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.”

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Cuddles Anderson 1998 – 2016

cuddles1a

The sweetest cat we have ever known left us yesterday. She went to a healing home in the inner worlds. But our world will never be the same without her.

We found this little black-and-white ball of fur in a bin full of kittens at the animal shelter. Linda said to all the kitties, “You are so cute. I have no idea which one of you should be ours.” She put her hand, palm up, inside the bin. Cuddles peered up at Linda from the back of the bin. She jumped over all her littermates and landed in Linda’s hand. Cuddles was The One. She had chosen us.

About the time Cuddles arrived into the Anderson household, we were starting our first Angel Animals printed newsletter. The concept that animals are spiritual beings, messengers who show us what God’s love is, intrigued the news media. Before we knew it, newspaper reports and local television crews were coming to our home and interviewing us. Cuddles became our publicist, hostess, and model.

She scratched at the front door as journalists arrived and made a brilliant first impression. She curled up on reporters’ laps and posed for photographers. Everyone was so charmed that she served as the image of Angel Animals without ever saying a word.

Stories about our new project, which by then had morphed into our first book proposal, made it into national wire services. Cuddles, stretched out on our living room coffee table or sofa, caressing readers with her lustrous emerald eyes, made it into newspapers all over the country.

Cuddles gave us 18 precious years of love, companionship, and fun while we went on to write 17 Angel Animals books. She slept next to Linda every night underneath her arm. If Linda didn’t wake up when Cuddles decided it was time for breakfast, she used her paw to pull out Linda’s earplug and mew, “Feed me!”

Cuddles loved to curl up on Allen’s big blue chair and watch him work in his home office. She ruled him and the house. We all loved and accepted her benevolence. He enjoyed taking pictures and videos of her as she orchestrated the impressions she wanted to make.

In our third book, ANGEL CATS: Divine Messengers of Comfort, we gave Cuddles her own column called “Ask Cuddles.” She answered the age-old question: “Do animals go to heaven?”

Cuddles wrote: “Yes, of course animals go to heaven. And we will joyfully greet you there at the Rainbow Bridge (it does exist!) when you arrive. That’s a promise. One more thing. (You can believe this or not, but I happen to know from personal experience that this does happen.) Sometimes the Soul that was your sweet kitty can’t wait for a heavenly reunion with you. This Soul then rejoins you at another place and time in a different body. If you want to know the truth of this, look into our eyes. See if you recognize an old friend. Our love never dies. – Forever yours, Cuddles”

Today, our family is bereft and grieving. Our little cocker spaniel Leaf, who was smart enough to do whatever Cuddles told him, is lethargic and sleeping all day. Our yellow cockatiel Sunshine wouldn’t come out of his cage this morning. Cuddles passing has left a big hole in our hearts.

As the veterinarian helped Cuddles leave her sweet body, we sang HU, a sacred love song to God, and tearfully said goodbye to our wonderful friend. She left peacefully, gracefully, and with utmost dignity, just as she had lived her life. Her spirit lives on as a great and wise Soul moving on to her next spiritual adventure.

We love you, Cuddles. We miss you, Cuddles. You always lived up to your name, Cuddles. Thanks for being a precious member of the Anderson family.

Cuddles 2

Cuddles 4

Cuddles 3 (2)

 

CUDDLES LOVES HER NEW SCRATCHING POST

Every morning Cuddles wakes up and runs to her scratching post to stretch and scratch. Her claws are often sharp and in need of good vigorous scratching. This morning routine is her “me” time. She enjoys that the scratching post belongs to her alone. Never would her humans Linda and Allen, the bird Sunshine, or “that dog” as she refers to Leaf, scratch her post.

Cuddles

Cuddles

All has been good in Cuddles’s world except that the post was falling apart from her enthusiastic and forceful daily scratching. It was time for a new one. Her two humans went on a journey to the pet supply store and examined a dozen scratching posts.

Cuddles

Cuddles

We had lengthy discussions as we attempted to think how Cuddles would view the different styles of scratching posts. An impossible task. Who can figure out what a cat is thinking?

Cuddles

Cuddles

We finally decided on one that had the long length and the sturdiness we thought Cuddles would enjoy. She embraced her new post with vigor, gratitude, and love.

Cuddles

Cuddles

Visit http://www.angelanimals.net/nlimage127.html to see Cuddles with her new scratching post.

Do your pets talk in their sleep?

A DOG TALKING IN HIS SLEEP?

Allen was sitting in our dog Leaf’s favorite chair in our home office. He was catching up on some reading while Leaf sprawled out on the floor, sleeping.

Allen heard some noise from Leaf’s location and looked down at him. Suddenly, our little cocker spaniel was talking in his sleep. Leaf made the same sounds as when he and Linda are talking about his day or something that might be bothering him.  There was a mix of “ra ra” and grumbles coming from the back of his throat; short moans and then an “arf,” as if he were giving his statements an exclamation point.

This dream conversation was longer than Leaf’s regular talks with Linda when he is awake.  Allen sensed there was a back-and-forth with someone in Leaf’s dream talking back to him. Leaf would listen and then respond with a series of different noises.

After a few minutes Leaf stopped talking, took a big deep inward breath, and started snoring with gusto.

Do your pets talk in their sleep? What do you think they’re saying? Who do you think they are talking to?

Visit <http://www.angelanimals.net/nlimage124.html&gt; to view Leaf on his favorite dreaming spot.

LEAF

LEAF ON HIS SPOT

Did you ever try to find a cat who didn’t want to be found?

FINDING A CAT

Cuddles

Cuddles

Today, as we prepared to take our cocker spaniel Leaf to dog park, we searched the house for Cuddles. This little black-and-white tuxedo kitty has been our family member since 1993. We adopted her from our local animal shelter. Or rather, she adopted us.

A bin full of kittens at the shelter was too much for us. Linda reached her hand into the pile of wiggly fur creatures and said, “One of you is going to have to let us know you want to go home.”

Instantly little Cuddles sprang from the rear of the big cage. She jumped over the backs of other kittens and landed in the palm of Linda’s hand. Cuddles went home with us.

Cuddles

Cuddles

As if giving us a preview of her decision-making abilities, Cuddles decides if and when she wants to be found. Today, we looked in all the usual places -under the bed, in her favorite chairs, on top of the sofas, next to the upstairs heater, next to the basement heater, under the roundtable cover, under the chest of drawers, behind the living room curtain, etc., etc. All the time we called, “Cuddles. Kitty, Kitty, Kitty.”

We never did find her.

Finally we had to shut all the doors and hope she was somewhere upstairs where she could reach her water and kitty litter.

Why all the fuss?

Because high up on his perch in the living room, our cockatiel Sunshine was counting on us not to lock him in the living room with a cat. Although Cuddles doesn’t show much interest in our bird, we still wouldn’t want to take any chances of having natural instinct take over while we’re gone.

Cuddles

Cuddles

Fortunately when we came home, Cuddles emerged from her hiding place. We have no idea where it is. No doubt she’ll use it again. No doubt, we’ll spend precious time searching for her again.

What are your cat’s favorite hiding places?

Barnes and Noble presents Robin Ganzert, PhD – author of Animal Stars: Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors with her special furry animal actor friend

Barnes and Noble
~presents~

Robin Ganzert, PhD – author of Animal Stars: Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors with her special furry animal actor friend at book events around the country.

Great Day Houston

GREAT DAY HOUSTON featuring Robin Ganzert, PhD — author of Animal Stars Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors

If you want to have an entertaining and fun time, attend an Animal Stars family-friendly book event. Author Robin Ganzert (president and CEO of American Humane Association) will be sharing fascinating stories and autographing books. You’ll get to meet a special animal actor furry friend Robin will bring with her to the event. These interactive book presentations and signings have an element of surprise. Which movies and television shows did this animal actor star in? Like Robin Williams who called Crystal the monkey one of his favorite leading ladies, which movie and TV stars fell in love with their animal co-stars? See up-close how sweet, loving, and talented an animal star can be.

Robin Ganzert, PhD – author of Animal Stars: Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors

Robin Ganzert, PhD – author of Animal Stars: Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors with her special furry animal actor friend.

You will be glad you came. AND, your book purchase will help to support the important and historic work of American Humane Association to protect children and animals.

Animal Stars: Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors by Robin Ganzert, PhD

Animal Stars: Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors

Schedule:

October 14, 2014 @ 7PM
Barnes & Noble Lincoln Park
Dallas, Texas

October 18, 2014 @ 11AM
Barnes & Noble Tysons Corner
McLean, Virginia (Washington, D.C.)

October 22, 2014 @ 12PM
Barnes & Noble Prudential Center
Boston, Massachusetts

October 26, 2014 @ 3PM
Barnes & Noble Winston-Salem
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

October 28, 2014 @ 7PM
Barnes & Noble Northwest
Las Vegas, Nevada

October 30, 2014 @ 7PM
Barnes & Noble Zona Rosa
Kansas City, Missouri

November 1, 2014 @ 6PM
Barnes & Noble Cool Springs
Brentwood, Tennessee (Nashville)

November 15, 2014
Barnes & Noble Birkdale
Huntersville, North Carolina (Charlotte)

Hudson Kissing a New Friend

Hudson Kissing a New Friend

Animal Stars Event

Animal Stars Event

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