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5 Inspiring Stories of Animal Angels

Birds, cats, dogs—and even a squirrel—can sometimes act as our angels on earth.

An illustration of foxes, birds and squirrels in a forest; Illustration by Sylvie Fong

Delightfully Outfoxed from Kelly Gallagher in West Sand Lake, New York

I got into my car and slammed the door shut. My friend Ian sat next to me, equally let down. All we’d experienced on our road trip was one disappointment after another. The art museum we’d set out for was closed without notice. We arrived at a state historic site just as the entry gate shut. Now the owner of a sculpture garden had informed us we’d arrived too late to go in. Our timing was off at every turn, and we were through.

As we drove homeward, we spotted a cemetery. “Lots of local history in there,” Ian said. “Should we have a look?” With a little daylight left, we parked and walked through the grounds. I tried to shrug off my frustration and simply enjoy the peaceful quiet. “All these beautiful old headstones,” I said. I leaned in to read one and noticed some movement near a copse of trees. “What’s that?” We moved closer to see shapes moving around on the grass—three fox kits and their mother! The fox family put on a playful show, seemingly for our benefit. Their joy was infectious.

“What a great road trip,” Ian said on the way back to the car. We may have missed every point of interest on the map, but God, in his goodness, had put his furry angels right on our uncharted path.

Visits from a Hummingbird from Jackie Waters in Williamsburg, Ohio

I woke up early and headed to the front porch. My family was still asleep, and I needed a moment to myself. My sister, Tracy, had been battling brain cancer for years, and now there was nothing more the doctors could do. I hope Tracy will be at peace soon, I thought.

Just then, a hummingbird flew up to the porch. It hovered in front of me, looking directly at me before flying away. Short as it was, the visit felt important. This property has been in my family for years and none of us has ever seen a hummingbird here. I took comfort in its presence.

Tracy died a few hours later. The news hit me hard, and I found myself back on the porch, alone. I know Tracy is in heaven, I thought. But is it too much to ask for a sign that she’s okay?

No sooner had I sent off my prayer than the hummingbird returned! It hovered in front of me for a second, its eyes on me intently. The same feeling of comfort came over me. I had my answer.

The Real Max from Mary Whitney in Leavittsburg, Ohio

My husband, John, and I had recently moved to a cottage in the country. Because he worked all day, he worried I would get lonely. “Why don’t you get a dog?” he asked.

I’d wanted a dog since I was a little kid. My favorite stuffed animal had been a dog named Max. He was white and fluffy with multicolored ears and long eyelashes. I’d always hoped to have a “real Max” one day, but I knew it was an impossible prayer. Max was such a specific-looking dog, I’d never seen any like him.

I started my search, open to all possibilities, but it was an important decision and nothing felt right. One day I spotted a newspaper ad for a dog who needed a home. Oddly, his name was Max. There was no photo, but something told me to check it out. I scheduled an appointment without any idea what kind of dog I was going to meet. God, please don’t let me take the wrong dog just because he has the right name, I asked on the way over.

I arrived to meet the sweetest dog ever, who also happened to be white and fluffy with multicolored ears and long eyelashes. The real Max was not an impossible prayer after all.

Handyman in a Squirrel Suit from Sandra Guthrie in Virginia Beach, Virginia

Our house is surrounded by tall pine trees, but their beauty comes at a price. Needles carpet everything, and pine cones fall more often than rain. It’s a big problem for our gutters, which become clogged.

My husband, Butch, and I are uncomfortable climbing a ladder, so we hired a handyman, Dennis, to clean our gutters several times a year. He always did a great job, and we were at a loss when he retired.

“Where will we find a handyman like Dennis?” Butch asked.

“Maybe we should pray on it?”

Days later, I glanced out the window as a shower of pine cones came tumbling down. I thought nothing of it until we drove out of the garage. Thwack, thwack, thwack! Pine cones rained down onto the hood. We looked up—and caught eyes with a squirrel! He was rooting around in the gutters, dislodging those pesky pine cones. We laughed. God had sent a furry handyman.

Over the Rainbow Bridge from Diane Leitner in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania

Kasey had been my constant cat companion for more than 15 years. Having to put her down was one of the hardest decisions I’d ever made. One night I lay in bed, remembering how she’d cuddle me close when I was hurting. I’d bury my face in her gray, white and black fur until I knew that everything would be alright. God, I wondered, drifting off to sleep, how can I know that now?

The next morning, I went out to check the mail. As I turned to go inside, I noticed a huge feather sticking out from under my cat statue in the flower bed. I couldn’t imagine the bird it could have come from. But most striking were its colors: gray, white and black. My angel cat wanted me to know that everything would be okay.

For more angelic stories, subscribe to Angels on Earthmagazine.

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