Air Force One Guard Has Ghost-Whisperer Experience with Dog from the Afterlife

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Not only did Fred Wickert, an Air Force officer, have the responsibility of presidential security; evidently a honey-colored cocker spaniel named Freckles shared the mission. Strange thing, though, a year earlier, Freckles had died suddenly. But the dog and Wickert met again under most unusual circumstances.

Not only did Fred Wickert, an Air Force officer, have the responsibility of presidential security; evidently a honey-colored cocker spaniel named Freckles shared the mission. Strange thing, though, a year earlier, Freckles had died suddenly. But the dog and Wickert met again under most unusual circumstances.

While nearing retirement after serving in Vietnam and having a distinguished military career, Wickert was assigned to the midnight shift where he guarded a four-engine Lockheed Jet Star that had the presidential seal on it, designating it as an Air Force One plane. One night, for the first time in his long career, Wickert fell asleep in the warm hangar, while on guard duty. This is a severely punishable offense that would mean a court-martial and loss of Wickert's hard-earned pension.

In an act of mercy that he believes was as real as any "ghost-whisperer" experience, Wickert's dog Freckles startled him awake. Not a guy who is used to encountering afterlife visitors, nonetheless, he felt a presence and the touch of the dog's tongue licking and wetting his cheek. Freckles awakened him right before his shift supervisor arrived on the scene. Now Wickert's story is included in a new book Angel Dogs: Divine Messengers of Love by Allen and Linda Anderson with a foreword by The Today Show's Willard Scott (New World Library, October 2005). Wickert says, "Telling about my experience has helped so many people who wonder if they will see their pet again in heaven."

Angel Dogs contains forty stories and features the following:

  • A woman gives birth to premature twins and brings them home from the hospital. She hires a full-time nurse and loads the nursery with medical equipment. About the same time, she and her husband adopt a two-year-old collie named Zeke. Three weeks after Zeke's arrival, the dog wakes the woman at 3:30 in the morning. He's barking frantically. She follows him to the nursery. He jumps up on one of the baby's beds. That's when the woman realizes the child has stopped breathing. Turns out, the nurse had set the monitor wrong. The baby owes her life to the dog's awareness and love. (Story by Diana Johnson of Plano, Texas as told to Mary J. Yerkes of Manassas, Virginia)
  • A man takes a long walk through the desert with his mastiff Temujin. He wonders: What do I need to take my next steps in life? His dog bounds back from the lonely desert and drops a baseball cap at his feet. Then the dog blocks his path so the man can't move forward until he picks up the cap. On the cap, from the heart of the desert, are the words, "No Fear." The man has his answer -- he needs to have no fear, and this will lead him to greater spiritual awareness. (Story Wayne Aerni, Sun Lakes, Arizona)
  • Hershey, a dog similar to those in the Animal Planet show about inmates training dogs, helps a deaf prisoner experience his first success in life through her trust, love, and service. As he prepares her for adoption from the Lee County Sheriff's Department Cell Dog program, he gains inner strength and self-confidence. Both dog and prisoner are given a second chance in life. (Stories by Jay Williams and Frank and Leigh Ann Gibson of Fort Meyers, Florida).

Each story in Angel Dogs is followed by a short meditation to help readers focus on the divine messages dogs deliver. The chapters close with an Ask Taylor advice column that contains a question posed by curious humans and answered from the point of view of Taylor, the Andersons' yellow Lab.

In 1996, Allen and Linda Anderson co-founded the Angel Animals Network and its free online Angel Animals Story of the Week at http://www.angelanimals.net. Angel Dogs is the latest in an ongoing series of books that contain inspiring stories about courageous, compassionate, and loyal animals. The book has favorable reviews in Publisher's Weekly Annex, Best Friends, and ForeWord magazines, among others.

Previous books in the series include Angel Cats: Divine Messengers of Comfort, God's Messengers: What Animals Teach Us about the Divine, and Angel Animals: Exploring Our Spiritual Connection with Animals.

Angel Dogs and Angel Cats are featured on the Holiday Pet Table display at Barnes & Nobles Bookstores nationwide, on Amazon.com, at Borders, and other chain and independent bookstores across the country.

ANGEL DOGS: Divine Messengers of Love by Allen and Linda Anderson * New World Library

October, 2005 * Trade Paper * 256 Pages * Price: $13.95 * ISBN 1-57731-493-X

ANGEL CATS: Divine Messengers of Comfort by Allen and Linda Anderson * New World Library

October 2004 * Trade Paper * 172 Pages * Price: $12.95 * ISBN 1-57731-448-4

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Allen & Linda Anderson