The Power of Animals by John Cali

 Animals, especially dogs and cats, are often your teachers. They have little to learn from you. But you have much to learn from them. One difference between animals and humans is animals are uninhibited. They know who they are. All they want to do is simply be who they are. Nothing more, nothing less. And so in their naturally uninhibited, unlimited being, they radiate an energy, love, and joy that can touch even the most hardened human hearts.

If there is one major lesson animals have to teach you, it is this: Live in the moment. And this: Love unconditionally. Your pets find joy, passion, and pleasure in every moment of their physical lives. Even when they appear to you to be suffering from some physical illness or injury.

Pets — and all animals, in fact — have no fear of illness or death. And, more importantly, they have no fear of life. Hence they immerse themselves in all the pleasures of physical existence. And they do it without hesitation and without guilt. They are fully alive in every moment. Not a bad role model for you to follow!

What greater teacher could you have than one who’s fully connected to God and who loves you unconditionally?

Your pets have no doubts about their worthiness. They know they are worthy. They know they are God. Follow their example. Learn from your pets, for they are often your greatest teachers.
Adapted from Spirit Oracle Cards by John Cali (Great Western Publishing, 2012)

Related links:
Pets: Our Teachers and Healers
Heart To Heart
Dogs and God


How have the animals in your life helped you? What have they taught you? Please share your thoughts and comments with us below.

We welcome your comments and thoughtful opinions, whether you agree or disagree with us. Please keep your comments polite and relevant to the topic of this post. If needed, we’ll edit for clarity. Also, we’ll delete anything we consider inappropriate.

18 Responses

  1. Pat

    John – first of all I wanted to say I just watched and enjoyed your participation in the May 2012 YouTube version of the documentary “Spirit Channelers in America” ( The information is truly enlightening and sychronistic with my personal growth right now.

    With regard to this post on The Power of Animals, I have a question. You mentioned that animals find joy, passion and pleasure in their lives even when they appear to us to be suffering. Can you expand on this a little more?

    About a year and a half ago we lost a beloved horse. We had had her over 30 years since she was 2. She was an easy keeper with virtually no physical problems throughout her life bordering her on our property in our backyard. Our daughters grew up with her and we all learned through 4-H how to ride and take care of horses. Our childen grew up and have families of their own now and we continued loving and tending to our horses like they were a part of our family. This mare had had a half brother we also bordered almost 30 years since he was 1 we lost a few years earlier. Both with virtually no physical problems throughout their lives.

    One morning my husband went out to feed and found our mare curled up in her stall emaciated with colic and obviously in a lot of pain probably most of the night. I can still feel and see her pain. We were able to call our vets and they came quickly to put her to sleep.

    There is much I don’t understand about death and still have a lot of conditioning I’m releasing and sorting out and hope you can help with explaining about suffering. Do animals sign up for things like we do to be a part of our lives and play out certain things we need to experience and learn? What can possibly be learned from innocent animals suffering when they’re not a source of food for predators.

    Somewhere in me I already know what you’re going to say but I still have a hard time with innocence in suffering and death.

    Thank you John.

  2. Elaine

    Hi John – great article, I’m one of thousands that are allergic to cats & dogs so I’ve always had birds in my life. I’m blessed with a jenday parrot named Maya. I wasn’t looking for a bird, but was visiting a friend one day who was a breeder and she had a single chick that hadn’t even feathered out yet and asked me if I wanted to hold her, so I did, she climbed up my shirt and snuggled under my chin and into my heart, I was a goner. Living with a parrot is like having a mini 2 year old around. I told friends I got her to replace the noise in the house because my last child was going off to college the next year. It’s different bonding to something so small & delicate, she’s such a treasure and after 7 years still loves to snuggle. When I cover her cage at nite I always thank her for choosing me.

    • John Cali

      Thank you, Elaine. My brother and sister-in-law had a parrot many years ago. He was an absolute delight.

  3. Jacquelyn Roberts

    What a lovely article, and so true. I am blessed by all of my critters. Each one has their own particular royalty..and Jeanne’s story of Joe is so touching.

    It breaks my heart to see them mis-treated, or rolling down the highway on those cargo trucks.

    Thank you John for inviting this conversation about the divinity of animals.
    Peace – Jacquelyn

    • John Cali

      You’re most welcome, Jacquelyn. And thank YOU for sharing your thoughts.


  4. Robin Becker

    Beautiful message and my favorite subject ♥ I love and adore my two little dogs. I have such a strong bond with the oldest, Trey. He helped me through a lot with all his unconditional love. I remember at times when I would be so lost in negative thoughts and one of them would just keep at they were saying “look at me! Get in the now! ” They truly are my best buddies and I feel that animals are the greatest gifts we have in our life experience…Our little energy balancers 🙂

    Thanks so much for such a beautiful and very uplifting message John and Spirit ♥

    Love and light,


    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Robin, for your comments and sharing. My experience with my dog family is the same as yours. Whenever I was feeling down, they would know it instantly, and be right there pulling me back into the present moment.


  5. Jeanne White

    Now, you know if you ask anything about animals, you’re going to get more Joe stories.

    Joe was a dark bay horse, an old fashioned Morgan, which means he was a solidly built horse. I learned several things by watching him and his unique outlook on life.


    Joe was really a beautiful horse, very dark brown, almost black. He carried himself proudly and was thought by some to be arrogant. His wasn’t the arrogance of “I’m better than everyone else”, but rather, “Damn, I’m good.”

    When he stood in his paddock snoozing under a tree, with his very swayed back, people would say, “Who is that poor old horse?” That is the horse you oohed and aahed about last week when I came riding him around the corner to lead the trail ride out. He tucked his head, arched his neck and lifted his feet. When people said how beautiful he was, his attitude was, I know. The truth is, he was not physically outstanding. His attitude and carriage made people think he was beautiful. If he had plodded along like the other horses with his head down, people would have asked, “Who is that poor old horse?”


    Joe loved life. He loved to aggravate other horses just because he could. He would only do it when he was in a place where they could not get at him, like in his stall. He would stand very close to the wall between the stalls and very slightly kick out with his back feet. You could see his back end going up, down, up down. The other horse would go nuts. I swear Joe was laughing.

    He had a strong sense of self and would not do anything he didn’t really want to, nor did he suffer fools gladly. My stepson, Scot, was very good with horses and could have them doing anything he wanted within a very short time. He could not even ride Joe. They would leave to ride on the trails, and a few minutes later, Scot would come back, leading Joe, and very disgusted. Scot really understood horses and how they thought and reacted. So did Joe, and you weren’t going to pull any of that stuff you use to train ordinary horses on HIM.


    Joe loved young girls. I used to procure them for him. I would let them brush him and he loved it. One very cold day, an 11 year old girl was brushing him. He took her jacket in his teeth and lifted her up and deposited her on the other side of him. He didn’t really care which side she was on, it was just fun to move her. He would never, ever have done this if she had not been wearing a heavy parka.

    He never hurt anyone with his shenanigans. He was aware of the frailty of human beings and was careful. I would put my hand in his mouth and he would gently “chew” on my knuckles. I had my hand in his mouth one day and I put my finger between his teeth. He bit down gently, but a little harder than I liked, so I said “Ow!” and yanked my hand out. i immediately stuck it back in his mouth and he continued to play with it with his teeth firmly closed so my fingers couldn’t get between them.

    Anyone was fair game for his pranks, but they were never dangerous or frightening.


    I had promised Joe that I would not have him put down, but would let him die naturally. Little did I know that he did not intend to go. When he was 37, he apparently had small strokes and finally got to the point he could not get up. You can’t very well just leave a horse to die of dehydration lying in his stall. He would struggle vainly to get up. “No, wait. I can do it. I know I can.” He didn’t want to go. He had more people to harass, more lazy afternoons to spend under a tree, more trail rides, more days of watching the stable yard from his stall or paddock.

    He went quietly, with the help of a gentle vet, but he would have gladly stayed for more if he could. From his last days, I learned to let go before you are absolutely sick of something, whether it be life, a job or any situation. When it gets to the point that it will become a burden, walk away. Even though Joe wanted to stay, on another level, he chose his time to die, as all of us do, and he chose to go quickly while he was still enjoying life.

    • Damian Purdy

      WOW. I find it funny that when I was younger, I did not believe you could get attached to an animal so big. There is just no way a horse can get into your life like a dog can. I’m a dog person through and through, but then…oh yes, then there was Ballou. A young buckskin colt. He was my friend, my pal, my buddy, and I miss him dearly. He would do some of the same things Joe did. Ballou would push me around in the stall with his head, bumping me around, knocking me over, but never in a harmful way. He was all play, lets have some fun he would say.
      I love animals of all sorts, dogs and horses are way up at the top of my list, but then there are cats, ferrets, chickens, goats, birds of all sorts…I love em all, and yes, they teach us with their unconditional love, always, they know no other way. I can not imagine a life without an animal companion. They have seen me through many tough times in my life, and the good ones too. Thank you for sharing your stories of Joe. I can’t stop crying. I cry for joy. And thank you John for sharing this article.

    • Barbara

      What a beautiful story, Jeanne. I think I could feel Joe’s energy around me as I read it.


      • John Cali

        Thank you, Barbara. That is a beautiful story — and many thanks to Jeanne for sharing it.

  6. Micki

    Hi John,
    My favourite subject, and aren’t we lucky to have our pets, they give us so much and ask for so little in return. I have the most amazing cat, Min. I think I told you about her before, how she picked David at the Animal Welfare League and knew what was happening with him and stayed by his side until he went into hospital for the final few days of his life. Min also knew when he passed. She is now my constant companion, we talk alot and she is such a gentle sole. YES !!! we can learn so much about uncondtional love and giving from our pets and pass it on.
    Thank you again John…love and hugs,

    • John Cali

      Hi Micki,

      Yes, I remember Min and how she picked David at the animal shelter — what a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing it with us today — it clearly demonstrates what wise old souls so many of our animal family are.

      Lots of love & hugs,

  7. Pat

    So, Mr. Cali, you nail it once again, right on the button. Thanks again for a most beautiful message.

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