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November 29, 2007

The Powerful, Unbreakable Human-Animal Bond

The Humane Society of the United States

Has an animal influenced your faith or your faith influenced your view on animals? Contributors to The Francis Files share their stories.


By Belinda Ashton
Cape Town, South Africa 

A few years ago, my little dog disappeared one evening while I was out, no doubt responding to the fireworks display across the valley. I was very distraught and spent over two weeks searching for him, envisaging the worst of course and not having a moment's peace as he was blind in one eye, fairly old and not that capable of looking after himself.

He was eventually returned to me, after being taken in by a family who had been determined to keep him. But, when he incurred an expensive vet's bill, they handed him over to animal welfare, who immediately contacted me.

The extraordinary memory of this event (apart from the anxiety of losing my beloved pet) was that on the night he disappeared, just as I was falling asleep, a vivid image flashed into my consciousness—of my little dog standing on the mountainside in full sunlight, staring back at me in complete love and peace. My literal understanding of this image was that my dog was safe and happy and that the mountainside indicated a possible direction in which he had fled.

On a deeper level I kept asking myself whether, in some way, my animal had sent me this communication, across the barriers of my rational conditioning, and that for some reason I had been susceptible to receiving it.

As the reality unfolded, I learned that he was alright (I eventually got him back) and that he had been found on the mountainside in the exact place where he had appeared in the vision.

I am left in awe of this incident and still cannot quite understand it. I am sad that at the time, I did not invest more faith in the possibility that the message was genuine and that my skepticism led to weeks of anguish and sadness, which with hindsight, was so unnecessary.

I am starting to believe that if we allow ourselves the silence and grace to listen more carefully beyond the distractions of everyday life; these small miracles will unfold continuously around us, as we become more attuned to the universal energies within which we are all intricately bound.

Posted Nov. 30, 2007

Do you have a story to share of how an animal has influenced your faith? Submit your story and we may share it with our readers. The opinions of the authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of The Humane Society of the United States.

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