Practical - Index >
Companion Animals >
The Dog Who Helped Parishioners
Renew Their Relationship with God
Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 19, 2005 - Mary Elizabeth Martucci, a retired university administrator from South Bend, Indiana, says that parishioners in her childhood church renewed their relationship with God in an unique way when her dog Skippy started attending Sunday services. One day, the dog followed the then eight-year-old girl to church, sneaked into the side door, walked down the aisle, lowered himself onto the sanctuary carpet, and observed the service while the congregants watched in awe and amusement. To Martucci's surprise and relief, the pastor was so impressed with the dog's respectful demeanor that he allowed Skippy to continue attending services. Skippy's close attention to the proceedings boosted the service and prompted parishioners to become more mindful and reverential. Martucci concluded that her dog had reminded the parishioners that even an animal could honor his Creator in church on Sundays.
Martucci's story is included in the book God's Messengers: What Animals Teach Us about the Divine by Allen and Linda Anderson with endorsements by animal lover, actress Betty White, and The Today Show's Willard Scott (NWL, October 2003).
Author Allen Anderson says, "Many of the stories in God's Messengers are from people who feel lonely or burdened until an animal comes into their lives at exactly the right time and reminds them that God loves them. My wife Linda and I have always thought that this book would be an inspiration for any animal lover and that clergy members would find it an endless source of uplifting material for sermons and workshops."
God's Messengers has seventy stories and features the following:
* Rocky, a ferret who helped an autistic boy named Sean become more self-confident and prompted the child to ask his mother for deeper spiritual understanding of his life. ("Ferrets Are Made of God by Rebecca Stout, Chattanooga, Tennessee),
* Grace, a dolphin who overcame her fears when she was beached on a Costa Rican shore and a group of volunteers began to sing the hymn Amazing Grace to her. (Amazing Grace and the Dolphins by Sierra Goodman, Costa Rica),
GOD'S MESSENGERS: What Animals Teach Us about the Divine
by Allen and Linda Anderson
New World Library * October 2003 * Trade Paper * 237 Pages
Price: $14.95 ( ISBN 1-57731-246-5
The Dog Who Helped Parishioners Renew Their Relationship with God 2
Allen & Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network
P. O. Box 26354
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55426