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

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.

We’re looking forward to seeing what you can share with others who are “clueless” about training dogs.

NEW ANNOUNCEMENT:

We are looking for tips from ordinary people, who are not professional dog trainers, about what you have discovered works with your dog. How have you applied things you learned from dog trainers and failed or succeeded with them? What are you doing to get into more balance and harmony with your dog? What have you done to make peace with a dog who has a strong will and a determination to go the opposite direction of what you want him/her to do?

Tell us a little about your dog and the tip you have found – the more creative and/or humorous the better — in no more than 300 words. Send your tip to cluelessbooks@aol.com. This is for possible publication in an e-book we are writing on the subject. We will get back to you if we can use your tip.

We’re looking forward to seeing what you can share with others who are “clueless” about training dogs.

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network
www.angelanimals.net

Send a blank e-mail to AngelAnimals-on@mail-list.com 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.

Exciting New Contest Begins TODAY

Inspiring Stories of Animals Who Comfort and Heal Children — Angel Animals Network 2010 True Story Contest

The Angel Animals Network 2010 True Story Contest is now accepting submissions of true stories of animals helping children, parents, and families deal with difficult situations and circumstances. Animals featured in contest stories can be dogs, cats, horses, gerbils, rabbits, ferrets, or any house pet or animal in nature. They can be family pets or therapy, assistance, or service animals.

The stories can be written by parents or guardians of children or by the children or teens themselves. Stories can also be written by adults who recall a special animal from childhood or teen years who helped them through a tough period.

This contest hopes to find real-life stories that demonstrate animals comforting and helping to heal children during everyday ups and downs or traumatic events such as divorce or other losses. The stories can depict how children and teens de-stress with animals while learning valuable life lessons.

The contest hopes to find heartwarming and positive stories that deal with children who endure long-term or catastrophic illnesses. The animals in the stories might also be ones who help children who have learning disorders, blindness, deafness, physical/motor, mental, and emotional problems. They might be children with autism that an animal is aiding through their journey.

Any contest entries, but especially those of the winners, will be considered for possible publication in a new book about animals who comfort and heal children by Allen and Linda Anderson to be published by New World Library in Fall 2011.

Contest deadline is September 15, 2010. But get your stories in early so we can read them to see if they are possibilities for the new book.

For more information go to www.angelanimals.net/contests.html

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network
www.angelanimals.net

Send a blank e-mail to AngelAnimals-on@mail-list.com 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.

Visiting Viola, a Horse with a Mission

We recently visited Tanya K. Welsch and her horse Viola at the MN LINC (Minnesota Linking Individuals, Nature, and Critters) nonprofit organization in Hamel, Minnesota. Tanya is the cofounder of MN LINC (www.mnlinc.org), an amazing charity that pairs at-risk youth and other people with animals to give them a nature-based experience that enhances and enriches their psychotherapy, counseling, or educational programs.

Tanya’s heart-opening story “Viola, Wise Mother Mare” is featured in our new book HORSES WITH A MISSION. The book launch on Tuesday, October 6th, 7:30 p.m. CDT at Garrison Keillor’s Common Good Books will also serve as a fundraiser for MN LINC. The bookstore is generously donating 10 percent of all sales to MN LINC the night of the launch.

Viola, a Norwegian Fjord, was imported from Norway to become a broodmare in upstate New York. Eventually Viola made her way to Tanya and MN LINC. Viola put her mothering skills to excellent use as a co-therapist in MN LINC’s animal-and-nature-facilitated psychotherapy, learning, and wellness program for youth and families. With her innate maternal wisdom, Viola is incredibly intuitive and nurturing, especially with at-risk youth.

It was delightful for us to talk with Tanya and find out firsthand how MN LINC positively affects children who have had a rough start in life. Tanya explained that often with children traditional therapy isn’t as effective because it requires sitting in a chair and communicating thoughts and feelings.

We could relate. We remembered asking our kids when they were little, “How was your day?” Answer: “Fine.” Or “How are you feeling?” Answer: “Okay.”

When Tanya and her specially trained staff and volunteers match the children with a horse, or goat, or chicken, or rabbit, the children begin to express their emotions naturally. Adults also come to MN LINC for the kind of nature and animal-based experience that they couldn’t find anywhere else. Social services, the court system, schools, and therapists refer children to this organization for its innovative and highly effective approaches.

It was a thrill to visit with the gorgeous mare Viola and other animals at the MN LINC facility. Viola was all we expected and more. She displayed a deep calm with an intuitive, almost magical touch.

We also got to meet and spend time with Carolyn Hauck and her rescued horse Dillon. Carolyn helps to get the word out about MN LINC and how much good the organization does for those who would benefit from animal assisted therapy. If you would like to meet Tanya and hear her story about Viola, come to the HORSES WITH A MISSION book launch and MN LINC fundraiser at Garrison Keillor’s Common Good Books in St. Paul.

You can also meet Tanya and another Minnesota contributing author, Pauline Peterson, at Minnetonka BORDERS Books and Music. Visit www.horseswithamission.com for details about the book events in St. Paul and Minnetonka.

So mark you calendars! We want a big crowd and lots of bookstore donations for MN LINC.

Visit www.angelanimals.net/recentevents.html to see photos of our visit to MN LINC.

What are the charitable organizations you support that help both people and animals?

We welcome you to answer this question and the “Something to Think About” question at our blogs and forums, so everyone can see your comments.

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We hope you’ll consider HORSES WITH A MISSION: Extraordinary True Stories of Equine Service (New World Library, September 1, 2009). It’s available, autographed, at Angel Animals Online Bookstore, www.shop.angelanimals.net, Amazon.com (http://is.gd/2idLM), Barnes & Noble (http://is.gd/2iHQy), Borders Books & Music (http://is.gd/2iHWO), New World Library (http://is.gd/2iI1P) and other online and independent bookstores.

“This important book will spark your imagination and inspire you to embrace the magical moments in life that happen every single day. This book is a joy to read.”
–Melanie Sue Bowles, author of HOOF PRINTS and founder of Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary

Go to www.horseswithamission.com to read excerpts of the book, see video clips of stories, and join in the fun of launching this exciting new book.

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Don’t forget to enter the Dogs and the Women Who Love Them True Story Contest described in the announcement below. We’re looking forward to reading your stories. CONTEST DEADLINE — SEPTEMBER 30, 2009 — IS FAST-APPROACHING.

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network
www.angelanimals.net
www.horseswithamission.com
angelanimals@aol.com

A NEW contest will gather true stories that demonstrate the extraordinary nature of relationships between women and dogs.

A BizRate research study found that over half of the women surveyed believed their pets are more affectionate and cuter than their partners. A new contest will gather true stories that demonstrate the extraordinary nature of relationships between women and dogs.

We’ve all seen them – those tiny women tugging on a leash attached to a big, burly dog or the ladies who carry their little pooches everywhere.

What’s the big attraction between women and canine companions? Allen and Linda Anderson, best-selling Angel Animals series authors, plan to spend six months sponsoring a contest to gather true stories of dogs and the women who love them. Linda Anderson says, “We’re looking for experiences women have that show the benefits of finding unconditional love, acceptance, and fulfillment with dogs. Women and dog teams often become outstanding partners, giving service in extraordinary ways. We want to find their stories for possible publication in our next book.” Full description, rules, prizes, and entry form for this free contest are at www.angelanimals.net/contests.html

The contest the Andersons are sponsoring is designed to find life stories of remarkable women who are fulfilling their purpose in life with the help of dogs. From dogs as protectors to partners in the dance of life the winning stories will honor a relationship that is like no other.

Any contest entries, but especially those of the winners, will be considered for possible publication in the new book Dogs and the Women Who Love Them by Allen and Linda Anderson to be published by New World Library in Fall 2010. Previous books in the Angel Animals series have included many stories that were contest entries.

The Andersons suggest considering the following questions and entering the contest by writing about profound experiences:

• Has a dog been there for a woman during challenging times or major events in her life?

• Have there been times when a dog has protected people or warned them of possible danger? Has a dog performed an act of compassion, protection, healing, or heroic courage?

• Have a woman and a dog teamed up to fulfill a life purpose and/or perform acts of service?

• Did a dog lead awoman to finding her purpose in life? Has a dog taken on the mission of giving service?

• Has a dog brought people a message of love, acceptance, gratitude, or inner direction?

• Has a relationship with a dog been a catalyst for physical, emotional, or spiritual healing?

• Has it been apparent that a dog was meant to be in a woman’s life at a certain time for a special purpose?

• Has the example of a dog caused a woman to become a better friend, spouse, parent, or family member?

• Are there examples dogs have shown for how to handle life’s challenges, deal with change, heal, trust, or creatively solve problems?

• How has a dog’s ability to live in the now helped a woman or others become present to their own life?

• Has a dog been a mirror to a woman’s life, health, or attitudes by reflecting them back to her in some way?

• What have dogs taught a woman about death, dying, grieving, and the afterlife?

Allen and Linda Anderson are a husband and wife writing team, founders of the Angel Animals Network, and inspirational speakers (www.angelanimals.net). They are authors of the popular anthology series that includes Angel Dogs with a Mission (New World Library 2008) and Angel Dogs: Divine Messengers of Love (New World Library, 2006).

They founded the Angel Animals Network to use the positive power of story for the benefit of people and animals. They donate a portion of their book revenues to support animal shelters. Their work has been featured on NBC’s Today Show and on ABC’s Peter Jennings Nightly News. They have been the subject of numerous national magazine and wire service articles and have been interviewed for London newspapers and BBC Radio. They write Reader Blogs for the online Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Houston Chronicle and host the Angel Pets Fan Club at Beliefnet.com.

Press Kit for Allen and Linda Anderson and Angel Animals Network at www.angelanimals.net/media.html and more information about the contest at www.dogsandthewomenwholovethem.com

Why Share Animal Stories?

Speedy

Last week, we got a call from a man who had been to the Angel Animals website and read stories there. Some of the stories might have come from you. We wanted to let you know one example of how sharing your uplifting animal stories helps people.

The man had recently endured a terrible loss. He’d found his son dead in the young man’s home. The son’s dog had remained by his side for three days. He wouldn’t even leave for food or water. The dog howled when the son’s body was taken away, grieving over his dear friend.

The dog’s display of emotions and loyalty had moved the father so much that he went on the Internet to search for information about dogs. When he found our website, he read through stories. He said, “I never knew what dogs are capable of till now.”

He had called us because the stories inspired him to donate to organizations that train service dogs. Linda gave him a couple of suggestions and told him what keywords to use for finding such charities.

So there you have it — one more reason for sharing your stories in the Angel Animals Story of the Week and for our books. One more reason for telling your stories about the incredible benefits of human-animal companionship to family, friends, and anyone else who will listen.

When you make your stories public, you affect people and animals in ways you will probably never know about. But someday, when you have the opportunity to look back on your life, a Divine hand may show you all the connecting threads that came about through an animal who gave love and a human who shared that love with others.

What stories would you like to share?

What is it about women and dogs?

Awhile back, there was a poll that found women preferred the company of their dogs to their spouses or significant others. Guess the human males growled more than their canine competitors for female affection.

To be serious, though, over the years since we have been collecting and writing stories for Angel Animals books, etc. we’ve observed how deeply women and dogs bond. They seem to bring out the best in each other.

Now, we’re giving all of you the chance to enter our Dogs and the Women Who Love Them True Story Contest. We’re looking for stories about canine-female teams that formed deep bonds of companionship and led to compassionate and courageous acts of kindness or service.

Think about some of the following scenarios that you may have been part of and see if you want to write a story about any of them:

* Has a dog(s) been there for a woman during challenging times or major events in her life?
* Have there been times when a dog has protected people from danger or warned them of possible danger?
* Have a woman and a dog teamed up to fulfill a life purpose and/or perform extraordinary acts of service?

This contest hopes to find life stories of remarkable women with dogs who are fulfilling their callings to the benefit of themselves and others. It will also focus on finding the best stories about dogs’ unconditional love and acceptance. From dogs as protectors to partners in the dance of life, the contest will honor a relationship that is like no other.

Any contest entries, but especially those of the winners, will be considered for possible publication in the new book Dogs and the Women Who Love Them by Allen and Linda Anderson to be published by New World Library in Fall 2010. Previous books in the Angel Animals series have included many stories that were contest entries.

We’re looking forward to reading your stories, so go to the website, www.angelanimals.net/contests.html and fill out the contest entry form. Send in your stories.

What have dogs taught you about love, life, and yourself?

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network
www.angelanimals.net

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