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Highly Unlikely Pair Of Friends – Ingo, Belgian Shepherd; And Poldi , One-year-old Owlet
By Ivor Block

Tanja Brandt is a German photographer who has dedicated her career towards photographing animals and wildlife. In one of her most recent projects, Brandt shot photographs of a highly unlikely pair of friends – Ingo, the Belgian shepherd; and Poldi (Napoleon), the one-year-old owlet. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | animal communication, animal companion, animal compassion, animal wisdom, communication, family
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My Four-legged Mentor
By Diana Carr

Eyes the color of Irish moss locked onto me and wouldn’t let me go. Willed me into returning the gaze. Made me fall in love on the spot. The rescue kitty, a silver tabby, had chosen me, and I’m so glad he did. He has been my teacher, as well as my friend.

He was so weensy, that at six weeks old he could snuggle up quite nicely in the palm of my hand. Not much time for snuggling, though. He had a cat’s boundless curiosity, which took him on endless excursions throughout the house, exploring this and that, taking such delight in absolutely everything. I would watch him wrestle with a paper bag, every inch of him thrown into the fray, nothing else in the world mattering, and I would think, “This is how life is supposed to be. This good, and this simple.” Read more

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COMMENT (0) | animal companion, animal wisdom, cat, healing, teaching
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My Dog Sister
By Tanya Sousa

I don’t know if Mom instinctively chose a puppy that was like her, or if the puppy chose her for the same reasons, or if it was all a coincidence.  What I do know is that the tiny mixed breed puppy Mom named “Simba” looked much like a lion cub with reddish-gold fur and a black face and had pride and personality to match.  She was a formidable lady, benevolent but alpha, exactly like my rock of a mother. My family had moved from a Massachusetts suburb to the wild Vermont countryside, settling on a long defunct farm complete with old wooden wagons and spiked metal tines hidden in tall field grasses, a decaying barn full of mysteries, and woods full of once lively logging trails.  There were endless opportunities to run and explore. I stayed outside for hours on end, my mother knowing I was in good hands with Simba. Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | animal companion, animal wisdom, dog, relationships
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Expert Series:Furry Soul-Mates: Spiritual Contacts With Companion Animals
By Shiri Joshua

Shiri and “fuzzy soul-mate” ‘Pfizer’ (because she is a natural anti-depressant).

In truth, we don’t own anything or anyone. We are not “pet owners,” we simply rent time with those we love (be they in a human or animal form). Working and speaking with hundreds of animal lovers over the past decade, I have come to humbly appreciate how precious is the love we share with our companion animals. Those who have not experienced – or have not allowed themselves to experience – this kind of an open heart kinship, simply do not really understand that this is a relationship like all others in our lives.

Yet sometimes we come across a particular companion animal that penetrates so deep into our heart, we can’t even explain the depth of the connection… It feels familiar as if we’ve known each other our whole life time! Read more

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COMMENT (1) | animal companion, animal wisdom, relationships, spiritual
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Expert Series: Somebody To Love
By Amara Rose

My brother is besotted. Molly is his everything: the love of his life, the girl of his dreams, the one he’s waited for forever. When I phoned my dad on Father’s Day, my mother asked if I could call back, as they had company. When I did, Dad said, “Your brother was just here with his wife…” My mind reeled: when and whom did he marry? Dad continued, “That’s how it seems, anyway. He cuddles her and kisses her, she licks him, and it’s just like they’re married.” 

Molly is a Boston Terrier. Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | animal companion, animal wisdom, enlightenment, self realization
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This Little Light Of Mine
By Christine Durrant

You know that song, “This Little Light of Mine”? That’s my “theme song”. I’m Chris and I’d like to share my light with you.

My childhood was horrendous. My father was an animal lover but as far as humans, he was a tyrant. He was a raging alcoholic, extreme racist and just plain rotten to society. He was afraid of no one and always ready for a fight. He would do so much for animals but abused and neglected his family. I’m not here to judge him or dwell on his behavior, I am sure he has his demons and I’m sad about that but I’m just trying to paint the picture. He was violent and unpredictable and I would hide in the closet, usually with one of our dogs. He would never hurt an animal so I was usually safe with one of them. My love for animals blossomed from this life I was stuck in. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | animal companion, animal wisdom, children, learning, self growth
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Good Cats Make Good Neighbors
By Alessandra Bianchi

The phone call came in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner. We were at my in-laws,’ and my face flushed with embarrassment when they handed the receiver to me.

“Willy’s been hurt. Not exactly a collision, but some sort of brush with a car. He wanted to be put in the crib, so that’s where he is right now.” Read more

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COMMENT (0) | animal communication, animal companion, animal wisdom
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My Little Trooper Dog Trevor
By Tammy Mackey

It’s early October, 2009 and my home is a little too quiet these days as I don’t  hear four extra paws clicking on the worn cedar floors in my kitchen.  I miss those clicking sounds which came from my wonderful dog Ranger.  Ranger is part German Sheppard and Rottweiler and he’s passing away as I whisper into his ear telling him “It’s ok Ranger, its all ok.  I’m right here.  Mama’s right here so don’t be scared.”  He passes in our front porch at 0140 August 28 with my arms embracing him.  I decide to sleep with my dog this evening, not wanting to leave his side.  I call my mom and she lends her comforting ear to my heartfelt words that are spoken through a lump in my throat while I sob and sob.  Her voice on the other end soothes me for the next three hours. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | animal companion, animal compassion, dog, inspiration
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Meet Joe Black
By Chris Shin

I foster orphan kittens with the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA: http://www.orphankittenrescue.com/home/) and have been for about seven years. As my lifestyle is not conducive to adopting an animal companion (I travel regularly), fostering is the perfect opportunity for me to balance the responsibility and the enjoyment of having a purring creature. Plus, I see my role as a connector, a facilitator, a middle person: I socialize and raise kittens that need a home and when they are ready, I match them to the right home. And there is always a right home for each of the kittens. Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | animal companion, cat, service
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Lottie Dot
By Joanne Wannan

Patricia Belt looks at a photograph of herself alongside her five-year-old Dalmatian, Lottie Dot, and can’t help but chuckle. Her blue eyes sparkle in the picture and she is obviously proud. But several wisps of hair have escaped from her upswept hairdo. They flutter at odd angles, some across her face, others straight up into the air. “Oh my, look at that! I’m such a mess!” Patricia exclaims. “I get so caught up with Lottie Dot, I never have time to think about myself, much less stop and comb my hair.”

It’s certainly no wonder. Lottie Dot is a dog with a multitude of talents and a chockablock schedule of places to go and people to see. She even has her own resumé, and it is truly an impressive one. Lottie has volunteered in 19 different facilities and received five different awards for her work. As for her interests, they include doing tricks, playing Frisbee, giving and receiving hugs, and capturing everyone’s heart.

What Lottie Dot’s resumé doesn’t tell you is that when she was only eight weeks old she was abandoned and almost froze to death in the snow. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | animal companion, animal training, animal wisdom, deaf
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Grandma’s Best Friend
By Laurie Damer as told to Eric Damer

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but I think a cat was my Grandma’s best friend. She had had several beloved companion pets during her life, but her last little cat was special. She provided unconditional affection and emotional support to Grandma in the last years of her life, when she needed it the most, and she even called for help when Grandma could not. When Grandma passed on, this cat then helped sustain me and my parents when we needed it the most.

Perhaps this last cat was so special because of the circumstance in which she came into Grandma’s life. Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | aging, animal companion, animal wisdom, cat
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Thanks Little Orphan Squirrels For Making Me Whole
By Tammy Mackey

My amazing journey began on April 4, 2004 at 7:55am.  It was a day that I will remember forever.  I awoke to a grey drizzly day, and the first item on my agenda was to place sunflower seeds on the railing for our squirrel friends who frequented our property daily for special treats.  I enjoy seeing the wildlife come to our yard for a handout to help them along, especially when food is scarce.  As I walked along the second storey deck, I always checked the yard below.  I saw a lifeless grey squirrel at the bottom of our large maple tree. I immediately yelled to my husband Kevin to bring this squirrel inside.  I realized that she was an adult lactating female which meant that there were babies somewhere out there with no mom. I had to find those babies. Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | animal companion, animal wisdom, inspiration
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My Dear Watson
By Arlene Poma

I hate to see people cry.  Inmates and wards do not cry.  They stuff their emotions, and that makes it even worse.  I was a prison guard in California and if my inmates and wards had told me how they felt instead of acting out, there would have been some hope for them.  In life, only cowards pretend not to feel.  These people had suffered abuse all of their lives.  All I had to do is open their files and read.  Unfortunately, their stories were all the same.

At that time, I also knew about hiding feelings.  I knew about a very personal kind of pain.  I knew about keeping secrets and feeling alone.  For years I had slept with my eyes opened while staying with my first husband.  In two fits of rage spaced years apart, he had blacked out and tried to kill me. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | animal companion, renewal
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Fido, My Iranian Soulmate
By Sherveen Ashtari

One of my kindred spirits is a dog. Actually, he’s more than a dog; he’s the owner of one of the most sensitive and biggest hearts I’ve ever known.

I had a very lonely childhood, partly because of my own crippling shyness and quirky personality and interests, but also to a large part because of my circumstances. I was the result of a bi-cultural marriage and was born in a country and to a family unaccustomed and perhaps slightly hostile to outsiders. I was, for a while, the only girl in my extended family, and whenever I was around other children, it was older cousins— always boys— who didn’t mind having an extra ultra-skinny player on their team or someone to put blame on when a prank turned sour. To the rest of the world, especially to other children my age, I was an enigma; too polite, too sensitive and quiet, and always with a book in hand. I was, not surprisingly perhaps, always bullied and picked on. Read more

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COMMENTS (15) | animal companion, animal wisdom
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Snowflakes
By Joanne Lovering

Snowflakes came into our lives unexpectedly. The day before Snowflake’s birth, my little boy said to me, “Bobalink is going to have some babies.” Bobalink is our female tabby cat. At the time, she was actually our 7-month old tabby kitten. We had not spayed her yet because my friend Jane had only recently rescued her from a neighbour’s garage. I had not noticed her swelling tummy. I contradicted my 10-year-old son at first, but on closer look my “no” turned to “maybe.” The next day my “maybe” turned to a “well lookie there.” Three precious lumps appeared in her box. Snowflakes was one of them, so named because the white markings on the back of his mostly black body looked like snowflakes. Kind of.

Unfortunately, Snowflakes’ mother did not favour him. He had a few good weeks of nursing alongside his sister (the third kitten did not live long) and then suddenly, his mother was done with him. One day she grabbed him by the top of his head and tossed him out of the box. His sister was still welcome to snuggle and feed, but not Snowflakes.  So, Snowflakes grew up fast. And strong. And independent. Read more

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COMMENTS (3) | animal companion, animal wisdom, humour
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Therapy Dogs Are A Reader’s Best Friend
By Hannah Sutherland

On her regular Friday-morning shift, Katie walks into White Rock Elementary and is greeted by the excited students she has come to help read.

She has two associates in tow – 200-pound, three-foot-tall Chewbacca, whose head could compete with the size of most watermelons, and nine-year-old Dougal, who has been known to sit on students when she senses they are having a rough day.

Despite having a bad back and sight in just one eye – not to mention being a dog – there is no doubting Katie’s ability to engage young learners. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | animal companion, animal training, children, learning
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I Am Sorry To Bother You
By Mike Harvey - 87 Years Young

Dear God,

I am sorry to bother you with a question that may appear silly to you.

The question is this: Is it okay to love a dog more than you do a human being? The reason I ask this is simple. Dogs have always been my very best friends.

As a youngster I was shunted into the background as my parents divorced and then remarried.

I was the excess baggage disposed of by being sent to a boarding school. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | animal companion, loss, relationships
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Felix The Cat Part IV: The Grey Dragon
By Melissa Roberts

When my cat Felix decided to tolerate Mum and Dad’s cat Tiptoe in 2010, we had been living there for nearly two years. I never expected Felix to give in, but then again I never expected to lose my job and have nowhere else to go but back where I had come from.

Former stray turned beloved pet, Felix moved with me from St. Louis, Mo to small town Kansas after I lost my job as a hospital chaplain in 2008. My parents and I agreed this would be a temporary situation- six months at the most- until I could get back on my feet. We all overestimated my employability and underestimated the recession. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | animal companion, empowerment, renewal, thriving
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Much More Than A Hearing Dog: The Story Of Jane And Sita Biehl
By Julie Flanders

Jane Biehl resisted getting a hearing dog for years. Biehl, a counselor and professor in Canton, Ohio who has been deaf since childhood, felt that she had managed fine without a hearing dog for decades, and she could easily continue to do so.

Her attitude changed after a friend was robbed and beaten in his own home. Biehl felt vulnerable, and set out to change that by getting a hearing dog. As with so many things in life, the timing was fortuitous. If Biehl had decided to get a dog sooner, she wouldn’t have been partnered with Sita. And if there is one thing that has become clear in the nearly four years they have been together, it’s that Sita and Jane were meant to be. Read more

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COMMENTS (9) | animal companion, animal training, deaf, empowerment
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How A Brown Baby Bunny Changed My Destiny
By Sarah Goodwin-Nguyen

A little brown bunny changed the path of one human life–mine, specifically. But on the day we took him home, my fiance and I just thought he was really cute. We had a mimosa buzz after a holiday brunch, and walked into a pet store on New York City’s Lower East Side “just to look.”

Mama bunny and her litter were all adorable, of course, with their pointy ears and gangly back legs all jostling for room in the too-small glass tank. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | animal companion, animal wisdom, self realization, thriving
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Kaloo, The Black One – Endless Loyalty And Love!
By Ernest Dempsey

I am running with all the excitement and energy of a child, and the playful dog is running after me. He is the child of my beloved pet dog Kaloo – the one who died years ago. I have the feeling that Kaloo’s son is a continuation of his loyalty and dedication to me. He is playing with me as Kaloo did years ago. I have only a very slight awareness of the large house I am in, and am indifferent to the setting sun and growing darkness of the evening. Running with Kaloo Jr. has left me breathless, and as I sit on the roof of the house, the dog snuggles at my side. I embrace him, and breathing heavily, I think what a bliss it is to have Kaloo with me in another body, just like his own. Suddenly, I feel how long it has been since Kaloo died. The thought brings an instant feeling of loss. I look at the dog snuggled beside me, and he is no more there. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | animal communication, animal companion, spiritual
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Coming Home: Felix the Cat Part III
By Melissa Roberts

In the summer of 2008, I experienced the nightmare of millions of adults during a recession. I lost my job.

At the time, I lived in a small St. Louis apartment with my elderly cat, Felix. Felix is a special needs kitty with chronic kidney disease. Felix and I had already survived her near death and two years of me working as a hospital chaplain. I wondered what would happen to us next.

I had applied for chaplain jobs in St. Louis, and closer to my family in Kansas, beginning in the spring with interviews, but no offers. That summer, I branched out into positions involving teaching, social service, church work, and indeed anything remotely related to my skills and education. Friends, colleagues, everyone I knew gave me tips, and I followed up with no luck. Anyone hunting for a job can relate to that maddening hunger that nothing, but the security of a permanent income, can satiate. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | animal companion, animal wisdom, renewal, unemployed
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Love Led Me To You: An Abused Horse And Woman Save Each Other
By Narrated by Alan Thicke

This is a moving and powerful video about how a woman and a horse saved each other. Phyllis becomes whole, overcoming her drinking while healing Shag-Ra, the abused horse. Shag-Ra answers the phone, takes stray cats for a ride, and Lip-Synchs to music. This first appeared on Animal Miracles narrated by Alan Thicke.

Click here to view.

Back to Stories

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COMMENT (0) | animal companion, animal wisdom, self improvement, thriving
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A Lump Of Flesh
By Dr. Manjiri Prabhu

 

In India, (and perhaps all over the world) street dogs are at constant risk from humans in one form or another, whether it is starving to death, or being considered a menace or a parasitic nuisance in society. Either way, they are condemned to a life of misery and pain.

I would like to recount an experience, which completely changed me. Read more

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COMMENTS (11) | abuse, animal companion, enlightenment
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Maggie Meets The Car
By William MacBride

If you’ve never had a dog get hit by a car, you may not fully understand what it’s like. This can be as devastating an experience as if it were to happen to a child. This is a story about the time I learned for real how this feels, by experiencing it. My girlfriend’s dog, Maggie, learned how it felt even more directly. Read more

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COMMENTS (3) | animal companion, relationships
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