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Why Have Animals In Your Life?

By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

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"Until a person has loved an animal a part of the soul remains un-awakened." ~ Anatole France

People who love animals know that there are many very good reasons to have animals in your life.

Love and Presence
Animals who have been loved love back in a pure and profound way - a way that awakens a part of your soul like nothing else can. When my puppy greets me after I've been gone a short time, I am overwhelmed with his wiggles and kisses! When I walk into our barn to feed the horses and my horse Stryder whinnies to me, my heart melts. No walls, no manipulations. Just pure love. How can that not awaken a deep part of the soul?

Having this aspect of your soul awakened is just one aspect of why having animals in your life is profound. I recently finished a great book called Zen Mind, Zen Horse, by Allan J. Hamilton, MD. Dr. Hamilton is a renowned brain surgeon, as well as a renowned horse trainer. He uses his experience with his horses as his spiritual path. Horses help us to learn to be fully present, not only because they are fully present, but also because they react negatively when we are in our head rather than in our heart. "The quiet, gentle way of the horse encourages us to hear the music that follows after we learn to silence our ego's voice."

The horse brings us its uncanny ability to peel our egos back, to strip the layers away like an onion, until we find ourselves awkwardly naked and vulnerable.

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Are You Ready to Welcome a New Pet Home?

By Susan Mohr

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Everyone mourns the loss of a beloved animal in a different way. For many people, the mourning process is unexpectedly painful and long lasting. Many pet parents find the prospect of mourning an animal even more challenging than mourning the loss of another person. After many years spent in the company of a special animal, the idea of sharing your home with another pet might be difficult to think about. How do you know when you are ready to make this important step?

Identify Your Hesitation
Before deciding to adopt a new pet or not, try to get to the heart of your hesitation. What exactly is holding you back? Why precisely do you feel reluctant? These are some of the reasons that pet owners are hesitant about bringing home a new animal:

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