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.”

Advertisements

Do your pets try to talk to you?

A Dog Named Leaf

A Dog Named Leaf

DOG TALK

For many years, our cocker spaniel Leaf has vocalized to Linda in an attempt to talk to her every night before we all go to sleep. He jumps up on the bed, rolls over for a belly rub, and then begins with a series of moans and groans that are his version of words and sentences.

Depending on how tough or interesting a day he’s had, he talks a lot or a little; in calm or excited tones. Linda asks him a question such as, “How was your day?” Leaf answers with emotional responses.

Allen is also on the bed, watching the scene unfold. But Leaf doesn’t confide in him. He only shares his heart with his “mommy”. Allen’s role is to play with Leaf, so Linda calls him “Leaf’s favorite toy.” The dog is more than happy to have Allen scratching his ears during the debriefing session on bed at night.

One night, Linda was amused to hear Leaf talking to her in his usual manner. Except for one thing: Leaf was having the conversation in a dream. From his dog bed next to ours, Leaf babbled on with the same kinds of moans and snorts he uses while awake.

Nice to know that even in his dreams, Leaf continues to communicate in his unique ways.

A Dog Named Leaf

A Dog Named Leaf

ANGEL CATS, ANGEL DOGS, and DOGS AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVE THEM Book Signings

We will be signing our books at the following Kowalski’s Markets Twin Cities locations on SATURDAY, AUGUST 2, 2014. We look forward to seeing.

DOGS AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVE THEM

DOGS AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVE THEM

Allen, Leaf, and Linda

Allen, Leaf, and Linda

Kowalski’s White Bear Lake Market, 10:00 am to Noon
4391 S. Lake Ave.
White Bear Lake, MN 55110

Kowalski’s Oak Park Heights Market & Wine Shop, 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm
5801 Neal Ave. N.
Oak Park Heights, MN 55082

Kowalski’s Grand Avenue Market, 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm
1261 Grand Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105

BEING PRESENT TO YOUR PETS

More 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.

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.

In the present moment we can express our gratitude for the joy they are bringing to our lives. When Allen wrote his 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.

Take a look, right NOW, at the pets in your life. What do you want to say about them? What are the touching, funny, confusing, remarkable things they do? What are the gifts they are bringing to you and your home every day?

 

Allen and Linda Anderson, Angel Animals Network

http://www.angelanimals.net, http://www.adognamedleaf.com

 

 

Have you ever had to overcome your fear of an animal?

OVERCOMING A FEAR OF DOGS

I recently did a radio interview and got to do what I love, which is to talk about my book, A DOG NAMED LEAF. I always enjoy sharing with anyone who will listen to me talk about Leaf and how we came out of challenging times as a spiritual team. Both of us became better and more loving from our experiences together.

I talked about the joy and comfort a person receives by having the unconditional love of a dog and gave examples of how Leaf’s presence made my and his life better.

On the air, the host said that she had grown up in an environment where her mother taught her to fear dogs. To this day, she would be too afraid to have a dog as a pet. She added that without knowing better, she had instilled that same fear in her son who is now 10 years old. As we chatted during the interview about the book and my experiences, the radio show host began to understand how much she and her son are missing out on, by not having a dog join their family.

I talked about how animal shelters are always looking for volunteers. Volunteering often helps people who cannot have a dog for some reason or may be concerned over the cost of adoption.

The host said that, as we talked, she had realized that it was time for her to move forward and past her deep, lifelong fears. Both she and her son were going to volunteer a couple of hours each week at their local animal shelter. They could become more accustomed to and less fearful by being around all kinds of dogs and experiencing firsthand the different characters and doggy personalities.

She added that one fine day, she might find a dog at the shelter. They would welcome the new arrival into their home with open arms.

What a satisfying interview that was for me, the host, and hopefully, for her listeners.

Have you ever had to overcome your fear of an animal?

A Dog Named Leaf (ISBN-10: 0762781654, ISBN-13: 978-0762781652), a 224-page paperback published by Lyons Press, an imprint of Globe Pequot, is available at major online book retailers, in bookstores, and at lyonspress.com. Visit the book’s Facebook page and view photos of Leaf at http://www.adognamedleaf.com or http://www.facebook.com/adognamedleaf

 

webaudiobookcoversmall

When have you asked your animal companion to go the extra mile and been rewarded with having your request filled?

Image

SPEAKING FOR RESCUED DOGS

We enjoyed our time at the 4th Annual Dog Days of Stockholm as guest speakers. The daylong dog adoption event was well attended with many dog lovers traveling to the beautiful riverside village of Stockholm, Wisconsin. Booths with rescue groups and animal shelter volunteers and the dogs who needed homes lined the perimeter of the event.

In addition there were pet related booths, dog demonstrations, stirring speakers, and a variety of activities such as a Blessing of the Animals by a local pastor and contests: Best Dressed, Best Trick, Looks Most Like Owner, Best Dog Name, and Best Dog Hairdo.

Pat Kessler from WCCO TV in Minneapolis was the MC. He had a lot of help from his pug Shelby. Pat did an incredible job of keeping the program’s pace just right with his genuine love for dogs, great sense of humor, and spontaneity.

Our little cocker spaniel Leaf was sweet and adorable. We gave him our “be nice” talk before arriving at the event. Leaf tends to be a dog who has his own thoughts about who he wants and doesn’t want to meet. We asked him to be nice to everybody — people and dogs — and promised to make sure everyone was nice to him.

We were happy to watch him let everyone pet him without any of his editorial comment. He squealed once when someone squeezed his long floppy ears — something that must hurt a sensitive cocker spaniel. His only slip-up was backing off from a young woman dressed in a fairy costume with wings. She must have looked strangely non-human to a dog who thrives on everything being “normal.”

Leaf wagged his tail with enthusiasm, when those who had read A DOG NAMED LEAF came over to admire him. We wondered if he is becoming accustomed to his new role as a doggy celebrity. He was a real trouper all day and slept soundly for hours after we came home.

The three of us (Leaf, Linda, and Allen) spoke onstage to the crowd. Leaf stood in the middle, receiving sliced apples (his favorite treat). At one point, we all seemed to be looking at someone in the audience with our heads pointed in the same direction.

Visit http://www.angelanimals.net/nlimage108.html to view photos of the event featuring Allen, Linda, and Leaf Anderson.

When have you asked your animal companion to go the extra mile and been rewarded with having your request filled?

New Audio Book — A Dog Named Leaf: The Hero from Heaven Who Saved My Life

Image

New Audio Book — A Dog Named Leaf: The Hero from Heaven Who Saved My Life
UNABRIDGED
by Allen Anderson , Linda Anderson
Narrated by Bob Malos

A big-hearted and undeniably appealing memoir about a man and his dog. After authoring fourteen successful books that tell other people’s stories about the human-animal bond, Allen Anderson is ready to tell his own story – a remarkable journey with a highly intuitive but troubled, rescued cocker spaniel who literally saved Allen’s life.

Allen, a former police officer who became with his wife Linda, an award-winning animal book author, received shocking news. Although only in his mid-fifties, he had two potentially fatal health issues – a brain aneurysm, which could rupture at any time, and a blood clot aimed at his heart. Leaf, his newly adopted canine family member, proved that at some level he understood and wanted to help with the dire situation. A Dog Named Leaf: The Hero from Heaven Who Saved My Life includes a strange but true example of animal cognition that leaves readers pondering, “What do dogs really know?” Leaf’s empathy went far beyond what scientists believe dogs are capable of knowing and doing.

Although the experiences described in the audiobook are harrowing at times, as Leaf and Allen each face life-threatening situations, their journey ends happily for both of them. Throughout the audiobook, humor cuts through the potential tragedies and lifts the Anderson family’s and reader’s spirits. By the end of the story, Allen and Leaf have formed a strange, wonderful, mysterious, and spiritual partnership that as one reviewer commented, “transcends the pet book genre by leaps and bounds.”

The audiobook takes readers on a dual journey of healing and trust for Allen and Leaf in three segments: The Journey of Two Souls Begins; Nightmares, Battles, and Surrender; Uncertain Outcomes: and Transformation and Healing.

©2012 Allen Anderson and Linda Anderson (P)2013 Allen Anderson and Linda Anderson

What the Critics Say

“I am convinced of Leaf’s ability to sense what Allen needed. Readers will feel as if they know Lef, and they’ll grow to love him too.” (Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, Ph.D., New York Times bestselling author of When Elephants Weep and Dogs Never Lie about Love)

“A dramatic dual journey that explores intangibles of health and healing without attempting to explain them away. This is truly the most unusual dog book – ever.” (Dr. Marty Becker, resident veterinarian for The Dr. Oz Show and Good Morning America)

“This book is impossible to put down. Read and share it widely.” (Dr. Marc Bekoff, Ph.D, animal cognition expert and author of The Emotional Lives of Animals)

http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_1?asin=B00CPP6V9M&qid=1368490018&sr=1-1