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Animals as Guides for the Soul: Stories of Life-Changing Encounters

Susan Chernak McElroy


PUBLISHED: 31st August 1999
ISBN: 9780345424044
ANNOTATION:
In her New York Times bestseller Animals as Teachers and Healers, Susan Chernak McElroy movingly explored the wide and enriching horizons of human relationships with animals. In this new volume of reflections and true animal stories, she invites us to broaden and deepen that relationship. While living with her husband and animals on a farm in Oregon, McElroy pondered the ancient bonds that connect humans and animals: the healing gifts of animals, the genius of people who talk to them, and the power of animal messengers. She also asked herself the tough questions that engage every true animal lover. How can we soothe our anguish and guilt when a loved animal suffers or dies? How do we atone for our mistakes? When are animals prisoners and when are they fulfilled? Is it moral to eat other beings? And how can we go about transforming our relationship with animals? Through daily experiences with the animals around her and those in her dreams—along with compelling true stories sent to her by readers—McElroy began to find answers. She discovered that animals are guides in the development of our souls. A frail llama teaches lessons of joy and unconditional love; a barn cat proves that service need not be imprisonment but fulfillment; a mortally injured hawk infuses a cancer patient with renewed strength and faith; an attentive rabbit awakens an abused child from a trance of sadness; and a skinny white horse does more for a damaged six-year-old boy in one hour than any human has done in six years. In this deeply personal yet universal testament to the profound connection between animals and humans, there is wisdom and blessing. As the author reminds us, the fingerprint of God isoften a pawprint. "From the Hardcover edition.
Animals as Guides for the Soul: Stories of Life-Changing Encounters
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PUBLISHED: 31st August 1999
ISBN: 9780345424044
ANNOTATION:
In her New York Times bestseller Animals as Teachers and Healers, Susan Chernak McElroy movingly explored the wide and enriching horizons of human relationships with animals. In this new volume of reflections and true animal stories, she invites us to broaden and deepen that relationship. While living with her husband and animals on a farm in Oregon, McElroy pondered the ancient bonds that connect humans and animals: the healing gifts of animals, the genius of people who talk to them, and the power of animal messengers. She also asked herself the tough questions that engage every true animal lover. How can we soothe our anguish and guilt when a loved animal suffers or dies? How do we atone for our mistakes? When are animals prisoners and when are they fulfilled? Is it moral to eat other beings? And how can we go about transforming our relationship with animals? Through daily experiences with the animals around her and those in her dreams—along with compelling true stories sent to her by readers—McElroy began to find answers. She discovered that animals are guides in the development of our souls. A frail llama teaches lessons of joy and unconditional love; a barn cat proves that service need not be imprisonment but fulfillment; a mortally injured hawk infuses a cancer patient with renewed strength and faith; an attentive rabbit awakens an abused child from a trance of sadness; and a skinny white horse does more for a damaged six-year-old boy in one hour than any human has done in six years. In this deeply personal yet universal testament to the profound connection between animals and humans, there is wisdom and blessing. As the author reminds us, the fingerprint of God isoften a pawprint. "From the Hardcover edition.

Annotation

In her New York Times bestseller Animals as Teachers and Healers, Susan Chernak McElroy movingly explored the wide and enriching horizons of human relationships with animals. In this new volume of reflections and true animal stories, she invites us to broaden and deepen that relationship. While living with her husband and animals on a farm in Oregon, McElroy pondered the ancient bonds that connect humans and animals: the healing gifts of animals, the genius of people who talk to them, and the power of animal messengers. She also asked herself the tough questions that engage every true animal lover. How can we soothe our anguish and guilt when a loved animal suffers or dies? How do we atone for our mistakes? When are animals prisoners and when are they fulfilled? Is it moral to eat other beings? And how can we go about transforming our relationship with animals? Through daily experiences with the animals around her and those in her dreams—along with compelling true stories sent to her by readers—McElroy began to find answers. She discovered that animals are guides in the development of our souls. A frail llama teaches lessons of joy and unconditional love; a barn cat proves that service need not be imprisonment but fulfillment; a mortally injured hawk infuses a cancer patient with renewed strength and faith; an attentive rabbit awakens an abused child from a trance of sadness; and a skinny white horse does more for a damaged six-year-old boy in one hour than any human has done in six years. In this deeply personal yet universal testament to the profound connection between animals and humans, there is wisdom and blessing. As the author reminds us, the fingerprint of God isoften a pawprint.

"From the Hardcover edition.

Publisher Description

In her New York Times bestseller Animals as Teachers and Healers, Susan Chernak McElroy movingly explored the wide and enriching horizons of human relationships with animals. In this new volume of reflections and true animal stories, she invites us to broaden and deepen that relationship. While living with her husband and animals on a farm in Oregon, McElroy pondered the ancient bonds that connect humans and animals: the healing gifts of animals, the genius of people who talk to them, and the power of animal messengers. She also asked herself the tough questions that engage every true animal lover. How can we soothe our anguish and guilt when a loved animal suffers or dies? How do we atone for our mistakes? When are animals prisoners and when are they fulfilled? Is it moral to eat other beings? And how can we go about transforming our relationship with animals?

Through daily experiences with the animals around her and those in her dreams--along with compelling true stories sent to her by readers--McElroy began to find answers. She discovered that animals are guides in the development of our souls. A frail llama teaches lessons of joy and unconditional love; a barn cat proves that service need not be imprisonment but fulfillment; a mortally injured hawk infuses a cancer patient with renewed strength and faith; an attentive rabbit awakens an abused child from a trance of sadness; and a skinny white horse does more for a damaged six-year-old boy in one hour than any human has done in six years.

In this deeply personal yet universal testament to the profound connection between animals and humans, there is wisdom and blessing. As the author reminds us, the fingerprint of God is often a pawprint.

Author Biography

Susan Chernak McElroy has been an animal lover all of her life. She has worked as a veterinarian's assistant, Humane Society educator, dog trainer, wildlife rehabilitator, and zookeeper. Her writing has appeared in national magazines and is featured in several published and upcoming anthologies, including Chicken Soup for Soul Survivors, Wounded Healers, and Intimate Relationships: Embracing the Natural World. She makes her home in Oregon at Bright Star Farm.

"From the Hardcover edition."

Kirkus US Review

McElroy (Animals as Teachers and Healers, not reviewed) celebrates "the lessons learned at the four-footed threshold," where animals point to "a particularly rich and rewarding track to personal awareness and to a more genuine and soul-filled life." Here McElroy explores five stations on the shared path of animals and human spirituality, communication, service, forgiveness, and transformation - through stories ("When I had cancer, I learned quickly that stories were far more healing to me than statistics or information") told by herself and "other animal-oriented souls." Pretty much from the get-go, McElroy's soul, "the inner guardian of our lives," had spoken to her about her affinity to animals: "Could I have chosen my passion, I would not have chosen animals . . . But I did not choose, I was chosen." And so, on this note of surrender, she listens to animals closely, she observes their body language, she endeavors to tap their enchanting and graceful presence, to be on the lookout for signs and messages - using the ancient language of empathy and intuition - with which to create a shared world. Much of what she learns is straightforward: how animals teach humans about service (the sheep dog, the shepherd), how they live in the moment, are (almost) always ready to give a second chance to a malefactor, demonstrate dignity in death. She doesn't claim to know "the inner life of an animal with any degree of certainty," but she stands squarely behind the validity of fantastical human-animal experiences, including the conversation an animal communicator had with an elephant, said pachyderm speaking at length on planetary transformation, the suffering of Mother Earth, and "the bass note in the symphony of life." Little new ground is turned - with the exception of that elephant. As a result, McElroy and her fellow testamentarians' souls can get wearying, as can the mild epiphanies that allow them to become ever worthier and more intimate with the animals. (Kirkus Reviews)

Product Details

Author
Susan Chernak McElroy
Short Title
ANIMALS GUIDES FOR THE SOUL
Pages
304
Language
English
ISBN-10
0345424042
ISBN-13
9780345424044
Media
Book
Format
Paperback
Year
1999
Publication Date
1999-08-31
Subtitle
Stories of Life-changing Encounters
Country of Publication
United States
Residence
Jackson, WY, US
Publisher
Ballantine Books