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Awareness Magazine
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Pet Corner

Animal Relationships that Heal

By Allen and Linda Anderson


Our little black-and-white cat Cuddles has recently been diagnosed with hyperhyroidism. Our trusting relationship with her was put to the test as we gave her daily doses of the prescribed medication.

Cuddles is such a clever cat. We would think she had swallowed the pill after she stuck out her little pink tongue: See, all gone. Then she would run off, and we would find the pill where she had spit it out.

We wrapped the pill in cat food or cheese, inserted it in a pill pocket, and attempted to entice her to eat it. She would eat the pill pocket or cheese and leave the medicine untouched.

Over time, Cuddles has either accepted that no matter how much she protests, she is getting the pill or maybe, she feels sorry for us and understands we are trying to help her. Whatever the reason, she has started to occasionally jump up on the bed and wait for the twice-daily ritual. One time during the procedure, she even began to purr.

Our thirteen-year relationship with this cat has come to the rescue. She must trust that we have her best interests at heart — even when what we are doing is literally distasteful to her.

Relationships with animals often have a healing element to them. The spiritual connection we have with our pets enables love to come through even in dreams.

The Cat of My Dreams

Ann Walker ( sent her story about Cilla to Angel Animals Story of the Week, and Cilla is featured in Anne’s new book, The Power of the Cat.

“Ten years ago I was about at my lowest ever emotionally when I had a vivid dream before I awoke. My father, who had always loved cats but had been dead for many years, stood in front of me. ‘I am sending you a pure black cat for luck,’ he told me. The dream was so real that I answered him out loud.

“I can not have another cat, I have three already. Where I live, cats have to be licensed like dogs, and the limit is three per household. But the dream stayed with me.

“About ten days later, my daughter turned up with a basket of five, seven-week-old kittens. They had been born on the property of her parents-in-law. ‘I have brought these to show you,’ she told me. ‘Aren’t they lovely? All different colors. I think I might have the blue-gray one.’

“They were gray, tortie, tabby, and tabby-and-white, with one pure black kitten. I didn’t know I was going to say it. The words came of their own volition. ‘I’ll have the black one,’ I said. My daughter pointed out that she had only brought them to show me. By now, I had the black kitten in my arms. ‘I’ll have her,’ I repeated.

“Since that day, I have never found a single white hair on her. She is, as my father said in the dream, pure black. I called her Cilla, after Cilla Black — the singer. No one ever questioned that I had one more cat than the law permitted — even when I registered her.

The abundance of love and laughter Cilla brought into my life at that dark time has not abated. By fulfilling my father’s promise, Cilla convinced me that we all live on after our life here is ended. I have had a great many wonderful cats in my long life, but none has given me more unstinting love than my little pure black Cilla, who came as a gift from ‘the other side’. In addition to the love she gave me, she also brought with her my father’s love.”

Has a dream led you to the next Angel Animal in your life?

Showing Love to Chase

Laura Wetterau has been rescuing greyhounds since 1995. She answers phones for Make Peace with Animals where she talks with people who are interested in rescuing greyhounds or have questions about whether the breed is right for their family. Of all the greyhounds Laura has rescued, Chase stood out enough for her to write his story and share it with our newsletter readers.

“When I picked up Chase from a family who gave him up, his demeanor upset and disturbed me. After he entered my car, he sat down and showed no emotion, even though I tried to tell him that everything would be OK. Chase reminded me of someone who has been abandoned and lost hope for living. I wanted to let him know that someone would love him.

“Several months later, I received a call from our director telling me that no one had volunteered to give Chase a permanent home. The director asked if I wanted him. I said yes and quickly made arrangements to pick him up.

“Chase came into our home with a few quirks in his behavior. All were minor issues the two of us eventually resolved together. I worked very hard to make him understand that he was loved in our family. Some of his silliness started to come out. He would bark when he wanted something, then crouch down, and act as if he wanted to play.

“Chase finally decided that he was going to sleep with me at night. We truly bonded with one another, when I reinforced my love for him, while he snuggled with me.

“I believe that Chase knew he was being discarded from his other family. I was sure that they talked about what they were about to do, thinking he didn’t understand them. But he did. I hope I can show abandoned animals the joy of love, so they too know their worth here on earth.”

When have you given love to and entered into a relationship with an animal that helped bring about a healing?

Allen and Linda Anderson are co-founders of Angel Animals Network and authors of a series of books about the spiritual connection between people and animals. Visit:

A Dog Named Leaf

 “A Dog Named Leaf: The Hero from Heaven Who Saved My Life,” by Allen and Linda Anderson has been selected as a winner of the prestigious 2013 ASJA Awards in the Lifestyle/Memoir category. (

“A troubled and scarred shelter dog and a former police officer face life and death challenges together making A Dog Named Leaf impossible to put down. Its unexpected twists and turns kept me pinned to the pages and cheering for Leaf and Allen to heal and succeed together. Read this most inspirational book and share it widely.”

— Marc Bekoff, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals, Wild Justice, and The Animal Manifesto