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  • marcia sivek

Healing Power: The Human-Animal Bond

This week our guest on the show, Susan Janin, (link to show: is an advocate for all animals from domestic cats to snow leopards in the Himalayas. My interview with Susan, especially our conversation about Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS) gave me a reason to reflect on how my own pets have helped me heal during traumatic times. My two cats, China and Kitty, got me through the sicknesses and deaths of both of my parents who suffered from cancer. My cats Amelie and Matisse got me through my sister's cancer journey and passing. To me, that unconditional love from a pet when you are down is incredibly healing. I honestly believe those troubled times would have been much more difficult without those kitties in my life.

Now my mother-in-law is moving into a senior living home. My first question was, "can Sunny move in with you?" Sunny is her yellow tabby who gives Judy, my mother-in-law, unconditional love. It is with great relief to know that Sunny will be her roommate because now, more than ever, she needs his companionship.

I am happy to hear there is an organization such as PAWS helping people stay with their beloved pets. Susan is a great advocate for all animals and it is no surprise that her cats are the cat idols and feline ambassadors three years in a row for PAWS. (I have included a couple pictures so you can see how adorable they are!) The photographs below are by Mark Rogers, an animal photographer in San Francisco who volunteers his time and photos for promotion of this cause.

Susan Janin and Sammy: Photo by Mark Rogers

Susan Janin and Lilly: Photo by Mark Rogers

If you are not aware of PAWS please visit their website to find out more about them and utilize their resources, I have also included a link to this video with Susan discussing and demonstrating the importance of animals in our lives. This is a professional video created for PAWS 30th-anniversary showcasing cat idols, Lilly and Sammy.

Also during my discussion with Susan, we talk about the healing power of helping protect wildlife. We both began getting involved with wildlife conservation as adults and after some trying moments in our lives. Helping in any way we can has brought some inner peace knowing that no matter how big a contribution, we are making a difference in every action we take.

The podcast is now available! Click on the player below to hear more about Susan, Sammy and Lilly!

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