I recently did a radio interview and got to do what I love, which is to talk about my book, New York Times bestseller 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.

A Dog Named Leaf

A Dog Named Leaf

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 New York Times bestseller, A Dog Named Leaf (ISBN-10: 0762781654, ISBN-13: 978-0762781652), a 224-page paperback published by Lyons Press/Rowman & Littlefield Publishing, 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 www.facebook.com/adognamedleaf

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


We are thrilled to announce that the new book we co-authored with Robin Ganzert, PhD, president and CEO of American Humane Association, is available for a special presale offer.

ANIMAL STARS: Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors is being published by New World Library. Visit the website, view the book trailer, and get details about the presale gift offer at http://www.animalstarsbook.com.

ANIMAL STARS includes fascinating true stories from world-class animal trainers who train dogs, cats, horses, bears, birds, and a wide variety of animals to star in movies, television, and commercials. It’s truly a behind-the scenes look at how animals are trained, cared for, loved, and protected.

While being entertaining and full of juicy secrets, the book also provides readers with vital information for how to train and keep their own pets safe and happy.

And guess what? Julia Roberts, Steven Spielberg, Ewan McGregor, Hailee Steinfeld, and Angie Everhart contributed stories to the book about their exciting experiences with animal actors!

The book has photos of all those world famous celebrities plus Robert DeNiro with animals who won their hearts. Dr. Marty Becker, DVM, official veterinarian for the DR. OZ show and best-selling author, wrote the foreword for the book.

About this time last year, we went to the Los Angeles area to meet the animals and interview trainers whose stories are in this book. Photos from the trip show us getting to know Finder, who played Joey in the movie WAR HORSE and Crystal, the monkey who stars in the NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM movies.

Writing the book and getting to know Robin and more about American Humane Association’s outstanding mission of advocating for animals in film and television has been a highlight for us.

To received your GIFT for pre-ordering ANIMAL STARS:

1. Pre-order ANIMAL STARS from your local bookstore, a chain bookstore, or any online bookstore such as Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com

2. Keep a proof of purchase such as a paper receipt and make a photo of it as a jpg file.

3. Email the jpg image of your proof of purchase BY AUGUST 30, 2014 to <jilln@americanhumane.org> and let her know which gift you want an animal-themed coffee mug or tote bag — and your post-mail details.

A portion of the proceeds for this book benefit animals around the world, so order your copy of Animal Stars today! Thanks for your continued support of American Humane Association — the voice for children and animals.

“I’m so thrilled that Dr. Robin Ganzert and American Humane Association not only monitor animal safety in films and television productions but also have a unique connection to these amazing animals and their trainers. As an animal lover, I’m glad that she is bringing these stars and their stories to a wider audience while at the same time teaching the value of protecting all animals.” –Naomi Judd

“Every movie fan who loves to see animals in their favorite movies will want to read Animal Stars. The book contains lots of animal-training tips, along with the behind-the-scenes stories.” –Temple Grandin, author of Animals Make Us Human and Animals in Translation

Animal Stars

Animal Stars

Writing about Leaf

Writing about Leaf

We are compiling letters, emails, and comments about Leaf for a special writing project. Since we adopted Leaf from the animal shelter on October 7, 2006, we have consistently written about him in the Angel Animals Story of the Week, on Facebook, and in our blogs.

Many of you have been part of his journey from the beginning. He entered as an abandoned, frightened dog, attempting to live in a home with two cats, a bird, and two humans who grieved over the death of their beloved yellow Lab, Taylor, only months earlier.

We’d love to hear from all of you who have followed Leaf through such things as dog park, doggie daycare, panic attacks, fear of strangers, animal communicators, learning to live with cats, being the first cocker spaniel to run for President, and growing into trust and love.

We’d also appreciate hearing from those of you who are just now tuning in. If you want to catch up, you can go to http://www.angelanimals.net and click on archived newsletters or go to Leaf’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/leafdogbookauthor and post your thoughts there. The name of the page is “Leaf, Spiritual Hero Dog.”

What are your impressions of Leaf? What are your thoughts about him and his journey? Please send letters to angelanimals@aol.com or even better, post your comments on Leaf’s Facebook page for everyone to read.

We would greatly appreciate hearing from you in regard to Leaf and how he might have helped you remember your own journeys with animals.


Allen and Linda Anderson

Angel Animals Network – Where Pets Are Family


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




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



We were reviewing some article clippings we saved over the years and came across an essay in an issue of TIME magazine, “Demoting the Dog” by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen. The author wrote about how before she had her human baby, their basset hound, Hoover, had been her fur baby.

After Cullen brought her child home, she found herself growing to resent Hoover. She wrote, “The moment my child entered my world, there was no more room in it for my dog.”

To be fair, Cullen expresses the hope that someday her love for Hoover will return. For now, though, the dog had been demoted “from pat to pet to pest.” She says, “In our culture, this is the hate that dare not speak its name.” Her heart and attention are completely devoted to the baby.

Animal shelters (and deserted country roads) are filled with people who have fallen out of love with their pets. At least this author, for now, wasn’t considering abandoning the dog.

But does turning our pets into children have this unexpected downside? What happens to the fur baby when a human baby comes along with its utter dependence on parents and grandparents and ability to take over their lives?

Any thoughts? Any stories? Any solutions? 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

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


The Bonds of Divine Love Between People and Animals

As we write, we’re being watched (coached?) by our rescued cat, friend, and co-worker Cuddles. She curls up and observes with her loving eyes gently focused upon us. Throughout licking her paws and stretching, Cuddles continues to be steadfast in her presence. We dearly love her.

Is part of her spiritual mission in this life to support ours? We believe it is.

We, as do others, have important messages to bring to a world where there is so much suffering, turmoil, and loneliness. We long for people to understand that the bonds of divine love between people and animals, and among animals for each other, transcend fear, anger, rivalry, and isolation. Repeatedly, it is the animals who teach a better way to all of us. We recently visited New Orleans to give a presentation about Angel Animals and the heroic efforts of animal rescuers on the Gulf Coast after Katrina.

We gave our talk to the veterinarian technicians for whom we have the highest regard and respect. They were attending a reception at the American Veterinary Technician Association’s annual conference.  Our talk was meant to be a reminder about the necessity of cherishing the spiritual connection with animals.

In our book “RESCUED: Saving Animals from Disaster,” excerpted below, we tell the story of a man who witnessed the heroics of an animal during the worst conditions. This man marveled at a dog who loved his mate more than he valued his own safety and comfort. His story sets the tone for our book. With the retelling of this heart-opening experience, we pause to remember that animals often fulfill the spiritual mission of showing people how to be more compassionate human beings.

“Days after the levees in New Orleans broke, Chris Cutter, communications director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, worked on a boat that maneuvered through toxic water. No one, human or animal, would have wanted to spend a minute more than necessary in it. Chris recalls, ‘We saw a dog swimming in the muck.’ Chris’s boat steered toward the dog. Instead of allowing the rescuers to help him into the vehicle, the dog turned around and swam away from the boat. That is when they heard barking coming from inside a house.

“The rescuers steered to follow the dog. He led them to the back of his house where a female dog, ‘his girlfriend,’ as Chris calls her, was trapped inside. Only after the rescuers freed the female dog did this big, shaggy husky allow the rescuers to haul him into the boat.

“As the boat moved away one of the rescuers petted him, saying, ‘You’re such a good boy.’ Her hand jerked suddenly off the dog’s head, as if she had touched a sizzling stove. ‘My hand is burning,’ she told Chris.

“‘The dog could have saved himself,’ Chris says. ‘Instead, he swam off so we would find his girlfriend. When you are dealing with things like that, it is hard not to think that there is a validity in what you are doing. That there is something bigger going on.'”

This dog made a conscious decision and was acting with purpose to save a life. Thank goodness for Chris and the animal rescuers. They listened to their intuition and inner guidance and decided to follow this brave dog back to his barely surviving mate.

A Little Help Along Life’s Journey

Allen and Linda Anderson

Allen and Linda Anderson

We recently gave a talk at a Rotary Club in Minneapolis. We spoke about how animals make people better human beings. We had a wonderful time, and those attending seemed to enjoy our presentation with a lot of questions and comments afterwards. Later, we received an email from one of the attendees.

The letter writer, an avowed dog lover, had bought one of our books and took it with him for a volunteer missionary job in Rwanda. He had gone to this strife-filled country to build a research center that will help in the fight against the AIDS epidemic. He had first gotten interested in this project because his Rotary club was building an orphanage and clinic in Rwanda. The orphanage, sadly, was necessary due to the hundreds and thousands of orphans in the country.

He writes, “There are NO dogs here. I miss my two golden retrievers very much, and not having other dogs around to at least pet is bad when you are homesick like I am. So reading your book, GOD’S MESSENGERS, makes me even more homesick. But reading your book did have a bright spot — actually I like the book very much and am reading it each morning as part of my devotions.

While reading the book, this man recognized the name of a story contributor. This was someone he had known in the early eighties when they both had been involved in youth-program charity work for their church. He asked if we would help him re-connect, and we forwarded his email on to the story’s author.

Then he ended his letter by saying, “Thinking about you two and what you have done for dogs and dog lovers (all pet lovers) has inspired me to see how I might earn a living in the Twin Cities when I return in September by working with dogs/pets/people. If you have any ideas along those lines I’d really appreciate it. Keep up the good work. May your day be blessed by the Lord.”

Well, this day-brightener certainly did bless our day. As we mentioned at the start of sharing this experience, it brought out two important points we have witnessed repeatedly through the years.

First, people who are compassionate toward animals tend to also give service to humans. The view that animal enthusiasts love animals because of some inability to relate to or like people just doesn’t prove to be true.

When we wrote the book RESCUED about animal rescue, we asked the interviewees what other charity work they did. Their devotion to alleviating human suffering was equal to or exceeded by what they did for animals. They all seemed to get the message: Rescue an animal and you either improve or heal a human family. Because animals ARE family members.

Second, and this is related to the first, there is a golden thread of Divine Love that connects animal lovers. They find each other, they support each other, they understand each other. The animals touch their hearts and bring them together in sometimes-miraculous ways.

This is one of the reasons we so enjoy publishing our Angel Animals newsletter. The community of thousands of animal lovers all over the world that reads it each week energizes and sustains us.

How have animals brought you closer to people and to giving service to others?

* * *


By Barbara Welch

On Mother’s day in 2008, we tried to keep a stray dog, but she would not stay with us. One week later we saw some college students walking with the same dog. I asked them if the dog was theirs, and they said, “No, but we have been taking care of her.”

The dog was a female Lab-German shepherd mix. She was about nine months old and had short white hair and baby blue eyes. I asked the students if they wanted me to keep the dog. I offered to contact an animal rescue group to be sure the dog would be safe in its care and find a good home. I decided to take care of the dog for a week.

I am a diabetic and was facing the prospect of needing to take a third medication for the diabetes. I started walking this dog three times per day in spite of my heel problems. Because of walking her everyday, I stopped craving caffeine, sugar, etc. My blood sugar numbers came down. I made a total turnaround in only two weeks and I felt peaceful and rested. The walking really did me some good, even though my feet were killing me.

Now, our local shelter has adopted the dog out to a good home. I would have kept her, but I know our cats well and could see that they did not approve. Ours wouldn’t have been the best situation for the dog. I felt such a connection with that dog, but I did not name her, because it would have been harder for me to let her go. I know God sent her to me temporarily just when I needed some encouragement to get out of my house and exercise.

I am very thankful that the dog came into my life when she did. I had been praying for God to help me with my diabetes, and the answer to my prayers came in the form of an animal. Since the dog graced my life, I have continued to walk and ride my bike at least two miles per day. My blood sugar is still under control, and my doctor said I do not have to take the new medication. Praise the Lord.

Barbara Welch is forty-five years old and has been married twenty-one years. She is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. Barbara plays the piano, crochets, and sews. She loves all kinds of music and listens mostly to Christian contemporary but enjoys a good dose of 1980s rock and roll.

Has an animal ever entered your life temporarily and helped you to heal or left a permanent paw print on your heart? (Send your stories to angelanimals@angelanimals.net.