"When I look into the eyes of an animal I do not see an animal. I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul."

With 4 horses, 5 dogs, 3 cats and numerous chickens running around our property at home, I may be a little biased...but the presence of an animal in the life of a person that is struggling can be more healing than we realize. Animals seem to have a sixth sense, knowing when a person is hurting or sick and being able to recognize peoples' energy so well. These healing powers have inspired me to pursue a career in animal therapy, as I have become such a strong believer.

Our dogs seem to always know when someone in our family is in pain or suffering in some way. Recently, when I come home from school there have been so many emotions I am feeling with graduation, new jobs, leaving friends, it becomes overwhelming. Often times I just lay on the couch and cry...but before I get too sad, there is always a dog sitting right next to me with its face in my lap, waiting to give me the support I need. When my sister was getting ready to leave for college last fall, she began bringing all of her bags to the door and turned around to see all 5 of our dogs sitting in a line looking up at her. They seemed to know she was embarking on one of the biggest journeys of her life and were there to support her for whatever she needed. The love of our animals is something that will never get old and we will always appreciate.

If you have a friend that is sick or struggling, think about whether a kiss from a dog or the hum of a purring cat might lift their spirits. Alternatively, if your friend needs help taking care of his/her animals, think about sending items for his/her pets to ease stress. Whether it's food, treats, or toys, pet owners will be so appreciative to have something special for their animals.