Animal Blessings: Prayers and Poems Celebrating Our Pets

Animal Blessings: Prayers and Poems Celebrating Our Pets

by June Cotner

Hardcover(1 ED)

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062516459
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/05/2000
Edition description: 1 ED
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 1,196,586
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 6.25(h) x 0.73(d)

About 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.

Read an Excerpt


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
your troubles,
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
poor friend,
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,
or politics,
Then, my friends, you are almost as good as your dog.

-Author unknown


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.

-Penny Harter


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,
Suffering released!

-Annie Dougherty


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

Table of Contents

A Letter to Readersxv
What I Learned from My Dog3
I Would Be5
Welcome Home, New Puppy6
Making a House a Home7
Faithful Companion8
Just My Dog10
We Really Never Own a Dog12
Loyal Friend13
A Perfect Gentleman14
Old Friends15
Old Black Lab in the First Snow16
Scratch a Dog17
A Dog's Prayer20
Folks Will Know22
A Dog's Acceptance23
If You Can24
Cats Make Us Feel Good29
Peace Keeper31
Time Spent Watching a Cat32
The Difference Between Dogs and Cats33
Basic Rules for Cats Who Have a House to Run34
The Cat37
Psalm for a Cat Owner38
The King of Cats Sends a Postcard to His Wife40
On a Cat, Aging41
Room for One More42
Cat from the Animal Shelter43
I Will Always Remember45
A Question48
Stray Cat49
Cats as Teachers50
3Other Animals51
A Fieldmouse's Prayer53
All God's Creatures55
Three Little Fish57
A Pony's Prayer60
Last Chance61
The First of May66
Midwife to Miracles67
On Guardian Angels68
In the Presence of Angels69
Home Delivery70
Bird Mother71
Birds Make Great Sky-Circles72
The Communion of Saints73
Deer Domain74
In Deer Country76
The Grasshopper and the Cricket77
Atlantic Dolphins78
In a Moonlit Night80
Again, Frogs81
Bee! I'm Expecting You!82
The Good Life83
Time to Say Good-bye87
Mourning the Death of a Pet88
Long Lost ... Long Remembered89
Prayer for a Pet's Memorial Service90
Prayer for the Burial of a Bird91
Funeral Prayer92
Farewell, Old Friend94
An Epitaph95
Passing On96
At the Grave of a Fine Cat97
A Memorial for a Pet98
In the Loss of Your Pet99
A Dog Lover's Prayer100
Dogs in Heaven?102
Friends in the Great Beyond103
The Love They Give Us104
Northwest Indian Memorial on Death105
If Having a Soul109
Do Animals Have Souls?110
They Shall Teach Thee112
Ethical Conduct113
Love Animals114
Hurt No Living Thing115
Moral Progress116
Living Holy117
A True Perspective118
Animals Are Such Agreeable Friends119
I Think I Could Turn and Live with the Animals120
To Portland Cement from Robert Frost121
Child's Lesson123
Dream Time124
All Things Are Connected126
The Animals Never Yell at Me127
An Animal's Eyes128
The Peace of Wild Things129
If I Knew the Ways of Animals130
God's Special Providence132
God in All Things133
Talk to the Animals134
In Their Innocence and Wisdom135
Prayer for an Ill Pet136
To Be of Service137
Why Do I Care So Much?138
Until One Has Loved an Animal141
We All Belong to the Same Family142
Respect for Life143
All Things Bright and Beautiful144
A Prayer for the Feast of St. Francis147
Animal Blessing for the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi148
A Prayer for a Pet Blessing150
A Prayer for Animals151
I Sing for the Animals152
A Prayer for Protecting Animals153
Buddhist Prayer155
A Blessing for a Child's New Pet156
In Appreciation of the Family Pet157
Rainforest Life158
Blessings in All Directions159
Hear Our Humble Prayer161
Author Index163
Permissions and Acknowledgments165
Photo Credits168

What People are Saying About This

Marty Becker

"Animal Blessings showcases the joys and rewards of sharing our lives fully with animals. This book is an incredible tapestry of stirring prayers and poems. This book caused me to look at my pets, my patients and all of nature with a newfound understanding and appreciation!"--(Marty Becker, DVM, Veterinary Contributor for ABC TV's Good Morning America and Co-author of Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul and Chicken Soup for the Cat & Dog Lover's Soul)

Ingrid Newkirk

"Delightful, moving!"--(Ingrid Newkirk, Founder and President, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA))

Hansen Mark Victor

"Bless yourself with love, joy, and inspiration by reading Animal Blessings!"--(Mark Victor Hansen, Co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul series)

Paul G. Irwin

"June Cotner has written a book which people who care for animals will find inspiring, enlightening, and encouraging. For once a book is aptly titled and delivers a diversity of blessings . . . this book lives up to its name!"--(Paul G. Irwin, President and CEO, The Humane Society of the United States)

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Animal Blessings: Prayers and Poems Celebrating Our Pets 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Emily Dickerson, Roger Cata's precious pogiment moments with their cat, dog.
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