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Pet Corner

Angel Animals in Our Homes

By Allen and Linda Anderson


We were recently asked to submit stories to a national publisher who was doing a book about angels. We sent stories of animals who transformed people’s lives and inspired them to greater purpose. According to the editors’ definition of an angel, the animals in those stories didn’t make the grade. Finally we found out what they wanted — stories of animals that had literally saved people’s lives. Only a dog that alerted some-one to a fire or a cat that dialed 911 (just kidding) qualified as an angel.

At Angel Animals Network, we think animals are angels when they deliver the message that you are loved. Emily T. Hartmeyer from Florida wrote the following story for “Angel Animals Story of the Week” June 8, 2013 newsletter. She and her husband Bill had recently lost their beloved dog Gizmo. Their home was now lonely and silent. Six weeks later, Bill found a young yellow cat huddled up by their garage. He asked around the neighborhood, but no one knew anything about the cat.



“Remembering that Bill only had dogs as pets, I never thought he might adopt a cat. But Bill found a cardboard box, lined it with old towels, and invited the lonely vagrant to spend the night in our garage, where he felt perfectly at home. Saturday and Sunday we provided our guest with food and drink, and he visited our neighbors. Bill and I conferred and decided that since we lost Gizmo, we needed a pet.

“Sunday afternoon, Bill left without saying where he was going. He returned with cat food and a cat carrier on which he placed the sign, “Jerry Hartmeyer”. I knew then that we had a cat. Bill explained, “If we are going to keep God’s gift to us — which this little cat is — he should get checked out, so let’s take him to the doctor first thing tomorrow.”

“Although Jerry cautiously entered our laundry room adjoining the garage for meals, he preferred sleeping in the garage at night. Gradually he grew accustomed to indoors, and eventually even slept with us on our bed. He captured our hearts with his antics and his silky golden hair. We loved to brush it each morning as we gave him catnip while playing with him and his cat toys.

“’Bill,’ I said, ‘isn’t it funny how Jerry’s the same color as Gizmo?’

“’Yes, and it seems more than a coincidence that Jerry came so soon after we lost Gizmo: I wonder when he left, if his gentle spirit found this poor, lost cat and directed him to us, knowing how Jerry could heal our broken hearts.’”

 Have you had the feeling that a pet angelically guided a new animal family member home to you?


An Angel Dog with a Mission

In our book “Animals and the Kids Who Love Them” we have the story of a dog whose rough start in life could not have foretold what an amazing angelic mission he would have one day. After Dayna Hilton, a firefighter from Clarksville, Arkansas, adopted a neglected Dalmatian named Sparkles, the dog’s purpose became clear.

“After adopting Sparkles in 2003 with the sole intention of making her a member of our family, I soon realized that she was a fast learner and enjoyed going with me to the fire station. She loved interacting with the other firefighters. One evening, just for fun, I wanted to see if Sparkles could “crawl low” for me. This is a key fire safety behavior that I was teaching children as part of my school education program.

In a building on fire, the air is cleaner and cooler twelve to twenty-four inches from the floor. “Get out” and “Go to our family’s meeting place” are also instructions that parents must give their children for fire safety in the home. With a video camera in one hand and a treat in the other, I asked Sparkles to crawl low for me. It was exciting to watch her follow the command on her first attempt.

“I realized then that Sparkles could be my partner in fire safety education. Demonstrating other fire safety behaviors also came easily for her. She would jump into her bed when I directed her to do so. I would cover her with a blanket, and she would pretend to be asleep. At the sound of a smoke alarm she would jump out of bed, crawl low, and go to the meeting place I had designated.

“Sparkles and I visited Tulsa, Oklahoma, to read from our book “Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog” and make a fire safety presentation for approximately 450 pupils at Celia Clinton Elementary School. Each child that day received the book, courtesy of the Rotary Club of Tulsa.

“The school’s principal, Mrs. Tanya Davis, called later to tell me the experiences of two children, Angelica Riggins and Dystiny Hodges. About Dystiny, the principal said, ‘I was walking down the hallway, when one of my third graders came running up and said, ‘Mrs. Davis, my microwave caught on fire, and I grabbed my brothers and sisters, and we got out of the house, because we saw smoke. Sparkles taught us to get out quick, so we ran outside.’

“During our follow-up visit to the school, five-year-old Angelica told me her story. She said, ‘Firefighter Dayna, I was in bed under the cubbers, and the smoke came. I crawled out of bed and crawled low, just like Sparkles showed me. I said, ‘C’mon, Daddy, you have to get on the floor and crawl low like Sparkles.’

Angelica’s dad had become disoriented while standing in a smoke-filled room in the burning house. Fortunately, he was able to follow his daughter out. The firefighters said the home had flashed over, which means it became totally engulfed in flames, just as they got Angelica’s father out the front “

What is your definition of an Angel Animal?

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 Their newest book is A Dog Named Leaf: The Hero from Heaven Who Saved My Life. (