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Animals/Interspecies Communication
Record Type: Review   ID: 6

Animals as Teachers & Healers: True Stories & Reflections

McElroy, Susan Chernak

 This is an important book from the viewpoint of the EHE Network because it is both an EHE autobiography and a collection of animal-related EEs/EHEs. The author’s vocation, which grew out of her own EHEs, is to heal the relationship between humans and animals. I have written an EHE portrait about Ms. McElroy that is available upon request. She had exceptional experiences with animals as a child, but as a teenager she disowned them because none of her peers seemed to share her experiences. Then she was diagnosed as having cancer. In the process of recovery she recalled her past bond with animals and credits her deceased dog Keesha with having played a special role in her eventual healing. She publicly admitted she is an avowed animal lover, and prompted by EHEs, decided to write a book about her own animal-related experiences and those of others. The experiences she collected comprise this book. They are presented in seven chapters on the following topics: human-animal companionship; animals as guardians and guides; animals as healers; lessons from the wild; animals as totems, dreams, and visions; on the loss of animals through death; and animals in myth and symbol, the wolf in particular. Anyone who loves animals will be inspired by the accounts McElroy has so lovingly gathered, and anyone who wonders what people see in animals will find the answers in Animals as Teachers and Healers. One aftereffect of most if not all EHEs is a greater reverence for all life. Animals are the closest to us by nature. They not only can awaken appreciation for and encourage reverence for all, but they provide countless opportunities for us to express our love and gratitude. It promotes our own growth to be able to express, share, and if possible, perform (i.e., act from) our EHEs. Animal EHEs are one of the best (and easiest) places to begin. McElroy’s book serves as an introduction and primer.
Publisher Information:Troutdale, OR: New Sage Press, 1996. 178p. 28 illus; Sugg. Reading: 177-178
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