article by: Richard L. Smith, Director,

Guardians?... Teachers...? Companions?...

"We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made". -M. Acklam


Our loving and loyal pets are all that, and more......

Our pets are certainly a God given gift , and these unselfish animal spirits have been responsible for some of our most cherished experiences and memories . There are more stories than anyone can count of pets being responsible for human lives saved, amazing feats of endurance and heroism, crushed human spirits being revitalized from loyal animal companionship, handicapped and sick people being given a new lease on life,and the list goes on, and on, and on...........

In the study of paranormal events, we frequently are asked questions about the survival of animal spirits after death. People are concerned that they may be able to enjoy the company of their pets in the after life in the same manner as they expect to enjoy the company of lost family and friends.

From what I have gleaned from personal experience, as well as testimony from psychics, NDE and OBE experiencers, animals inhabit a separate spirit world from ours. However, animals that have reached a special level of bonding and involvement with people can be ( and frequently are) found in the company of the human spirit after passing on. It appears to be a select and special process of circumstance related to spiritual preference..

Mary and REX...our very own 120 lb angel


Mary and I recently had an extraordinary EVP experience related to a cherished pet of ours.Years ago, while in the pet shop business , a customer dropped by my store holding in her arms a stray puppy suffering with malnourishment, and ill with dangerous heartworm parasites. I treated the humble little black puppy at the vet hospital for three or four months, and the pup transformed into a beautiful velvet black poodle with an incredible disposition, and, you guessed it, a new home.

One thing was unusual about this puppy. Most small dogs have a shrill, rather high pitched voice which results in a bark that would be described as a "yap". Not so with Spooky, her voice was deep and a bit raspy sounding. She had a habit of "woofing" to get your attention. She would quietly walk up to me when she wanted to go outside, and she would look up and go"woof, woof" ever so gently. It didn't sound like a bark, but sounded just like the word is spelled....."woof". Her bark was unique.

She was my constant companion at work and at play, and when I met Mary, it was no time at all until Mary accepted the unique gentle nature of this loving creature. Nearing her 17th year of life, Spooky finally acquired a form of cancer which we were not able to treat.

About a year after she died , she came back to us in a most extraordinary EVP event. She actually spoke to Mary and I, in her unique raspy little"woof" while on an EVP field trip alone in a quiet cemetary near home. In this beautiful lonely cemetary, on a still summers day, among giant oak trees laden with spanish moss....a most extraordinary thing happened.....In an unmistakable "woof, woof, woof", ( which I could pick out of a MILLION dog voices anywhere as the distinctive voice of our Spooky) she took that moment of solitude to remind us of our times together.....

The shameful story of our government's abandonment of thousands of heroes of the Vietnam war........
Another story of loyalty and service to humanity by our animal friends. This story is not well known by the general public

I feel great pain when I have to be critical of our government in any way. I served this nation proudly in the Navy during the Vietnam war, and have traveled extensively on this planet during the years of my life. Believe me...there is no nation that comes near this country in its standard of living, freedoms, comforts and opportunities..True, many other nations have their own reasons to brag, but this great nation has more of everything. If the US suffers in any social or political regard, it is in the same area that the whole planet suffers...and I have written about this in the previous editorial "Overpopulation, A Gloomy Forecast" But this story, involving animals, certainly demonstrates the inability of any bureaucracy to honor spiritual dignity and issues of humane treatment of animals.

Since World War ll, America has used trained dogs to assist soldiers in combat situations. The unusually keen senses of these animals made their service invaluable for everything from recognizing booby traps, locating mines, tunnels, and weapons caches, to warning troops about ambushes. They saved countless lives by dragging wounded soldiers to safety, without hesitation or concern for their own survival.

In Vietnam alone, over 10,000 casualities are estimated to have been avoided by the heroic actions of these dedicated and loyal companions in combat. And yet, as amazing as it may seem, at the end of the Vietnam war, these heroic dogs were abandoned in Vietnam, euthanized, and in some cases just lost and left behind. The soldiers who fought daily at the side of these animals never knew what happened to their companions, and were not allowed to bring them back to the states .

"War Dogs, America's Forgotten Heroes" ....a documentary film, was recently featured on the Discovery Channel, and was produced to educate America about war dogs and the pivotal role they played in the Vietnam War. It tells the heart-wrenching story of the bond between the dogs and their handlers and the great lengths each took to save one another from the tragedies of war. The documentary reveals the disgraceful fact that less than 200 of these valiant dogs returned to America at the close of the war, and how none of them received medals or any other kind of recognition for their heroic efforts. America has never sufficiently thanked these dogs, nor honored them in any way, and completely dismissed the sacred bond between man and his best friend, by ignoring the soldiers feelings for these animals as well.

Read about the Vietnam Dog Handlers Association (VDHA) and the War Dog Memorial Fund and recent memorials dedicated to the dogs of Vietnam and their handlers........... link,


"Watch out! You nearly broad-sided that car!" My father yelled at me. "Can't you do anything right?"

Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in
my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another battle.

"I saw the car, Dad. Please don't yell at me when I'm driving." My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.
Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back.

At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts. Dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise
of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him?

Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon. He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the
forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies
that attested to his prowess.

The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside
alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn't do something he had done as a younger man.

Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to
keep blood and oxygen flowing. At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; and he survived.

But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctors orders. Suggestions and offers of
help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone.

My husband, Rick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him
adjust.Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became
frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Rick and we began to bicker and argue.

Alarmed, Rick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The Clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of
each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad's troubled mind. But the months wore on and God was silent.

I was tired of waiting for a God who did not answer. I had difficulty believing that God cared about the tiny human beings on this earth.

Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it. The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem in vain to each of the sympathetic voices that answered.

Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, "I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article."

I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic
depression, yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.

I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs- long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs - all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons, too big, too small, too much hair.

As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down.

It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed. Years had etched his face and muzzle with
shades of gray. His hipbones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they
beheld me unwaveringly.

I pointed to the dog. "Can you tell me about him?" The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement.

"He's a funny one ~ Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim
him. That was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow." He gestured helplessly.

As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror. "You mean you're going to kill him?"

"Ma'am," he said gently, "that's our policy. We don't have room for every unclaimed dog."

I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. "I'll take him," I said.

I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the
car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch.

"Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad!" I said excitedly.

Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. "If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen
than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it." Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house.

Anger rose inside me. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples. "You'd better get used to him, Dad. He's

Dad ignored me.

"Did you hear me, Dad?" I screamed.

At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood glaring at each other
like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly,
carefully, he raised his paw. Dad's lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw. Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently, then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal.

It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship.

Dad named the pointer Cheyenne. Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a
pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet.

Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years. As Dad's bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends.

Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne's cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our
bedroom at night.

I woke Rick, put on my robe and ran into my father's room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene; but his spirit had left quietly sometime
during the night.

Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad's bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he
had slept on. As Rick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad's
peace of mind.

The morning of Dad's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews
reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church.

The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life. And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2.
"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers... "

"I've often thanked God for sending that angel," he said.

For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article ~
Cheyenne's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter ~ His calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father ~ and the proximity of
their deaths.

And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.

~by Catherine Moore~