Best Friends Author:Various Authors From the Introduction — Getting to know an animal is the beginning of a very special relationship. At the start, we don't speak the same language, we may not even walk on the same number of feet, and while some of us will fly or swim in deep waters, the rest of us will stay on dry ground. Yet something brings us together. Perhaps by accident, per... more »haps by design, we meet, and our lives are changed forever. We become friends. As we learn to understand each other's ways, language doesn't matter. Being together does. We give each other God's greatest gift: love. No strings attached. Over the years, the editors at Guideposts have been touched by the response of readers to our many stories about animal and human friendships. Now we feel it is time to bring you a feast of true accounts of people and animals who love each other and
make each other's lives richer. This is a book about the devotion that only best friends share.
We begin with DISCOVERING EACH OTHER, stories that describe the many different ways people and animals meet, such as Beth Brown looking for something fancy at a cat show and coming away with a homely kitten who claimed her heart. Or Gary and Linda Shiebler trying to cross the border with an irresistible stray? with a beard!? who had begun following them in Tijuana, Mexico.
The meeting of the animal and the person is only the beginning of the discovery. After that comes a time of learning about each other and how they enrich each other's lives. C. W. Gusewelle was determined that his bird dog, Rufus, was going to live outdoors, until Rufus changed his mind and not only came inside but took over the easy chair. Gladys Taber discovered that a dog's bark can tell you what is going on around you? if you know how to listen.
The stories in CARING WHEN IT COUNTS tell us how much it means to have an animal? or a person? beside you when you need a friend. Cleveland Amory's cat, Polar Bear, snuggles under the covers of his hospital bed. And Alexander Cameron makes us chuckle even as we admire the devotion of the Murgatroyds, who insist on staying close to their dog while he undergoes eye surgery.
GENTLE TEACHERS is an inspiring collection of stories about animals who show us how to meet life's challenges. Keesha, a
beloved German Shepherd who was stricken with cancer, enables her owner to fight the same disease with faith and dignity. A disabled raccoon befriends a young woman who needs to learn that there is always hope.
In MAKING A DIFFERENCE we meet animals and people who change each other's lives for the better. Larry Chamberlain takes in a stray dog whose trust in him gives him the strength to stop drinking. Kristin von Kreisler finds the courage to endure an earthquake when her pets stay close by her side. Bonnie Coleman loves her horse so much that she gives her to a girl who can take better care of her. Those of us who have loved animals can rejoice in these relationships. But at the same time we are haunted by the knowledge that we probably will outlive them.
In LOVE THAT DOESN'T END, we learn how to deal with that reality. We discover that even when we have to part, the love remains. Bert Clompus is reminded of his friendship with a nameless cat who leaves her kittens in his care. Mary Jane Stretch will always remember and cherish a deer she raised and released back into the wild. And a family will always be grateful that a brave, blind little chicken graced their lives for almost two years.
As for who is the best friend, the animal or the person, these true stories make it clear that probably it is both. Each has a special love and respect for the other. But anyone who has been privileged to share a friendship with an animal will tell you that it is the animal who teaches us how to be a best friend in return. It's almost as if God were sending us a blessing by way of these wondrous creatures.--PHYLLIS HOBE« less