Why do you call animals, angels?

Radio and television hosts and newspaper reporters frequently ask this question when we do interviews for our books. Sometimes it is accompanied by a snide comment such as, “My pet isn’t an angel!” Then they go on to report all the behavior that drives them crazy. Usually they end their tirade by saying, “But he’s family, and we love him.”

Over these many years, as you can imagine, we have come up with an answer to the question about animals as angels. We explain that our definition of an angel animal springs from the Greek derivation for the word angel, or angelos. This word literally means messenger.

We believe (and have thousands of stories to back us up) that animals can be divine messengers who bring assurance to people that yes, indeed, there is love in this world.

Then we get into the thornier aspect of the question: Is every animal an angel?

Because both animals and humans are souls, or divine sparks of God, clothed in physical form, they can serve as messengers for others. Notice we draw no distinction between joyful, sad, protective, or any other type of message.

Mother Teresa once compared herself to a pencil God used for writing a love letter to the universe. Animals are delivering love letters too. What does yours say today?

BOOK EVENT — DOGS AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVE THEM

We are looking forward to an upcoming trip to Madison, Wisconsin where we will speak and welcome stories about and photos of your dogs at the Barnes & Noble East Towne Mall, Saturday April 16, 12:00 noon.

We will be presenting DOGS AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVE THEM. A highlight of this event is that we will also feature a wonderful local animal assisted therapy organization, Dogs on Call. The president of this group will present a demonstration with her dog Kooper listening to a child read.

Kooper and Laura are one of twenty-one teams that volunteer in the R.E.A.D. program that Dogs on Call provides to schools and libraries in the Madison area. We hope to see you at the Barnes & Noble that day.

ANIMALS IN CHURCH

This week we spoke to a local Rotary Club about the spiritual lessons people can learn from animals. After the talk one of the Rotarians asked us what we thought about animals being allowed in church to attend services. He said, “So many people love their dogs, but the dog has to wait out in the car while the person goes into church. I think they should be allowed inside.”

This reminded us of a story we shared in ANGEL ANIMALS BOOK OF INSPIRATION. Mary Elizabeth Martucci, a retired university administrator from South Bend, Indiana, says that parishioners in her childhood church renewed their relationship with God in a unique way.

One Sunday, Mary’s dog Skippy started attending services. The dog followed the then eight-year-old girl to church, sneaked into the side door, walked down the aisle, lowered himself onto the sanctuary carpet, and observed the service. The congregants watched in awe and amusement. Afterwards, Skippy walked back out the side door.

To Mary’s surprise and relief, the pastor was so impressed with the dog’s respectful demeanor that he allowed Skippy to continue attending services. Skippy’s close attention to the proceedings prompted parishioners to become more mindful and reverential. Mary concluded that her dog had reminded everyone that even an animal could honor his Creator in church on Sundays.

What do you think? Would you like to or do you already attend church with your animal family member?