We enjoyed our time at Magers and Quinn Booksellers! We read from A DOG NAMED LEAF and signed books. We loved talking with the animal lover attendees.
Category Archives: Angel Animals Story Writing Contests
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.
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
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A Dog Named Leaf — Strange, Mysterious, Wonderful
“If you’ve ever doubted animals have souls, this book will open your heart and mind to truly believing we are all connected. You will never doubt again. Your life will be enriched far beyond what you could have ever imagined and you will have author Allen Anderson to thank for it.” A DOG NAMED LEAF is a great gift idea for the dog loving friends and family in your life!
–Barbara Techel, Joyful Paws
A DOG NAMED LEAF: The Hero Dog from Heaven Who Saved My Life
A DOG NAMED LEAF:
The Hero Dog from Heaven Who Saved My Life
By Allen Anderson with Linda Anderson
(Lyon’s Press, a division of Globe Pequot Press, November 6, 2012), ISBN-10: 0762781653
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. Having seen his father live for years with the effects of a massive stroke, he dreaded that the worst fate might not be death. What Allen didn’t know is that he and Leaf, like comrades facing the ultimate battle, would be there for each other with the miracle of this man and this dog coming together at exactly the right time.
Division of Labor – The Way of the Pet
Division of Labor – The Way of the Pet
One of the issues that often irk today’s ultra-busy woman is the need for an equitable division of labor. She longs for her husband and children to do their fair share in keeping the household operating efficiently. She wants coworkers to pitch in at the workplace. Complaints abound when the major part of the responsibility falls on female shoulders.
Our animal family members have wrapped their paws around this prickly issue and come up with their own creative solutions.
We have no idea how the animals, who share our home, have decided what chores they should do or how they’ve figured out which of them should have certain responsibilities. We just know that they do.
The division of labor goes something like this.
Leaf sleeps near the bedroom hallway door if Linda or Allen are out of town, as if he is waiting for them to return. This isn’t where he sleeps at night when his two humans are both home. He is normally on his doggy bed. He also has ultimate responsibility for keeping watch if Allen is out of town because he becomes the man of the house.
Cuddles, our black kitten with white-mitten paws, is Linda’s guardian angel. Cuddles follows her charge everywhere and won’t even take a nap until she knows exactly where her female human is. Whenever Cuddles sleeps on the bed with Linda, she takes on the task of waking her a minute before the alarm rings. She licks her human’s fingers or bites them, if Linda won’t get up right away.
Food preparation comes under the watchful eye of our eager dog, Leaf. What meal would be complete without Leaf being alert for any escaping pieces of food that might hit the floor?
Sunshine is the household’s watch-bird. If anyone approaches our home, he screeches at the top of his lungs. No one could ever sneak past his watchful vigilance.
There is some silent communication about who is supposed to handle each task, although no visible signs of a household manager. Just a smooth animal operation at the Andersons’ home.
Visit http://www.angelanimals.net/nlimage90.html to see images of Cuddles, Leaf, and Sunshine.
Are pets demonstrating in your home divisions of labor for vital chores, jobs, and power positions?
You can post your answers to these questions and comments at our Angel Animals Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/angelanimalsnetwork and “Like” Angel Animals while you’re there.
Allen and Linda Anderson, Angel Animals Network – Where Pets Are Family, www.angelanimals.net
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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
To subscribe to Angel Animals Story of the Week, send a blank message to AngelAnimalsfirstname.lastname@example.org
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.
ANIMALS CAN’T SPEAK OR WRITE – BUT NOW YOU CAN
Dear Angel Animals Readers,
We are sharing this special edition of the Angel Animals Story of the Week Newsletter. We only do these a few times each year when we have something new and exciting to tell you about. After all the years we’ve been pet book authors, we are so happy to finally be able to offer you our hearts and minds on the subject of writing about pets and animals.
Have you ever wanted the advice of someone with experience who is eager to help you fulfill your dream?
ANIMALS CAN’T SPEAK OR WRITE – BUT YOU CAN
We’re using this special edition of the Angel Animals Story of the Week to introduce you to WOOF, MEOW, WRITE, PUBLISH: Writing about Pets and Animals for Love and Money. It is our downloadable, comprehensive course for people who want to write books, articles, stories, and essays about animals for publication or pleasure.
Check out our new website that tells all about this one-of-a-kind writing course. Go to www.allenandlindaanderson.com to download WOOF, MEOW, WRITE, PUBLISH now. You’ll love the 14-day return offer.
Never before have the authors of fourteen published pet books, many of which have won awards and become best-sellers, actually revealed the secrets of writing successfully in the specialized field of pet writing.
We are excited to finally be able to tell you about the techniques and hard-earned experiences that helped us sell over a quarter million books through retail outlets and online bookstores. Our pet writing keeps us in touch with you and thousands of others who read the online Angel Animals Story of the Week newsletter.
Did you know that our books are published in multiple languages, by major publishers in New York and the United Kingdom, and sold in bookstores and online around the world?
Some of you may remember that our 2010 pet book, Dogs and the Women Who Love Them, was listed as one of the top sixteen dog books by O Magazine.
Our seminal book on animal rescue, used in disaster-preparedness training and college classes, won the prestigious American Society of Journalists & Author’s Outstanding Book Award. You may have noticed our books featured on the Today Show, Montel Show, Animal Planet, NPR, USA Today, and the Washington Post, among others.
Betty White, Carson Kressley, Joe Mantegna, Richard Simmons, Tippi Hedren, Willard Scott, Brigitte Bardot, Dr. Allen Schoen, DVM, Dr. Marty Becker, DVM, and numerous other animal-loving celebrities have endorsed our books.
Now we have meticulously gathered together experience and insights we gained since beginning Angel Animals Network in 1996. We are excited to share with other writers the shortcuts, pitfalls, techniques, and challenges of writing about pets and animals.
In today’s world, we know from practical experiences that pet writing can serve as a welcomed additional source of income. Even in a down economy, with two out of three American homes having pets, and most people viewing pets as family members, the market for pet and animal books remains insatiable.
Why do New York Times best-selling authors, such as Susan Orlean, and celebrities, such as Shirley MacLaine, write animal books? These are authors who have written about many topics but they know that people today can’t get enough of the unconditional love, laughter, and fascination animals bring into our lives.
Why, when so many other books are floundering, do pet books remain successful?
It’s simple. Do the math.
If you have a pet, you want to read a pet book. If you don’t have a pet, you want to read a pet book, because it helps to fill the hole in your heart a furry friend would occupy. That’s a lot of people who want to read books, magazines, blogs, articles, essays and website content about pets and animals.
Go to www.allenandlindaanderson.com to download WOOF, MEOW, WRITE, PUBLISH now. You’ll love the 14-day return offer.
We’re introducing to you today the most unique writing book ever! And that’s no exaggeration or hype.
You won’t be able to match this book with any other writing book for its practical information about writing, publishing, and marketing. WOOF, MEOW, WRITE, PUBLISH has all the basics and so much more in its three-part course.
A 150-page Manual Filled with one-of-a-kind information about writing, publishing, and marketing that you won’t find anywhere else; includes real-life examples from professional pet authors.
A 115-page Workbook Loaded with 74 exercises and writing prompts that will lead you through every phase of writing about pets.
A 10-minute Audio Recorded Podcast Our chance to talk to you about how we started at mid-life with love for our family pets and built up a business as successful pet book authors who could help animals everywhere with our writing.
Features that make the eighteen modules we wrote for you into a delightful and ONE-OF-A-KIND course are:
* how to observe and write about your pet’s personality
* what your choice of a pet might be saying about you
* the noteworthy aspects of a multi-pet home
* how setting and context affects what you write about pets
* hints for making choices about dialogue and action when animals don’t speak in words
* putting human-pet relationships under a magnifying glass for revealing the delicious details
* discovering the journey you and your pet are taking together
* tricks for transforming your pet writing into page-turners that people have to read
* developing a professional style and voice for pet writing
* becoming aware of animal activists’ hot-button issues you haven’t considered
* enhancing your pet writing (and publishing opportunities) with animal photography
* editing and rewriting with a cat on your lap or a dog at your feet
* overcoming hesitation about publishing what you write
* finding and interviewing ordinary people, authors, experts, and celebrities who love animals
* deciding on the form that best suits your writing about pets and animals
* six proven elements for writing a pet article that gets published
* how to choose an intriguing title for your pet book, story, or article
* overcoming pet-writers’ block and getting unstuck
* finding time and making space for pet writing
* having realistic expectations about pet writing and publication
* how to build a pet-writing career from nothing to selling what you write
* becoming a pet expert that readers respect
* the intricate and complex world of self-publishing pet books
* why self-publishing a pet book is no longer a second choice
* finding a publisher to make an investment in your pet book and writing career
* writing a dynamite pet book proposal
* how to write, syndicate, maximize, and monetize a pet blog
* finding a reputable literary agent to represent your pet book and build your writing career
* eight signs that an “agent” may really be a con artist
* best ways to market, promote, and sell your pet book and pet writing
* why you should think about hosting a pet-writing contest
* building an amazing platform with media attention BEFORE your book is published
* bibliography of pet books for analyzing craft, styles, and formats
* benefits of having a writing coach for achieving your pet writing goals
* and SO much more…
Want to take the first steps toward mastering a form of writing that will connect you with animal-loving people around the world and across cultures?
Want to honor an animal who has meant much to you?
Want to use writing to acquaint potential customers or clients with your pet business or service?
Go to www.allenandlindaanderson.com
Join us in making the world a better place for animals and people
through the power and love of the written word. Animals can’t speak or write – but YOU can.
Let us help you make those dreams come true.
Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network — Where Pets Are Family
(Excerpted from WOOF, MEOW, WRITE, PUBLISH: Writing about Pets and Animals for Love and Money by Allen and Linda Anderson, Angel Animals Network, 2011. All rights reserved.)
From Part One: Writing about Pets and Animals, Module Five, The Journey — Person and Pet
Pet books and stories, especially memoirs and personal experience accounts, depict the journey of a person and an important animal in the person’s life. Readers get involved in the emotional elements of the story when the main characters — the person and the pet –change and grow.
A simultaneous dual journey involves a person and a pet having experiences together over the same time period. Each of them moves from a beginning of their relationship to the climax and resolution of their most pressing crisis. Then the story finishes with an ending either of their time together or of the main conflict they faced.
A parallel dual journey may happen simultaneously or at different times. In this type of story the pet and person share an issue, such as fear of abandonment. Together they help each other resolve the issue. Some parallel dual journeys involve pets and people who both have the same or similar illnesses or serious challenges to battle.
A separate but equal dual journey is one in which the person or pet has significant experiences happen before or after they are together. This type of dual journey usually occurs when a beloved pet has died, and the person continues on with life, possibly with another pet.
At some point in any dual journey, the lives of the person and pet must intersect. This is when the person comes to understand the roles he and his pet are playing for each other. The discovery is likely the person’s Moment of Truth in the story.
In the popular book MARLEY & ME, the dual journey structure was a logical way to tell both the author’s and the dog’s stories in one book. John Grogan and his wife Jennifer embarked upon a journey of getting married, finding jobs, and starting a family.
Their journey intersected with that of a rambunctious yellow Labrador retriever named Marley. The pet grew up in the course of the memoir from an untrainable puppy to an adult dog with serious issues that impacted the Grogans’ marriage and family life.
The dual journey of Marley & Me is simultaneous.
Marley’s journey shows his oversized fears and drama as he becomes an indispensable member of the Grogan family.
John’s journey is that of a young man who at first, is focused on a career and new marriage. He becomes a respected journalist, father, and somewhat successful tamer of Marley.
John’s Moment of Truth or climax and resolution occur when Marley is about to die. It is then that John realizes and states with clarity to Marley that this ever-loving companion was a good dog.
The trick in a dual journey story is to not lose one thread while the other is unraveling and unfolding. Pet memoirs, even the best-selling books, have reached various levels of success with this dance. The best ones choose to feature events that include both the person and the animal.
Even when the animal is not part of a chapter, the person refers to the pet or remembers something that brings the animal back into the picture.
From Part Two: From Writing about Pets and Animals to Getting Published, Module Eleven, What Form Should Your Pet Writing Take?
Worksheet # 11-2, Try This Prompt
The Road Not Taken
Choose an experience from the period of your life when you and the animals you want to write about were together. This should be something that really rattled you and maybe even changed the entire course of your life. Write about it with as much detail as you can.
Tell how the experience moved you into another path or direction.
Now write about what your life would have been like if this experience had never happened or had turned out differently. How would it have been if the animal had not been part of it?
Compare the two accounts and see if you have a deeper insight into why you had the experience. Why did things turn out as they did? What did the animal contribute to the experience?
From Part Three, Publishing and Marketing Your Pet and Animal Writing, Module Fourteen, Self-Publishing Pet Books
So why bother self-publishing a pet book?
Although bookstores may have a policy of not carrying self-published books, sometimes independent and even chain stores will buy a few from local authors. They will shelve them, as long as the author will lets them return unsold the books. Don’t be discouraged. Stopping by to chat with a bookstore manager can encourage him or her to carry your book or even to schedule a book signing.
But pet books have the advantage of selling to a specific niche market — animal lovers who buy books. This means they sell well in places other than bookstores.
Here are just a few of ways that self-published pet book authors sell their books:
* Pet supply stores may sell self-published pet books, especially those written by local authors.
* Often libraries will buy self-published pet books from local authors and even offer them the opportunity to make presentations about their books for library patrons.
* People buy animal books as gifts for their animal loving friends.
* When someone adopts a pet or loses a pet, friends often give them a pet book.
* Pet books sell in gift shops and anywhere people buy gifts.
* Self-published authors can use part or all of their profits to support their favorite animal charities. They can donate books to animal shelter silent auctions, where animal lovers get to know the authors by seeing the books on display and reading about them in the auction brochure.
* Animal organizations sometimes buy books to give as rewards to their top donors.
* Authors sell their pet books at a discount to animal nonprofit organizations that in turn, sell the books to raise funds.
* Animal books aren’t limited to being sold to the general public in bookstores. They sell in pet supply stores, at fairs, as part of workshops and speaking engagements, and anywhere people who love animals gather.
* Sometimes a pet book author strikes a deal with a pet product, or service company and the company buys the books at a discount to offer as incentives for buying their product or service.
Get creative and you’ll see a multitude of places, people, and outlets that would be great for selling your self-published pet book.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT:
Can you envision yourself as a pet writer? What will your writing do to help animals, other people, and you?
WHAT PEOPLE WHO TOOK A PET-WRITING COURSE FROM ALLEN AND LINDA ANDERSON SAY:
“I have a more hopeful feeling of being published than ever before. I was given tons of new resources and I feel very hopeful for my writing future” –GP
“Wonderfully practical with real world advice and guidance. I am excited. Adopt me! The Andersons are GREAT mentors!” –SK
“Thank you for all the quality information for the starting writer in the pet world. I now have all I need!” –BLW
“So many resources for writing and getting published. It could be used for any type of book or article.” –SRT
Go to www.allenandlindaanderson.com to buy and download your three-part pet writing course now.
We welcome you to the wonderful world of writing about animals.
Note: Immediately after your purchase you will receive an email with the link to download WOOF, MEOW, WRITE, PUBLISH.
CHARLIE OFFERS COMFORT
First published in Angel Animals Story of the Week, February 16, 2008.
CHARLIE OFFERS COMFORT
By Kathy Fahey
I had a wonderful experience this morning and I thought of sharing it with you. I came to my computer and found your email to me. Hmmm!
Twenty years ago my family had a small, blind schnauzer named Charlie. He and I quickly bonded and although he was the family dog, we had a very special relationship.
He came to us as a puppy, blind. We didn’t know. He was so smart that he had memorized the room he was in when we chose him. Needless to say, Charlie used all of his other senses to the max.
I was in nursing school at the time. Charlie would monitor the hours I stayed up late to do papers. At 3:00 a.m. he would draw the line. He would sit on my books and papers and growl and bark until I said, “Okay, let’s go to bed.”
Since I commuted to school and worked, I had a different schedule everyday. I was never home at the same time. But everyday, 45 minutes before I would arrive home, be it 2:00 p.m. or 9:00 p.m., Charlie would leave my bed and come sit at the front door.
This is how my parents always knew that I was on my way home. My father was particularly proud of his blind dog. He called Charlie the smartest creature on four legs.
I used to talk to Charlie and tell him I knew he understood everything that I said. I would say that if he showed me a sign that he understood, I promised not to tell anyone. He didn’t give me a sign. But I still believed it.
Charlie lived till the ripe age of fourteen.
Years later, my brother and some other friends were involved in a session with the famous medium George Anderson. At one point, George said, “Charlie is here.”
Nobody knew a person named Charlie on the other side. Finally after struggling, my brother said, “We had a dog named Charlie.” George Anderson said, “Yes, he is here, sitting on Billy’s’ lap.” (Billy was the friend they were trying to reach.)
Last night I was feeling ill. I took a decongestant, and it made me very irritable. I went out to feed my horses, goats, cats, and dog. Every single one of them made me crazy-angry. I started yelling, “Not one of you is listening to me!”
I came inside, knowing I shouldn’t be tending to the animals when I was in a foul mood. I went back outside later, feeling guilty for yelling. I offered apple treats to all. Yet I still went to bed feeling guilty.
As I slept this morning, a cat sleeping between my legs, I dreamed that Charlie was lying on my pillow next to me. He wore black, wrap-around sunglasses. As if to say, “Yes, it is me, the blind one.”
In the dream I took the glasses off of Charlie, held him with joy, and expressed my love. I told him how much I missed him and that I hadn’t spent enough time with him. I told him he needed a bath.
I hugged and hugged him. Then thought, I have to tell Dad that Charlie came to me. That’s when I remembered my father is dead. But in the dream I saw Dad riding around on his scooter, in my room, as if he had brought Charlie to me.
I believe that Charlie knew I needed his support. He knew I needed to know I can get across to my animals, and that even though I had been feeling guilty about being upset, I am not bad.
Kathy Fahey lives on her small ranch in South Florida with nine animals — two horses, four goats, two cats, and one dog. Kathy works as a nurse in a critical care unit and volunteers time in environmental preservation and disaster preparedness.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT:
Have you had a dream with an animal in which you were comforted?
Allen and Linda Anderson
ANGEL ANIMALS NETWORK – Where Pets Are Family
Note: To subscribe to the Angel Animals Story of the Week, send a blank message to AngelAnimalsemail@example.com
Dogs and the Women Who Love Them by Allen and Linda Anderson
NEW — ONE WEEK ONLY PRESALE UNTIL OCTOBER 2
Dogs and the Women Who Love Them by Allen and Linda Anderson. Twenty true stories of dogs and women who changed each other’s lives. Endorsed by Betty White, Wendie Malick, Vanessa Williams, Linda Tellington-Jones, and American Humane Association, among others. Reviewed or mentioned in Modern Dog, Publisher’s Weekly, and Library Journal so far.
Rory Freeman, #1 New York Times best-selling co-author of Skinny Bitch, an Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres favorite book, says in the foreword, “This book will open your heart, warm your soul, and make you proud to be a dog-loving woman.” Visit the Angel Animals Online Bookstore at http://shop.angelanimals.net/product.sc?productId=24 to pre-order now.
ADOPTED BY A PRINCE
“Adopted by a Prince” was first published in the Angel Animals Story of the Week on April 17, 2005. Reprinted with Permission from Angel Animals Network.
ADOPTED BY A PRINCE
By Jo “Sky” Sawyer-Roof
When I was almost five years old and my siblings were in school for the day, my mom drove me to the SPCA to pick up a small puppy or tiny dog. When we got there, I could not stand the barking and yapping. I went straight to the cage of a large German shepherd dog.
The attendant said this dog had been picked up at a schoolyard after being called in because he was frightening the children. He did not bark. He sat across from me. Put his paw up and I touched it. His eyes and mine locked. We belonged together.
My mom dragged me away to look at the puppies. I told her “Mom, I don’t want a puppy. I want Prince”. NO way.
So, we left without any dog. When my siblings came home, they were angry with me. My mom said we would go back the next day to pick up a puppy.
I went back and as soon as our car stopped, and we were at the shelter, I ran to Prince’s cage. He was waiting for me. I would not leave his side. At last, my mother relented.
The attendant got a long-handled wooden pole and led Prince to the car. I sat in the backseat, and that huge shepherd was herded into the back seat with me. My mother was petrified. He put his head in my lap and went to sleep. We rode silently home.
A few months later we moved from the city to the country. My Prince and I went to the woods daily together to explore. He became my best friend.
A few years later my aunt and her family came to live with us. My aunt’s husband was losing his job. Prince became the family’s baby sitter. The children were allowed outdoors only with the dog watching them. He would grab the two-year-old by the seat of his pants and pull him back when he wandered too far. He guarded the baby with his life.
They would put the baby outdoors in her carriage. No one dared go near. One day a sales lady came. My mother heard the dog growling. She came out and told the lady the dog had a working job and not to go near the baby.
My mother invited the woman inside. She listened to her spiel and showed her out when they were done.
All of a sudden my mother heard the lady screaming. She had doubled back, after pretending to leave, and had tried to pick up the baby. This was the only time Prince bit anyone. The woman said she was going to sue us. My mother said if she did not leave the property immediately she would call the police on her for trespassing and for interfering with the dog when she had been told to stay away.
Prince was a working dog and was special. We all loved my Prince.
Jo “Sky” Sawyer-Roof has a BFA from the University of Arizona. She lives in Ore Valley Arizona, which means the Valley of Gold because of the gorgeous golden blooms that surround the area; turning it into a golden glow that makes it look like a place out of time. Jo was an assistant editor of the Stochastic Models, Communications in Statistics. She is a contributing author to FEATHERS BRUSH MY HEART, complied by Sinclair Browning (2002) about women who have had contact with their mothers since the mother has left the physical plane.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT:
Was there a special “Prince” in your life? A companion animal who will stay in your heart forever.
Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network – Where Pets Are Family!
Send a blank e-mail to AngelAnimalsfirstname.lastname@example.org 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.