Our Animal Companions and Their Power to Help Us


Gilmore, a happy-go-lucky senior, was named after the lead character in Happy Gilmore, the fun-loving golfer trying to make it in the big time. Our Gilmore loves chasing balls and romping with other canines big and small. While old age might have forced him into a more sedentary lifestyle, Gilmore was far from slipping into retirement.

An eight-year-old classic black and tan, Gilmore was found as a stray. But his weight was good and he showed no signs of health problems. And he loved people. He seemed intent on pleasing volunteers and often showed his gratitude for being rescued by leaning into people and softly placing his head in a convenient lap.

The day Gilmore joined our rescue, we got a call from a woman who was adamant about adopting an older dog to join her current pack and get him or her out of the kennels. It seemed like a perfect fit; she worked from home and lived on a property that would be paradise for a bunch of shepherds to frolic. So a site visit was scheduled to check out the new home. A meet-and-greet was scheduled to assess the compatibility of the pack members. Every test passed with flying colors, and it was love at first sight for the dogs and the humans.

I used my intuition to check in with Gilmore in his new home, and Gilmore told me his new life is so much fun. There’s plenty of play time and plenty of hang time. He’s happier than he’s ever been. And he told me that it’s important to stick firm to your beliefs. His foster mom was adamant about finding the right senior. In fact, she waited weeks for a dog like Gilmore to come along. And her persistence paid off, allowing her to find the perfect new pack member. A comment Gilmore shared when I tuned into him was failure to communicate. I didn’t understand the meaning, so I pushed for more information. There’s the phantom of timing I was told. Now I was really confused. The phantom of timing? I had no idea what that meant and the message eluded me. Was the message referring to my failure to communicate? I was certainly failing to understand the purpose Gilmore was bringing to his new human. Hope. I bring hope. “In regard to what?” I asked. There were things there that needed fixin’. His voice  suddenly had a decidedly southern twang, and I wondered if he was joking. But I was reminded that our animal companions and their power to help us is one of the reasons we love them so much. They calm us with their presence. They allow us to surrender to the depth we find in their eyes and their souls. They mend our hearts with their unconditional love. So many of life’s most important lessons are solved for us and modeled for us every day in our animal companions and their power to help us. There are indeed so many amazing ways animals help us. Often without us even knowing. Gilmore was right. If there were things there that needed fixin’, he was the man for the job.


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