Could a Dog Improve Your Spiritual
By Allen and Linda Anderson
Studies have shown recently that living with an animal
companion improves a person's physical health and well-being. Having a pet can
lower your blood pressure, reduce stress, and release endorphins. Many people
also believe that connecting with animals improves their spiritual health.
Animals with their seemingly boundless capacity to offer spiritual qualities
such as unconditional love, gratitude, patience, and joy, are what we call
"angel animals." They bring us the angelic message that we're loved and miracles
Nancy Hanley, from Walpole, New Hampshire, wrote the
following story, published in the Angel Animals Newsletter. In it she shares her
experience with an "angel animal" named Missy, a fifteen-pound dachshund who she
calls "an integral part of my healing process. "After Nancy was separated from
her former husband, as an eleven-week-old, five-pound bundle of joy, Missy,
entered Nancy's life.
Missy helped Nancy to heal physically. Nancy used to
suffer with migraine headaches. When she couldn't tolerate light, noise, or even
thinking, Missy would cuddle up on the couch and lick Nancy's tears as if to
say, "It'll be all right, Mom. Just you wait and see." Having Missy on Nancy'
chest allowed her to hear the dog's heart beating so strongly that it reminded
her to do some deep breathing. Oxygenating the blood vessels in Nancy's head was
a very important step toward relieving pain and healing from her headaches.
Eventually, Nancy would fall asleep and feel better when she awoke.
A year and a half ago Nancy was diagnosed with a severe
case of Candida which caused her to be out of work for weeks. Through extremely
high fevers and other traumatic physical symptoms, Missy comforted Nancy with
what she calls the dog's "endless dance of joy," always putting a smile on
Nancy's face no matter how bad she felt. Nancy writes, "Missy's companionship
during those many rough days was such a comfort. I'd often talk with her and
know deep within myself that she understood everything."
Missy and Nancy Learned to Communicate
Nancy says that over the years of sharing her life with
Missy, she and the dog developed the ability to communicate spiritually,
"soul-to-soul." She says, "I've worked diligently to increase my intuitive
perception so I can receive feelings from Missy and know when she's in pain or
needs to go for a walk. She's very good at getting my attention. She looks
straight into my eyes to let me know what she needs and usually I understand."
Then, one day, it was Nancy's turn to help Missy
A dog almost ten times Missy's weight attacked her.
While Missy had to undergo surgery for the puncture wound in her neck and a torn
ear, Nancy was the one who needed comforting. The shock of such a vicious attack
on her precious friend was almost too much for Nancy to handle. But Missy was
brave and she trusted Nancy to do the right thing with her.
Nancy hated leaving Missy at the clinic, but the vet
reassured her that the dog would be fine. He cleared his waiting room full of
two- and four-legged patients and rescheduled all his appointments so he could
focus his attention on Missy and her injuries.
As Nancy held Missy in her arms on the examining table,
she prayed for her quick recovery. She sent Missy all the healing energy she
could muster from deep within herself. She begged for assistance from all angels
in the universe and for the help of Spirit to guide them that day and following
the surgery. Nancy writes, "I wasn't ready to say 'good-bye' to Missy so soon.
We'd only been together a little over two years. Most of all, I couldn't bear
the thought of losing my best friend."
Missy sat on the examining table looking frightened.
She bled while the vet examined her, but the whole time, the dog licked Nancy's
face over and over again. Nancy writes, "I could hear her saying, 'Mom, I'll be
fine. You can go home now. The doc will take good care of me. I promise I'll be
okay!'" Nancy was astonished to realize that it was Missy who was reassuring
her. She says, "I vividly recall standing in the parking lot feeling overwhelmed
with heartache while tears streamed down my face. I was numb all over, asking
myself Why? and How could this be happening?"
Nancy had to keep a very important appointment that day
and couldn't' reschedule it at the last minute, so she hurried away from the
vet's office having little time to reflect. Before she left, her sister, Patti,
offered to bring Missy home after the anesthesia wore off. While at her
appointment Nancy could think of nothing but Missy's pain. She rushed home to
find the dog a bit groggy but as happy to see her as ever. Missy's tail was
wagging as well as it could. Nancy bent down to cuddle with Missy and the dog
gave her little kisses which warmed her heart. What a trooper! That's my Missy
Girl! Nancy thought.
The days that followed Missy's surgery were extremely
hard for both the dog and Nancy. She hated to leave Missy to go to work. It was
obvious that Missy was uncomfortable and in pain from the wounds and stitches.
Because Nancy tended to be a bit squeamish, she had to dig deeper than ever
before to find the courage and strength to clean the dog's wounds. Missy was
incredibly understanding and Nancy's sister supported her when they needed
How Missy Helped Nancy Heal
Nancy says that her relationship with Missy has helped
her extend the doorway of awareness for herself and others. Missy, like all
animals, truly lives in the moment and loves unconditionally. Nancy writes,
"Whether I'm happy, sad, angry, or moody, her love for me is constant and
consistency is a spiritual virtue I've needed to incorporate into daily living.
Missy reminds me to be consistent in all my relationships, especially with
Missy has also taught Nancy to trust, another big
hurdle for her. In the seemingly endless search for her life partner, Missy
taught Nancy that trust has a domino effect. When Missy trusts Nancy (i.e.
carrying the dog down a flight of stairs without injury), Nancy realizes that
she can, in turn, trust others (i.e., a possible spouse).
Missy has helped Nancy have faith in the power of
prayer to help us heal. When Missy was attacked and seriously injured by the
bigger dog, Nancy turned to her Higher Power for strength and encouragement. She
and others prayed for help. A miraculous healing happened as a result of the
love in their prayers. The vet who x-rayed Missy was astonished because he'd
said she'd be unable to walk for six to eight weeks. Within two weeks Missy was
running and jumping joyfully like her old self. Coping with Missy's injury
deepened the relationship between Nancy and her Higher Self and gave her
firsthand experience with the benefits of prayer.
Nancy writes, "Parents always say that children are our
best teachers. I'm not the parent to a human child; my child is the canine type.
Missy is paving the road to motherhood for me. She's helped me build inner
strength." Nancy says that she's not nearly as squeamish now that she's tended
to Missy's wounds. And she believes that she's always learning another important
parenting skill from Missy--patience. Missy can wait endlessly until Nancy is
ready to walk her if she's on an important, unexpected phone call. Nancy says,
"I aspire to have her kind of patience, especially at work. She's taught me to
take a deep breath and know that all is well."
Missy reminds Nancy that there's a Greater Plan for all
of us. Nancy writes, "I believe that nothing in my life is a mistake. There are
many lessons to learn every day if only I'll take the opportunity to see and
reflect on what I'm becoming aware of; then I can reap the benefits of each
experience. From my relationship with Missy, I've learned that Spirit wouldn't
give us anything we can't handle."
Missy and Nancy are becoming whole and healthier
together. Nancy says, "Getting through pain is no longer the main focus of our
relationship. My dear canine companion teaches me patience, compassion, trust,
faith, and most of all, unconditional love. Thank you, Missy!"
Could you have made a spiritual agreement with an angel
animal to help each other as friends along the way of life? What spiritual
messages are furry, fuzzy, flowing, and flying creatures giving you?