Book Review: 'Paws to Reflect: 365 Devotions for the Animal Lovers Soul'
Pet lovers will find daily inspiration in the latest tomb from Devon O’Day and Kim McLanePublished December 12, 2012
I was deeply moved by "Paws to Reflect: 365 Devotions for the Animal Lover's Soul", by Devon O'Day and Kim McLean (Amazon, $10.87). Beautifully written, this book of animal-related spiritual teachings is truly unique. While I am pragmatic about most things, I also don’t believe in coincidences, so finding this book with such an intriguing title—through serendipitous circumstances—only strengthened that belief and my conviction that animals are our greatest teachers.
Whenever I seek an answer to a question that is deeply troubling, I often turn to a book of devotions, opening to a random page. So when I began reading “Paws to Reflect”, naturally I opened to a page about a cat, written about Zsa Zsa, one of McLean’s 14 kitties.
Zsa Zsa and Kim found each other at the break of dawn at a gas station while returning from a road trip. Although wounded and matted, the kitty was begging for attention and “poised like a beauty queen”. Kim clearly shows her belief that animals have much to teach us. She says, “Numerous times I have heard someone tell me they like dogs and cats better than people. ‘People always let you down’ they say, or ‘My dog appreciates me’, or ‘At least my cat is honest with me.’ You might say animals teach us how to be better humans. Ironic, isn't it?"
Talking about Zsa Zsa, Kim writes, “If Zsa Zsa were human, she would be a movie star, one of the glamorous, classy ones like Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren or Rita Hayworth . . . she is a cat who won't socialize with our other thirteen cats. She knows she is different . . . Everything about her Ragamuffin personality is unique. I have a special affinity for Zsa Zsa. She’s been through some rough times but maintained her dignity. She knows she was born for greatness. Do you know you’re born for greatness? Walk in the light of who you were born to be.”
This simple truth is one with which I constantly struggle. How much happier and more self-confident we could all be by learning to truly accept ourselves.
Animals are powerful teachers, co-author Devon O’Day notes, “More than twenty-five years of loving animals that have found their way into my life has blessed me beyond measure. Perhaps it's because seeing the lessons of life taught through the practical application of animal care has helped constantly to renew my spirit. A dog's loyalty will certainly teach us unconditional love. A purring kitten will certainly bring one peace. Watching a horse come to grips with immeasurable fear the first time under saddle can help us realize the fear we all seek to harness.”
Paws to Reflect is both touching and inspirational. Animal lovers seeking self-knowledge will enjoy reading the daily selections or just arbitrarily opening to its counsel and guidance . . . but only if the reader is willing to get their “intellect of the way” and stop trying to figure it out.
About the authors: Devon O'Day is a veteran radio personality, author, songwriter, and speaker. Her voice has been heard on Fox, Bravo, Lifetime, CMT, GAC, The Food Network, HGTV, ABC, NBC, and CBS.
Kim McLean is a powerful entertainer whose “Appalachi-groove-Mountains-Meet-Memphis” sound encompasses the best of folk, blues and country.
Paws to Reflect makes a perfect holiday gift for pet loving friends and family members and is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and most local bookstores. Get a taste of Paws to Reflect by watching the deeply moving video uploaded to YouTube by kimmcleanmusic
The world would be a dark and empty place without the abiding and unconditional love we are blessed with by all animals; big and small . . . furry, finned or feathered. The gifts we receive from these amazing creatures are boundless, and the lessons they teach us are limitless.
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