Being Present for Your Pets

sunshine-and-leafMore often than not, we receive stories from people who write about their pets after the beloved companion has died. Although these stories are wonderful tributes, we wonder if the person might have written while their pet was still alive.  Note: Leaf (dog), Sunshine (bird), and Speedy (cat) are featured in the images in the blog.

The process of writing causes the writer to become aware and observant. It brings the past and future together in the present. Although it has been cathartic for us, too, to write about pets who are no longer with us, there is something immensely satisfying when we take the time to be present to our pets right now.

speedy-1

In the present moment we can express our gratitude for the joy they are bringing to our lives. When Allen wrote his New York Times bestselling memoir A Dog Named Leaf, it was emotionally fulfilling to be able to take a walk with Leaf, photograph him playing at his favorite dog park, and tuning in to who he is to us today.

There is always a tinge of sadness in writing about animals, even while they are living. We know their life spans are shorter than ours. We know this immensely good thing will someday end. But writing and sharing
stories about them, while we can still pet and play together, replaces fears of loss with admiration and gratitude for the blessings.

sunshine-1Let’s see what new and inspiring stories bubble to the surface as a result of living in the present and rejoicing in the blessings of now.

 

“Anatole France said, ‘Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.’ We agree with that statement. And we heartily invite you to join us in exploring the world of Angel Animals.”

What do you think about emotional-support animals?

EMOTIONAL-SUPPORT ANIMALS

The April 22, 2013 issue of TIME Magazine had a thought-provoking article about emotional-support animals (ESA), “Comfort Creatures: Support Animals Help Patients, but That Lizard May Be Against the Law.”

The National Service Animal Registry (NSAR) certifies service and emotional-support animals and has registered 7,000 of them since 1995. The NSAR certifies dogs, cats, pigs, birds, mice, rats, hedge hogs, iguanas, rabbits, and goats. These animals can then wear vests or patches and have ID cards to prove they are necessary to the people they serve.

163847_486351454289_711934289_6236018_424244_n

Mental health professionals can prescribe an animal’s companionship for patients to help them cope with emotional and psychological symptoms. But health departments can counteract the diagnosis with laws that restrict farm animals. Neighbors can and do report pet owners who they believe are keeping pets or traveling with them illegally.

According to the article there is a confusing gray area about what constitutes a service animal and who needs them. With physical disability, everyone can see why the person needs the animal. With emotional issues, the reasons for having a service animal may not be visible. “Complicating the issue further was the growing diversity of critters aiding people with physical disabilities: boa constrictors that warn their owners of oncoming seizures; capuchin monkeys that help quadriplegics eat and drink; parrots that verbally calm owners who suffer from bipolar disorder.”

Allen and Leaf

Allen and Leaf

The article doesn’t mention a further complication – people who make up their own vests and badges in order to self-certify a pet. Sometimes, this is due to the fact that someone with a disability is on a long waiting list to receive a professionally trained service animal or can’t afford to pay for one. Someone wrote to us that she couldn’t bear to be without her dog and had “faked” a vest that allowed the dog to go everywhere with her.

What do you think about emotional-support animals? Have you had an animal officially or informally who offered you so much emotional support that you had to have him or her with you everywhere?

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

WOOF, MEOW, WRITE, PUBLISH: Writing about Pets and Animals for Love and Money

WOOF, MEOW, WRITE, PUBLISH: Writing about Pets and Animals for Love and Money

Wouldn’t you like for someone, who has a lot of experience in fulfilling a dream of yours, 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 important relationships in your life.

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 published pet books.

Read more at www.allenandlindaanderson.com/
Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network -Where Pets Are Family
www.angelanimals.net

 

Have you explained a situation to an animal? What were the results?

TALKING TO A DOG ABOUT DANGER

A family of coyotes has taken up residence in our quiet city neighborhood. They live in the wooded area of a nearby park. We see them roaming up and down alleys and between houses early morning and late at night.

Because our little cocker spaniel Leaf is a tiny fellow, it concerns us that he could get hurt if one of the coyotes attacked him.

As many of you regular readers know, Leaf has a unique personality and a mind of his own. He’s the kind of guy who needs explanations. It doesn’t work to give him a command. He’s like a teenager in that he requires a reason. When he understands what you want and why, then he complies (usually).

So we have been looking for an opportunity to tell him about the coyote. Every night one of us goes outside with Leaf before bedtime to stand guard in case the coyote is roaming our neighborhood.

Last night, the coyote walked down the alley behind our house while Leaf was in the backyard. Our alpha dog barked at him. The coyote wasn’t fazed by Leaf’s bark but saw Linda watching him from our back deck. Her glare persuaded him to walk in the opposite direction.

Linda called Leaf back to her with urgency in her voice. He stood on the porch while she explained about coyotes. She said something to the effect: “He is a dangerous animal. He will hurt you. If you see him, run to the deck as fast as you can. Bark and bark and bark.”

Leaf has a way of looking deeply into the eyes of the human who is talking, if he’s interested in what she has to say. Last night, he was interested. He saw the coyote for himself and got a good whiff of his scent. He instinctively knew that this predator spelled trouble with a capital T.

Have you explained a situation to an animal? What were the results?

You can post your answers at our Angel Animals Facebook page:
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

 

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