Angels in the Midst
By Pat Hennessy
This article is dedicated to Jeanette Schoenlaub-Jackson, whose spirit touched many lives and continues to do so in angelic ways.
Man’s relationship with domestic animals has evolved into a companionship – an interesting cross-species connection that has developed over thousands of years. It is a relationship that transcends time and a bond that is steeped in unconditional love. From our perspective, the pitter-patter of paws that prance across our hearts takes flight with angel’s wings at many points throughout our journey together.
So often our four-legged family members are our angels, saving our sanity when we are dealing with a hectic and stressful day. They help us relax, give us love and undivided attention, and sometimes have alerted us to danger even saving us from death. Our lives would not be whole without them. I couldn’t imagine coming home to an empty house. These wonderful spirits in furry bodies bring comfort to us in so many ways and bring joy to our chaotic world. We have it within our power to return that favor.
We can be angels to our companions by building a relationship on trust, giving them love and companionship, and treating them with respect (communicating with them in species-appropriate ways). One way to honor your animal companion is to think of some characteristic that she has or some cute thing that she does, and keep that feeling close to your heart and carry it with you in your daily interactions. Use that feeling to bring you to a state of love when you are frustrated or a feeling of comfort when you are worried. Let that feeling inspire you to be a guardian angel in return. Find ways to reward your companion. Time spent with you is as high of a value, if not higher, than toys and treats.
If you have had a beloved companion across the Rainbow Bridge, then you know the feeling of someone watching over you. You can feel a furry presence when you enter a room or hear a soft meow down the hall. There may be an angel paw resting on your shoulder and keeping a watchful eye on you or her companion buddy left behind. You can honor her life by keeping her memory alive and by promoting kindness for the animal community.
It is a wonderful thing to give back to the animal community. If you can, adopt your next animal from a local shelter or rescue group. If you can’t adopt right now, you can help support the animals by donating some badly needed items to these organizations. These items may just be sitting around your house, such as newspapers, blankets, towels, cleaning supplies, trash bags; or you can pick up other items and drop them off – toys, treats, leashes, flat collars, office supplies, etc.
Our schedules have been especially crazy and upended by the pandemic. Even though we may not be traveling or gathering in celebration, the holiday season still brings added activities within our own households (decorating, online shopping, etc.). It is a time of year for giving and while we are not able to participate in typical holiday events at church or visits to the nursing home, we can still reach out to the animals that are homeless. You can check with the local animal shelter and offer to foster over the holidays. It would give an animal an opportunity for companionship and ease the burden on shelter staff.
This holiday season; give your pets some extra attention and TLC. If you don’t have pets, stop by your local animal shelter and take a few minutes to just spend some time with a homeless dog or cat. Gentle stroking and a soothing voice could put you on your way to being an angel for that animal. It is a small amount of time from you but would mean a lot to a scared and lonely soul.
Angels come in many forms: short or tall on two legs, big or small with fur and tails. The next time that you look into the soulful eyes of your companion animal, know that you have an angel looking back at you……and let her know there is an angel looking back at her.
Pat Hennessy is the founder of N2paws, LLC, an organization that provides a holistic approach to companion animal care through behavior education, energy work, and positive training methods. Pat is an Advamced TTouch® practitioner, ACDBC, CPDT_KA and member of the IAABC, APDT, IAATH and Animal Reiki Source. You may contact N2Paws via email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 816-522-7005, or visit the website www.n2paws.com.