Rev. Austin Miles, a chaplain in Northern California is a writer and historian. He is the author of Santa's Surprising Origins, a story that received worldwide circulation and resulted in him being cast in the 2004 Hallmark Christmas Movie titled, Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus. He played the mall Santa who magically received the gift of sign language.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Society • Candy Cane Monster Strikes Soaked California

SAN FRANCISCO-12/11/14—As everyone must know by now, California is practically underwater with fierce rains not usually seen in The Golden State. In fact it is so wet out here that I just saw a duck on water skis zipping by my office window. OK, OK perhaps I did multiply the entities slightly for the advancement of the story line, but there IS flooding in The Bay Area.


Meanwhile, here is a true animal story that just happened a couple of days ago. I had sent this to my daughter Cathy, a former zoologist who loves animals and to my best friend Dennis. They shared it and everybody loved it. Here is that email as sent to them:

Knowing you like animals, you will get a kick out of this. Today, one of my favorite dogs Katie, (Mollie is the other) did something that caused me to laugh out loud.

First of all, this morning I was in my favorite chair in the living room reading the paper when I heard Katie chewing something. Looking down I could see that she had managed to swipe a candy cane from the Christmas tree and had managed to get the curve of the candy cane in her mouth but could not get the rest of it out of the cellophane that wrapped it.

I took it away from her, got a part of it out of her mouth, took all the candy canes from the lower part of the tree, re-hooked them back further up out of reach, called her a Candy Cane Monster, then left to go back into my office.

Later in the day, while concentrating and composing something on the computer, I felt a cold nose pressing against my right knee. Looking down, there was Katie with another candy cane intact, gently in her mouth, to give to me.

Bursting out in laughter, I took it, thanked her profusely and put it on a bookshelf near my desk saying that that is where it will now always be. And I apologized for calling her The Candy Cane Monster. The rest of the day was in snuggling on the couch with her and Mollie while I checked the TV news about the storm.

My question is: How on earth did she get up high enough to get that candy cane that she brought to me?  The answer to that question just came in as I was writing this. Chip McClean, publisher of Capitol Hill Outsider, suggested: “Perhaps Katie used a pair of stilts.”  Maybe so…maybe so.

My new book, Angels Unawares-4-Legged Ones with the subtitle: What The Church Didn’t Teach Me I Learned From My Poodle, answers profound emotional questions such as, Do animals go to heaven? Do they have souls? Readers will be astonished at the answers. Another nagging question: which came first-the chicken or the egg? This is also finally answered. The release of the book on Amazon and Kindle has been delayed since there is now a literary agent who will work to find the right publisher. Watch for excerpted chapters on this site.

For those who don’t know how intensely a dog loves, here is proof that animals grieve This very short video sent to me by Race Car Chaplain Dennis Guinta may give everyone another view of animals. As you can see they care deeply and they grieve deeply. Never, never be cruel to a dog or any other animal. Please. Here is the link:




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