.

To take the Angel Animals “Pet Personality Quiz” and have a little fun, go to http://angelanimals.net/quiz.html

How do your pets reflect your personality?

We welcome you to answer this question and the “Something to Think About” question at our blogs and forums, so everyone can see your comments.

***

The launches for our new book, HORSES WITH A MISSION are on Tuesday, October 6th, 7:30 p.m, CDT, at Garrison Keillor’s Common Good Books in Saint Paul, Minnesota and Saturday, October 10th at Borders Books & Music in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Hope to see you there!

Go to www.horseswithamission.com to read excerpts of the book, see video clips of stories, and join in the fun of launching this exciting new book.

***

Consider HORSES WITH A MISSION: Extraordinary True Stories of Equine Service (New World Library, September 1, 2009). It’s available, autographed, at Angel Animals Online Bookstore, www.shop.angelanimals.net, Amazon.com (http://is.gd/2idLM), Barnes & Noble (http://is.gd/2iHQy), Borders Books & Music (http://is.gd/2iHWO), New World Library (http://is.gd/2iI1P) and other online and independent bookstores.

“HORSES WITH A MISSION allows up to travel into the world of the horse from so many unique perspectives and introduces horses that have touched and changed the lives of many people. To have our own writer, Cooky McClung, featured in this wonderful work makes it all the more fun. It’s a fabulous read.”
–Mason Phelps, Jr., president, PhelpsSports.com

* * *

Don’t forget to enter the Dogs and the Women Who Love Them True Story Contest described in the announcement below. We’re looking forward to reading your stories. CONTEST DEADLINE — SEPTEMBER 30, 2009 — IS FAST APPROACHING.

Meet the judges for this contest by going to http://www.angelanimals.net/contestdatwwltjudges.html
Allen and Linda Anderson
ANGEL ANIMALS NETWORK
www.angelanimals.net

Visiting Viola, a Horse with a Mission

We recently visited Tanya K. Welsch and her horse Viola at the MN LINC (Minnesota Linking Individuals, Nature, and Critters) nonprofit organization in Hamel, Minnesota. Tanya is the cofounder of MN LINC (www.mnlinc.org), an amazing charity that pairs at-risk youth and other people with animals to give them a nature-based experience that enhances and enriches their psychotherapy, counseling, or educational programs.

Tanya’s heart-opening story “Viola, Wise Mother Mare” is featured in our new book HORSES WITH A MISSION. The book launch on Tuesday, October 6th, 7:30 p.m. CDT at Garrison Keillor’s Common Good Books will also serve as a fundraiser for MN LINC. The bookstore is generously donating 10 percent of all sales to MN LINC the night of the launch.

Viola, a Norwegian Fjord, was imported from Norway to become a broodmare in upstate New York. Eventually Viola made her way to Tanya and MN LINC. Viola put her mothering skills to excellent use as a co-therapist in MN LINC’s animal-and-nature-facilitated psychotherapy, learning, and wellness program for youth and families. With her innate maternal wisdom, Viola is incredibly intuitive and nurturing, especially with at-risk youth.

It was delightful for us to talk with Tanya and find out firsthand how MN LINC positively affects children who have had a rough start in life. Tanya explained that often with children traditional therapy isn’t as effective because it requires sitting in a chair and communicating thoughts and feelings.

We could relate. We remembered asking our kids when they were little, “How was your day?” Answer: “Fine.” Or “How are you feeling?” Answer: “Okay.”

When Tanya and her specially trained staff and volunteers match the children with a horse, or goat, or chicken, or rabbit, the children begin to express their emotions naturally. Adults also come to MN LINC for the kind of nature and animal-based experience that they couldn’t find anywhere else. Social services, the court system, schools, and therapists refer children to this organization for its innovative and highly effective approaches.

It was a thrill to visit with the gorgeous mare Viola and other animals at the MN LINC facility. Viola was all we expected and more. She displayed a deep calm with an intuitive, almost magical touch.

We also got to meet and spend time with Carolyn Hauck and her rescued horse Dillon. Carolyn helps to get the word out about MN LINC and how much good the organization does for those who would benefit from animal assisted therapy. If you would like to meet Tanya and hear her story about Viola, come to the HORSES WITH A MISSION book launch and MN LINC fundraiser at Garrison Keillor’s Common Good Books in St. Paul.

You can also meet Tanya and another Minnesota contributing author, Pauline Peterson, at Minnetonka BORDERS Books and Music. Visit www.horseswithamission.com for details about the book events in St. Paul and Minnetonka.

So mark you calendars! We want a big crowd and lots of bookstore donations for MN LINC.

Visit www.angelanimals.net/recentevents.html to see photos of our visit to MN LINC.

What are the charitable organizations you support that help both people and animals?

We welcome you to answer this question and the “Something to Think About” question at our blogs and forums, so everyone can see your comments.

* * *
We hope you’ll consider HORSES WITH A MISSION: Extraordinary True Stories of Equine Service (New World Library, September 1, 2009). It’s available, autographed, at Angel Animals Online Bookstore, www.shop.angelanimals.net, Amazon.com (http://is.gd/2idLM), Barnes & Noble (http://is.gd/2iHQy), Borders Books & Music (http://is.gd/2iHWO), New World Library (http://is.gd/2iI1P) and other online and independent bookstores.

“This important book will spark your imagination and inspire you to embrace the magical moments in life that happen every single day. This book is a joy to read.”
–Melanie Sue Bowles, author of HOOF PRINTS and founder of Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary

Go to www.horseswithamission.com to read excerpts of the book, see video clips of stories, and join in the fun of launching this exciting new book.

* * *
Don’t forget to enter the Dogs and the Women Who Love Them True Story Contest described in the announcement below. We’re looking forward to reading your stories. CONTEST DEADLINE — SEPTEMBER 30, 2009 — IS FAST-APPROACHING.

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network
www.angelanimals.net
www.horseswithamission.com
angelanimals@aol.com