Their Healing Power Author:Various Authors From the Introduction — 5ome months ago I was one of a small group who went to visit a children's hospital. What made our group unusual was that not all of us were people. Some of us were dogs-specially trained and certified Pet Therapy dogs who are permitted to visit patients in hospitals, nursing homes and other places of care and healing. It w... more »as a deeply moving and enlightening
experience I shall never forget.
These were very sick children we encountered, many in wheelchairs, some who couldn't get out of bed, and a few who would never recover. Many parents were there, and all- parents and children alike- were trying to cover up their worried expressions with smiles that just didn't make it. Until the dogs and their owners arrived; they made all the difference. They went from room to room, going in only if they were invited, and when they left, the smiles were genuine because they came from hearts that had been touched by a special kind of love.
Many of us have always known what scientists are just discovering: that animals are good medicine for the body, mind and spirit. And in -Their Healing Power- we look at some of the ways they help us to deal with life's wounds. All of these incredible stories are true.
In LIFTING THE SPIRIT, animals reach us in times of despair and loss. Wordlessly, they not only tell us that they understand our feelings but that they also share them. Kathryn Joseph finds that a horse is able to grieve with her as no one else can, and Joan Rae Mills finds the light at the end of a dark tunnel with the aid of Hustle-Bustle, a pet parakeet. At other times our animal friends offer us the balm of laughter to soothe our worried minds. They always seem to know exactly what we need? and when.
The stories in TENDER HELPERS describe the amazing abilities of animals to help us overcome or bear our physical limitations. James Herriot tells us about a dog who rivals him in caring for sick animals, and Deborah Wolusky introduces us to a remarkable cat who helped her to cope with the stresses of young motherhood. Soapy, a rabbit belonging to Maureen Fredrickson, senses the misery that keeps a traumatized child from talking and quietly snuggles beside her until she reaches out and begins to stroke his fur. Mary Jane Stretch remembers Papa, an injured goose who ended up in her wildlife rehabilitation center and found a new vocation looking after baby ducks.
THE COURAGE TO HOPE introduces us to animals who help us to find a reason to live when everything else is lost. Laura Kohr thought her life was ended when her husband died, and then she heard a robin sing. Lisa Chewning waits to catch a glimpse of a deer that meant so much to someone she loved and lost. Kristin von Kreisler tells us about a young woman who was able to put her life back together because a loving, homeless dog wanted her to be happy. And a woman who suffered two massive strokes proves her doctors wrong when she learns to walk again with the aid of dolphins!
Sometimes our greatest need is for someone to believe in us, to sit quietly by our side and let us know that we are loved, faults and all.
In A COMFORTING PRESENCE, we meet animals who make us feel better just by being with us. We meet some of the animals who live in a nursing home and give many of the human residents a reason to feel good about themselves. Van Varner
thanks God for the thirteen years his dog Clay inspired him to meet each day with joy. And Roger Caras introduces us to
Angie, a very sick little girl, and her devoted dog Sheba, who makes it possible for her and her family to break free from the tyranny of a terrible disease.
LOVE'S LITTLE MIRACLES means exactly what it says. These stories describe how animals can sometimes bring about healings when nothing else can. Like most miracles, the reasons for them are unexplainable, but the people who lived them know they happened. And that's what matters. Anthony Taylor was an alcoholic on his way to losing everything that mattered? his family, his job, certainly his self-respect. Until a kitten adopted him. When John Gulliford, a veterinarian, finds a way to save a hopelessly sick dog, he realizes that some things are more powerful than medicine? namely, love. Susan Chernak McElroy tells us about Ellie, a dog who regularly visited a nursing home and wasn't about to say goodbye to her friend, Fred, who wasn't expected to live more than a few hours.
In all of these stories, one message comes through: animals seem to sense how much we need God's love to keep us whole. And, fortunately for us, he has created animals with the uncanny ability to let us know that we have his love. Unconditionally. --PHYLLIS HOBE« less