Animal Blessings: Prayers and Poems Celebrating our Petsby June Cotner
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Our pets. They are our loyal companions and our faithful friends, a constant source of joy and inspiration. In this endearing anthology of prayers and poems, June Cotner has handpicked choice writings by some of the world's most notable animal lovers to celebrate the playful, the poignant, and the profound ways these wonderful creatures touch our daily lives.
Selections include Emily Dickinson's astute observations of her cat, Roger Caras' thoughts about the love a dog brings to a home, and a cat's rules for running a house. Readers will be delighted by Anne Porter's poem exalting a spring symphony of peepers and Rumi in praise of birds in flight. The section "Partings" includes Annie Dougherty's lovely poem "Time to Say Good-bye" and Lord Byron's epitaph to his dog. "Reflections" includes the words of St. Francis, Jane Goodall, and Chief Seattle, reminding us that we are all interconnected beings, and James Herriot and Walt Whitman honoring the humble dignity of all creatures.
Animal Blessings makes a wonderful gift for all animal lovers. This delightful volume is a charming companion that reminds us to be grateful for everything our pets and all the other animals of the world bring to our lives.
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IF YOU CAN
If you can start the day without caffeine,
If you can get going without pep pills,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with
If you can eat the same food every day and be
grateful for it,
If you can understand when your loved ones are too
busy to give you any time,
If you can overlook it when something goes wrong
through no fault of yours and those you love
take it out on you,
If you can take criticism and blame without
If you can ignore a friend's limited education and
never correct him,
If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a
If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
If you can honestly say that deep in your heart you
have no prejudice against creed, color, religion,
Then, my friends, you are almost as good as your dog.
IN DEER COUNTRY
Part leaf, part shade,
they stand beside the road,
and we are foreign. Out there
at the edge of the clearing,
some drift into the sun,
faces lowered to crop clover,
backs flecked with light.
In deer country, they live
in their own time; even running,
their limbs flow softly into grass,
their bodies weave like water.
They are the old way
of moving on the Earth.
TIME TO SAY GOOD-BYE
As we lay our hands upon you,
Before your final rest,
Our hearts surround to love you,
And thank you for yourbest.
Our home you watched and treasured,
Our lives you truly blessed.
Lessening now your burdens,
We tend your tired bones.
Let us be your pillow,
Then wings to take you home.
Listen for God's calling,
Sweet promises of peace.
Old friend, leap to Heaven,
THE LOVE THEY GIVE US
Not only is there always another good animal in need of a good home, but we must remember to be thankful for the time and love our animals give us while they are here. Take time to enjoy them and learn from them. As painful as it is to lose them, they teach us to love unselfishly, they teach us to live each day to the fullest, they teach us how to grow old gracefully, and they teach us how to die with dignity. We do them a disrespect to focus only on the sorrow of their death when they have given us so much joy through their life. If we wish to honor them, take what they have given us, all that love, and give it back to another animal in need of help.
-Kent C. Greenough
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Meet the Author
June Cotner is the author of the celebrated Graces, Bedside Prayers, Get Well Wishes, Animal Blessings and Family Celebrations. She lives with her husband, two wayward dogs, and two stray cats in Poulsbo, Washington, just outside of Seattle.
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Emily Dickerson, Roger Cata's precious pogiment moments with their cat, dog.