Do your pets try to talk to you?

A Dog Named Leaf

A Dog Named Leaf

DOG TALK

For many years, our cocker spaniel Leaf has vocalized to Linda in an attempt to talk to her every night before we all go to sleep. He jumps up on the bed, rolls over for a belly rub, and then begins with a series of moans and groans that are his version of words and sentences.

Depending on how tough or interesting a day he’s had, he talks a lot or a little; in calm or excited tones. Linda asks him a question such as, “How was your day?” Leaf answers with emotional responses.

Allen is also on the bed, watching the scene unfold. But Leaf doesn’t confide in him. He only shares his heart with his “mommy”. Allen’s role is to play with Leaf, so Linda calls him “Leaf’s favorite toy.” The dog is more than happy to have Allen scratching his ears during the debriefing session on bed at night.

One night, Linda was amused to hear Leaf talking to her in his usual manner. Except for one thing: Leaf was having the conversation in a dream. From his dog bed next to ours, Leaf babbled on with the same kinds of moans and snorts he uses while awake.

Nice to know that even in his dreams, Leaf continues to communicate in his unique ways.

A Dog Named Leaf

A Dog Named Leaf

OVERCOMING A FEAR OF DOGS

I recently did a radio interview and got to do what I love, which is to talk about my book, New York Times bestseller A DOG NAMED LEAF. I always enjoy sharing with anyone who will listen to me talk about Leaf and how we came out of challenging times as a spiritual team. Both of us became better and more loving from our experiences together.

A Dog Named Leaf

A Dog Named Leaf

I talked about the joy and comfort a person receives by having the unconditional love of a dog and gave examples of how Leaf’s presence made my and his life better.

On the air, the host said that she had grown up in an environment where her mother taught her to fear dogs. To this day, she would be too afraid to have a dog as a pet.  She added that without knowing better, she had instilled that same fear in her son who is now 10 years old. As we chatted during the interview about the book and my experiences, the radio show host began to understand how much she and her son are missing out on, by not having a dog join their family.

I talked about how animal shelters are always looking for volunteers. Volunteering often helps people who cannot have a dog for some reason or may be concerned over the cost of adoption.

The host said that, as we talked, she had realized that it was time for her to move forward and past her deep, lifelong fears. Both she and her son were going to volunteer a couple of hours each week at their local animal shelter. They could become more accustomed to and less fearful by being around all kinds of dogs and experiencing firsthand the different characters and doggy personalities.

She added that one fine day, she might find a dog at the shelter. They would welcome the new arrival into their home with open arms.

What a satisfying interview that was for me, the host, and hopefully, for her listeners.

Have you ever had to overcome your fear of an animal?

A DOG NAMED LEAF

A DOG NAMED LEAF

A New York Times bestseller, A Dog Named Leaf (ISBN-10: 0762781654, ISBN-13: 978-0762781652), a 224-page paperback published by Lyons Press/Rowman & Littlefield Publishing, is available at major online book retailers, in bookstores, and at lyonspress.com. Visit the book’s Facebook page and view photos of Leaf at http://www.adognamedleaf.com or www.facebook.com/adognamedleaf

ALPHA LEAF

A DOG NAMED LEAF

A DOG NAMED LEAF

Excerpted from A DOG NAMED LEAF by Allen Anderson with Linda Anderson, published by Lyons Press, 2012.  All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.

Summary of the Story:

Allen and Linda Anderson adopted a traumatized one-year-old cocker spaniel who had been abandoned. Soon, the troubled dog they named “Leaf” turned their home into a war zone. Although Leaf and Allen were forging a friendship with visits to dog parks and bonding time, Leaf’s emotional issues overwhelmed the couple.

Shortly after Leaf’s arrival, Allen, who had spent eight years as a big city police officer and survived so many close calls that Linda called him “Miracle Man,” received a diagnosis from his doctor that made him think his luck had finally run out. Allen had an unruptured brain aneurysm that could be fatal, and the surgery to repair it might leave him debilitated.

A few weeks after Allen’s brain surgery while he was still trying to recover, the following section of the story occurred.

Alpha Leaf

During my healing process Leaf became my channel for viewing and living in the strange post-surgery world where my body could no longer be trusted to do what was necessary. After I was cleared to drive again, I took Leaf to the dog park so both of us could relax. With my frontal lobe still not in total functioning mode, other drivers agitated me. I now understood how a person could be overtaken by road rage.

To my embarrassment, I found myself yelling at drivers who lingered at stoplights. It irritated me that they crossed lanes too close in front of my car, chattered on their cell phones, or indulged in other poor driving habits. Ordinarily I wouldn’t have been fazed much and just made sure I got out of their way.

In our car CD player, we keep a recording of around five thousand people chanting the love-filled mantra “HU.” For me, it is an incredibly soothing sound. The voices of all these chanters fluctuate and harmonize into a magnificent, unrehearsed symphony of high vibrational sound. When I’m driving I often push the button on the car stereo system and listen to the uplifting song waft through the speakers. With Leaf in the car, I doubly enjoy the chant, sensing that it also soothes and comforts him.

A DOG NAMED LEAF

A DOG NAMED LEAF

On this day Leaf watched me from the front seat as my anger erupted at other drivers. I was like someone with Tourette’s syndrome, unable to censor my negative mind talk. After watching me scream at a bus that stopped frequently in front of my car, Leaf reached his paw over to the CD player. Out of six buttons on the stereo, he firmly pressed the one that allowed the HU CD to play.

The timing, position of his paw, his selection of buttons, and the CD that happened to be in the stereo could have all been coincidental. I didn’t care. I needed it. Consciously or not, I knew Leaf was being God’s messenger for me. His act of compassion had its desired effect. I calmed down and let the chant heal my troubled, aching heart and mind. Gratitude welled up in me. My dog had figured out how to supply exactly what I needed to dissolve a passion of the mind I couldn’t control.

I looked over at him. As if nothing had happened, as if he did this sort of thing every day, his attention returned to the traffic. His curious eyes darted back and forth as he watched cars whiz by. Who was this dog? If I couldn’t register an oncoming vehicle, would he lean over and steer the car out of the way for me too?

Later that day I sat on the living room couch with Leaf in his usual spot. His body draped across my torso, and his head rested on my crossed leg. Although I’d grown over the months to appreciate him at deeper levels, at this moment I experienced an epiphany about our relationship.

I looked at my little adopted dog and realized that we were both emotionally damaged goods. My lack of trust in people, fear of being dependent like my stroke-ridden father, discomfort when people expressed their emotions, and an overwhelming need for privacy all sprung from a childhood in which I never had enough strength to feel safe. Eight years of police work had confronted me with some of the worst humanity had to offer. With its random violence, it had reinforced my low opinion of anyone’s, including my own, trustworthiness.

Leaf ‘s fear, mistrust, and mercurial emotions arose from losing everything he’d ever known and being left without any safety net but his own street smarts. Although he’d been the abandoned shelter dog we rescued, without a doubt he had more than returned the favor. I knew now that life had turned our relationship to its flip side. Leaf was rescuing and trying to heal me. This little black cocker spaniel, abandoned and thrown out like someone’s trash, named Harley at the shelter after a motorcycle he detested, had become nothing less than a spiritual giant in my life.

Visit http://www.adognamedleaf.com for details about A DOG NAMED LEAF.

IS YOUR PET CONSIDERATE?

We don’t recall seeing articles about animal family members being considerate. There have been some studies showing animal altruism though.

In our home, our cat Cuddles lives up to her name and cuddles up next to Linda at night on our bed. She’s very considerate not to wake up Linda until morning, when she decides it’s time for her breakfast.

Our cockatiel Sunshine is considerate when we use the spray bottle, filled with warm water, to give him his morning bath. He raises his wings so we can spray under them and puts his head down for a good spray of his head feathers.

The reason this theme is on our minds today, though, is that our dog Leaf, one of our life’s greatest spiritual teachers, often shows us consideration. He’s definitely not a – my way or the highway – kind of guy.

Although we mainly do our writing at home, if we need to meet with a client, Linda carefully puts on her makeup to prepare. Sensing that we’re about to leave the house, Leaf is eager to kiss Linda’s face with his long, pink tongue. So Linda says, “Leaf, don’t kiss off all my makeup.” And she turns away so he can’t reach her cheeks.

The other day, it appeared that Leaf got the message. As Linda was ready to leave the house, she bent down to kiss him on his head. In turn, he very carefully kissed her only on the tip of her nose. With great discipline, he put his tongue back in his mouth and refrained from plastering her face with any more kisses.

Considerate.

Have your pets been considerate to you or others? Send us your stories to .

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network — Spiritual Perspectives for People Who Believe Pets Are Family Member
http://www.angelanimals.net

To subscribe to the Angel Animals Story of the Week, send a blank message to
AngelAnimals-on@mail-list.com

NEW YEARS RESOLUTION TIME

NEW YEARS RESOLUTION TIME

All right, you resolved that in 2012 you would write that book, article, or story about the most important animal in your life. Or you have figured out some terrific methods or products for training and getting along better with pets. Or you are a nature enthusiast who wants to write about the fascinating wildlife you have met. Or you have a point of view about animals that you feel compelled to write about and share with the world.

Now is the time, gentle readers, to get serious. Take a look at our comprehensive new course for writing about pets and animals. We’ve poured over twenty years of professional experience into designing it.

We want to see as many people as possible writing about pets, because this is how consciousness gets changed. The more everyone gets the message that animals are sentient beings and important (essential) parts of home and family life, the more animals get adopted, and the fewer are sent away to shelters.

WOOF, MEOW, WRITE, PUBLISH will help you to start 2012 by writing whatever you always wanted to write about your beloved pet.

Wouldn’t you like for someone, who has a lot of experience in fulfilling a dream of yours, to sit down and tell you what you need to do and know to duplicate that success? That’s exactly what we’re offering those of you who want to write about some of the most satisfying relationships in your life — the ones you have with animals.

WOOF, MEOW, WRITE, PUBLISH: Writing about Pets and Animals for Love and Money is a new, downloadable, three-part, comprehensive course to guide you in writing books, articles, stories, blogs, and essays about animals for pleasure or extra income. We designed and wrote this one-of-a-kind course based on our experience as best-selling, award-winning authors of 14 pet books published in the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, Italy, and Japan so far.

Start keeping your New Year’s resolution today by going to http://www.allenandlindaanderson.com.

Allen and Linda Anderson
Woof, Meow, Write, Publish
http://www.allenandlindaanderson.com

What are your memorable snapshots in time with animals?

SOUL EQUALS SOUL

Allen recently heard a special friend say that each moment in life is a snapshot in time; often gone before we are ready.  Allen was in a rushed circumstance when he heard the words. In the week of vacation he was preparing to take, he wanted to think about how this view of life applied to him, Linda, and Leaf.

During Allen’s vacation days away from his job in computer software, he took care of Cuddles, Sunshine, and Leaf while Linda visited their grown children in Atlanta and then her mother in Texas.

Each vacation day, Allen took Leaf to the large dog park next to the Mississippi River.  The visits are always filled with adventure and fun, while the two of them explore trails and riverside. As they walked down the mile-long dirt path to the dog park, Allen noticed that Leaf would look directly at the faces of people passing by him.

Leaf lifted his head high and made eye contact with each person. Many seemed surprised that they are being acknowledged with eye-to-eye contact by a dog.

Was this a snapshot in time moment, when a human feels a spiritual connection with another life form, in a chance meeting, on a dirt trail?  Did each of those human beings feel a spiritual connection with a dog?

After Leaf took his snapshot of each person he passed, Allen heard comments from the people. They said things such as, “There’s a lot going on with that dog,” or “What a interesting personality — such a character,” and “Such beautiful eyes!”  Almost every person smiled at Leaf and then at Allen. In each person’s face the eyes grew just a bit brighter and more alive.

There is a saying in ancient religious traditions that soul equals soul. Leaf and the people he passed experienced that age-old wisdom for a moment. As a snapshot in time, two souls, regardless of the physical body each inhabited, met an equal.

An individual remembers a snapshot in time for as long as possible. It becomes a moment of light connecting with light, soul with soul; of remembering what was lost, what was forgotten, and who and what we are.

But the moment slips away. The veil quickly takes its correct and proper place, covering the light, bringing each of us back to daily life.  The moment is gone, and the snapshot fades from memory before we’re ready.

As Leaf moved to the next person along the trail, another moment in time, another snapshot may have been recorded in memory. Maybe not all of them faded quickly.

On Friday Cuddles, our cat, and Leaf finally had enough of Linda’s absence as the end of Allen’s vacation neared.  The cat and dog lay down on the back of the couch and looked forlorn.

Allen told Cuddles and Leaf that Linda would be home soon, but they wanted to see her NOW. 

Visit www.angelanimals.net/nlimage81.html to view the photo Allen took shortly before he left to pick up Linda at the airport. It is a snapshot of two souls waiting to be reunited with their missing loved one. Visit www.angelanimals.net/nlimage80.html to view an image of Leaf.

What are your memorable snapshots in time with animals?

Allen and Linda Anderson
ANGEL ANIMALS NETWORK – Where Pets Are Family
www.angelanimals.net

To subscribe to Angel Animals Story of the Week, send a blank message to AngelAnimals-on@mail-list.com
What are your memorable snapshots in time with animals? You can post your comments at our Angel Animals Facebook page: www.facebook.com/angelanimalsnetwork and “Like” Angel Animals while you’re there.

 

ANGEL ANIMALS VIDEO PRESENTATIONS

ANGEL ANIMALS VIDEO PRESENTATIONS

We have produced a series of short videos about the work of Angel Animals. In the videos we share a bit about ourselves. We also present our message of the spiritual connection between animals and humans. Visit www.youtube.com/user/angelanimalsnetwork to view a variety of videos.

Allen and Linda Anderson
ANGEL ANIMALS NETWORK – Where Pets Are Family
www.angelanimals.net

Note: To subscribe to the Angel Animals Story of the Week, send a blank message to AngelAnimals-on@mail-list.com