When asked what his most important piece of advice on animals is, Dr. Allen Schoen has a ready answer. “Find an abandoned or a homeless or an abused animal friend and bring him or her into your life,” he says. “Share your home with your new companion and provide as much love and nurturance as you can.” Having personally heeded this sound counsel, Dr. Schoen can certainly attest to the gifts and guidance animals offer their human companions.
Megan was a stray dog afflicted with heartworm disease when Schoen opened his heart to her and subsequently rediscovered his spiritual connection to animals. Although always interested in animal feelings and natural healing, Schoen quickly found that there was no place for such thinking in veterinary school. Despite this, he kept Eastern medicine in the back of his mind while becoming a Western-trained veterinarian. It wasn’t until Megan stepped into his life that he sought a balance between the holistic East and the contemporary West.
“Megan was my guide on a journey to a deeper, clearer perception of all that is truly considered healing,” Schoen reveals. “Step by step, through example, metaphor, and insight, she reopened the doors to my heart and soul; she reawakened my sense of kindred connections to animals I felt as a child.” And so today, this self-proclaimed integrative holistic veterinarian combines East and West—emotion and science—and incorporates alternative treatments like acupuncture, homeopathy, touch therapy, and traditional Chinese herbs into his conventional practice. And because compassionate people are now seeking out these methods to help their animals, he has been witness to what he calls “co-species healing,” the physical and mental restoration that occurs when a meaningful bond forms between a person and an animal, thus making way for healing where it might otherwise not exist.
Several inspiring case studies fill the pages, including massage therapy relief for a silently suffering horse and emotional healing for her once-abused owner. Whether through stories of his own patients or through recent research findings in the field, Schoen backs his alternative beliefs with convincing evidence that the heart and the mind are not separate entities, but indeed work in collaboration toward health and happiness. “Co-species healing exists,” Schoen asserts. “We must now decide whether to ignore it or take advantage of it.”
For more information on animal welfare and pet tips check out Premier Pet Lifestyle Expert and Animal Rescue Advocate Wendy Diamond at www.wendydiamond.com and www.animalfair.com.
Allen M. Schoen, D.V.M., M.S. / Broadway Books