Hi. I wanted to share the opening of the Angel Pets Conference. It gives some background of the depth and perspective of these events. It applies to all who love pets.
Hi and welcome. Isn’t this lovely? Isn’t this wonderful? I am so proud of this conference and everyone being here and coming together to discuss something so difficult as death, end-of-life and grief.
I know we are doing so to help make this more comfortable for our pets, understand resources…and to take better take care of ourselves during this time. What a beautiful thing.
I am L. Leigh Love, the organizer of the Angel Pets Conference and Angel Pets Expo. I will be your hostess throughout. I have a studio in Hendersonville called Bright Star Studio & the Funky Buddha. I call it ‘A place of Art and Spirit’.
My theme is: ‘Live the live you love. Love the life you live’.
The first Monday of every month I hold a Healing and Receiving love meditation and other themed guided meditations throughout.
The Second Sunday of every month, I hold a Pet Honoring Memorial Service where people from all over send in names of pets to be remembered and honored. It’s free to attend in person or remotely (by calling in and listening).
I also offer private or group Pet Memorial Services for individual pets or groups like Humane Societies, Animal Rescues or Vet offices. it is very healing. I do this because I love it so much and truly believe this has important value. And I want to offer this venue in the world.
Likewise, I’m holding these Angel Pets events because I want to give space for attending to our better caring for our fur-kids and ourselves during their life and after.
I was chatting with someone who attended the first Angel Pets Conference. She had called me to let me know how excited she was that there was another one and she was telling all of her friends about it. She then whispered to me…”Well, you know everyone rolls their eyes at the name “Angel Pets”, don’t you? I said…..well…..’yeah’…even though I did not know that, nor had it ever occurred to me. But, I laughed and thought ‘Ok’.
Which led me to think maybe I needed to explain why the name, Angel Pets. This is simply because I do believe they are angels. Our pets are angels. They are loving and kind and caring and give us so much. The help us learn lessons, share life and watch over our souls. And sometimes, their love is the only love we feel. There is no better description than ‘Angel.’
Then I thought, it’s ok if they roll their eyes. They just don’t get it…and that’s ok. They don’t have to. And I’m even more ok with it because I know something they don’t. I know what a wonderful, deep, loving, enriching relationship it is.
And it wouldn’t be the first time someone didn’t get my love for my pets. Which leads me to the next story…A friend’s college son agreed to help with some pet care when I needed to be out of town for work and couldn’t find anyone else.
He came over and I went through the routine, showed him the house, the layout, the food I made for Mattie in the fridge, where the treats were, that she had the run of the house, etc, etc.
I didn’t think anything of it until afterwards, my friend said ‘Clint mentioned to me that ‘Leigh really loves her dog.” My friend said ‘Yes”.
Then he emphatically said…. “I MEAN she REALLY LOVES her dog.” This was followed by “I’ve never seen anything like it!”
I laughed and said “Yes”.
And it reminded me of one of the best quotes I’ve ever read in a book, ‘Pack of Two’ by Caroline Knapp. She was writing about her dog and somewhere in there stated
“I unapologetically love my dog.”
This sentence caused me to pause. And that word ‘unapologetically’ stuck with me. It gave me a certain freedom. And I adopted it. I adopted that inner, wonderful feeling even deeper than I had before.
I get there are those out there who think I’m crazy or roll their eyes at me at my love for my pets…and I simply don’t care.
Mattie comes everywhere with me, even on the tennis courts. She hangs out, even switching sides with me when I change for serve. I have had strangers yell across the courts to me “How does it feel to be so loved?” And even once, I overheard a junior player say to her friend “I want a dog like that when I grow up.” And what she means is that loving, special relationship and bond with an animal that is like no other.
I Tell Mattie all the time that we are making a difference, just by being in the world.
This conference is making a difference and you are making a difference by being here and giving importance to the care of our animal companions, our pets, our furkids, our family. Every loving pet parent out there is making a difference.
Every single loving pet parent out there is making a difference.
Before we get started, there is one last story I’d like to share. It’s a repeat a story I told at the first Angel Pets Conference and thought it was worth sharing again. A friend went to a very large yoga class and something the instructor said affected my deeply.
First, I’d like to point out that I did not attend this class. I say that just as a reminder that we have effects and impacts on others we may never meet or encounter.
My friend attended this very large yoga class of a famous instructor. Probably hundreds of people there, and she was there in her own space doing her yoga, and the instructor paused to point out that
‘You are all here individually practicing yoga, BUT keep in mind, WE are ALL here together practicing yoga.”
And it was a very profound perspective.
It touched her as she shared the story. And It touched me hearing it. It expanded my feeling of involvement and participation, and honestly comfort in the world.
Little things, even like walking my dog, Mattie, in the past I would have thought of as ‘I am walking my dog. I am walking Mattie.” And that shifted. Now it became “WE are walking. We are walking together.” WE are going to the store, etc. And I started doing this with everything. And as small as that sounds, it made a huge impact on how I feel I relate in this the world. In not only providing a larger perspective…. but greater comfort. There is the individual experience, but there is also always the ‘We’.
So, I invite you individually to be here, and I hope you get out of this Conference and Expo what you came here for as an individual.
But, I also invite you to have the expanded perspective and comfort that ‘WE’ are all here and have come together to help our pets, help ourselves and help each other.
This goes for all who are here in person, as well as all who share in our pet-loving activities. ‘We’ love our pets.
So, I thank you. And I thank you for having the courage and the depth to be here and explore this deeper part of life.
I’d like to also take a moment to thank our Sponsors. I also invite you to thank them to show them how much their support of these events means to you.
PetGazette has been amazing in their coverage and promotion of these events. I have been speaking with Carol Marks regularly she has offered council and support and I’m very grateful. Animal Hospital North Asheville is another Gold Sponsor. Dr. Garner from AHNA –is a Conference presenter. AHNA has a large table at the EXPO. In addition, they have been tremendously supportive in promoting these events and truly getting and supporting the overall goal of Angel Pets Conference and Angel Pets Expo. They exemplify excellence in animal care. Natural Awakenings Charlotte and Upstate SC also helped promote the events as Bronze Media Sponsors! Please take time to reach out and thank them!
Please visit AngelPetsConference.com to see great descriptions and resources of the vendors at Angel Pets Expo or BrightStarStudio.net for upcoming supporting pet events, resources, Monthly Pet Memorial and meditations.
Light, love and blessings to you all!
L. Leigh Love