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  • Animals as Teachers and Healers
  • Written by Susan Chernak McElroy
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780345421173
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Animals as Teachers and Healers

Written by Susan Chernak McElroyAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Susan Chernak McElroy

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Susan Chernak McElroy credits her astounding triumph over cancer to the love of the animals in her life. In Animals as Teachers & Healers she shares her remarkable story along with true stories from others who have been touched by the loving energies of animals.

A woman escapes an abusive relationship by observing how her boyfriend treated her two Arabian horses . . . a German shepherd cocoons its body around a toddler during a house fire . . . a coyote gives a couple wisdom about their rebellious daughter . . . a little three-legged frog imparts a valuable lesson to a frightened nine-year-old girl. Unique and compelling, Animals as Teachers & Healers invites us to reconnect with the boundless gifts of joy, wisdom, and deep healing that flow from our ageless and intimate relationship with the animal kingdom.


Only weeks after I'd finally nursed Flora back to some resemblance of healthy kittenhood, she was diagnosed with feline leukemia. Cancer. Her veterinarian gave her the same sorry prognosis my oncologist had given me: Flora would most likely die within a year or two. My response was instant and unconscious. As soon as Flora's vet handed down the diagnosis, I wrote her off as a lost cause. Quickly, my emotional attachment to her ceased as I began to protect myself from the pain of her death, which I knew would come. But Flora simply wouldn't let me pull away. Flora did what cats do best, she waited and watched.

Her patience finally won out. One night I had an "AHA!" experience about my attitude toward Flora. How could I believe my own cancer wasn't a death sentence when I couldn't see the same hope for her? How could I dismiss any being without dismissing myself? Although I was busy blathering about hope and healing, I knew that I honestly saw myself in the grave.

That realization was a profound turning point for me. It was slow in coming, but when it did, it hit me like a downpour of hail stones. How often in my life had I turned away from pain and loss, and from honest feelings? Living at "half-life," I'd put away emotion at the first inkling of loss, and had nearly lost myself in the process

Over the next few months, I slowly learned that healing is more than heroics over illness. Healing isn't simply an end result, it's a process. Flora helped me reclaim the joy that had died after my cancer treatment and my previous relationship had ended. She brought me a tremendous peace with her quiet, trusting presence. Finally, as I saw Flora healed, loved, and cherished, I knew I could honestly hold the same hopeful vision for myself.

From the Hardcover edition.
Susan Chernak McElroy

About Susan Chernak McElroy

Susan Chernak McElroy - Animals as Teachers and Healers
A former technical writer and editor, Susan Chernak McElroy is the author of the New York Times bestseller Animals as Teachers and Healers. Susan has enjoyed a lifelong love affair with animals. Her enchantment with creatures great and small has been nurtured and strengthened through a lifetime of work with animals, first as a vet assistant, then a zookeeper, humane educator, puppy trainer, kennel and stable hand, and wildlife rehabilitator. She currently lives with her husband and animal family on a small farm in Wyoming named Brightstar.

From the Hardcover edition.

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