Blind Animal Lovers Need You

We received a letter this week from Tom Rash, the Executive Director of Audio Vision Radio Reading Service for the Blind, Inc. This is a nonprofit charity that operates a radio reading service for the blind. They have a little over 900 blind listeners.

The organization provides radio receivers to their blind subscribers. They do not broadcast on the open radio band but use a special frequency that broadcasts specifically to their listeners only.

Tom said in his letter that one of the organization’s volunteer readers, Betty Vargas, had just finished recording our book GOD’S MESSENGERS. (That book was re-issued as ANGEL ANIMALS BOOK OF INSPIRATION and published by New World Library in 2009). Betty wanted Tom to tell us that in her 82 years of reading, this book was one of the best she has ever read. She bought five copies for family and friends.

The reason Tom told us all of this and that we are telling readers of the Angel Animals Story of the Week is that Audio Vision, every week, reads this newsletter to its 900 blind listeners.

While you have the enjoyment of reading the newsletter online, your blind animal loving cohorts are dependent upon Audio Vision to hear the inspiring stories and participate in the Angel Animals Network community. Think of how much this weekly newsletter means to you and imagine what it must mean to blind people, many of whom have dogs that literally save their lives every day and other pets that bring them joy and comfort.

Now, Audio Vision faces the possibility of closing in the next several weeks. Many of its repeat contributors over the years have declined to donate this year because of the economy.

The charity and we would very much appreciate a contribution from you, if at all possible. We hope that you might be able to help.

Audio Vision is the only radio reading service supplying the blind population it serves with daily newspaper readings and more. Most of its listeners are seniors who once enjoyed reading daily newspapers. Other people with print handicaps — quadriplegic, dyslexic, and learning disabled also qualify for the Audio Vision service.

The organization believes it is the right of all people to have access to their local newspapers for local and community news and events, to be informed on a weekly basis what foods and other items are on sale in their area, and to have access to entertainment and national and world news events from newspapers and weekly and monthly magazines.

Currently, Audio Vision is on the air 24-hours-a-day. From 8:00 A.M. to Noon, it provides a local broadcast of readings of three California newspapers. At noon it presents a one-hour reading of a book. Throughout the rest of the afternoon and evening it provides one-hour segments of numerous magazines and other monthly and weekly printed publications.

On Thursday afternoons the grocery ads are read. The organization also rebroadcasts the morning newspapers two more times throughout the 24-hour period.

Audio Vision produces an interview program, which has subjects pertinent to the blind population. It runs public service announcements from other organizations for the blind such as the Braille Institute, the Social Security Administration, Agencies For The Blind, and The Foundation Fighting blindness. This is all done via volunteers within the community.

Audio Vision is one of 140 radio reading services for the blind and print-handicapped in the United States and is a member of the National Association of Radio Reading Services.

Because AUDIO VISION is completely free of charge to its listeners, the need for contributions and volunteers is critical. To obtain a receiver, volunteer your time, make a tax deductible contribution, or receive information, simply call AUDIO VISION at (909) 797-4336, or write or send a check to AUDIO VISION, 35242 Yucaipa Blvd., Ste. C, Yucaipa, CA 92399.

Read more at www.freewebz.com/audiovisionavtom/about.html

Thank you!
Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network
www.angelanimals.net

Have you had the impression that an animal who passed away guided or handpicked another pet for you?

Heavenly Animal Matchmakers

Many people have written to tell us of animals who seemed to guide the next animal into their lives. This happened to us when our dog Prana presented our next puppy Taylor to Allen in a dream. Prana carried the little one out of a vast ocean and dropped her at Allen’s feet.

When we met Taylor the next day, Allen immediately recognized this soul that Prana had found to be the perfect one to join our family.

The experiences of animals in dreams introducing the next soul to a family leads to the concept that the spirit goes to an inner world between lives and awaits its next assignment. What does a soul that was in an animal body do while it is away?

Monica Ramsten from Helsingborg, Sweden, sent us a description of a series of inner experiences in which she witnessed the journeys of animals in the afterlife. We included her story in our book, ANGEL ANIMALS BOOK OF INSPIRATION (New World Library, 2009). Monica had been wondering what souls do in the afterlife. She especially wanted to know what had happened to her cat Knarren after he died.

Monica wrote, “I saw a school where each animal attended classes at his or her own level of consciousness. There were twelve levels of classes. … I learned that the animals move gradually through these levels as they pick up other animal bodies and return again and again to earth.

“Within each class they attend, the animals go deeper into the subjects they are studying. They spend many lifetimes in the animal kingdom before they are given the chance to move to the ninth level.”

What do the animals learn in the heavenly classes and bring back to earth when they rejoin a person or family for another lifetime? What have they come here to teach humans? Who among us will be wise enough to listen to the Angel Animals?

Have you had the impression that an animal who passed away guided or handpicked another pet for you?

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

Is it possible to become too attached to an animal?

Can a person become too attached to an animal?

Several years ago, we posed an interesting question to our online newsletter readers. Although most of us animal lovers view our pets as members of the family, we asked if it is possible to become too attached to an animal companion. If so, what are the warning signs?

One reader thought that a warning sign of becoming obsessively attached or having a deeper emotional problem was when people cut themselves off from any human companionship.

She wrote, “People who have more of an interest in animals should at least try to help out at their local animal shelter, join a breed-rescue group, or try to socialize animals to visit nursing homes/hospitals so that others benefit from their love of animals.”

Some readers thought that there are other examples of becoming overly attached to animals or confusing love with neediness. They gave examples of someone who takes on more animals than he or she can handle.

For example, maybe a person can’t give enough individual attention to dozens of cats who all need vet visits, food, litter, and a clean environment. Or someone loves horses but doesn’t have the pastureland, food, or time to groom and exercise them.

Readers also thought that excessive grieving could be an indication of a person’s greater feelings of isolation. One reader wrote that she took a year off work when her animal companion died. During that time, though, she channeled her grief into rescuing over forty dogs and finding new homes for them.

A reader named Robin wrote the following letter to express her opinion that being too attached to animals is a difficult thing to judge.

“People have many different reasons for turning to their animal companions for love and validation. There may have been a time when I myself might have fallen into this category.

“As I struggled through years of infertility and pregnancy loss, my pet rabbits became the children that I couldn’t give birth to. I took the loss of my pets very hard, and it affected me deeply in ways I felt not many people understood.

“It is easy to displace our feelings onto our pets, and they are more than willing to receive our attention and devotion. I’m one who can completely understand a deeper connection with an animal companion. I think we all have a need to feel needed and necessary.

“Sometimes we hit rough areas in our lives that aren’t being filled by the humans in our world and often turn to animal companions to fill our emotional needs. I have found that instead of becoming isolated, my animal companions kept me connected to the world.

“I am not able to make a spiritual distinction between a human companion and an animal companion. In my heart the love, given and received, feels the same.

“So I suppose my answer to the question would be that I don’t feel it’s possible to become ‘too’ attached to an animal companion.

A reader named Patti Ann wrote, “How many people do you know who will still greet you with great enthusiasm, if you woke up in the morning with your hair sticking out all over the place, bags under your eyes (or wrinkle cream still white on your face like a ghost), looking like a beast from under the sea, bad breath, grumpy as all the dickens?

“Or what if you were dirt-poor homeless? Animals would still honor and love you as if you were a king or queen and stay with you till the dying end.”

To answer to question about excessive attachment to animals it helps to ask further questions.

Does your relationship with an animal keep you away from friends, family, work, play, hobbies, or responsibilities such as taking care of kids, jobs, foods, or health? Is your life in balance?

Do you have a spiritual understanding of the animal as an individual who must develop his or her own personality and may have needs that are different from yours?

Rather than offering solace and comfort, has your relationship with an animal companion become a way of permanently avoiding the problems in your life?

How well adjusted and content are the animals in your care? Are you able to give them the time and attention they need?

One thing we’ve concluded is that if you are not hurting yourself or any other animal or person, then it’s really no one’s business that a cat or dog or rabbit or iguana means the world to you.

On the other hand, if you hear from EVERYBODY that you’ve gone overboard, you might want to at least consider finding other outlets for your love and devotion, including taking excellent care of yourself and the human relationships in your life.

What do you think? Is it possible to become too attached to an animal?

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

BUTTERFLY SOUL

“Butterfly Soul” by Mary Hendricks was first published in the Angel Animals Story of the Week on 11/29/08. Reprinted with permission.

BUTTERFLY SOUL
By Mary Hendricks

As I sat for hours by our new dog Hula to keep her from taking out her stitches, I enjoyed an amazing gift of love.

Our Sweetie Dog had gone on to the heavenly worlds a month before. Hula, a one-year-old, beautiful chocolate Lab, seemed to be afraid of the doghouse and slept on the floor of the garage.

As I watched Hula, a large butterfly began circling around us. It looked familiar somehow. Then I realized its lower two wings were the same black and white markings as Sweetie had had on her feet. The upper two wings were orange. Sweetie had come back to visit as a butterfly!

I watched the butterfly in awe as it lit on nearly every inch of the doghouse that Sweetie had loved so much, infusing it with her love. Then the butterfly sat on the driveway by us.

From that time on, Hula has loved to be in the doghouse. She felt safe there from storms and loud noises. She could feel Sweetie’s love.

BIO:
Mary Hendricks and Neil, her husband, live in the country, south of St. Louis, Missouri. Over a year ago, when she was outside, a beautiful black cat of around two years old came up and jumped on Mary’s lap, putting her little paws around Mary’s neck. Mary named the cat Lovey. She happily follows Mary around the house all day. Now Hula and Lovey are learning not to be afraid of each other. Mary leads classes and meetings for her church, Eckankar.

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT:

Have you had an after-death visitation that helped you understand that with pets, as with people, the love and spirit never dies?
Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network
www.angelanimals.net

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Who are the spiritual heroes in your animal family?

Animals as Spiritual Heros

The lighter touch of an animal’s heroism is something people might not so easily appreciate. Dramatic stories of pets saving lives, detecting cancer, doing math, using tools are wonderful and make great newspaper headlines, but we like to point out that animals are also heroes of a different kind.

Who is more of a hero than an animal who has become your best friend, your companion, your reason to come home?

The animals, who live with humans day after day, help people to become more loving and compassionate. These animals are angelic instruments and messengers who stimulate spiritual growth.

When you share your home with animals, their spiritual natures can enlighten you in ways that you may not recognize. Although it’s said jokingly, after living with animals, you may, in fact, become the terrific person your dog thinks you are.

Letting go, being non-judgmental, and serving as a pure vehicle of divine love and light are noble goals. But how often do people tangle themselves in daily office gossip, in feuding, or creating family messes? Unlike animals who are guided by instincts of the heart, people allow their minds to run the show.

There is a simple, often overlooked solution to the human tendency to slide into spiritual mud holes. An easy way to restore your spiritual viewpoint is to listen to your cat and act like your dog!

Repeatedly we have found in our own human-animal family, our beloved pets teach us the spiritual qualities we forget when daily life becomes too hectic and overscheduled.

How blessed we are to have animals in our home who remind us to slow down and remember that life isn’t all about to-do lists.

Who are the spiritual heroes in your animal family?

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