The Illusion of Natural Differences
By Allen and Linda Anderson
Dogs and cats are supposed to be natural enemies.
Certain groups of people are expected to be at odds with each other, too. Race,
politics, religion, or any number of differences seem to be insurmountable
barriers that separate us from one another.\
Prana, our gentle golden retriever, whose name means
"breath of life," is no longer with us. But in her short life, she taught our
family about how to transcend differences in ways that constantly amazed
Prana befriended the kitten Feisty we adopted from a
local animal shelter. Their relationship demonstrated the power of love to
crumble illusory walls that keep us from experiencing our deeper connections
with each other. These animals, who shared our home, inspired us with their
selfless love and unstinting devotion. We'd look at each other and say, "Why
can't everyone be more like them?"
Prana gently played with and mothered Feisty, raising
him with unwavering patience, kindness, and consideration. Prana cherished the
chew bones we'd give her in the evening. She'd sit by the television set chewing
it in a state of pure ecstasy. When Feisty cam over, Prana without hesitation
would readily share her precious bone by holding it between her front paws for
the kitten to lick.
As the kitten grew into a cat, these two friends became
inseparable, even sleeping next to each other. Prana often slept on he back with
her mouth open. Feisty would stick his head in her mouth, waking up his
Allen had a special experience with Prana and Feisty that
showed how their love enabled them to communicate with each other and us when
Prana needed a little divine intervention.
I had a job which required that I open and close the grounds
of a beautiful building that was surrounded by a rolling prairie. One of Prana's
greatest joys was to accompany me. While I did my job, she ran through the
fields of flowers or snow, chasing squirrels, birds, or deer. She was so gentle
that, even though members of her breed are natural hunters, she's slow down if
it looked like she'd actually catch up with another animal. She enjoyed the game
but wasn't interested in capturing anybody.
One day, I'd just vacuumed my car and decided not to
take Prana with me because she was shedding. Both Feisty and Prana sat side by
side looking at me as I walked out the back door. Seeing the dejected look on
Prana's face, I tried to explain why she couldn't go with me this time. Her ears
and head drooped.
Feisty looked at her sad friend. They he ran upstairs
where Linda was working in her office. Feisty meowed in a way that sounded more
like he was yelling at the top of his lungs and immediately got Linda's
He continued to fuss as he ran back downstairs. Because
of so much alarm in his voice, Linda followed him, thinking something dreadful
must have happened. She found me at the garage. I told her that I'd have to
leave Prana behind this time. That explained to us why Feisty was so upset. He
knew how much these trips meant to his pal.
I went back to the house to find Prana, her head still
slumped down. Feisty stood next to her and glared at me.
Prana went to the temple that night and played with
even more gusto than usual after having almost lost one of her greatest treats.
I vacuumed my car again. A small price to pay for placating Feisty and giving
one of life's simple pleasures to such a golden-hearted creature as
Prana and Feisty are examples of what we call "angel
animals." These are creatures who walk, hop, crawl, fly, or swim. They share our
homes or can be observed in the wild. "Angel animals" love, help, protect, and
Is there an "angel animal" in your life? Have you
gained physically, emotionally, or spiritually form your relationship with an
Prana and Feisty, two creatures who were suppose to be
naturally antagonistic toward each other, taught our family invaluable lessons
in selfless giving, unconditional love, and the joy of friendship. What are
"angel animals" teaching you?