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Meet Linda

Hi! I’m Linda. I’ve always loved animals. (When I was 3 years old, my sister and I would rescue abandoned stuffed animals from the thrift store in my hometown in Minnesota!) I’m also a clinical psychologist. I owned my own practice in Chicago along with my husband, Dr. Mario Gallo, for 33 years before I shifted my focus to offering workshops for animal lovers full time. My greatest joy is combining these two passions to help animal lovers like you navigate the challenges of caring for and working with animals. I’m really looking forward to hearing from you!


Over the years, my husband, Mario, and I have had a furry family of dogs and cats of all ages, sizes and “issues.” My pet walker affectionately calls our home “the land of misfits.” You’ve already met one of them on my homepage: Chilidog!


He was a senior dachshund I adopted, and he was my therapy assistant for almost 5 years. The lessons I learned from him are the foundation for the guide I developed to help animal lovers refresh their compassionate hearts.


I thought that losing Chilidog would bring me inconsolable grief. Instead, I’ve experienced unexpected joy, gratitude and awe, because our bond continues to have a loving influence on my life and the lives of many other people and animals.


Another “misfit” was a senior cat name Belle, who I was fostering. She needed medication a few times a day, so I would bring her to the office with me. When Belle meowed loudly one day, a client invited her into our session. With Belle on her lap, my client began to sort out memories that she had not previously shared in our year of meeting. Insights she gained with Belle seemed to free her from her past and set her on a new life path. From that day on, my practice included at least one animal therapy assistant.

Millee, me, Chilidog and Milo


I founded Blessed Bonds, a nonprofit rescue organization, in 2004. It provides temporary foster care for dogs and cats whose owners are in crisis so the pets can eventually return to their families. It was a dream realized, but during my seven years as director, I became completely depleted. When I stepped out of that role, the program found a home with a well-established animal shelter, ADOPT, in Naperville, Il.


At first, stepping down felt like a failure, and I worried that I was letting the animals down. But the gift in that loss is that I now understand firsthand the roller coaster of emotions that comes when we follow our passion to help animals.


In 2001, after attending a couple of workshops at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah, I became involved with their efforts to help animal lovers cope with the compassion fatigue, burnout and grief that come with working with animals. Animal lovers found my book Give to your Heart's Content...without giving yourself away helpful, and I began giving talks, workshops and retreats for animal organizations and advocates.


For 20 years, I’ve facilitated a pet-grief support group through the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association and helped train professionals to work the Pet Loss Hotline. It continues to meet through Zoom. Support-group participants often come because they don’t feel like people outside the group understand their grief. They cringe when they hear, “It's just an animal" and “Aren't you over that yet?" 


I understand how animal lovers feel, so I guide you through finding your own ways to work through your grief so that the joyful feeling of your loving bond can help to outweigh the pain.


Do you have a personal challenge that you would like to address in a private consultation? I would be happy to explore it with you. Please call 708.227.5330 or e-mail me to schedule a 1-hour virtual consult* to explore how a 2-hour workshop* could help you.  A PowerPoint Zoom workshop* is customized to meet your unique challenge.  All one-hour sessions* are $100.00  and 2-hour workshops are $200.00.


* These sessions are not insurance-reimbursable psychotherapy sessions; there is no medical diagnosis given. Individuals looking for traditional insurance-reimbursed counseling/psychotherapy with a medical diagnosis are advised to call the phone number on their insurance card to get referrals to professionals who are in their insurance company network.

Past Work


My greatest teachers have been the people and animals I’ve worked with during my 37years as a clinical psychologist. I’ve written two books to help people and animal lovers who live with compassionate hearts and developed a webinar for The Pet Professionals Guild.





Refresh Your Compassionate Heart: Taking Care of You and Your Team to help More Animals

  • Los Angeles, CA, 2019

  • Edinburg, TX, 2019

  • Chicago, IL, 2019 (Part of the Well-being Retreat for the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association)

Essential Tools to Empower Every Compassionate Heart for Animals

  • Lafayette, IN, 2017


What Animals Teach Us About Joy

  • Touched by an Animal Fundraiser, Skokie, IL, 2016

  • The Center in Palos Park, IL, 2016

  • Chicago Family Pet Show, Darien and Oak Lawn, IL, 2015


Breaking Down Bridges: How can we work together to help more animals?

  • MENAW Conference, Cairo, Egypt, 2010, 2017

  • Animals Today, Palm Desert, CA, 2016

A Joyful Giving Heart: Making your difference in the lives of animals

  • Unity Church Animal Ministry, Oak Park, IL, 2015


Hearts Larger than Hands: Creating balance in your life to save more animals

  • Best Friends National Conference, 2002-present

  • A Sound Beginning Dog Training, 2016

  • New Jersey Animal Welfare Federation of New Jersey, 2014

  • DASA (DuPage Animal Shelter Association), Wheaton, IL, 2011

  • Good as Gold Rescue Conference, Chicago, 2011

  • MENAW conference, Cairo, Egypt, 2010

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