Where Angels Walk: Angelic companions include furry friends

Angelic Tails (Loyola Press) is a “different kind” of book I wrote to add to what has become an angel/miracles series. Angelic Tails is a collection of true stories about dogs which, like angels, demonstrate that God will use almost any of his creation to draw us closer to Him.

Dogs seem to play an important role in the protection of humans, right from the start. In the Old Testament Book of Tobit, for example, a dog faithfully escorts Tobias, Tobit’s son, and the angel Raphael on their journeys. A 13th-century canine in France was venerated for years after miracles apparently took place at his shrine. A black-and-white dog (said by some to be a Dalmatian) is the symbol of the Dominican order of friars and nuns, who wear white habits with black capes. And who could overlook the loyal St. Bernard, discovered by Swiss monks, whose loyalty and sense of smell helped to rescued lost travelers. God told Noah that a rainbow was to be a reminder of the covenant between Him and “every living creature on earth,” which could probably only happen via unconditional love.

Dogs do sense and respond to a person’s feelings and rarely complain. They live completely in the moment, unconcerned about what is to come. They wouldn’t dream of judging us—they carry no hidden agenda, no fault-finding or vengefulness, and their devotion is fierce. If dogs were like people, they would eventually give up on us, but they never do. “Just because…” they would probably answer if we could ask them why they love us so much.

A dog will greet a stranger as if she is a best friend, spend all day listening and never interrupt. If you are grieving, he will move into the pain, standing with you in your sorrow, comforting you simply by his presence. (Author Matthew Fox considers his dog his “spiritual advisor.”) Dogs force us to take a break, to slow down and enjoy our surroundings and in doing so, often connect with the mystical world beyond our own.

Earth’s journey is difficult at times, so our loving Father has provided many helpers for us. Friends, special teachers, gentle companions…Some might not fit the traditional mold. But a furry embrace and a cold nose work just as well.

Angelic Tails is available wherever fine angel books are available.

Joan’s new book Where Angels Walk
is the 25th Anniversary Edition,
available now at Loyola Press.
Joan Wester Anderson has written many books on angels and miracles.
She can be reached at P.O. Box 127, Prospect Heights, IL 60070.

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