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The Angel By My Side
by Mike Lingenfelter and David Frei
Hay House, Inc. 2002

This story has been told on Good Morning America, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and PAX Network. It is the story of a rescued Golden Retriever named Dakota who was adopted by owner Mike Lingenfelter. Mike taught Dakota to be a therapy dog and it was soon clear that Dakota had a special way with people. Without any formal training, Dakota began to alert Mike of his impending angina attacks. The dog would paw feverishly at his owner and Mike figured out that each time Dakota acted this way, Mike would soon have an attack. Thanks to Dakota's alerts, Mike could take his medication and greatly lessen the severity of the attacks.


Dakota also alerted other people of their heart crises. These included not just heart attacks but high cholesterol and clogged arteries. One alert was on a young man whom Mike believed had no heart problems and discouraged Dakota from bothering him. That night the man committed suicide. Mike later learned that the man had broken up with his girlfriend and was depressed, maybe suffering from a broken heart detected by Dakota.

In 2000 Mike learned Dakota had cancer and brought him to Colorado State University Veterinary School for treatment. While in Colorado Mike met Dr. Brenda McClelland, a veterinarian and energy work practitioner who has the ability to communicate with animals. Dr. McClelland communicated with Dakota and learned that he was actually a guide (an angel) in a dog's body, which probably explains what happened next. Mike left Dakota in Colorado to return to Texas on business for one week. During this time, Dakota communicated to Dr. McClelland that she needed to call Mike and warn him he was going to have a heart attack. She did so and convinced Mike to go home and rest. Mike took his medication and no sooner laid down when he had an attack.

Dakota has since passed on but before he died, he told Dr. McClelland where Mike could find another dog who would continue his work. Mike found that dog, who now alerts Mike of his attacks.