For most of my life, I was a cat person.

Specifically, I was a great fan of fat orange male pussycats.

I had a cat named Rascal, who lived with me for 18 1/2 years until his death. Then I adopted a cat Munchkin, who exceeded Rascal in total girth, pugnaciousness, invincible will power and the sheer snobbishness of his stare. I didn’t own Munchkin – he ruled me. It was ever the privilege to be able to pick him up and hug him. I was the only person he would allow to hug him, and that was a grand concession.

I was so convinced that I was a lover of cats that it never once occurred to me that I might like dogs also.


I had grown up with dogs, of course. All the dogs that I grew up with were labrador retriervers trained to be hunting dogs. They went off with my father and brother on the weekends, only to be returned to their kennels at night.


One day in the not so long ago past, a business associate of mine began volunteering at the Atlanta Pet Rescue. He went there as a means of shaving money off the bill he owed to a local college where he was studying. The college gave you a discount if you did volunteer work for a local charity.


My friend was going through a rough time in his life, so I asked him one day if there was anything I could do to help him out.


He told me about this little dog at the pet rescue he had taken a liking to.


At the time, looking back, I did not realize that this was a major turning point for me personally.


Like many of my greatest gifts, I only embarked on this course as a means of helping somebody else.


I went down to the Atlanta Pet Rescue one day. The volunteers allowed me to go into a cage and brought out this brown and white fluffy dog. They put her in my lap and she licked me in the face.


That was it.


Belle kissed me, and I fell in love instantly.


Not only had I not been looking for a dog, I wasn’t looking for an assistant in my healing work. I felt that I was doing a perfectly adequate job all by myself.


Little did I know that my clients would respond so well to the greeting of a fluffy little dog, who wags her tail when they enter through my door, or who cuddles with them when they are feeling down.


Having been in two pet rescues (Belle was at a kill shelter in Pell City, Alabama before the very kind folks at the Atlanta Pet Rescue came to take her to the big metropolis), Belle has a kindness and compassion that can only come through true life experience.


I have only had one client ever who did not respond to Belle. That was a lady in a wheelchair whose nurse had a phobia of dogs. If you are truly afraid of an 18-pound rescue, you have a real problem.


My little children clients, on the other hand, really adore her. They throw the ball for her, run around and hug her. She loves everybody and knows how to be gentle.


In a field of unconditional love, literally any illness can be healed.


Most illness is simply slowed down, dense, even chaotic vibration.


Unconditional love is quiet yet more powerful than greed, hate, judgment, resentment, jealousy, anxiety, depression, craving, apathy, pride or fear.


Surround yourself with as much love as you can allow into your life and discover for yourself what happens.


A dog trainer told me a long time ago that most dogs are really out for themselves, but that little Belle really loves me.


She doesn’t just come to work with my clients, she goes to the UPS Store, to the bank, to visit my accountant and in any other professional situation where the law and common courtesy allow.


Her name when I adopted her was Belle. It fits her perfectly. She is truly beautiful, inside and out.


I did not think I needed a dog, or a Belle, or a full-time companion.


Now I say my life is all B.B. – before Belle – or A.B. – after Belle.


My greatest of gifts was completely unexpected!