What are the animals in your home learning from each other?

LEARNING FROM EACH OTHER

Leaf, Sunshine, and Cuddles

Leaf, Sunshine, and Cuddles

The animals who live together in our house appear to be learning from each other. It’s a strange sight to behold.

As dogs tend to do, our cocker spaniel Leaf runs to the door when we comes home and he wags his tail with friendly excitement. Now, so does our little cat Cuddles. She scampers along behind Leaf. Her tail swishes. Uncatlike as it may be, she expresses her happiness at seeing us.

When he was about one year old, Leaf was abandoned at an animal shelter. We adopted him, and it’s been quite an adventure ever since. Even though he’s made his home with us for eight years now, he still has abandonment issues.

We leave the room or he wakes up and doesn’t see us; he howls. We leave the house; he howls even louder.

We adopted Cuddles as a kitten from the same animal shelter. She’s never gone through abandonment nor has she howled. But after years of watching and listening to Leaf, she’s added howling to her behavior.

It’s her version of a howl which is more like a yell. But the other day, after Allen left the house, Linda was surprised to hear Cuddles mark his departure with a long, drawn-out meow. We had a symphony of howling and yelling for about 30 seconds.

Early on after Leaf came home, he began watching Cuddles jump up on our bed at night to sleep with us. Guess who soon joined us on the bed? If she can do it; so can I!

What are the animals in your home learning from each other?

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Who is in charge of keeping you in balance when your life fills up with too many to-do list items?

Who tells you it is time to play?

The truth of the matter is – we are working too hard and putting in too many hours on the next books. But we have barometers in our home who tell us that. They are named Leaf, Cuddles, and Sunshine.

A Dog Named Leaf

A Dog Named Leaf

Cuddles

Cuddles

Sunshine

Sunshine

Leaf, our dog, brings his ball and drops it at our feed and tells us to throw it for him. Cuddles, the little cat, vocalizes with a scolding tone of voice. Sunshine, the bird, screeches more than usual but also sings his song if one of us spends quality time with him.  He is giving us positive reinforcement to play with him too.

Everybody joins in the chorus to let us know that it is time to rest, time to take a break, time to play.

Who is in charge of keeping you in balance when your life fills up with too many to-do list items?

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.

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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?

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.

ANIMALS STARS – NEW BOOK OFFER

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

We Love Cats Too

Cuddles

Cuddles

WE LOVE CATS TOO

With all our writing about the release of A DOG NAMED LEAF, you may have been wondering if we have forgotten about cats. Never fear. Cats still make us purr. Our sweet little black-and-white kitty Cuddles remains a star in our universe. We treasure her intuitiveness and intelligence but most of all, her kisses.

Our mornings start with Cuddles licking Linda’s fingers a minute before the alarm is set to ring. She’s never been wrong about the fact that it’s time to get up.

So as we approach Thanksgiving, we are grateful for Cuddles and all the other cats who have enriched and blessed our lives — Mugsy, Fiesty, and Speedy. Each of them brought their special gifts and taught us how to be more gracious.

Speaking of gratitude, we have to mention how exciting it was when Allen had the lauch of his new book at Common Good Books in St. Paul, Minnesota last week. The stores’ renowned proprietor, the ever-entertaining and witty Garrison Keillor, stopped by and said hello prior to the event.

Go to http://www.angelanimals.net/nlimage98.html to see a photo of Allen with Garrison. It was a highlight of an evening that was filled with the good wishes of friends and animal lovers. The store donated 10 percent of the book sales that evening to the local shelter Animal Ark, which is one of the nation’s leaders in the no-kill movement.

If you have read A DOG NAMED LEAF, it would be a wonderful support to us if you would log on to Amazon.com, search for the book by title, write a short comment to say what you loved about the book, and gave it five stars. With hundreds of thousands of animal books for people to enjoy, reader comments mean a lot as someone is deciding to buy a book or request it from a library. Thank you in advance for your help.

What in life, especially in relation to animals, are you grateful for?

Please share your comments, answers to the question, and photos on Angel Animals Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/angelanimalsnetwork or http://www.facebook.com/adognamedleaf and “Like” Angel Animals and A Dog Named Leaf.

This week’s story is about Simon, a 10-year-old cat born with a spinal deformity who has been a registered therapy animal since 2009. He was recently awarded the Colorado Animal Hero Award in the service category for his outstanding therapy work.

We encourage you to e-mail this newsletter in its entirety to your animal-loving friends and encourage them to sign up for our weekly publication. They will be joining a terrific community of thousands of like-minded people from around the world. We do not sell to or share our newsletter subscriber list with anyone.

Animal blessings,
Allen & Linda Anderson

 

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

http://www.angelanimals.net

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