- Animal Wisdom by Linda Bender
- Publisher: North Atlantic Books
- Format: Paperback
According to the 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook, there are about 70 million homes in the United States with a dog as a pet (around 36.5%) and a staggering 74 million with cats.
That’s not the number of cats and dogs but the number of homes WITH cats and dogs. Many households probably have multiple pets as companions living with them!
Further studies also show that pets of all types are becoming increasingly treated as core members of the family with major shifts taking place in the way that we treat and care for them.
In just one example of changing attitudes, dogs are, in most cases, no longer kept in kennels in the garden at night but are allowed to sleep in the comfort of the living room—or, in many cases, in bed with their owners.
Do these changing trends simply reflect our shift toward a more humane approach to animals in general or is there something more significant taking place here?
For 25 years, Linda Bender DVM has worked with a wide range of animals throughout the World. From rescuing and rehabilitation natural wildlife through to working with and protecting endangered species, she has a close, hands-on perspective on veterinary work from many angles.
In Animal Wisdom, Bender explores the spiritual and mystical philosophy that relates to animals and specifically to our pets.
The book opens with a foreword by Linda Tucker (author of Saving the White Lions).
It is clear from the start that both Lindas have a common personal philosophy in life… that animals express an innate spiritual wisdom that we, as humans, can tap into.
Part One of the book (‘The Fabric of Creation’) expands upon this theme of human/animal connections.
It established quite firmly in the mind of its author a widespread belief that animals are psychically skilled and as well as communicating with each other in this way, they can forge an comprehensible connection with their owners.
The book is full of examples of where pets appear to have been able to respond to humans in the most remarkable ways, leading their owners with no choice but to surmise that their ‘four-legged companions’ understand more about them and their movements than most fellow members of the human race.
Part Two (‘What Animals Want us to Know’) takes you deeper into the world of human philosophy with an emphasis upon the meaning of life and the significance of death. It is full of personal recollections and anecdotal stories by the author who, herself, once faced the prospect of her own imminent demise at the hands of a deranged gunman.
In Part Three (The Connection of All Creatures’), you are introduced to some practical work and exercises, including advice on how to make that all important telepathic connection to animals, allowing animals to speak for themselves and a closing—somewhat heartfelt plea, for us to remember our responsibility to all of this planet’s creatures.
The book closes with an extensive index.
Only pet owners, and someone like Linda Bender with her vast amount of experience working with animals, will be quite so closely aware of the strong sense of spirit that pervades all animals within their care.
In Animal Wisdom, Linda Bender demonstrates that a desire to care for our natural World resonates more deeply within the hearts of some than others. Her own deep commitment to the care and recuperation of those requiring her healing skills so clearly expresses itself through the story told here.
However, whilst this book offers an interesting foray into the world of animals it is because of its inclusion of so much information on the subject of human philosophical values and belief systems that it wanders far from its original remit—which, the reader is lead to suppose from its title is about the inherent wisdom in animals, that it loses sight of any nuggets of spiritual insight that the animals might be able to communicate to us.
In some regards, it is through the final pages of Animal Wisdom that this criticism is less applicable and yet even here the emphais is firmly placed upon the perspectives of the observer rather than the animal being observed but by this stage it was rather too late for me and the book failed to redeem itself.
However, it should be remembered that this is a publication written by a veterinary practitioner, not a Shaman or anyone else who works in a spirito-magickal context with animal guides. As a result, this failure by its author to convince the reader that she has a close understanding of the spiritual needs and core resonances of animals can perhaps be excused.
To this end, the fault lies somewhat with the book’s rather erroneous title, rather than with any inherent defects within the author’s writing.
Animal Wisdom will be an interesting read for pet owners seeking guidance through the declining years of their lives but it will fail those readers looking for a deeper understanding of why pets are such important spiritual companions in the homes of modern man.