What are the animals in your home learning from each other?

LEARNING FROM EACH OTHER

Leaf, Sunshine, and Cuddles

Leaf, Sunshine, and Cuddles

The animals who live together in our house appear to be learning from each other. It’s a strange sight to behold.

As dogs tend to do, our cocker spaniel Leaf runs to the door when we comes home and he wags his tail with friendly excitement. Now, so does our little cat Cuddles. She scampers along behind Leaf. Her tail swishes. Uncatlike as it may be, she expresses her happiness at seeing us.

When he was about one year old, Leaf was abandoned at an animal shelter. We adopted him, and it’s been quite an adventure ever since. Even though he’s made his home with us for eight years now, he still has abandonment issues.

We leave the room or he wakes up and doesn’t see us; he howls. We leave the house; he howls even louder.

We adopted Cuddles as a kitten from the same animal shelter. She’s never gone through abandonment nor has she howled. But after years of watching and listening to Leaf, she’s added howling to her behavior.

It’s her version of a howl which is more like a yell. But the other day, after Allen left the house, Linda was surprised to hear Cuddles mark his departure with a long, drawn-out meow. We had a symphony of howling and yelling for about 30 seconds.

Early on after Leaf came home, he began watching Cuddles jump up on our bed at night to sleep with us. Guess who soon joined us on the bed? If she can do it; so can I!

What are the animals in your home learning from each other?

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Who is in charge of keeping you in balance when your life fills up with too many to-do list items?

Who tells you it is time to play?

The truth of the matter is – we are working too hard and putting in too many hours on the next books. But we have barometers in our home who tell us that. They are named Leaf, Cuddles, and Sunshine.

A Dog Named Leaf

A Dog Named Leaf

Cuddles

Cuddles

Sunshine

Sunshine

Leaf, our dog, brings his ball and drops it at our feed and tells us to throw it for him. Cuddles, the little cat, vocalizes with a scolding tone of voice. Sunshine, the bird, screeches more than usual but also sings his song if one of us spends quality time with him.  He is giving us positive reinforcement to play with him too.

Everybody joins in the chorus to let us know that it is time to rest, time to take a break, time to play.

Who is in charge of keeping you in balance when your life fills up with too many to-do list items?

How do you make special time for your pets?

MAKING SPECIAL TIME FOR YOUR PETS

Feeding, cleaning, exercising, grooming, caring for, playing with pets can sometimes seem like a full-time job, especially in multiple-pet families.

How do you find time for it all?

Cuddles

Cuddles

If you’re like us, you have to multitask, even with your pets. Exercising includes walking combined with playtime and throwing the ball for our cocker spaniel Leaf.

Annual vet appointments involve bringing both our cat Cuddles and Leaf to the veterinarian’s office at the same time. We found that sharing their distress with each other actually seems to help them cope better. Cuddles can scurry back into her carrying case and feel safe while Leaf is having his exam.

But one thing that each of our pets requires and deserves is at least a few minutes everyday of our undivided attention. Cuddles tends to like her quiet time while sitting on Linda’s lap in the morning. Linda has to work around the cat in order to write in her journal and do a contemplation. But the sound of Cuddles’s sweet purring adds a blissful dimension to the centered start of her day.

Sunshine

Sunshine

Leaf’s special time comes at night when we take turns rubbing his belly, while he sprawls out on the bed. First, he carefully paws Allen’s side of the bed as if preparing a nesting place. Then while Linda pats his head, he answers her question — How was your day? — with grunts, groans, and other vocalizations.

Leaf licks Allen’s cheeks for a while and then settles in the middle of the bed to sleep until Linda finishes reading and turns off the lights.

Cuddles curls up next to Linda’s side. The bird is covered in his cage, sleeping on his perch behind a spray of millet. And everyone drifts into sleep and dream.

How do you make special time for your pets?

SUNSHINE, THE COMPOSER

Sunshine whistles and sings to the world as his day begins each morning. Linda works to keep up with his whistle, but often Sunshine goes places with his whistles she is unable to imitate.

Sunshine

Sunshine

Now, with gusto he has begun performing each evening too. He starts out whistling three to five notes with surprising range, then works to achieve a theme, and uses it as a building block for an even more complex melody. At this point Linda is no longer able to keep up with him and stops whistling back. But she listens with admiration and fascination as he performs his improvisations.

Sunshine

Sunshine

Sunshine creates his own compositions based on nearly twenty years of mastering his repertoire. In a previous blog we wrote about him listening to LES MISERABLES one evening when we watched a DVD of the musical. He quickly learned the melody. The next morning, to our delight, he shared melodies from the musical.

Sunshine

Sunshine

Visit <http://www.angelanimals.net/nlimage126.html >to see images of Sunshine.

An Author’s Dream Book Launch Party

Allen and Linda Anderson

Allen and Linda Anderson

The #AnimalStars book launch was a grand event. We were amazed and very happy to see all the excitement and love for the book and for American Humane Association. The book party was at Fox Studios in Los Angeles in the ballroom.

Leading up to the ballroom was the red carpet, backdrops with ANIMAL STARS book cover images, and massive posters lining the red carpet on the other side of the entrance aisle. Hundreds of well-wishers attended. At one point, when our coauthor Dr. Robin Ganzert asked, “And what’s the name of this book?” everyone sang in unison, “ANIMAL STARS!”

ANIMAL STARS -- Book Launch Party

ANIMAL STARS — Book Launch Party

 

Animal Stars

Animal Stars

The party included food, drink, and lots of laughter. Many of the book’s contributing authors/trainers attended with their animal stars who were featured in the book. People were getting photos and videos of themselves with the famous animal actors. Crystal, the capuchin monkey star of NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM and WE BOUGHT A ZOO was a full participant in the celebrations. She graced us by sitting on our shoulders and grooming our hair. What an actress!

Celebrities James Denten (Mike the Plumber on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES) and Animal Planet host and author Victoria Stilwell were enjoying the party as well as a young man from television that the teenagers all knew and adored.

Animal Stars Director's Chair

Animal Stars Director’s Chair

We were thrilled to meet Dr. Marty Becker, official veterinarian for GOOD MORNING AMERICA and the DR. OZ SHOW. He wrote the foreword for our first ANGEL ANIMALS book and for this book. Such a nice man. Our publicist for all these years, Monique Muhlenkamp was also at the party representing our publisher New World Library.

Allen and Linda Anderson with their Friends at the Animal Stars Book Launch Party

Allen and Linda Anderson with their Friends at the Animal Stars Book Launch Party

Margo, Linda, and Arlene

Margo, Linda, and Arlene

It was an author’s dream book launch party. And we are grateful to have had the opportunity of meeting people who sent the book off with a good start. Many came up and told us they have been reading and loving our books for years. What a treat! Who knew?

Linda, Crystal, & Allen

Linda, Crystal, & Allen

Robin Ganzert and Friends

Robin Ganzert and Friends

Allen and Linda Anderson performing a reading and book signing at Magers & Quinn Booksellers, Minneapolis, MN

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.

Allen and Linda Anderson at Magers and Quinn Booksellers.

Allen and Linda Anderson at Magers and Quinn Booksellers.

Dogs and the Women Who Love Them

Dogs and the Women Who Love Them

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

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ANIMALS AND YOUR SPIRITUAL BLIND SPOTS

When we give our talks and facilitate Angel Animals workshops after someone has shared a story about his or her spiritual connection with a special animal, we often ask what was going on in the person’s life at the time. This is when the awareness dawns that a memorable experience with a pet or animal in nature has reflected the person’s spiritual lessons, challenges, or attitudes.

We call these “spiritual blind spots.” They are aspects of yourself that you can’t see, but an animal reveals them to you.

Animals reflect what you’re all about — your values, interests, and personality. What you may not realize is that animals can also be spiritual barometers for whatever you’re hiding from the world and yourself. They manifest your state of consciousness — fleas and all.

Animals, as souls, are spiritually engineered to give service. So are humans, but people tend to carry a lot of mental and emotional baggage, making it more complex for them to be pure and loving vehicles for love. As a service, animals reflect aspects of your personality and spiritual makeup that may be keeping you from becoming your most evolved, loving, enlightened self.

Spiritual blind spots are the needs and desires you don’t, can’t, or won’t admit you harbor. Recognizing and accepting them fosters spiritual growth, because the first step toward loving God and others is to love yourself completely.

Animals often depict scenes of your secrets brought to the big screen in living Technicolor by an animal actor. The spiritual blind spots animals bring to your attention enable you to discover whatever hinders you from being all you were meant to be.

Has an animal ever shown you a spiritual blind spot?

On another note, when we went to Chicago for the DOGS AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVE THEM book tour, we did a radio interview with Steve Dale, the renowned syndicated columnist, author, speaker, and animal advocate . Steve’s radio show and podcasts are on the “best” lists and have received many awards. He’s such a unique and authentic voice on the air. You’ll understand why people don’t ever want to miss one of his shows. Go to Chicago radio’s WLS-AM website and click on “Expanded Steve Dale’s Pet World Petcast – November 22, 2010”. Let us know what you think.

To have the fun and excitement of virtually joining us on the launch of DOGS AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVE THEM, take a look at the clips of events, including Linda Anderson reading to the R.E.A.D. dogs — dogs who graciously listen to children read and help them gain self-confidence. Go to the YouTube.com website and search “dogs and the women who love them”.

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network — Where Pets Are Family!
www.angelanimals.net

Dogs and the Women Who Love Them
www.dogsandthewomenwholovethem.com

What were your pets like as babies?

WHEN YOU WERE A BABY

Linda was recently talking with Cuddles while the cat watched her typing at the keyboard of her laptop. Linda picked Cuddles up and placed the cat in her lap. She told Cuddles about how tiny she had been when we first brought her home from the animal shelter. Linda said, “When you were a baby, you used to curl up in my lap and sleep while I worked at the computer.”

After their moment of reminiscing, Cuddles went back over to the table from where she had been observing Linda. She stopped and seemed to be thinking about the fond memory Linda had shared with her. Then Cuddles extended her paw and crawled onto Linda’s lap, just as she had as a kitty.

Isn’t it grand to let yourself be a treasured baby once again?

What were your pets like as babies?

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network – Where Pets Are Family
www.angelanimals.net
www.dogsandthewomenwholovethem.com

IN AN ENLIGHTENED WORLD

In her book, The Bonesetter’s Daughter, author Amy Tan writes, “I was like a turtle lying on its back, struggling to know why the world was upside down.”

How likely is it that much of the world is like that turtle, trying to view the complex animal-human relationship from a perspective that only yields false results?

In an enlightened world the veil would be lifted, and golden threads that connect all life would become visible.

In an enlightened world you would communicate easily with species that have lived on this earth longer than people, can move about it more freely, and view life in an entirely unique way. Animals would become a valued resource for decision-making, health, and happiness.

In an enlightened world there would be no doubt that the souls of animals survive death and move on into an afterlife. You would be comforted in the knowledge that you’ll be reunited with those who have placed their indelible paw prints upon your heart.

Even though you personally may be enlightened about your spiritual connection with animals, unfortunately we’re not living in an enlightened world — yet.

In our opinion future generations will look back on our modern-day era and ask, “Can you believe back then people actually didn’t know that animals are souls?”

Our cultures will seem as primitive as previous periods in history when one class, society, clan, or tribe looked down on, treated cruelly, or subjugated another and justified their actions with the viewpoint that the enslaved had no feelings, no ability to care for themselves or to make choices, no awareness, no souls. Today’s humans will appear to be arrogant people who confused the power to dominate with being superior to those who fell under their rule.

As always, a story says it best. What could life be like in an enlightened world? Please always share your stories, whenever and where you can, so that the day may come when we all live in an enlightened world.
Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network — Where Pets Are Family
www.angelanimals.net