Excerpts from Angel Dogs: Divine
Messengers of Love by Allen and Linda Anderson with a foreword by
Willard Scott. Reprinted with permission. Copyright 2005. All Rights
Foreword by Willard
Introduction: Spiritual Guide
Have You Received Loyalty and Friendship from Divine Messenger
Cpl. J. R. Dugan Honorsa Fallen Soldier, Charles Patrick
An Angel in the Night, Diana Johnson as told to Mary J.
Postscript from Cell Dog Hershey, Frank and Leigh Ann
A Puppy’s Love Prepared Me for Motherhood, Jill
Temujin’s Spiritual Message, Wayne Aerni
They’re Still Walking, Bill Mann
What If Heroes Have Four Paws and Fur?
Tequila, the Matchmaker Dog Who Saved a Family, Caroline Kane
Poni Faces a Poisonous Rattlesnake, Del Langheld
The Puppy Who Belonged to No One, Jeanne Croud
Gracie, Our Hostess Dog, Pam Thorsen
Bonnie, Our Everyday Hero, Richard and Marjorie
You Catch Joyrides on Wagging Tails?
Pinkey, Bob Shaw
Incident at Lake Isabella, Kathy Broderick
The Booger Dog, Pamela Jenkins
A Tender Solution for a Tough Problem, Lyndra Hearn
Sierra, the Dog Who Taught Me to Live in the Moment, Monique
Leading the Way, Eleanor Garrell Berger
Dog Day, Roberta Beach Jacobson
Taylor Teaches Us How to Play, Allen Anderson
Are Dogs Your Divine Prescription for Better
Haley, the Angel Dog Who Helped Me through Cancer, Ashley
More about Haley, Sharen Meyers
Angel in Waiting, Sally Rosenthal
How a Freezing Dog Warmed Our Hearts, Marion T.
Joshua B. Dawg’s Lamp of Faith, Patti Cole
Shep’s Connection with Andy, Bina Aitchison Robinson and A. M.
Wanda, My Angel and Therapist, Deborah Straw
Have Dogs Discovered the Doorways to
Midnight Visit, Fred Wickert
Delilah, My Gentle Giant, Colette Muhlenkamp
Sheba’s Last Visit, Howard Weiner
Our Invisible Valentines, Amelia Kinkade
My Dog and I Shared a Dream, Julie Olson
Typo, the Dog Who Was No Mistake, Sarah Casey
Contributors and Photographers
About Allen and Linda Anderson
Excerpt from “Introduction: Spiritual
By Allen and LindaAnderson
The Emotional and Spiritual Lives of Dogs
have lived with dogs for most of our lives. It has also been our privilege to
collect thousands of true anecdotes from people who write about the positive
effect that dogs have had on their lives. Over the years, we have been able to
publish their stories in our series of books and newsletters, and on our Angel
Animals Network website. After reviewing the accounts people have sent to us
about their experiences with dogs, we have concluded that there are two
underreported aspects in which the lives of dogs and humans intersect with
amazing similarity and regularity: emotional and spiritual.
act as honest-to-a-fault barometers of human emotion. Brother Christopher, from
the Monks of New Skete Monastery, in Cambridge, New York, is an author who
raises and breeds German shepherds. He says, "Interestingly enough, a
relationship with a dog also helps us know ourselves better. A dog is guileless
and utterly honest. It becomes a unique mirror reflecting us back to ourselves,
if we pay attention."
has been written about the emotions of dogs. Even the most rigid scientific
studies have had to admit that dogs experience the emotion of fear. But people
who actually live with dogs, rather than studying them in artificial settings,
know that dogs exhibit a full range of emotions: joy, sadness, anger, amusement,
optimism, anticipation, attachment, and satisfaction, among others. Joseph Wood
Krutch writes about the intensity of emotion that animals feel: "It is difficult
to see how one can deny that the dog, apparently beside himself at the prospect
of a walk . . . , is experiencing a joy the intensity of which it is beyond our
power to imagine much less to share. In the same way his dejection can at least
appear to be no less bottomless."
is less frequently discussed, probably because of pressure from skeptics who
worry about mawkish sentimentality and the "sin" of anthropomorphism, is the
spiritual nature of dogs. Also, certain religious dogmas don't allow for animals
to have souls or a spiritual nature. Yet the stories you are about to read have
been written by many people who may have started out with doubts but have
witnessed for themselves that dogs exhibit spiritual qualities in abundance.
Dogs can be wise, compassionate, loyal, courageous, self-sacrificing, and
altruistic. Most of all, they can give the purest, most unconditional
of the storytellers in this book have also experienced dogs as divine
messengers. We use the word angel when describing dogs, not to say that every
dog, at all times, behaves in a traditionally angelic way. The word angel harks
back to the Greek word angelos, which means "messenger." And as you will see,
dogs do indeed serve as messengers from Spirit.
bring to humans such messages as You are loved. You are not alone. You are
protected and guided by a divine higher power. Dogs deliver messages such as
When you are lonely, weary, overwhelmed by life's burdens, I am here. People,
who are in pain, often can't hear the voice of God whispering comfort and hope.
So God sends them a messenger with a furry face, wagging tail, licking tongue,
and generous heart. Those who can accept the gift are taught that love is all
around by one of life's wisest teachers.
mission of this book is to open your heart so you can recognize and receive
blessings from Spirit, even if they arrive accompanied by a
Excerpt from Angel Dogs by Allen and Linda Anderson. This story was
re-enacted on an episode of the Montel television show. Diana Johnson, her
daughter Lauren, and dog, Zeke, appeared on the show for an interview with host,
An Angel in the Night
Diana Johnson, Plano, Texas, as told to Mary J. Yerkes, Manassas,
the long, dark winter finally behind us, a brisk March wind ushered in spring -
and on its heels, an angel in the night came to live with us.
sudden gush of wind caught the bottom of his coat as my husband, Forrest,
carefully tucked Lauren, the youngest of our five children, into the baby's car
seat. The wind was unusually bad, making our short drive to the airport
difficult. From the passenger's seat, I watched as Forrest's knuckles gripped
the top of the steering wheel. He fought to keep our minivan from drifting into
the next lane. It seemed a fitting metaphor to describe the past year - a real
youngest twins, Lauren and Branden, were born eight weeks premature. Within
minutes of her birth, Lauren, the smaller of the two, had stopped breathing. In
the hospital, I watched in horror as her tiny pink lips turned blue. She was
quickly resuscitated, whisked off to the neonatal intensive care unit, and
placed on a ventilator. Branden didn't fare much better. A month later, Lauren
and Branden, both on apnea monitors, came home to meet their brother and
sisters. The older twins, Brianna and little Forrest, were three, and Taylor was
two. We quickly established a routine. Within weeks, we were ready to welcome
yet another new member of the family, Zeke. We didn't think that our family
would be complete without a dog! So we were on our way on this windy night to
bring him home.
airport, I leaned over to Forrest and whispered, "What if it doesn't work out?
Zeke's two years old and probably set in his ways. What if he can't
breeder was sure he would, Diana," Forrest reminded me.
searched long and hard for a responsible collie breeder before I found Susan.
After I explained that we have five children - two with serious health problems
- she wisely steered us away from a puppy.
"Diana," Susan said when I called her, "I have a two-year-old
champion collie. Zeke will be perfect for your family. He's a beautiful tricolor
and a true collie in every sense. He loves life, and he especially loves
though I had my heart set on having a puppy, with Susan's recommendation, I
agreed to give Zeke a try.
thoughts were interrupted by a high-pitched squeal. "Zeke's here!" announced
Brianna. An attendant ushered us to a large crate, where I saw a long nose
pushed up against the wire with a mass of ebony and white fur behind it. After
speaking a few reassuring words to Zeke, I nodded to the attendant and said,
inched his way out, looking cautious yet curious. Within seconds, my animal
lover Brianna threw her tiny arms around Zeke's neck, buried her face in his
long fur, and murmured, "I love you, Zeke." Little Forrest added, "We're your
new family. Welcome home!"
quickly settled in to his new life with us. We arranged his bed in the master
bedroom. But right from the start, Zeke made it clear that he preferred sleeping
in the nursery between the babies' cribs. There was barely room to move with
five oxygen canisters, a suction machine, and all of the other medical equipment
in the room. But the nurse who helped us care for the twins didn't mind, so I
decided to let Zeke stay with her and the infants.
night, about three weeks after his arrival, Zeke jumped up on my side of the bed
and thwacked me with his paw. I glanced at the clock; it was 3:30 A.M. "Go back
to sleep, Zeke," I murmured. Zeke refused to take no for an answer. Instead, he
ran barking back and forth between my side of the bed and the
"Shhhhh . . . you'll wake the children," I chided as I got up,
thinking he probably had to go out. I headed to the back door, but Zeke wouldn't
follow. Barking, he turned and ran in the opposite direction.
come," I called. Annoyed, I shuffled down the hall after him into the nursery.
Why isn't he listening? I wondered. "Zeke, come," I called again. It's useless,
I thought and resigned myself to the fact that I would just need to lead him out
by his collar. I watched as Zeke jumped up with his paws on Lauren's crib rail.
I placed two fingers under his collar and casually glanced down at Lauren. Oh my
God! She's not breathing!
yanked Lauren's lifeless body from the crib as I screamed, "Forrest, call 911!"
The baby hung in my arms like a rag doll. I frantically blew the first rescue
breath past her blue lips. Her saliva tasted salty as it mingled with the tears
streaming down my face. Suddenly, I heard a choking sound. I quickly turned
Lauren over to clear her airway. When I turned her back toward me, she started
breathing!" I exclaimed, relief flooding my body.
didn't the monitor go off?" Forrest asked the nurse. After examining the monitor
more closely, Forrest had his answer. He turned to the nurse and said, "The
wires are crossed." Furious, I punched the nursing agency number into the phone
while we waited for the ambulance to arrive. Within minutes, we were given a new
nurse. When the paramedics arrived, they checked Lauren over. "She looks like she's doing fine now, one of them said. "You got to her just in time."
hospital the next morning, Lauren was given a battery of tests. There was no
permanent damage. Thank God! It was a miracle. Exhausted and relieved, we took
Lauren home. Zeke greeted us at the front door.
what would we have done without you?" I asked.
carried Lauren, who had fallen asleep in the car, into the nursery. Zeke
followed closely behind and watched as I laid Lauren in her crib. Satisfied that
she was fine, Zeke contentedly plopped onto the rug in his usual spot next to
Forrest turned to me and asked, "Do you think the baby will be all
glanced at Zeke and replied, "She'll be fine."