Reporting Steve Grzanich
CHICAGO (CBS) – Experts have proven that dogs can lower our blood pressure, ease stress and sense impending disaster. They can also comfort victims of disaster, provide eyesight for the blind and even warn humans of impending seizures. So it should not come as any surprise that some dog owners/lovers believe there is a higher, possibly divine power at work in their canine companions.
“People have had spiritual epiphanies through animals,” said Jennifer Skiff, author of “The Divinity of Dogs: True Stories of Miracles Inspired by Man’s Best Friend.” Skiff, an award winning international journalist and former investigative correspondent for CNN, compiled stories from all around the world. “These stories are pretty amazing. Every day we experience something pretty amazing with our dogs, but these go way over the top.”
One story is about a woman who credits her dog with detecting her breast cancer. “Her dog started nudging her breast every morning, so she went to the doctor and had a mammogram and sure enough she had breast cancer.” Another story focuses on a dog who prevented a man from committing suicide and another on a family who was saved by a dog who alerted them before lightning struck their home.
There’s also a story from Chicago.
“It was the late 1950’s and there were murders going on and this young girl had to take her dog Ginger for a walk,” said Skiff. “It was dusk and they went to a park where she fell asleep against a tree holding on to the leash. She was awakened by Ginger furiously barking and tugging at the leash. She looked up and there was a man approaching with rope in his hands and he was twisting it. The dog went berserk and she credits that dog with saving her life.”
Based on the research she conducted for the book and her own experiences, Skiff says there’s overwhelming evidence that dogs are more than just four-legged animals. To their human companions, dogs are healers, protectors, educators and tangible examples of pure love.
“Dogs have these qualities that we all strive for. We’re not capable of having those qualities at all times. Dogs are and that’s why I believe they are a gift. And yes, wouldn’t we all be better off if we had those qualities?”
Skiff, in an interview with WBBM Newsradio for “Eye on Pets,” says many people believe dogs have divine powers and some are convinced they might even be angels.
“Are they the definition of angels for a lot people? Yes. They fit into that. Are they a gift from the universe? Are they an energy that’s all good? Yes.”
“If we could all believe what our dog believes in us. If we could look at our dog every morning and see the love, feel the love, experience it and take that for the rest of our day, we would all have a great, wonderful day every day,” said Skiff.
“The Divinity of Dogs: True Stories of Miracles Inspired by Man’s Best Friend” is published by Simon & Schuster, a division of CBS Corporation which owns WBBM Newsradio.