The Animals In Our Lives

Stories of Companionship and Awe

by Catherine Lawton

“Well worth purchasing for the companionship it offers.” ~Jay McDaniel

“What a special showcase of creatures, great and small!” ~Mary Harwell Sayler

“Combines well-written experiences from known authors and ones from all walks of life and literary identification…Definitely recommend.” ~Sue Wolff

The animals in our lives have entertained us, helped us, taught us, played with us, mourned with us, even worked with us. They have helped us experience God’s presence in our lives.

43 winsome stories and reflections by 24 animal-loving writers, share experiences with dogs and cats, sheep and horses, backyard birds, woodland deer, and others. The encounters and adventures of people and animals celebrate the companionship we have with animals both domestic and wild, in good times and bad.

We give animals space, attention, and care—and they give us so much in return. They have much to teach us.

This inspirational volume will evoke laughter, tears, and the experience of awe.

ISBN: 9781945099274, 5.5″ x 8.5″, 15 Black/White Photos / $14.99 / Buy Now:




“In these turbulent, often scary, times, directing our attention onto animals of all kinds gives us a positive focus that helps us to realign with God’s prayer for all peoples to take care of the earth. … this new anthology can help us to regain our perspective, our commitment, and our hope through the essays, stories, and poems about engaging with animals … What a special showcase of creatures, great and small!” ~Mary Harwell Sayler at Poetry Editor, Aug. 28, 2021

“Catherine Lawton has combined well-written experiences from known authors and ones from all walks of life and literary identification…It’s a good read…Definitely recommend.” ~Sue Wolff in SAR Dog News, Sept. 2021

“’Heartwarming’ is an overused word; these stories and poems are that, but they also serve to encourage, to cheer (and cheer up), and to strike a note of wonder at the ways animals of all kinds find their ways into our lives and our hearts.” ~Glynn Young at Faith, Fiction, Friends, Oct. 18, 2021

“The animal lovers among us … become an informal community of people who …find ourselves drawn to build communities that are good for people, animals, and the earth…. [who] sense that God shares in the perspectives of all creatures….This book introduces us to this community, and it is well worth purchasing for the companionship it offers.” ~Jay McDaniel at Open Horizons, Aug. 30, 2021

Introduction /11
Pal: My First Show Dog by Susan Bulanda /17
Shelly: Walking Through Empty Nest Syndrome by Catherine Lawton /20
A Dog-Nose Miracle by Janyne McConnaughey /31
Rocky II by John Buzzard /34
Finding Freedom, Experiencing Joy by Gayle M. Irwin /40
Grace: The Distractive Therapist by Beverly Coons /44
What’s in a Name? by Janyne McConnaughey /48
Bogar: A Dog In The Holocaust by Kathy Rubin /52
Aisha by Alice Scott-Ferguson /61
Scout: My Soul Mate by Susan Bulanda /66
Buster: The Problem PK by Beverly Coons and Catherine Lawton /70
A Wet-Nosed Therapist by Gayle M. Irwin /79
Bruna by Alice Scott-Ferguson /82
Maggie by Dennis and Kit Ellingson /84
Better Than a Guard Dog by Jeanie Flierl /89
Bob, An Angel At My Doorstep by Nancy Swihart /93
Taking In Stray Cats by Dennis and Kit Ellingson /98
The Cat We Left Behind by Jacob Stern /100
My “Hey, Sheep” by Nancy Swihart /105
Wyndham: The Gentle Giant by Beverly Coons /110
Dust Bowl Days by G.H. Cummings /113
What Charlene Taught Me by Millie Bay /120
Netta and the Sheep-Pony by Millie Bay /124
Run To Safety! by Marilyn Bay /127
Freckles: The Faithful Farm Dog by Marilyn Bay /130
A Peacock For Moving Day by Nancy Swihart /133
Prayer Meeting With the Cows by Nancy Swihart /138
A Country Pastor-Farmer’s Flock by Dennis and Kit Ellingson /141
Grace Sings on Cricket Wings by Carol O’Casey /147
Bo Bo, the Hedgehog by Susan Elaine Jenkins /152
Toads and Salamanders by Catherine Lawton /159
Dostoevsky the Iguana by Judith Galblum Pex /162
Honeybees by Catherine Lawton /168
Swimming With Dolphins by Judith Galblum Pex /173
Backyard Birds by Catherine Lawton /178
Beginner’s Luck by Larry Lawton /180
Encounters of Wonder by Mary Harwell Sayler /186
Animals in the Wildfire by Catherine Lawton /188
Reminder That God Is With Us by Sarah Suzanne Noble /191
Wild Observations by Susan Roberts /192
The Chase: It Happened On Londonberry Street by Catherine Lawton /195
It’s A Bear! by Catherine Lawton /197
Love That Will Not by Alice Scott-Ferguson /201
About the Contributors /203

Watch a fun VIDEO discussion with many of the Contributors: