WAR DOG MEMORIAL

What, you may be wondering, is a blog like Angel Animals doing by writing about a memorial to honor war dogs? The answer is that war dogs and angels have a lot in common. If you think of the words describing angels — messengers, protectors, loyal friends — you would also be describing dogs who are trained to aid military personnel in the most dangerous areas and situations in the world.

Many years ago Linda got a call from retired U.S. Army Master Sergeant John C. Burnam of Bethseda, Maryland. He was a dog handler during the Vietnam War. He had written a book about the dogs who had served with him, especially an amazing German shepherd named Clipper. John wanted Linda to edit his book. She agreed to help him.

John’s story gripped Linda from start to finish. She said that it felt as if she were slugging through the jungles of Vietnam with Clipper and John, as the dog led an infantry platoon through land that was laced with explosives. Relying on Clipper’s sense of smell, his survival instinct, and intense loyalty, John made it through dangers that took Linda’s breath away as she worked on his book.

Now John has founded the John Burnam Monument Foundation (www.jbmf.us). He has joined forces with the United States War Dog Association to convince Congress and the nation that military working dogs and dog handlers deserve to be honored for their service to the country.

Dogs have saved lives and often lost their own in the line of duty through World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam. Today, they are essential in the war on terror as they detect roadside bombs and weapons in Iraq and Afghanistan for US and NATO troops.

In 2006, Representative Walter Jones of North Carolina introduced a bill calling for a national dog monument, and it was approved in 2008. On October 28, 2009, President Obama signed a law authorizing JBMF, Inc. to build and maintain the National Monument for Military Working Dog Teams.

Next week (week of April 19, 2010), John will meet with Congressional leaders and Pentagon officials in Washington D.C. to present a miniature clay model of the monument’s design, created by artist and sculptor Paula Slater. The monument model presents four breeds of military dogs — Doberman, German shepherd, Labrador retriever, and Malinois — that have saved thousands of lives.

John continues to travel across the country, telling the military working dog story and raising funds through donations to build this national monument. John’s personal story can be found in the first printing of the original book Linda edited, DOG TAGS OF COURAGE (2006), and in a more recent book, A SOLDIER’S BEST FRIEND (2008). That book became the inspiration for a feature film, MOE, which is expected to be in production in early 2011.

We invite you to go to the John Burnam Monument Foundation’s website (www.jbmf.us) and support this exciting project whose time has come. An excerpt from DOG TAGS OF COURAGE/A SOLDIER’S BEST FRIEND is the featured story this week.

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

Great story in Angel Animals Story of the Week (4-17-10) about a brave dog who served in the military at www.tinyurl.com/yl6g3jf

New Animal Shelter Chosen to Receive Angel Animal Network Donations for Second Quarter of 2010

The Minnesota Valley Humane Society, www.mvhspets.org

The Minnesota Valley Humane Society serves the Greater South Metro Area. It was founded in 1981 by volunteers who fostered animals in their homes. Since 1991, when they opened a shelter, they have found homes for over 45,000 animals. The shelter has no time limits for animals awaiting adoption. It shelters and places as many animals as possible and has one of the highest adoption rates in Hennepin County.

MVHS promotes healthy relationships between people and animals by offering classes for new and struggling pet parents as well as Canine U Dog Training.

Visit http://www.firstgiving.com/angelanimals to donate to MVHS.

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

Send a blank e-mail to AngelAnimals-on@mail-list.com to automatically receive your free Angel Animals Story of the Week Newsletter. Visit http://archive.mail-list.com/angelanimals to read past editions of the Angel Animals newsletter.

Author of LOVE, MEDICINE, AND MIRACLES has put out a call for stories…

Dr. Bernie Siegel, author of LOVE, MEDICINE, AND MIRACLES has put out a call for stories for his new book about miracles. From our readers, he is especially hoping to find animal miracle stories.

He writes: “I believe miracles are the nature of life, and that life itself is an unexplainable miracle. When we exceed expectations, cure the incurable, experience the unexpected, we realize there are no coincidences — only the gift of miracles.

“Have you been inspired by my books, appearances, or consultations and subsequently experienced what you might call a miracle in your life?

“I would love for you to send me miracle stories about what you have experienced or been witness to in any area of your life. I want this to go beyond my personal experience, to share your stories of miracles and how they enriched your spirit, gave you hope, increased your sense of gratitude, and connected you to the divine.

“You can remain anonymous or not. By sharing and recognizing miracles we may be able to increase the number we recognize and help ourselves and the inhabitants of our planet to heal.”

Length: 100 to 1000 words
Submit by: June 15, 2010
Send to: info@andreahurst.com, send story pasted into the email letter
Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network
www.angelanimals.net

Send a blank e-mail to AngelAnimals-on@mail-list.com to automatically receive your free Angel Animals Story of the Week Newsletter. Visit http://archive.mail-list.com/angelanimals to read past editions of the Angel Animals newsletter.

Exciting New Contest Begins TODAY

Inspiring Stories of Animals Who Comfort and Heal Children — Angel Animals Network 2010 True Story Contest

The Angel Animals Network 2010 True Story Contest is now accepting submissions of true stories of animals helping children, parents, and families deal with difficult situations and circumstances. Animals featured in contest stories can be dogs, cats, horses, gerbils, rabbits, ferrets, or any house pet or animal in nature. They can be family pets or therapy, assistance, or service animals.

The stories can be written by parents or guardians of children or by the children or teens themselves. Stories can also be written by adults who recall a special animal from childhood or teen years who helped them through a tough period.

This contest hopes to find real-life stories that demonstrate animals comforting and helping to heal children during everyday ups and downs or traumatic events such as divorce or other losses. The stories can depict how children and teens de-stress with animals while learning valuable life lessons.

The contest hopes to find heartwarming and positive stories that deal with children who endure long-term or catastrophic illnesses. The animals in the stories might also be ones who help children who have learning disorders, blindness, deafness, physical/motor, mental, and emotional problems. They might be children with autism that an animal is aiding through their journey.

Any contest entries, but especially those of the winners, will be considered for possible publication in a new book about animals who comfort and heal children by Allen and Linda Anderson to be published by New World Library in Fall 2011.

Contest deadline is September 15, 2010. But get your stories in early so we can read them to see if they are possibilities for the new book.

For more information go to www.angelanimals.net/contests.html

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

Send a blank e-mail to AngelAnimals-on@mail-list.com to automatically receive your free Angel Animals Story of the Week Newsletter. Visit http://archive.mail-list.com/angelanimals to read past editions of the Angel Animals newsletter.

Animal Arrests

Does your dog, bird, cat, ferret, hamster, or reptile companion tell you when it is time to stop working so much and get some rest? Our pets do.

For example, Cuddles has become our timekeeper for breaks, sleep, and food. She keeps a steady eye on Linda and her working schedule as she edits, writes, and creates book about our love of animals.

Cuddles is okay with the regular work hours but as day turns to evening, she begins her distraction activities. Before bedtime, she supports us by finding lost or misplaced files, keeping her tail off the monitor when sitting on top of it, or quietly getting into a Buddha-like pose next to the computer.

When it gets late and we’re overdoing, Cuddles begins her important task of ending the workday. She looks at us as if to say, “Stop already!” Then she plops down on and covers the one paper Linda needs to continue her immediate writing task. Cuddles won’t move and with a rock-solid determination, she keeps her eyes steady on Linda until she says, “You’re right.”

Do animals in your home let you know when it’s time to stop or take a break?

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

Send a blank e-mail to AngelAnimals-on@mail-list.com to automatically receive your free Angel Animals Story of the Week Newsletter. Visit http://archive.mail-list.com/angelanimals to read past editions of the Angel Animals newsletter.