The Power of Animals, Part 2 by John Cali

In our last blog post, The Power of Animals, Spirit talked about animals as our teachers. Here is another touching animal story, this one about a delightful little dog who loves everyone.

I was shopping recently in a local store. Just after I arrived, one of the young ladies who works there came in with her dog. Life is pretty informal here in this little Wyoming town. As in Europe, people don’t mind if you bring your dog into a store.

The dog was a tiny black bundle of fur—she was about eight or nine inches tall, and couldn’t have weighed more than three or four pounds. What she lacked in size, however, she more than made up for in her boundless energy.

As soon as she spotted me, she came running up, bright eyes sparkling with joy through her thick black eyebrows. She stood on her hind legs, front paws on my knee, with a big smile on her face, tail wagging furiously. She was adorable.

Obviously, she loved people—everyone, it seemed, since she greeted each new customer in the same friendly manner.

She filled the whole store with her energy and love. People were smiling and laughing, even with other folks they didn’t know.

This tiny creature instantly—magically—transformed the whole place. The shift in energy was dramatic and all felt it. Their faces suddenly lit up with joy and happiness, as if they were once again little children.

Such is the power of unbridled love and joy. Dogs uplift us, make us smile, and let us know we are loved.

Adapted from Dogs: Heartwarming, Soul-Stirring Stories of Our Canine Companions by John Cali (, Inc., 2008)


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.

10 Responses

  1. Jacquelyn Roberts

    A very sweet and familiar story. I had a dog that lit up the room. Axis was his name…after the Jimi Hendrix song…and yes, “He knew everything…and he was Bold as Love. A Tibetan Terrier, with fur so long when he stood on the grass he had no feet….he also had no eyes, for all the fur, but a great big smile. Long like a weenie dog, with a leap that could kiss, or nip, a 6ft man on the nose. …and a HUGE WOOF…so I knick-named him ‘Woofer”. Thanks for this series on dogs, and the memories that it brings. You are good at that John…conjouring up the funny memories….and Julia!…I’m keepin a prayer on you lady! Please be safe out there!

  2. Robin Becker

    I love all stories about how dogs make a positive difference in people’s experience. I can see how they can be a big benefit for visiting those in the hospital, nursing homes, etc. Dogs are little bundles of Source and radiate pure positive energy and unconditional love.

    As I have said, my dogs have helped me so much on my journey of getting well…they were my physical guides in learning how to allow Well-Being.

    I think if more people would stop and smell the roses and get in the NOW and spend that time with a dog, their lives would improve immensely.

    Thanks John for sharing your story and bringing this beautiful topic to life. It made my day ♥

    Love and light,


  3. Julia

    In a few minutes I am heading up to Toronto to pick up my puppy boys. Cordy left me breadcrumbs to follow, and I stumbled upon a rescue that brings dogs down from the native villages up around the arctic circle. It is by far the most positive dog rescue I have ever known. Since I found the site, a couple of weeks after Cordy died in Sept 2011 I have been stalking their website waiting for him to show up. They rescue focuses on getting the girl pups out first, to cut down on breeding and the smaller dogs because it’s such a harsh climate. I, of course, wanted to giant puppy boys so I spent much of the last year extremely frustrated.

    I thought for SURE that they would arrive for Christmas but, nope, the only pups they got down were girl pups. As it turned out, it was a very weird Christmas season in our family and then on News Year Eve it was like a switch was flipped in my mom and she came out of recovery mode- from her quadruple bypass heart surgery-to being fully recovered. I knew it instantly and burst into tears the relief was so HUGE! I was Finally off duty from being a full time care-taker, first for Cordy and then for her, 2 years.

    Then, a giant German Shepherd girl showed up on their website. She’d had her puppies on 12-12-12. Her name was Weather. At the same time there were Finally two boy pups, malamute mixes, one was named Diamonds and one was named Emerald. I was content to go with them and was packing up the car when I heard a very familiar voice in my head say, “You’ve never liked Diamonds or wanted Emeralds, but you’ve always LOVED Weather.” Which is absolutely true. I am a weather Freak! I love storms of all kinds. So, I unpacked, again and waited for puppy photos to show up. For three weeks I checked the website compulsively, nada, Finally, I asked about Weather’s pups and received a tiny thumbnail photo of the entire litter and spotted a very familiar face. The next day she, the rescue person, announced an adoption day for Saturday, Feb. 9th. The Valentine’s Day Adoption Day.

    And now, despite the fact that for the first time since last April I have the house to myself and despite the fact that a massive blizzard is coming in tonight, and a massive ice storm coming in on Sunday night, I am headed to Toronto to bring my boy and I think another friend home. It’s insane yet, the exact right thing to do. There are loads more ‘coincidences’ and neon arrows pointing to doing this but I’ve got to get on the road! PUPPIES are Here!!!

    • Barbara

      Oh Julia, what a fantastic story. Absolutely wonderful! How did you get on? How did it feel when you first met him this time round?

      I hope to have a similar experience one fine day.


      • Julia


        You asked what it was like when I first met him this time around-yesterday? It was the most Anti-climatic moment of my life. I had envisioned a grand reunion scene with him leaping into my arms and covering my face in puppy kisses, me sobbing in relief that he was back…cue dramatic music.

        Instead, I walked into the dog day care area where the pups were, this little guy walks over, stands on my foot and I hear, “Oh good, you got here. I’m going to go play.” It felt like nothing. It was such a non-event that I thought I’d imagined his voice and spent more than an hour agonizing over what to do, I almost left without a puppy thinking I’d screwed up.

        So, I asked him, are you happy to see me again? To which he replied, “I never left.”

        That’s when I sobbed like an idiot.

        But it feels no different than when Corduroy was here. I keep getting a shock when this tiny little body comes into the room instead of my 120 lbs, 3 foot tall and 5 foot long boy. They feel the same. Corduroy was brilliant but Hail is terrifyingly intelligent. He learned how to do the stairs after watching me walk up them once. He figured out what to do with the puppy pads on his own. I’m starting to get nervous. I mean, he’s Corduroy with 16 months of planning time. That can’t be All good.

        Hail-that’s his puppy name, his mom’s name was Weather so he has a brother named cyclone, a sister named Rain, etc- never even flinched on our long drive home from Buffalo today and it included three stops on the PA Turnpike with the tractor trailers and Harleys and people screaming and all of that chaos, he got out, he peed, he took me back to the Jeep. He’s 8 weeks old, was born north of the Arctic Circle and spent the last 3 weeks living in rural Ontario. He should have been panicked, but he couldn’t have cared less. last night at the hotel there was 6 middle school grade hockey teams. The kids descended on him when we walked in the door, he greeted each one in turn like it happened every day of his life. He’s just magnificent.

        • Barbara

          Hi Julia,

          Thank you for the update, what a wondeful story. It is very similar to the experience a friend of mine had with her Italian Spinone, Ricky.

          He told her that he would come back as a little girl who was the runt of the litter and that she would recognise him because he’d nibble her left pinkie finger.

          Everything he told her duly happened. When she got him/her home, she went straight to the biscuit cupboard!

          I wish you both the most wonderful life together and thank you again for sharing your story.


          p.s. Ricky’s story is featured in the book Heart to Heart which John wrote an article about a while back.

  4. Pat

    HA! Mr. Cali, you write so well. I found myself right there in that store with that angel dog and all of the other angels gathered, and you did it in just a few paragraphs. Magical.

    For those of you dog lovers who haven’t read it I recommend Merle’s Door. When a friend recommended it to me he stated that it was better than Marley and Me. “Nope,” I thought, “Can’t be.” It was.

    Thank you again, kind sir.

    • John Cali

      Thank you very much, Pat. But call me “John” — we’re very informal around here. 🙂

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