Animals as Teachers

Life Lessons from Our Pets

I have always believed that animals come into our lives to teach us. First and foremost, they teach us about unconditional love. But they also teach us to stretch and grow, to reach beyond our self-imposed limits, and to expand our consciousness. They take us to places we did not think were possible for us to go. I’ve been fortunate to have a number of these animals in my life. 

There was my soul mate kitty, Feebee, who was instrumental in guiding me from an unsatisfactory corporate job to a fulfilling career in the veterinary profession.  For the first time in my life, I discovered what loving what you do for a living feels like.  There was my office cat Virginia, who made my dream of a fulfilling career complete. Whenever I had visualized my perfect job, that dream had always included a cat sleeping in a sunny spot on my desk. One of Virginia’s favorite sleeping places was the spot right next to my computer on my desk at the animal hospital, in front of a sunny window.  There was Buckley, who changed my life in ways I never could have imagined by helping me discover my true passion.  Her lessons were profound enough to inspire an entire book.  And there is Amber, who I share my life with now.  Her gentle, wise presence brings love and affection into my life every day, and she inspired this site, which is dedicated to sharing information about health, happiness and conscious living for pets and their people. 

I’ve found that there are three main lessons that all animals teach us, if only we are willing to listen.  

  1. The teach us to live in the moment.  Our pets don’t spend time analyzing the past, and they don’t worry about the future.  They are fully focused on whatever it is they are doing in the present moment, whether it’s enjoying a meal, playing with a favorite toy, or napping in the sunny spot on the rug.
  2. They help us to slow down.  We get so caught up in the business of our daily lives, and we rarely take enough time to relax.  Spending time with our pets is the best stress relief I know of.  Research has shown that simply petting a dog or cat can lower your blood pressure.
  3. They help us connect with our spiritual core.  As humans, we have an innate need to get in touch with something greater than ourselves.  For some people, this connection comes through religion, for others, it comes from being in nature.  For me, it has always come from being around animals.    

Listen to the animals in your life – you might be surprised at the lessons they have to teach you.

What have you learned from your pets?

Animals as a Pathway to Source

Amber, contemplating

We all have different ways of connecting with our spiritual core.  For some of us, it may be through structured religious observations, often shared in the community of a church or other spiritual gathering.  For others, this connection may happen during meditation.  Others still may connect with Source in nature.  Watching a beautiful sunset or sunrise, walking in a deep green forest, or hiking in a striking desert landscape – all of these can help open a portal for a connection to Spirit.

What do I mean by connecting with our spiritual core?  I believe that all humans have an innate need to be a part of something greater than ourselves.  Whether we call it God, Source, Spirit, or soul, we all long for that connection.  We know it when we have it.  Sometimes, it may just be for a brief, almost fleeting moment.  Other times, we may be able to bask in it for an extended period of time.  Regardless of how it comes about and how long it lasts, the feeling that comes with it is one of utter peace, joy, and love.  It’s that feeling we get when we’re completely absorbed in doing something we love.  We loose track of all sense of time.  We are living in this present moment, to the exclusion of everything else.  Anything is possible, and magic can and will happen.

For me, animals have always been an easy way to help me connect with Source.  Animals are so much closer to nature then we are, and as such, are much more closely connected with Spirit than most humans.  Simply observing an animal can instantly transport me into a state of alignment.  Is there anything more peaceful than a sleeping cat?  More joyful than a dog playing with his toys?  Animals teach us to slow down.  It’s during those quiet times when it’s usually easier to connect with our spiritual core.  Animals facilitate finding those times for us.  They force us to take a break from our busy schedules.  Taking a dog for a walk, playing with a cat, these are times when we are forced to step back from our endless to do lists and for a little while, we can allow ourselves to just enjoy the moment.  And it’s during those moments that we are reminded of who we really are.