Animals and Their Purpose In Life

From June 1999 - October 1999, Animal Connection presented a series of articles in the monthly newsletter about animals and the jobs or purpose that they have in their life. Because of the overwhelming response to these articles, the 5 articles are reprinted here for your convenience. 

Introductory Article - Animals and their jobs

Throughout my communication experiences, animals have told me that during their life they have certain tasks or jobs that they need to accomplish. Most of our animals feel very strongly about this work and many times it involves the people that are part of their family. On more than one occasion I’ve had an animal tell me how fortunate they are to be with a particular family because this allows them to do their work. I’d like to cover a few of those jobs and some stories about the animals who have expressed their thoughts on this so well.

As some background for everyone, animals have told me that they are teachers, companions, guardians, healers (both physical and emotional), and communicators. They take their work very seriously and feel a great sense of accomplishment when they are doing their job well. I have been told by many animals that being a service animal, such as a canine companion, therapy horse, police dog or police horse is one of the highest honors in the domestic animal family, as time after time, domestic animals tell me that they wish to serve. The animals are also always quick to tell me that serving people should not be misunderstood. They do not feel that they are subservient when they do this work. It is an honor and something they look at with pleasure and pride. 

One of our dogs, Max, a black Labrador, (known as Maxine only when she got in trouble), was once trained to be a service dog. She began first as a companion for the blind and then when that didn’t work out she was transferred to a canine companion unit. Unfortunately, due to Max’s poor eyesight, she was not a successful candidate for either job. Max went on to live as a family dog with a family full of children and then eventually came to live with us. However, it always disturbed her that she was not able to do the job she so much wanted, which was to be a service dog.

I decided we would help Max through this by designing a job for her in our family that was service oriented. Due to Max’s older age, good obedience skills and her quiet demeanor, I began to call Max the Mama Dog. She was now in charge of the other dogs from a caring and nurturing perspective. She was responsible for watching over them and sharing her wisdom on how to be a good family dog.

When Sally, a Labrador mix, joined our family, Max had her hands full. Sally was so active and on more than one occasion she ran into the aging Max almost pushing her to the ground. I told Max how sorry I was that Sally seemed so oblivious to Max's age.  In her usual wisdom, Max told me that I needed to look to all the good that Sally brought to our home. She made us laugh with her antics and for Max, she reminded her of her youth when she could do so many more things.

Max was so proud of her new title and duties. She just glowed with her new responsibilities and took them very seriously. We thanked her all the time for doing such a good job and taking on such an important role in our family. Until her death last summer, Max fulfilled her job as service dog to our family with great honor and wisdom. This job gave her a sense of purpose and I can truly say she was more content in her life with this new role.

Next, we’ll take a look at some of the other jobs our animals have chosen. In the mean time, think about the responsibilities your animals take on in your family. And be sure to thank them for a job well done.

Three Dogs Who Serve

I'd like to share three stories of animals that I've communicated with about their purpose in life, They all wish to serve their people in different ways. As you may recall from the first article, many animals tell me it is an honor to serve their people. Please remember that they do not consider this subservience, but rather a way to work with and honor their families.

Recently I communicated with Ziggy, a very rambunctious Australian Shepherd who lives with the Grant family in Colorado. I've communicated with Ziggy several times and although Ziggy loves to chase cars, bikes and joggers, he is extremely loyal to Travis, the young boy in his life.

In my last meeting with Ziggy, I was asked to tell him how much his family loves the way he stays with Travis when Travis rides his bike. His family is so proud of the way he cares and protects their child. I told Ziggy that I thought this was a nice thing to do.

Ziggy told me that it may be nice but it's more than that. It's his duty, his job. He told me how Travis is his responsibility. He communicated that he had to do something useful with his life and he decided this would be the best thing to do. Ziggy told me that this work would give the most value to his family. He wants Travis to be safe. 

What a change I felt in Ziggy in just those few moments. He went from his usual playful, carefree self to a most serious dog in seconds. His entire demeanor changed as he spoke of his responsibility to his boy and how important this was. He concluded this section of our communication by asking me to tell his family that if he does a good job he likes to hear this from them. He said it makes him proud and he likes to be proud. Thanks, Ziggy. That's something we should all remember to do with our animals.

While communicating with Shawn, a beautiful Collie that Christa M. from Michigan rescued, Shawn actually discovered his purpose while we communicated.

Christa rescues Collies and frequently has foster dogs in her home. When communicating with Shawn, I I was asked to discuss how Shawn felt about this. I was also asked to be sure that he understood he was staying with Christa and not moving on to another family.

Shawn's comments were interesting. He wanted to tell Christa that her work is a very noble cause. He communicated that any person who works with animals is very important. He said there are many ways to help the animals and it doesn't matter which way we people choose, all the ways are important. 

He liked the idea that Christa helps the other dogs and he didn't mind them coming to his house. He felt that Christa's home is a good home for him because he can help the foster dogs too. He told me that he could help them understand that they will go to a home that will love them. Also, now that he was clear on the fact that he was staying with Christa and not moving on, he told me he'd work on this even more. And that's when he came to the realization that this would be a good job for him. He could help communicate to the foster dogs exactly what was going on and how, even though they were going through many changes, these were good changes and they would end up in a loving home where they were very wanted.

I can't put into words the excitement that was exuding from Shawn as he came to the realization of what his life's job should be. He was even more excited when he realized that he and Christa could be a team helping these unfortunate dogs on their way to a new home. 

I then went on to ask Shawn another of Christa' questions. She wanted to know if he was happy and felt fulfilled in his life with her. His answer was an interesting one. He said that if I had asked him this earlier, he would have given a different answer. He said he was always happy and content to be a companion however, now, in realizing that he was to stay with Christa and work with the foster dogs, he has more purpose. He felt sad for the dogs before. Now he can be much happier as he helps them realize how fortunate they are to be with him and Christa and going on to a new home. His final comments were that he could now be a dog who can really serve… not just people, but other dogs.

I'd like to close this article with just a few thoughts from a dog named Baby Bear who lives in San Diego and is part of Mary M.'s family. Baby Bear told me that she hoped she was being the dog Mary wished her to be. She told me that she wants to bring joy into Mary's life and that she believes this is her job in life. Baby Bear went on to tell me that she's done this before and she wants to do it again. It makes her happy to do this and she knows it's a good thing.

Well said, Baby Bear…. All of our animals bring joy to our lives in some way. Let's remember to say thanks.

Long Distance Communicators

Before I began communicating with animals,  I had read that orange tabby cats are communicators for the animal world. In communicating with many of these cats, I've found that this does seem to be true. I’ve also met other animals who have called themselves long distance communicators. They assist other animals, who cannot communicate as far, by passing along messages over great distances.

The first orange tabby cat that confirmed this for me was a cat named Jilby, who belonged to Sandi L. of Clearwater, FL. I was asked to find out why Jilby seemed afraid of being touched. What I found out was that Jilby was not really afraid of being touched, but she prefers connections of the mind, not physical connections. It seems that for Jilby, the physical connections with people interrupt her telepathic networking. I was also told that Jilby was the messenger to the outside world for all the cats in her family. She was the communicator.

Another animal with the job to be a long distance communicator is Ace, a kind soul inside a horse body who is part of Pam and Paul H’s family in Fallbrook, CA. 

Ace told me that animal lives can be shaped not only by those experiences that they have in their lives but also by those experiences that they hear about and experience through communication. He told me that the animals have a network of communicators. Some of the animals, including himself, are particularly good at this communication and they are given the responsibility to pass along messages to others over great distances. He then went on to clarify that when he says that certain animals are given the responsibility, he doesn’t mean that someone actually assigns them the job, but it is more that they have an obligation due to their talents.

In Ace’s case, he deals mostly with other horses but he also receives information from other species. This is an important job because he has the ability to receive these messages from very far away.

Although Ace enjoys his work, it can also be troublesome to him at times. He told me of a time when he was young. Unfortunately, he experienced a tragic accident through his communication where many horses were killed in a fire. He chose to stay in communication with these horses during the event to help their souls pass on because they were so traumatized by the experience. Because he was so young, it was very difficult for him to handle this emotionally and he still has some emotional scars from this today. 

Ace also told me that the communicators love to bring good news. His favorite is bringing the news of the birth of a foal. He said that all the animals rejoice in this news but to be the messenger to the blood line that is far away is one of the best parts of his job.

So from those who have this job, it appears that being the communicator among the animals is a job with risks and rewards. Thanks to all of the animals whose job is to be long distance communicators. Thank you for helping others by sharing the messages. 

Animals As Teachers

When I was first asked to communicate with Rex, a Dachshund, Corgi mix, he was 9 months old. I told his person, Katie M. who lives in northern California that I’d never forget Rex's greeting as the communication began. He was barking at me with all his might to be sure that I recognized him.

Although Rex was only 9 month old, he had been "around the block" as he told me early on in our communication, meaning that he had plenty of life experience. Rex had a funny sense of humor, which he showed right from the beginning. While he began telling me about all his experiences he sent me pictures of a dog walking around the block sniffing and lifting his leg to leave his scent. I couldn’t help but laugh at this little imp.

Unfortunately, not all of Rex’s experiences in his short life had been good. He started out with a wonderful family. He spoke of the love they all had for each other with such emotion that he brought tears to my eyes. His job, he told me, was to teach the children. He was to teach them love and respect. He told me that these are the important things in life and that these are things that a dog can teach well. He told me how he taught by example and also taught in subtle ways that most humans do not realize. He told me of the close bond he had with the children in his family and how by communicating with them himself, while they were young and open to his communication, he was teaching them on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, his family was torn apart by a separation of the parents. Rex ended up at the shelter. As he described the fear and understanding of what could have become of him there, he also told me how sad he was that he could not be with his children at a time when they needed him most.

The good news was that Rex had been rescued and became part of Katie's family. Rex loved his new home with his buddies Bogey, another dog and Tulie a cat. Rex told me that he needed to put his past behind him and look forward to what he can do, not what he could have done. He told me that this was a fresh start for him and a chance to still fulfill his life’s purpose.

I asked Rex if he realized that Katie and her husband were going to have a baby. He told me he knew this and that’s why he tried so hard to come to live with them. He told me that he was calling to Katie at the shelter… practically screaming at her to take him home. He knew he could fulfill his life’s purpose with this family. He wanted to come to this home to help raise the baby. He had the experience and the desire and this family was perfect for him.

Katie had asked me to ask Rex if he communicated with the baby now, before its birth. Rex told me that he did. He was already preparing to be the baby’s friend and teacher.

Don’t you love happy endings? I sure do. And this one continued as it was planned with Rex feeling fulfilled with his purpose in life as a teacher and his whole family sharing the benefits from this wonderful dog.

Special Satin

As usual, getting down to the wire for publishing the newsletter always has me thinking about the messages that the animals want to share most. This month, right at the due date, I met the most wonderful, gentle soul named Satin. Satin is a 17 year old Belgian horse who was rescued by Krista D. from Childress, TX in May 1999.

Krista contacted me online one evening and asked if Animal Connection could assist Satin who is very ill and in such poor condition that it is difficult for her to walk. Little did I know at that time the hardships that Satin had been though. 

From what I discovered about Satin's physical and emotional state, it was very obvious that her care had been abandoned quite some time ago. Luckily for Satin, she had come to live with Krista. Things were turning around but due to the neglect that Satin had received, it is going to be a long road to recovery. Satin’s hooves, although improving, were still showing signs of her past neglect. She lies down a great deal due to the pain in her hooves which causes sores on her body since she has not gained her weight back yet.. And then there are other health related issues caused by her main problems.

Even though progress is being made, Krista has run into one challenge after another with Satin's physical health. When I met with Satin, I sensed a terrible depression the moment I looked at her picture. She was giving up. Although Krista had asked me to cover specific information and questions with Satin, it was evident that the first thing that needed to be dealt with was her emotional well being. In my many dealings with animals, I’ve come to find out that if they don't have a good attitude about accepting the healing we're giving, the road to recovery is extremely long and sometimes cannot happen when the mind doesn’t accept the care.

Satin clearly told me that it was almost impossible to go on living some days. She understood that Krista was asking her to walk to help her health but her physical challenges were so great that there were times when even a simple request from Krista seemed like an insurmountable challenge. Satin wanted Krista to know that she wasn't being obstinate. She appreciated all that Krista was doing for her but it was just so difficult to go on. Satin said she didn't understand the purpose to the painful life she is living. To her, it seemed like such a waste.

Satin was clearly in a deep depression and who could blame her. Although she was making some strides in her return to good health, this recent set back was just too difficult for her to face. With this in mind, I decided that it might help Satin to realize there was meaning in her life. Although she loves Krista very much, she needed another reason to continue to go on.

I told Satin how honored I was to meet her. I explained that due to Krista's care for her, so many people now know about her and they are learning from her experiences. I told her that although she has endured a great deal of hardship, her life is certainly very important since there are so many people who are learning about her bravery and gentle soul through the work that Krista is doing with her. People are also learning about her physical challenges and how to care for others with these ailments. I told Satin that I felt horrible that she had to endure what she has gone through, but there is so very much good that is coming from it. 

Satin’s demeanor changed ever so slightly. I felt her begin to brighten. She told me that she had not thought of her life in this way. I could just about hear the wheels turning as she was looking at things through a different view.

We continued our communication together by discussing the items that Krista had asked me to discuss. After emailing the communication to Krista, I heard back from her right away. Here’s some of what she had to say:

Shortly after I received your report, my roommate and I went out to walk Satin some more. Vet and farrier's orders, plenty of exercise. We were hoping to avoid using her halter to lead her around the yard since her head is so bruised. She decided to walk with us on her own all over the yard with no lead rope. At one point she walked in front of me and stopped, kind of angling her hindquarters in front of me. This afternoon I'd massaged her hind legs some, so I did it again to see if that was what she wanted. It was. We walked around the house and yard a few times this way, both of us massaging her hind legs a bit, then walking on ahead and waiting for her to catch up, pass us, and stop for her massage, lol! She seemed to be in much better spirits (I won't delude myself into thinking the Bute played no role, but I don't think it was ALL of it). She often paused to look over her shoulder at us when we stopped rubbing her muscles as if to say "What, you're done already?" She covered much more ground than usual tonight, and without the usual begging and pleading.

Well, Satin certainly has a ways to go, but it’s nice to hear she’s making more progress. Animal Connection will be helping Krista and Satin find a companion for Satin to help keep her company. Everyone is looking forward to the day this gentle horse will be shaking the ground when she romps in the pasture in play.

Editor's note: Some time after this article was written, Animal Connection was contacted by Krista, Satin's person, to say that Satin was not doing well and had to be euthanized. Needless to say, this was a very sad day for all of us.