Angel Dogs: Divine Messengers of Love



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 Reserved.



Foreword by Willard Scott

Introduction: Spiritual Guide Dogs



Have You Received Loyalty and Friendship from Divine Messenger Dogs?


Cpl. J. R. Dugan Honorsa Fallen Soldier, Charles Patrick Dugan

An Angel in the Night, Diana Johnson as told to Mary J. Yerkes

Lee County Prisoners Give Life to Death Row Dogs, Jay Williams

Postscript from Cell Dog Hershey, Frank and Leigh Ann Gibson

A Puppy’s Love Prepared Me for Motherhood, Jill Kelly

Temujin’s Spiritual Message, Wayne Aerni

Casey: A Warrior of the Heart Brings Love to a Nursing Home, Pat Eisenberger

They’re Still Walking, Bill Mann

Ask Taylor


Chapter Two

What If Heroes Have Four Paws and Fur?


Tequila, the Matchmaker Dog Who Saved a Family, Caroline Kane Aquiar

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 Douse

Ask Taylor


Chapter Three

Can 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 Antonson

Sierra, the Dog Who Taught Me to Live in the Moment, Monique Muhlenkamp

Leading the Way, Eleanor Garrell Berger

Dog Day, Roberta Beach Jacobson

Taylor Teaches Us How to Play, Allen Anderson



Chapter Four

Are Dogs Your Divine Prescription for Better Health?


Haley, the Angel Dog Who Helped Me through Cancer, Ashley Phelps

More about Haley, Sharen Meyers

Angel in Waiting, Sally Rosenthal

How a Freezing Dog Warmed Our Hearts, Marion T. Cochrane

Joshua B. Dawg’s Lamp of Faith, Patti Cole

Shep’s Connection with Andy, Bina Aitchison Robinson and A. M. Robinson

Wanda, My Angel and Therapist, Deborah Straw



Chapter Five

Have Dogs Discovered the Doorways to Heaven?


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 Newman




Contributors and Photographers


About Allen and Linda Anderson 



Excerpt from “Introduction: Spiritual Guide Dogs”
By Allen and LindaAnderson

The Emotional and Spiritual Lives of Dogs

We 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.

Dogs 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."

Much 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."

 What 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 love.

Many 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.

Dogs 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.

The 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 bark.


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, Montel Williams.


An Angel in the Night

Diana Johnson, Plano, Texas, as told to Mary J. Yerkes, Manassas, Virginia


With 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.

A 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 white-knuckle ride!

Our 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.

At the 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 adjust?"

"The breeder was sure he would, Diana," Forrest reminded me.

I had 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 children."

Even though I had my heart set on having a puppy, with Susan's recommendation, I agreed to give Zeke a try.

Now my 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, "We're ready."

Zeke 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!"

Zeke 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.

One 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 door.

"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.

"Zeke, 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!

I 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 to cry.

"She's breathing!" I exclaimed, relief flooding my body.

"Why 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."

At the 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.

"Zeke, what would we have done without you?" I asked.

I 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 Lauren's crib.

Forrest turned to me and asked, "Do you think the baby will be all right?"

I glanced at Zeke and replied, "She'll be fine."



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