Amanda, right, is seen here as her most loving self, looking adoringly at her little sister, Tallie, on the week of their birthdays. In this photo, Amanda was 14.
Amanda, right, is seen here as her most loving self, looking adoringly at her little sister, Tallie, on the week of their birthdays. In this photo, Amanda was 14.
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Our beloved pets are so much more than just furry little friends. The bond we share with them is deep and profound. Their unconditional love and lack of ego enables our relationship with them to often run deeper than that of our human loved ones and friends. While we may spend countless time caring for their physical needs, grooming them and feeding them, they are continually soothing our souls and transmuting the stress of our daily lives. Scientific studies show that people who live with pets recover quicker from surgery and live longer, healthier lives. In fact, recent research shows that when conducting a task that’s stressful, people actually experienced less stress when their pets were with them than when a supportive friend or even their spouse was present!

Truth be told, we have “sacred contracts” with our beloved pet companions. The depth of these contracts is fascinating when we take a closer look at them. In many ways we are each other’s spiritual caretakers. It is said that our pet’s soul has been drawn to us in order to benefit from our level of consciousness. In fact, the great master of yoga, Paramahansa Yogananda, said animals that live with humans are stimulated to move forward in their spiritual evolution to human birth. We, in turn, have much to learn from our animal friends. The gifts each of our pets brings to our world are quite simply priceless.

Here’s a peek into the sacred world that existed between myself and my beautiful English Cocker Spaniel, Amanda. To totally understand the depth of the connection between us with the intensity that I am trying to convey it, you would need to truly love to dance. Mandy did, I can tell you that. She was never a lap dog. And she would get anxious if you tried to pay her too much attention, as if saying, “My job here is to comfort you, not to be comforted by you.” But put on some music and pick her up in your arms and dance, and that little girl was as happy as any soul could ever be. She loved the music and the movement, and I’m quite certain she knew that the healing powers of music and sound were always at play. Her dad, a consummate musician himself, called her “the great spirit dog, Amanda,” and that she was.

Upon losing my beloved Mandy (at age 16) from this third-dimensional world of ours, and enduring the heartbreak of missing her physical presence, I felt compelled to better understand the sacred contract she and I shared. That sweet wise soul taught me more than any M.B.A. or Harvard Ph.D. ever could have.

I’d been struggling for a while with feeling unsuccessful, feeling as if I’d taken too many risks that had somehow ended up in pain, disappointment, failure and loss.  The list seemed endless…failed relationships, failed marriages, failed businesses, and on and on. What I came to realize is that I’d been focusing only on the “end result,” with little to no regard for the joy and happiness that preceded the end of each experience. I was hating the entire scenario simply because I didn’t like the way it ended.

While the victim in me wanted to stay attached to the seemingly negative outcome, the more conscious adult in me knew that the journey in between had really been quite worthwhile. After all, there was significant joy along the way — ups and downs, much learning and ever so much happiness. The truth of the matter is, none of it would ever hurt this bad if there wasn’t something absolutely incredible to miss.

Ah, the joy of enlightenment when one finally breaks through the illusion of failure, only to realize that so very much was learned that perhaps the final grade should be an A+ instead of the failing mark I’d been superimposing on some of these experiences.

The song “The Dance” epitomizes this:

Looking back on the memory of
the dance we shared ‘neath the stars above;
For a moment all the world was right.
How could I have known that you’d ever say goodbye?
And now, I’m glad I didn’t know
the way it all would end, the way it all would go.
Our lives are better left to chance;
I could have missed the pain,
but I’d have had to miss the dance.
Holding you I held everything,
For a moment wasn’t I a king
If I’d only known how the king would fall,
Hey, who’s to say — you know I might have changed it all.
And now, I’m glad I didn’t know
the way it all would end, the way it all would go.
Our lives are better left to chance;
I could have missed the pain,
but I’d have had to miss the dance.


As I passionately sang these lyrics, it hit me how much both Mandy and I truly love to dance. And in that moment, I remembered the good of all of those supposedly failed relationships, business opportunities or ventures. I remembered the joy of the dance of it all, and then I realized that our lives truly are better left to chance, for if we knew how we might fall, we might have changed it all, and in our vain attempt to miss the pain, we would have missed it all, we would have missed THE DANCE.An Epitaph, for my amazing Amanda — July 1, 1996 – January 28, 2013 — I will love you, forevermore!

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Lori Daniel Falk is a Spiritual Life Coach, Visionary Artist, author and public speaker. She is often referred to simply as a Contemporary Mystic. She has been gifted with a new artistic healing modality that enables her to communicate with, and share, the wisdom of the angels in both pictures and words. These Angelic Message Portraits™ Lori has the honor and joy of creating with the angels, bring a feeling of wonderment and inspiration to all who view them. To date they have found homes in over 20 countries around the world. Her latest book is What the World Needs to Know NOW, Wisdom of the Angels, available at www.wisdomoftheangels.com.

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