The Animals In Our Lives

Stories of Companionship and Awe

Compiled by Catherine Lawton

These 43 winsome, varied, and inspirational stories by 24 talented, animal-loving writers, recount experiences with dogs and cats, sheep and horses, backyard birds, woodland deer, and other surprising creatures. The encounters and adventures of people and animals include childhood memories, individual and family experiences, and wilderness adventures. They all celebrate the companionship we have with animals both domestic and wild, in good times and bad.

As fellow creatures, we give animals attention and care, and they give us so much in return. If we listen and observe, they teach us about God and about ourselves. This inspirational volume will evoke laughter, tears, and the experience of awe.

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.

ISBN: 9781945099274, 5.5″ x 8.5″, 15 Black/White Photos

$17.99 Buy Now:


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction by Catherine Lawton /11
OUR DOGS /15
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
OUR CATS /87
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
OUR FARM ANIMALS /103
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
OUR UNUSUAL PETS /145
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
OUR WILD ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS /171
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
Acknowledgements /208


Published REVIEWS:

“The animal lovers among us … become an informal community of people who sense that God is found in other animals and our relationships with them, and who find ourselves drawn to build communities that are good for people, other 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

“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

“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


What READERS are saying:

“The whole idea of short stories about animals and how they show God’s presence in our lives is so sweet. I myself have had some spiritual experiences in nature that I look back on and cherish.” –Isabelle L., editor

“I received my copy today…read the introduction and the first two stories. Oh. My. The second story touched me deeply…I could relate on so many levels. I was going to save this book for our drive back to Tennessee in a few weeks but know now that I cannot wait.” –Deborah Maples, reader


Read the INTRODUCTION to the book HERE.

Watch a VIDEO discussion by the Contributors HERE.