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Miracles are small reminders

that the great mystery of life, as we know it, is merely an illusion distracting us from

a much greater truth.

A year ago, I was on my way out of state for a week-long training when running my hands through Zahn’s thick coat, I was alarmed by what felt like sharp weight loss. The density of his wolf-like fur makes weight changes practically impossible to discern from sight alone. Though I had noticed a slight decrease in his appetite, his vibrant health and energy levels appearing unchanged, I had attributed it to the summer heat we were experiencing. Traditionally thin, lean, and energetic, Zahn has always been more interested in athletic adventures and explorations than food. Seeing him check his dinner and walk away is nothing out of the ordinary. To be on the safe side, I arranged for him to be taken to the vet for a complete checkup. Little did I know that what I thought would be a routine visit would unexpectedly become the most critical health threat he had ever faced. 

Though it took 10 days for the medical teams to be able to determine the cause of Zahn’s illness, they knew right away he was undergoing acute kidney failure and his entire system was rapidly shutting down. Violent poisoning resulting from the ingestion of a highly toxic substance was initially suspected, but extensive blood tests and analyses continued to be conducted to determine the exact cause of his sudden collapse. He was hospitalized at once, and by the time I was able to rush back to his side a week later, I was horrified by what I saw. He had lost 20 pounds, his magnificent coat had been shaved for the various procedures, and he was barely conscious. The medical teams explained they had done everything in their power to keep him alive during my absence. However, considering he had remained unresponsive to treatment after more than a week on life support, I was instructed it was time for me to say goodbye and let him go. 

As I sat down by his lifeless body on the cold hospital floor, I brought his giant head onto my lap and wept, overwhelmed by deafening despair. I had just lost so much in my life, literally everything. Over the course of the past year and a half, I had lost my job, my home, my medical coverage, and all sources of income. The company I had built from the ground up with my partner, working around the clock for a decade, had been taken away from us in a corporate take-over. All of my belongings had been stored in a warehouse that was now across the country from me. In the same year, my marriage disintegrated and the 13-year-old Shih-Tzu who never left my side died in my arms. In a matter of months, my entire existence had been wiped out from under me. And I was now instructed to let Zahn die as well, at barely six years of age? There is a limit to the level of terror and devastation a person can endure, and I had far exceeded mine. 

Going against medical advice, I refused to give up on him. When the hospital he had first been taken to accused me of being unrealistic and refused to continue treatment, I discharged him and transferred him to the critical care unit of an emergency hospital where he remained on around-the-clock life support. The situation was grim, to say the least. Blood work revealed 85% of his kidneys had been permanently damaged. Knowing kidney damage is not treatable or reversible, even if he did miraculously start responding to treatment, he would have to survive with only 15% of his kidneys at best. This translated into a short life expectancy, which would have had to be sustained by continuous intravenous fluids. 

In a blind panic, I contacted every healer I had studied with around the world throughout the course of my life. I knew I couldn't make demands to the spiritual realms, and many healers do not approve of working on animals. In a desperate plea, I begged them to enable me to depart with Zahn if he had to go. There was no doubt in my mind I didn’t have the strength to lose him at a time in my life where everything that meant anything to me had already been taken away. 

I felt the result of my friends’ response overnight. Instead of focusing their energy on ending my life as I had requested, they worked on healing my heart. I went to bed on a Saturday evening praying for the permission to leave this world with my beloved Spirit Wolf so that I would not have to go through the agony of losing him and remaining all alone in a world devoid of meaning. I was filled with terror, rage, and unbearable pain. When I awoke on Sunday morning, extraordinarily, all emotions had subsided, leaving in their place a calm feeling of peace. Even though Zahn was dying in a hospital, I was suddenly inhabited by an all-encompassing wave of peace and a gentle hint of positive hope. A barely audible voice within was whispering everything would be okay, and even though I could not comprehend why or how, I believed it. Filled with this new force within, I went to the hospital that morning and started working on Zahn at once. I had spent a lifetime studying and practicing a variety of healing methods all over the world, and I knew exactly what to do. Freed from the state of paralyzing terror and panic I had been in for over a week, I felt centered and balanced, filled with peace and power. For hours, I worked on Zahn’s body, channeling the power of the Divine energy into him, flushing his body from toxins, burning away poisons, and infusing him with a vibrant and energetic current of life force. 

That afternoon, he resumed eating again for the first time. When I returned home that night, I continued working on a photo of him. The next day, the medical staff reported that miraculously, after a week and a half showing no response to treatment, his kidney levels had finally started to drop. As I continued working on him, my focus, direction, and prayers were constant. I implored the Divine to draw from my own life force and transfer it to him. Day after day, I mentally dove into his body as if I were liquid energy, rushing through his entire being, cleansing and healing every part of him, washing away toxins, poisons and all traces of illness, and taking them with me, out of his body. Within days, against all medical diagnostics and prognoses, his blood work returned within normal ranges. After being told his kidneys had been more than 85% destroyed, that the damage was permanent, that he was not responding to medical treatment, and that he was in a terminal stage, Zahn was back on his feet, eating and drinking again within days of starting energy work on him. Miraculously, all of his blood work returned within normal ranges. We kept him on IV fluids and in the hospital for the remainder of the week, mainly because no one truly understood how he could be functioning again. As the clinic gradually reduced his intravenous fluid intake, I continued working on him. 

Interestingly, as I witnessed life return to his body, death slowly seeped into mine and my own health collapsed. I had prayed God to take my very life force and infuse it into Zahn's body and the exchange of energy had taken place. Shaken by high fever and icy chills, my extremities began trembling violently and my entire body aching painfully. Burning pain spread through my lower back, concentrating around the kidneys. My neck and joints became stiff, my eyes burned and I felt overwhelmed by a level of exhaustion that surpassed anything I had experienced before. Yet, I welcomed all of it with a heart full of gratitude for I knew by drawing the disease within my own flesh, I was freeing him. 

While Zahn’s severe kidney failure and general collapse had initially been suspected to be the result of acute poisoning, further testing finally unveiled the culprit. He had contracted two aggressive strands of leptospirosis, a fatal bacterial infection present in many bodies of water, rivers, and lakes. Because leptospirosis is transmissible between species and rapidly creates irreversible damage in vital organs, when Zahn’s medical teams saw my ghostly, grayish complexion and bloodshot eyes, they alerted me I might have contracted the disease and recommended I should check myself into a hospital at once. 

I didn't do so until I knew Zahn was completely out of danger. The obvious results of my work on him were impossible to ignore and I didn't want to have to stop if the hospital decided to keep me. I couldn't afford risking Zahn’s relapse when I was getting weaker by the day. I could feel death running through me. I could feel everything he had been going through and I was so grateful for it. My prayers had been heard! I had no doubt in my mind Zahn would be better off living without me than I would have been living without him. He was stronger and wiser than I was at that time in my life where I had been brought to my knees by too much adversity. While I grew weaker, Zahn continued improving.  Incredibly, his energy levels became so high, he was literally bouncing off the ground at every one of my visits. As I took him on walks in front of the hospital to continue working on him, he would roll on the ground, grinning at me with a teeth-baring smile before leaping in the air, stronger than ever. His health improved so rapidly, he was released at the end of the week and allowed to return home for a trial period of a few days. The doctors cautioned me not to be overly optimistic. They couldn’t explain his sudden recovery and expected him to relapse without the constant support of intravenous fluids flushing his kidneys. 

He did not relapse. On the contrary, blood work demonstrated his kidney levels had returned to readings within perfect range, a fact we all know is supposed to be impossible in medical terms. 

Once Zahn was out of danger, I checked myself into a hospital for a series of blood work and other analyses. Interestingly, while I appeared to have the external signs of the disease, nothing registered within my bloodstream. It seemed death ran its course through me, as I invited her out of Zahn’s system and into my own, but did not stick around as I had imagined it would. It took me weeks to recover my strength and slowly emerge from the exhaustion and depletion of energy I had incurred. However, even at my weakest, I was radiating with gratefulness and humility in front of the incredible power of love and faith. It was the second time that, against all expectations, I had been allowed to facilitate the complete recovery of an animal dying of a terminal disease. Each time, the sole combination of focusing the love of my heart and soul into another being with the power of prayer had vanquished the physical reality of the disease. 

Though Zahn and I had always shared a profound connection, this experience took our relationship and mutual understanding to an even deeper level. In sharing my life force with him, in drawing death away from him and into me, it felt as if our souls had merged together in the process. As if we had somehow become meshed, woven together as two parts of the same consciousness. A few months later, as he was grinning at me, his eyes deep into mine in the afternoon sunshine, I saw his laughter of victory and I suddenly understood what had escaped me until then. The gift was not simply my being willing to exchange my life for his survival, but rather his willingness to risk his simply to show us what could be accomplished with the power of faith. He had placed his life within my hands with the sole purpose of helping us understand what is within the reach of any one of us, when we align ourselves with the Divine energy. As he grinned at me with all-knowing eyes, his thoughts echoed in my mind with crystal clarity: 

“We did it. I knew all along you would succeed, you know. I had all faith in you.”

“These are words our community will treasure and find healing in.”

-- Susan Chernak McElroy, New York Times best-selling author

of Animals as Teachers and Healers.

“Ah, the Mystery ... so beautiful!

Stories like this heal our wounded world.”

-- Ken Hamilton, M.D. and author of

Soul Circling, The Journey to the Who.

“Thank you for sharing The Gift with the world.

What a powerful reminder that when we hold love

in our hearts, all things are possible.”

-- Christine Davis, acclaimed author and

illustrator of For Every Dog an Angel.

“Zahn is truly magnificent! 

What an impressive soul. I loved your story.”

-- Connie Bowen, author and illustrator

of I Believe in Me.

“A wonderful story which goes to show there is so much

more in this world than we can even begin to imagine.”

-- Valerie Branch, Yoga Instructor.

“This story makes me smile deep.

Miracles are the natural order of the Universe.”

-- Cindy via Susan Chernak’s Blog.

“Animals are such wonderful teachers.

Thank you so much for the gift of your story.

It comes at a time in my life when fear has kept me

from moving forward.  Your story gives me strength and hope.”

-- Sue German in Phoenix, Arizona.

“What an amazing story. The soul connections we

share with animals transcend time and space and are truly

eternal. I had to scroll down to the end, I could hardly bear to

read about all you went through. I was so happy to see that

the story did, indeed, have a happy ending.”

-- Ingrid via Susan Chernak’s Blog.

“Thank you so much for sharing your deep

and personal story.  It was just what I needed to

read at this time.  Both you and Zahn came through

all this adversity as strong spiritual warriors. Thank you

so very much for your bravery, wisdom and inspiration.

Your light shines very brightly.”

-- Meg via Susan Chernak’s Blog.

“What an amazing story...  What a deep and

marvelous relationship... What a spiritual communion...”

-- Susana in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“I just read The Gift - incredible story.

I am so glad you were willing to share it with others.

I was moved to tears. It shows that all living beings are

tied together and that mind over matter can

overcome so much.  I look forward to

reading more from you.”

-- Susan Andersen in Dallas, Texas.

View this story and the heartfelt responses it generated from around the world on the site of internationally acclaimed author Susan Chernak McElroy at: Mystery and Miracles: The Power of Love.  More about Genvièv and the Spirit Wolf at   



© 2009 Spirit Wolf Press.  All Rights Reserved. |

© 2009 Spirit Wolf Press.  All rights reserved.  Our collections are copyright protected

with the Library of Congress and registered with the US ISBN Agency.