Seeing With the Eyes of the Heart: A True Animal Story

When Lana’s son knew he was dying of cancer, he bequeathed his German Shepherd, Grizzly, to his mother. And because Grizzly had helped him so much through his suffering, he told her, “Maybe there’ll be some way you and he can help other kids.”

Read how this loving animal helped to bring the grieving Lana back into life, how he was able to help sick children, and what the amazing secret was that he carried for years before anyone found out. Here is this inspiring true story:

When her son died, Lana felt her whole world collapse. She became too depressed to even go out of the house. But Grizzly knew she had to go on, so one day he brought her one of her running shoes and then rifled through the closet and brought her its mate. When she protested that she just couldn’t move yet, he pulled at her sleeve. She started going out into the fresh air again.

Lana began taking Grizzly to the pediatric floor of the Health Center where she did volunteer work. Perhaps because of the time he had spent caring for Lana’s son, Grizzly seemed to know just how to be gentle with sick children. The children loved him. For years he brightened their days and took their minds off the physical and emotional pain they were suffering. Even kids who fought with other kids calmed down around Grizzly.

One day it was discovered that Grizzly himself was handicapped. No one had known it, but he had been blind for years. When Lana asked how he could do such amazing healing work while blind, a friend replied, “He sees with his heart, not his eyes.”

Adapted from Animal Angels, by Stephanie Laland (Conari Press, 1998). Copyright (c) 1998 by Stephanie Laland. Reprinted by permission of Conari Press.
Adapted from Animal Angels, by Stephanie Laland (Conari Press, 1998).


Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W4 years ago

great story

caroline s.
Caroline S5 years ago


Sandi O'Donovan
Sandra O'Donovan5 years ago

Amazing and how brilliant...thanx

Despina Vekris
Despina Vekris5 years ago


Carole Brady-Duport
Carole Duport5 years ago

Wow! Just amazing. What a special dog!

ann b.
Ann B5 years ago

Grizzly is a hero.

Laura Saxon
.5 years ago

Very moving.

William Barratt

Quite an emotional story.
Thank you for sharing it.

Christine Stewart

I am glad Lana allowed Grizzly to help her, as well as cheer up sick kids!

Muriel Servaege
Muriel Servaege5 years ago

Thank you for sharing that beautiful story. We, human beings, have a lot to learn from Grizzly.