Dear Angel Animals Readers,

We are sharing this special edition of the Angel Animals Story of the Week Newsletter. We only do these a few times each year when we have something new and exciting to tell you about. After all the years we’ve been pet book authors, we are so happy to finally be able to offer you our hearts and minds on the subject of writing about pets and animals.

Have you ever wanted the advice of someone with experience who is eager to help you fulfill your dream?


We’re using this special edition of the Angel Animals Story of the Week to introduce you to WOOF, MEOW, WRITE, PUBLISH: Writing about Pets and Animals for Love and Money. It is our downloadable, comprehensive course for people who want to write books, articles, stories, and essays about animals for publication or pleasure.

Check out our new website that tells all about this one-of-a-kind writing course. Go to to download WOOF, MEOW, WRITE, PUBLISH now. You’ll love the 14-day return offer.

Never before have the authors of fourteen published pet books, many of which have won awards and become best-sellers, actually revealed the secrets of writing successfully in the specialized field of pet writing.

We are excited to finally be able to tell you about the techniques and hard-earned experiences that helped us sell over a quarter million books through retail outlets and online bookstores. Our pet writing keeps us in touch with you and thousands of others who read the online Angel Animals Story of the Week newsletter.

Did you know that our books are published in multiple languages, by major publishers in New York and the United Kingdom, and sold in bookstores and online around the world?

Some of you may remember that our 2010 pet book, Dogs and the Women Who Love Them, was listed as one of the top sixteen dog books by O Magazine.

Our seminal book on animal rescue, used in disaster-preparedness training and college classes, won the prestigious American Society of Journalists & Author’s Outstanding Book Award. You may have noticed our books featured on the Today Show, Montel Show, Animal Planet, NPR, USA Today, and the Washington Post, among others.

Betty White, Carson Kressley, Joe Mantegna, Richard Simmons, Tippi Hedren, Willard Scott, Brigitte Bardot, Dr. Allen Schoen, DVM, Dr. Marty Becker, DVM, and numerous other animal-loving celebrities have endorsed our books.

Now we have meticulously gathered together experience and insights we gained since beginning Angel Animals Network in 1996. We are excited to share with other writers the shortcuts, pitfalls, techniques, and challenges of writing about pets and animals.

In today’s world, we know from practical experiences that pet writing can serve as a welcomed additional source of income. Even in a down economy, with two out of three American homes having pets, and most people viewing pets as family members, the market for pet and animal books remains insatiable.

Why do New York Times best-selling authors, such as Susan Orlean, and celebrities, such as Shirley MacLaine, write animal books? These are authors who have written about many topics but they know that people today can’t get enough of the unconditional love, laughter, and fascination animals bring into our lives.

Why, when so many other books are floundering, do pet books remain successful?

It’s simple. Do the math.

If you have a pet, you want to read a pet book. If you don’t have a pet, you want to read a pet book, because it helps to fill the hole in your heart a furry friend would occupy. That’s a lot of people who want to read books, magazines, blogs, articles, essays and website content about pets and animals.

Go to to download WOOF, MEOW, WRITE, PUBLISH now. You’ll love the 14-day return offer.

We’re introducing to you today the most unique writing book ever! And that’s no exaggeration or hype.

You won’t be able to match this book with any other writing book for its practical information about writing, publishing, and marketing. WOOF, MEOW, WRITE, PUBLISH has all the basics and so much more in its three-part course.

A 150-page Manual Filled with one-of-a-kind information about writing, publishing, and marketing that you won’t find anywhere else; includes real-life examples from professional pet authors.

A 115-page Workbook Loaded with 74 exercises and writing prompts that will lead you through every phase of writing about pets.

A 10-minute Audio Recorded Podcast Our chance to talk to you about how we started at mid-life with love for our family pets and built up a business as successful pet book authors who could help animals everywhere with our writing.

Features that make the eighteen modules we wrote for you into a delightful and ONE-OF-A-KIND course are:

* how to observe and write about your pet’s personality
* what your choice of a pet might be saying about you
* the noteworthy aspects of a multi-pet home
* how setting and context affects what you write about pets
* hints for making choices about dialogue and action when animals don’t speak in words
* putting human-pet relationships under a magnifying glass for revealing the delicious details
* discovering the journey you and your pet are taking together
* tricks for transforming your pet writing into page-turners that people have to read
* developing a professional style and voice for pet writing
* becoming aware of animal activists’ hot-button issues you haven’t considered
* enhancing your pet writing (and publishing opportunities) with animal photography
* editing and rewriting with a cat on your lap or a dog at your feet
* overcoming hesitation about publishing what you write
* finding and interviewing ordinary people, authors, experts, and celebrities who love animals
* deciding on the form that best suits your writing about pets and animals
* six proven elements for writing a pet article that gets published
* how to choose an intriguing title for your pet book, story, or article
* overcoming pet-writers’ block and getting unstuck
* finding time and making space for pet writing
* having realistic expectations about pet writing and publication
* how to build a pet-writing career from nothing to selling what you write
* becoming a pet expert that readers respect
* the intricate and complex world of self-publishing pet books
* why self-publishing a pet book is no longer a second choice
* finding a publisher to make an investment in your pet book and writing career
* writing a dynamite pet book proposal
* how to write, syndicate, maximize, and monetize a pet blog
* finding a reputable literary agent to represent your pet book and build your writing career
* eight signs that an “agent” may really be a con artist
* best ways to market, promote, and sell your pet book and pet writing
* why you should think about hosting a pet-writing contest
* building an amazing platform with media attention BEFORE your book is published
* bibliography of pet books for analyzing craft, styles, and formats
* benefits of having a writing coach for achieving your pet writing goals
* and SO much more…

Want to take the first steps toward mastering a form of writing that will connect you with animal-loving people around the world and across cultures?

Want to honor an animal who has meant much to you?

Want to use writing to acquaint potential customers or clients with your pet business or service?

Go to

Join us in making the world a better place for animals and people

through the power and love of the written word. Animals can’t speak or write – but YOU can.

Let us help you make those dreams come true.

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network — Where Pets Are Family



(Excerpted from WOOF, MEOW, WRITE, PUBLISH: Writing about Pets and Animals for Love and Money by Allen and Linda Anderson, Angel Animals Network, 2011. All rights reserved.)

From Part One: Writing about Pets and Animals, Module Five, The Journey — Person and Pet

Pet books and stories, especially memoirs and personal experience accounts, depict the journey of a person and an important animal in the person’s life. Readers get involved in the emotional elements of the story when the main characters — the person and the pet –change and grow.

A simultaneous dual journey involves a person and a pet having experiences together over the same time period. Each of them moves from a beginning of their relationship to the climax and resolution of their most pressing crisis. Then the story finishes with an ending either of their time together or of the main conflict they faced.

A parallel dual journey may happen simultaneously or at different times. In this type of story the pet and person share an issue, such as fear of abandonment. Together they help each other resolve the issue. Some parallel dual journeys involve pets and people who both have the same or similar illnesses or serious challenges to battle.

A separate but equal dual journey is one in which the person or pet has significant experiences happen before or after they are together. This type of dual journey usually occurs when a beloved pet has died, and the person continues on with life, possibly with another pet.

At some point in any dual journey, the lives of the person and pet must intersect. This is when the person comes to understand the roles he and his pet are playing for each other. The discovery is likely the person’s Moment of Truth in the story.

In the popular book MARLEY & ME, the dual journey structure was a logical way to tell both the author’s and the dog’s stories in one book. John Grogan and his wife Jennifer embarked upon a journey of getting married, finding jobs, and starting a family.

Their journey intersected with that of a rambunctious yellow Labrador retriever named Marley. The pet grew up in the course of the memoir from an untrainable puppy to an adult dog with serious issues that impacted the Grogans’ marriage and family life.

The dual journey of Marley & Me is simultaneous.

Marley’s journey shows his oversized fears and drama as he becomes an indispensable member of the Grogan family.

John’s journey is that of a young man who at first, is focused on a career and new marriage. He becomes a respected journalist, father, and somewhat successful tamer of Marley.

John’s Moment of Truth or climax and resolution occur when Marley is about to die. It is then that John realizes and states with clarity to Marley that this ever-loving companion was a good dog.

The trick in a dual journey story is to not lose one thread while the other is unraveling and unfolding. Pet memoirs, even the best-selling books, have reached various levels of success with this dance. The best ones choose to feature events that include both the person and the animal.

Even when the animal is not part of a chapter, the person refers to the pet or remembers something that brings the animal back into the picture.


From Part Two: From Writing about Pets and Animals to Getting Published, Module Eleven, What Form Should Your Pet Writing Take?

Worksheet # 11-2, Try This Prompt
The Road Not Taken

Choose an experience from the period of your life when you and the animals you want to write about were together. This should be something that really rattled you and maybe even changed the entire course of your life. Write about it with as much detail as you can.

Tell how the experience moved you into another path or direction.

Now write about what your life would have been like if this experience had never happened or had turned out differently. How would it have been if the animal had not been part of it?

Compare the two accounts and see if you have a deeper insight into why you had the experience. Why did things turn out as they did? What did the animal contribute to the experience?


From Part Three, Publishing and Marketing Your Pet and Animal Writing, Module Fourteen, Self-Publishing Pet Books

So why bother self-publishing a pet book?

Although bookstores may have a policy of not carrying self-published books, sometimes independent and even chain stores will buy a few from local authors. They will shelve them, as long as the author will lets them return unsold the books. Don’t be discouraged. Stopping by to chat with a bookstore manager can encourage him or her to carry your book or even to schedule a book signing.

But pet books have the advantage of selling to a specific niche market — animal lovers who buy books. This means they sell well in places other than bookstores.

Here are just a few of ways that self-published pet book authors sell their books:

* Pet supply stores may sell self-published pet books, especially those written by local authors.

* Often libraries will buy self-published pet books from local authors and even offer them the opportunity to make presentations about their books for library patrons.

* People buy animal books as gifts for their animal loving friends.

* When someone adopts a pet or loses a pet, friends often give them a pet book.

* Pet books sell in gift shops and anywhere people buy gifts.

* Self-published authors can use part or all of their profits to support their favorite animal charities. They can donate books to animal shelter silent auctions, where animal lovers get to know the authors by seeing the books on display and reading about them in the auction brochure.

* Animal organizations sometimes buy books to give as rewards to their top donors.

* Authors sell their pet books at a discount to animal nonprofit organizations that in turn, sell the books to raise funds.

* Animal books aren’t limited to being sold to the general public in bookstores. They sell in pet supply stores, at fairs, as part of workshops and speaking engagements, and anywhere people who love animals gather.

* Sometimes a pet book author strikes a deal with a pet product, or service company and the company buys the books at a discount to offer as incentives for buying their product or service.

Get creative and you’ll see a multitude of places, people, and outlets that would be great for selling your self-published pet book.


Can you envision yourself as a pet writer? What will your writing do to help animals, other people, and you?


“I have a more hopeful feeling of being published than ever before. I was given tons of new resources and I feel very hopeful for my writing future” –GP

“Wonderfully practical with real world advice and guidance. I am excited. Adopt me! The Andersons are GREAT mentors!” –SK

“Thank you for all the quality information for the starting writer in the pet world. I now have all I need!” –BLW

“So many resources for writing and getting published. It could be used for any type of book or article.” –SRT

Go to to buy and download your three-part pet writing course now.

We welcome you to the wonderful world of writing about animals.


Note: Immediately after your purchase you will receive an email with the link to download WOOF, MEOW, WRITE, PUBLISH.


What are the connections you have observed when life greets life?


Networking is an esteemed practice in business. Get to know the right people who might know even better people. Animals have a different way of networking. They connect with humans and each other in ways you might not recognize if you’re only tuned into mental channels.

How connected is all life? Do we live in a cosmic network that recognizes each transition, each entry and passing?

Bee Horton thinks we do.

Bee lives in a small village in Ecuador. She is involved in reforestation and spends much of her time planting pine and avocado trees on land that has been depleted and eroded due to excessive tree-cutting. She wrote to us about a calf’s miraculous birth.

“On a day I had anticipated for a long time, I watched my cow Kaula give birth to a beautiful calf. I guided the infant to his first breakfast on his mother’s tit. After the birth, I left the milk bucket and ran to our house. I could hardly wait to announce the good news with a radio call to the rest of the family. They, too, were exuberant to hear about Kaula’s baby.

“When I returned to Kaula and opened the gate to her corral, I began to hear a sound that I can only describe as heavenly. I listened, transfixed, to what seemed like thousands of bees roaring in a swarm. I looked up to the sky and around the farm but saw nothing. As I crossed the corral, the sound continued full and beautiful. It sent me soaring into an almost mystical trance.

“After I reached Kaula, I admired her calf, so strong and content. Then I stopped to fill my bucket with fresh milk. The sound continued to bring incredible joy and peace to my heart. I wondered if Kaula could hear it too, since together we’d experienced the miracle of her giving birth. I took the bucket of milk and crossed the corral once again. As I closed the gate, the miraculous sound faded away.

“I believe that God, the Creator, treasures all creation. The birth of an animal is a joyous and sacred moment. Hearing this welcoming spiritual sound reminded me that each animal comes into this world offering gifts of love and companionship.”

What are the connections you have observed when life greets life?

Any thoughts? Any stories? You can post your answers at our Angel Animals Facebook page: 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

BOOKS by Allen and Linda Anderson

BOOKS by Allen and Linda Anderson:

All of Allen and Linda’s books are available at New World Library, online or regular bookstores, some Costco stores, and at many gift shops that sell animal books. The books are sold with author autographs at .

Visit our wonderful publisher’s website at to see the wide array of animal books and outstanding authors published by this company. New World Library always supports animals, the environment, spiritual awareness — and us — in innovative ways.

Animals and the Kids Who Love Them
Dogs and the Women Who Love Them
Horses with a Mission
Angel Animals
Angel Animals Book of Inspiration
Saying Goodbye to Your Angel Animals
Angel Dogs with a Mission
Angel Horses
Rescued: Saving Animals from Disaster
Rainbows & Bridges: An Animal Companion Memorial Kit
Angel Cats
Angel Dogs
You Ought to Be in Pictures by Linda Anderson
Allen and Linda Anderson

Note: To subscribe to the Angel Animals Story of the Week, send a blank message to

Who has believed in your potential when no one else could see it?

First published by Angel Animals Story of the Week, January 9, 2010. Reprinted with permission. To subscribe to the Angel Animals Story of the Week Newsletter, send a blank message to

By Kathe Campbell

A horse’s shocking year, as told to me by loving animal sanctuary folks in Montana — his ominous days before mending at my mountain ranch.

The young Mustang’s life was unruffled, his fodder and spring graze lush, while he contemplated his prime and lived near kin. The fields and pastures were seasonally green, and the rancher forked up two squares a day, lending belly comfort and warmth to the horse’s life even through winter’s chill. Then some folks arrived on the scene to take the youngster away. He left his ma and sidekicks while being prodded into a tiny horse trailer.

Life was now simpler for the gelding, no long green valleys, nobody to run the rivers with.  The hard case that bought the horse was unkind, jerking the youngin’ around while breaking him to saddle, and forcing that cussed bit.

Horse, as the new person called the Mustang, had never known about newfangled shouts, curses, and whippings that he was getting from the man’s leather quirt.  The youngster’s fare dissipated into mostly weeds and dandelions, stale ditch water, and nary one sweet handful of oats.  Worse, he stood afire under summer’s fierce rays while ogling grazing cattle across the fence.

The lady crawled upon Horse’s back for a spell, seemingly content with her new pony as they walked along the dirt road on fair afternoons.  But for an occasional cake of grass hay tossed over his rails by a kind neighbor, Horse was left to languish in the bare and dusty pen.  By summer’s end, his once sleek sorrel coat became pocked and dull, and his raw-boned hips and neck were bit through by a range of pesky chiggers.

Come evening, the man and lady screeched and hollered so loud as to make Horse’s ears twitch.  Sometimes the lady came flying off the back porch, only to lay bellerin’ in the dirt.  Often, the man became so angry, he swore and threw his fist through the window of their unholy little weather-beaten shack.

Autumn came, and the man left the place in his old rusty pickup. The weeds in Horse’s pen were done for, and yet seldom did a soul come with a cake of fodder.  Now and then the offish lady fetched a few handfuls of bunch grass from the yard, always carrying that rank bottle of lightening.  If she’d only offer to take Horse for a ride, he could easily harvest a meal from the dusty grass alongside the road, but it wasn’t to be.

The first snows saw the woman leaving early in the mornings, never seen till after dark throughout blizzards and hard freeze. She emerged nightly from her little car plumb full as a tick, mumbling nonsense as she weaved her way to the house.  Horse whinnied, cribbed on the rails, and kicked the boards, but the lady never turned the lights on or gave him a thought.  Crowbait now, and a layer of snow covering his back, icicles hung long and heavy from the Mustang’s mane.

Looking as though the half dead animal was ready for the bone orchard, a lady from the local animal sanctuary appeared. She opened Horse’s pen and ran gentle hands over his sorry body, murmuring soft sounds of love and reassurance.

Soon a horse trailer arrived, and Horse threaded his thin and weary legs up the ramp. But his knees collapsed, leaving him a crippled heap of filthy flesh and bone.  Kind folks helped him walk into a warm stall where he bedded for days with hay, oats, and fresh water. At only three years old, his way of going seemed lost, and unless salvaged, he’d be put out of his misery.

Weeks passed, and another horse trailer pulled alongside Horse’s stall. Other folks blanketed his emaciated carcass before escorting him inside.  After a long journey the doors opened to the scent of green sprouts in a field and the loping hooves of donkeys rushing to greet the pitiful wretch.  He was turned loose to the glory of it all — a barn, alfalfa hay, and clean running water when he thirsted. Horse was free.

Shivering and gasping at the sight, I saw Horse’s scrawny neck schmoozing my donkeys across the fence one early morn.  “So you’re our rescue baby, you sorrowful thing,” I tearfully whispered, caressing his head against my chest.  “We’ll bring you about.”

Horse was made welcome in a clean, straw-filled stall when he needed comfort and seclusion.  I brushed his coat daily, clipped and filed his split hooves, shared carrots, and assured him he had a home if he was a mind to stay.

He was high maintenance in the beginning and stayed for a goodly time at our ranch, high in the Montana mountains.  When we saddled up and rode the hills and forests on our big champion donkeys, Horse trailed along until he amassed the sleek coat, bulk, and muscle he was born with.

The day came when we shook hands and hugged a dear old friend as he and his small Indian grandson emerged from their truck. Horse had never seen a shave tail before and seemed taken with the boy’s tawny skin, shiny black hair, and winning smile.

The lad crawled up on Horse bareback, pulled gently on the reins, and spoke kind words as they rode the acres.  This was surely the best birthday present the youngster ever had, as the Mustang walked easily into their trailer to go home.  They called him “Freedom.”

Kathe lives on a Montana mountain with her mammoth donkeys, a Keeshond, and a few kitties.  She is a prolific writer on Alzheimer’s, and her stories are found on many ezines.  Kathe is a contributing author to the Chicken Soup For The Soul and Cup of Comfort series, numerous anthologies, RX for Writers, and medical journals.  Email her at <kathe @>


Who has believed in your potential when no one else could see it?

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network

Note: To subscribe to the Angel Animals Story of the Week Newsletter, send a blank message to

Have you befriended an animal who showed remarkable intelligence that others hadn’t seemed to notice?

“GRATITUDE FOR AN AMAZING HORSE” was first published in Angel Animals Story of the Week Newsletter on 12-12-09.  To subscribe send a blank message to

By Karen Murdock

“Lukas is such a lucky horse. He should be so grateful to you, Karen, for everything you’ve done for him”.

Gratitude is something on everyone’s mind around this time of year. Especially for me. I receive over one-hundred e-mails a day about Lukas, from all over the world, and many are similar to the one above.

Granted, Lukas has come a long way since leaving the racetrack after three unmemorable back-of-the-pack finishes and two bowed tendons. After changing hands several times, he ended up in a yard with a family that had no horse experience and severely neglected and underfed him.

When I purchased Lukas as a ten-year-old, green, project horse from the lady who had rescued him, I was hoping to be able to show him in some lower level local shows. However, within a month of competition training with the person who was then my barn’s instructor, Lukas quickly became surly, aloof, and dangerous. He began bucking, bolting, and spooking. Before long, he was unsafe even in his own stall.

At that low point, I decided to fall back on my trick-training experience to try and bridge the gap between us. Over the years, I had put tricks on horses as a way to help them find homes, establish a connection, and improve their concentration. I have found it to be a very fun, interactive, and creative process that promotes confidence, trust, and performance.

The foundation of my system is based on kindness and patience, using positive reinforcement to shape desirable behaviors and extinguish what I don’t want. Certainly, though, dangerous behaviors receive a correction based on the offense.

We started with the smile trick. As our lessons progressed, I began to notice a definite improvement in Lukas’s attitude and behavior. He became an eager and willing partner, happy to cooperate and initiate games. Our relationship deepened to love.

His ability to learn, his curiosity and personality flourished to the point that only four short months ago, friends and family urged (insisted) that Lukas was too special not to share with others. I agreed to have his videos posted on You-Tube and have since then, posted shorter clip versions, in hopes that it would increase awareness of horse rescues and thoroughbred ownership. The rest is history, as they say.

To date, Lukas is able to do all liberty moves: smile, pose, nod yes, shake his head no, yawn, catch, kiss (dry and wet), fetch, cross his front legs, wave, curtsy, bow, park out, push a cart, passage, Spanish walk (front and back), jambet (3 legged 180 pivot), act lame, put his legs all together, lie down and let me sit on him, rear, stay and come and go to a mark, pedestal work, hide-and-seek, and be “blindfolded”. He can spell and count and identify shapes and discriminate colors.

We have been privileged to be on NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, HLN (along with many non-affiliates), and Equisearch globally. The Associated Press released a feature story on Lukas last month, and it is still being picked up nationally.

His amazing story has also been included in many magazines, newspapers, forums, blogs, and on numerous websites. He has over 4,000 Facebook friends. He is currently listed both on Yahoo and Google as “The World’s Smartest Horse” (living) and is being compared to Beautiful Jim Key.

I am most proud of his association with The California Thoroughbred Breeder’s Association — an organization dedicated to correct breeding and promotion of Thoroughbreds. Lukas is the official “Spokeshorse” of Canter — a wonderful group committed to finding homes for ex-racehorses. In addition, we are associated with Heal with Horses, a program to aid trauma victims through equine-assisted therapy.

To date, Lukas’s invitations include The Grand Prix HITS Desert Circuit, The Equine Affaire, The International Equestrian Festival, The Western States Horse Expo, and America’s Family Pet Expo.

So, as you may have already guessed, it is I who am grateful to have such an incredible equine partner. His resilience, ability to forgive, zest for life and learning, sense of humor, trust, and love are a daily inspiration to me. Now he also inspires so many others.

Visit to see photos and videos of Lukas.

Visit to see a sweet photo of Lucas with a friend.

Karen Murdock is a retired psychiatric nurse who has been fixing problem horses for over 30 years. She uses a combination of shaping techniques, a specialized version of clicker training, and positive reinforcement. Her unique approach uses games and play as a way to connect and bond with horses to develop confidence, increase focus, improve performance, and build willingness and trust. All of her services and proceeds go to benefit horses. Visit to see videos, photos, and read more about Lukas.


Have you befriended an animal who showed remarkable intelligence that others hadn’t seemed to notice?

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network

To subscribe to the Angel Animals Story of the Week newsletter, send a blank message to

How have horses or other animals listened to your deepest longings and heard what no one else could hear?”

Excerpt from HORSES WITH A MISSION: Extraordinary True Stories of Equine Service by Allen and Linda Anderson (New World Library, 2009), pp. 114-118. Reprinted with permission. All Rights Reserved. To subscribe to the Angel Animals Story of the Week newsletter send a blank e-mail message to Visit to read past Angel Animals newsletters.

Horses with a Mission is on sale for half price until December 14th at

Jodi Buchan, Bemidji, Minnesota

While raising my ten-year-old child, Katie, who has profound mental retardation, my family experienced many encounters with the two-legged cherubic kind — or what I like to think of as earthly manifestations of guardian angels. What I didn’t expect to come across was one with four hooves and a whinny who tucked his Pegasus-sized wings beneath his saddle.

Butch, a retired chestnut gelding, standing about 14 hands high, was one of the horses at SMaRT, the Snow Mountain Ranch Therapeutic Riding Program at the YMCA of the Rockies in Fraser, Colorado, where I took Katie for therapeutic riding. When corralled in with the mares, Butch would thrust his maleness in the direction of every potential mate. Since I’m not an equine specialist, I can’t say if this was typical behavior, but I came to learn that Butch was not a typical horse. Whether the mares responded with a kick or a stampede, he was not deterred.

On the other hoof, whenever he assumed his role as therapy horse, his stride became patient and gentle. His slow, rhythmic, and repetitive gait and the natural movement of his hindquarters influenced his riders, improving their core strength, range of motion, and stamina. It seemed that whatever his mission, be it misguided mating attempts or guided therapy activities, wherever his heart led him, Butch’s dedication was unflappable.

Butch was not merely the “object of modality,” as his purpose is described on paper in grants to funding organizations and reports to medical partners.

The breadth of Butch’s contribution to the multidisciplinary therapy team, helping clients with movement, communication, and behavior is broader than that of his four-wall office counterparts: the hammock-like net swing and the padded, tubular bolster. These are. tools for aiding a therapist in creating positions that strengthen weak neck muscles or challenge balance for their clients, but the net swing and bolster are still inanimate objects. These aids can be useful, even stimulating, but they cannot come close to duplicating the immeasurable benefits of the human-animal bond.

By the time midsummer 1997 came around, Butch and my daughter, Katie, had developed an unspoken understanding, a trust between rider and provider.

Katie’s Breakthrough

At the beginning of one therapy session, I brought Katie to the base of the wooden mounting ramp. Off in the pine-framed meadow, Rose, the program director, led Butch by the reins. Her golden hair lassoed into a ponytail, Rose led a sun-ripened band of three volunteers who trailed behind Katie and Butch.

Katie didn’t look directly at any of them. She tipped her head. Using her peripheral vision to briefly glance in their direction, Katie made a guttural note of excited anticipation-her version of language. I held onto Katie’s arm as she circled and circled in a jig, similar to what she does when waiting for her school bus to pick her up.

Once Butch was safely between the mounting platform and another elevated wooden base, he stood still and patiently remained with his colleagues. Rose took my daughter up the ramp and guided Katie’s hands to the saddle horn. She lifted Katie’s right leg over the saddle. A second volunteer, standing on the platform across from Rose, put Katie’s foot into a stirrup. When Katie was centered, Rose said, “Katie, tell Butch to walk on.”

Katie smiled, unresponsive to Rose’s request. Aside from various pitches of sound indicating her excitement or discomfort, Katie’s only other form of expressing herself was through an adapted sign language. This was limited to “eat,” “drink,” and occasionally “more,” along with a turn away of her head for “no.” We all waited for any kind of response.

Rose repeated the prompt. Katie waited for something to happen, seemingly content just to sit on Butch. Rose waited and repeated the verbal cue a third time. While we listened for any kind of sound from my daughter, the volunteers watched her feet for a slight kicking movement, another way a nonverbal rider could tell Butch she was ready to go.

Finally a volunteer on each side of the horse lifted Katie’s feet to help her tap Butch’s flanks. Rose spoke for Katie and cheerfully said, “Walk on,” and they all headed toward the corral.

Katie’s usually curved, slumped posture straightened. She lifted her head and beamed a smile of pride to the audience — me. I swallowed her joy in a lump and claimed it for my own. Katie has had little to say in her own life, and she attempts whatever is asked of her. In spite of significant challenges, she is completely trusting and seems at peace with her circumstances. In that moment I filled with admiration at the way she sat upon Butch. My daughter, my Katie, my Dale Evans.

Engaged in fun and motivated by Butch, Katie didn’t recognize that she had been positioned on him to achieve therapeutic goals. They were goals that would help her to walk with more stability, sit and stand with a stronger spine, and engage in developing communication. The fact that the assisted motion of mounting him was the same for getting into the bathtub at home — a specific life skill — was an added bonus. Therapy was boring. Butch was inspiring.

After he walked in the corral, Butch matched his gait to the stride of the volunteer holding his lead rope. The other two volunteers, who were walking on either side for the rider’s safety, helped Katie pull back slightly on the reins to stop Butch. They added a “whoa” for her. They handed Katie a plastic ring and guided her hands to drop the ring over a fence post.

Next, they wove their path around barrels, stepped over a row of logs, and even turned Katie around to ride Butch backward. Butch was in sync through it all, even to the point of helping to right his rider by giving a little bump of his bum when she started to slide out of position. To offer Katie and Butch a change of scenery, they all headed out to a trail in the woods.

At the end of nearly an hour riding backward, forward, and sideways, Katie’s stamina faded. She still smiled but was physically exhausted. As they walked back toward me, before they had even reached a halt, Rose said to me, “Katie said, ‘Walk on.'”

“She did?” I asked, a tone of disbelief in my voice.

Katie didn’t talk. Ever.

After nine and a half years of occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy, none of her human therapists had been able to stimulate Katie’s language. And none of those synthetic bolsters, dangling net swings, or cause-and-effect toys, which when poked, shaken, or rolled rewarded the effort with a sound, a light, or other stimulus, had prompted any language.

In fact, after years of stomped hopes and dreams with words such as, “Maybe when she’s three, she’ll be able . . . ,” “When she’s five, eight, ten . . . ,” I’d learned to lower my expectations. The fighting with our city and school district for inclusive activities and appropriate services had gotten to me. The words, “Jodi, you can’t expect miracles,” spoken by a school administrator, had begun to resonate. I’d become half empty. I’d become a mother who thinks of her child, “She can’t do that.”

Nevertheless, there is something ethereal in therapeutic horseback riding. In spite of her disabilities, Katie was participating in an activity some city slickers find terrifying. She had placed all her trust, vulnerability, and ability in Butch’s care without a moment’s hesitation.

That very next week on the mounting ramp Rose again told Katie, “Tell Butch to walk on.” I could see Butch’s left brown eye. His ear twitched backward. I thought I recognized an expression from him of anticipation, of hope.

Then we all heard it – the “w” and “k” sounds were absent. There was no lip closure, but the rhythm and inflection was unmistakable. She said, “Ahh, ann.” Butch gently began to walk. He’d heard it. I don’t think he ever doubted that he would.

At the end of the session that day, after his biscuit and some TLC, I watched a volunteer lead Butch back into the corral with the rest of the horses.

Butch had become the horse who taught me to look up again, who taught me to raise my expectations, to have a little more faith in my daughter’s unknown capabilities and future. Butch is the horse who taught me that miracles can happen 14-hands high above the corral dust.

To see a photo of Butch, go to


“Meditation: Butch’s belief in Katie brought about a miracle for Jodi to witness. How have horses or other animals listened to your deepest longings and heard what no one else could hear?”

“Jodi Buchan has been a merchandiser, advocate, and writer. She is currently working on the story of a mother’s metamorphosis, NORMAL: A MYTHICAL MEMOIR.”
Allen and Linda Anderson
ANGEL ANIMALS NETWORK  — Horses with a Mission is on sale for half price until December 14th

To subscribe to the Angel Animals Story of the Week newsletter send a blank e-mail message to Visit to read past Angel Animals newsletters.


Horses Who Found Their Purpose

We’re doing a special edition of the Angel Animals in Our Midst Blog to make sure all our readers know what a treasure-trove of stories are in the new book, HORSES WITH A MISSION.

Since it’s nearing the holiday season, we’re combining this special edition with a half-price sale on the autographed book from our bookstore ( The book is now half-price at $7.49 for U.S. only. Sorry, but our bookstore doesn’t accept orders from outside the U.S.

THIS SALE ENDS ON MONDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2009. Last year’s new book, ANGEL DOGS WITH A MISSION, is also being offered at half-price for the duration of this sale.

The book is also available at other online bookstores around the world, at, and at chain and independent bookstores.

To read more about this book and see photos of the majestic horses in it, go to

But first, we want you know how much love and devotion each of the twenty-one amazing contributors put into this book. We all worked along with Georgia Hughes, our wonderful editor at New World Library, to bring you the best telling of each story.

Our hope is that you will both enjoy and be inspired by these incredibly heart-opening testaments to the spiritual nature of horses. The stories honor horses who have helped people to fulfill important dreams and who have found their own meaning and purpose in life.

In this book you’ll meet:

MOLLY: a pony who survived Hurricane Katrina and the loss of a leg, but went on to spread her message of hope to children and adults with disabilities. Her story went viral with coverage on the Internet, in the New York Times, and on the CBS Evening News.

SANKOFA: an Arabian stallion who made it possible for social studies teacher Miles J. Dean to complete a cross-country journey in tribute to African American ancestors. Millions of adults and schoolchildren followed their odyssey as Miles and Sankofa made history come alive.

DIANA: a wild horse of the rare Gila herd who proved to be a proud and resourceful lead mare, protecting her herd and teaching the great lesson of forgiveness.

VIOLA: a Norwegian Fjord horse who was imported from Norway to become a broodmare in upstate New York and eventually made her way to Tanya Welsch and MN LINC (Minnesota Linking Individuals, Nature, and Critters). With her innate maternal wisdom, Viola is incredibly intuitive and nurturing, especially with at-risk youth.

PEGASUS: an ornery and unfulfilled horse who found his mission in life by nurturing a rescued foal with a gravely ill mother and went on to provide surrogate care to numerous weaker horses.

The book has been reviewed in a number of magazines and newspapers and we’ve been interviewed about it on radio and television.

For about a month now, the book has been listed as a Top 100 Bestseller in the “horse” book category on Last week, it became a Heartland Indie (independent bookstores) regional bestseller.

Below is a partial list of print reviews:

**Best Friends Magazine (Nov.-Dec. 2009)
**Equine Wellness
**The Latham Letter
**New York Daily
**News Santa Barbara’s The Daily Sound
**Ride Magazine

Rather than our going on and on about what a great book this is to read, we’ll let readers and reviewers express what they appreciated about its unique ability to bring good news to a world that needs to be reminded of the best in human and horse nature.

“The stories in Horses with a Mission demonstrate the soul presence in horses as they use their innate creativity, sensitivity, and intelligence to make choices that serve themselves and others. Karen Sussman’s account of rescuing and documenting a wild horse herd reminds all of us that native and indigenous horses have been here for 52 million years. With hearts and minds open, we can learn from the wild and domesticated horses in this wonderful book.”
–Joe Camp, author of The Soul of a Horse and creator of the films starring the canine superstar Benji

“This collection of stories will remind anyone who has ever had a horse as a best friend, confidante, and soul mate of what a special gift that can be.”
–Carson Kressley, Emmy Award-winning TV host, designer, and author of Off the Cuff

“The brilliant complilation of lovely and touching stories reflect upon the remarkable connection between humans and equines. You don’t need to be an avid equestrian like me to truly enjoy this book, as the stories resonate with a spirit of hope and harmony that is shared by all creatures great and small.”
–Alison Eastwood, actress, director, and producer

“The spiritual and physical bond between horses and the humans who love them often reaches mystical proportions. Nothing celebrates that very special relationship more movingly or with greater clarity than Horses with a Mission.”
–Steven D. Price, editor of The Whole Horse Catalog

“Through their courage, sensitivity, and kindness, the horses in this book become our inspiration and guides. I was especially taken with the way each story gives us something to reflect on in our own
lives. And each chapter ends with an invitation to follow up on what we’ve just felt and experienced, a way to experience quiet time with these magical beings.”
–Michael Mountain, former president of Best Friends Animal Society

“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

“Horses with a Mission allows us to travel into the world of the horse from so many unique perspectives and introduces horses that have touched and changed the lives of many people. To have our own writer, Cooky McClung, featured in this wonderful work makes it all the more fun. It’s a fabulous read.”
–Mason Phelps, Jr., president,

“As an equine professional teaching in seven countries for over forty years, I have read and witnessed many inspirational, magical, and  wonderful interactions between horses and humans. Horses with a Mission is an exceptional collection of such stories. The contributors fine writing abilities and talent share the deep appreciation and love they have for their equine counterparts. Bravo. Enjoy!”
–Franklin Levinson,

“Many pets are here on this earth to help humans in the journey of life. Horses, with their primal nature as prey animals, daily make choices to override their fears, get past traumas, and put themselves in danger
to be one with the humans who love them. The stories in this book are  great examples of the power of unconditional love, which I am reminded of every day in my work helping clients.”
–Lydia Hiby, animal communicator

“When I was a child I was fascinated by the love for horses the cowboy heroes showed — like Roy Rogers’ horse Trigger. Indeed, Trigger at times seemed almost human. This book [Horses with a Mission] celebrates horses that have helped people heal in various ways and that have become special servants to people in need. Horses clearly can have therapeutic uses, and the collection of stories here captures some of the more remarkable examples.”
–Bill Tammeus, Bristol Herald Courier, October 10, 2009

“As with all the Andersons’ books, Horses With a Mission relates amazing, poignant stories of animals who make a difference in people’s lives. These horses, though, go beyond the expected to true acts of courage and heroism, demonstrating the powerful link between humans and horses and also the feats of love and compassion possible when we follow our best instincts.”
–, October 2009

“[Horses with a Mission] With twenty-one dramatic true stories of courageous, loyal, and loving horses who found their life’s purpose, this book reveals the wonders possible when both humans and horses are encouraged and allowed to follow their best instincts.”
–New Consciousness Review: Books that Expand Minds and Lift Hearts, August 28, 2009

“Horses with a Mission: Extraordinary True Stories of Equine Service is a feel-good book that any animal lover can appreciate. While I am a dog person at heart, I found many similarities in the stories included in Horses with a Mission and several of the dog-human stories I’ve read in the past. This is a brilliant compilation of loving, heart-warming stories and would make a wonderful gift for any animal lover on your list this year.”
–Nicole, Lapdog Creations, October 2009

“Horses with a Mission is a great book that shares amazing and heart-warming, true stories about horses. The stories show how horses help humans by enriching, inspiring, and even saving lives.”
–Ride Magazine, November 18, 2009

“Another great work [Horses with a Mission] by authors Allen and Linda Anderson. This husband and wife writing team have put together such classics as the popular Angel Animals anthology series published by New World Library including Angel Dogs, Angel Cats, Angel Horses, and many more.”
–Pet Memorial World, October 2009

Another wonderful book [Horses with a Mission] by Allen Anderson of stories from his readers of how horses have changed peoples’ lives. Very touching stories of horses that return to their original home, the impact the horse had on a person and/or the whole family. All the stories touch the reader and you find yourself remembering the stories and talking to other animal lovers about them.
–Victoria Yates,, November 14, 2009

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 (, 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 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 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.

* * *
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,, (, Barnes & Noble (, Borders Books & Music (, New World Library ( 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 to read excerpts of the book, see video clips of stories, and join in the fun of launching this exciting new book.

* * *
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

Preparing Pets for Fireworks

We asked our Facebook and Twitter friends to tell all of us what they do to prepare pets for fireworks displays. The responses were so helpful that we want to share them with our readers. We are not recommending any of these remedies. You have to use your discretion and do what you think works best for your pets. But people have certainly found some creative and comforting solutions.

Since I am a behavior consultant I’ve outlined a variety of tips for last minute and long term planned strategies in two different articles here: or
–Diana L. Guerrero

How To Keep Pets Safe During Fireworks or Thunderstorms
–Karen Anderson, Animal Communicator

One of the biggest mistakes pet owners do is “reassure” their pet with soft talk and cuddling. This only reinforces their fear! I’ve always conditioned my dogs to not have fear of loud noises like thunder and fireworks by remaining calm around them and having treats available to reward them so as soon as they hear the sound they associate it with a treat. This is positive reinforcement. never used “coddling” to reassure them, as in this case, is a negative reinforcement.
–Anita Solomon

As a former animal control officer, I always requested that the city post a reminder on the water bills for everyone in the city that our 4th of July impounds were about 30 percent higher than the average day. I advised people to make sure, especially if they were not going to be home, that they secure their animals. I personally use Quiet Moments for my dogs, a herbal sedative available at Petco.
–Shawn Pendell Green

My Clancy is a little Yorkie, and I’ve actually had him with me in a carrier while observing fireworks outside. Of course I never exposed him to excess noise levels by being right up close! But by exposing him to fireworks from when he was a pup, he is oblivious to the noise.

I don’t really go out much, so I will be home. I turn up the fans to high and put on music or a movie and sit with my bunnies, if a close noise is loud, and they get scared. I work at the racetrack, and that is an even harder task to keep the horses calm. You just have to keep an eye on them, close their bottom doors, make sure they have hay to try and occupy them. I don’t like the Fourth for that reason, too many locals with cheap, noisy fireworks.
–Randi Melton

One of us stays home and talks to her and keeps her calm.
–John P. Andolina Jr.

Mine hides in the shower!
–Holly Cook

It’s not easy. Our golden is terrified, but we just keep talking and praising him and of course petting him at all times!
–Maureen Freeman

Keep them inside and turn the TV or radio up and talk to them in a soft voice. Let them know it’s okay, and you are there to protect them.
–Terri Storm

I usually go and hang out with them, give them carrots, and reassure them by talking and explaining what is going on in my horse-talk/whisper way. Since having horses, I don’t really go watch fireworks anymore because of this. My mare is used to the noise and she’s bombproof anyway, but my rescued/adopted ex-racehorse, being a Thoroughbred, isn’t as comfortable, although last year he was okay.
–Teri Rehkopf

My two Jack Russells have no problems with noise of either fireworks or thunder, but my dear “T” who has crossed The Bridge suffered terribly. We found that giving him 25mg of melatonin at least two hours before the noise started, GREATLY alleviated his distress. This medication is available over-the-counter with no prescription. It is a naturally occurring substance and not a drug. Consequently it does not make them “doped up” or have any of the usual tranquilizer side effects.
–Barri Soreil

When we lived in the city, we kept the doors and windows shut and I sat on the floor with my two dogs. Same for Halloween and New Year’s Eve.
–Joy Lemmons

Daisy paces incessantly when they start. Usually I turn on the air and she does very well. Poor girl.
–Mel Freer

Your vet will prescribe a sedative without any questions and trust me it really helps.
–Jake Compton

HomeoPet TFLN Anxiety is a homeopathic remedy for relief from fear of: thunderstorms, fireworks, loud noises, and windstorms. It is a natural, non-sedating, tasteless liquid that really helps my mom’s dog cope with thunderstorms.
–Patti Towhill

When my Pom, Hayley, was alive, we had to get the canine version of Xanax for her. One 4th, we came home to find her hiding in the bathtub and she had pooped EVERYWHERE in it! Not sure how my current dogs handle it, though I think they both sleep through it, if we’re sleeping.
–Jennifer Dunn Walsdorf

Homeopathic Gelsemium is a safe and gentle way to reduce the severity of any fireworks-induced anxiety. Whatever potency you can get will be fine from 6x to 30c. You will be amazed. It also works for trips to the vet or when they know you’ll be gone for a long while.
–Robert Scott Bell

In my neighborhood we keep our pets indoors. My cats are indoors only and still get frightened. I pet them and reassure them that everything is okay. One cat has been scared of thunder and always ran and hid under the bed. He has gradually lost most of his fear at loud noises and starts to run but stops and looks back at me as if to say, “Should I run or stay?” The petting and assurance works fairly well. Frankly, sudden, loud noises make me jump, too!

I’ve never attended public fireworks and festivities, because it seems no matter where we’ve lived there are always neighborhood lunatics who set off what seem to be bombs. It scares the dogs so much, and I’d like to think they feel better with me here. I’m watching my mom’s dog this week and he is very, very uncomfortable.
–Jeannine Mallory

What do you do to prepare your pets for fireworks?