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Supporting Our Aging Pets

Where does the time go?  We know that our pets will age, but that doesn’t make it easier when we start to see the physical symptoms. Sometimes the indicators show up slowly over time; for some animals it seems like they age almost overnight. We know how to help with physical comfort but what about the emotions? Do we know how best to support our beloved pets as they come to terms with less energy, less mobility, and/or a decline in sight or hearing? As the aging process progresses it is important to stay in communication with our pet and help them with the emotional aspects of aging.

Graceful aging
Graceful agers tend to be wise old souls who recognize aging as a natural part of their journey on earth. These animals are generally content, fulfilled, and treasure each moment with their beloved family. It doesn’t seem to matter what their origins are; I’ve met plenty of rescue animals with difficult beginnings whose life purpose is fulfilling and they move through each stage of life with love and well-being. These animals often have significant, even profound, wisdom to impart to their human companions in their elder years. Supporting their ability and desire to guide their human with insights and knowledge deepens even further their joy, contentment, and purpose in life. It seems it is often the animals in this category who surprise their human with a rapid decline followed quickly by their passing. These peaceful, quick passings are usually expected by the animal but can leave their human confused and wishing for time to prepare.aging pet

Reluctant aging
Some animals have a harder time with the physical and emotional aspects of aging. There can be a variety of reasons for being reluctant or resentful of the aging process including concern for their humans as they begin to recognize their mortality. It’s important to communicate with these pets as they age to reassure them that aging is natural and to help them with physical and emotional comfort-care through the process. The shift from care-taking their human to accepting care is a process for them. I’ve found these animals can make that shift and joyfully accept aging when the process is a shared journey with their human.

Communicating with your pet through their years of aging and understanding how best to support them will keep you and your pet emotionally healthy and prepared for the inevitable shifts and changes in their senior years. Whether our pets joyfully enter their elder years or kick and scream a bit, what a beautiful gift to share this time with them supporting them and creating lovely memories.

Emergency Preparedness with Microchips

Have you staged an emergency drill to test your pet’s microchip? We never hope to need to rely on the microchip to be reunited with our beloved pet, but in the unfortunate event that you would need to rely on the chip, it will be well worth the time it takes to practice walking through the steps.microchip

Microchips can be a lifesaver for our pet, literally, but if the information that was recorded by the chip company is not accurate, or your contact information has changed and wasn’t updated with the chip company, your pet’s safety and the chances of being reunited with your pal is significantly reduced.

Most of the time microchips work as they are supposed to. Once in a while an error or malfunction renders the microchip useless. In two cases of which I’m personally aware (both turned out fine in the end!), when the guardian of the missing pet called the chip company to report their pet missing, there was a problem. One resulted in a completely different family and different dog – different breed, age, all the vital information – on record. The other realized, after the dog had been found through other means, that the number on the chip was one digit off from the number of record. The rescuing family went through the proper steps but the microchip was no help in reuniting the dog with his family since the chip company had no record of the number that matched the chip. Errors can happen, and we can take responsibility to limit the consequences of the error by simply running our own emergency drill periodically.

  1. Next time you have your microchipped pet in for their well-check exam, ask the veterinarian or vet tech to scan the chip
  2. Match the chip number to the number you have in your file at home
  3. Call the chip company and confirm the number is properly associated with your contact information
  4. Update your contact information if necessary. Is your mobile phone number included? Is the secondary contact person still the appropriate person of record? Has the guardianship of the pet changed through divorce or death, or is the primary residence of the pet with a different family member? Confirm and/or update your contact information every year or so.
Our pets are a member of our family and microchipping is a valuable insurance policy for them. Just like the periodic review we give our other insurance policies, let’s remember to review our pet’s microchip policy as well!

Discussing Animal Communication with Our Veterinarian

I am grateful that I have a very open and respectful relationship with my pet’s health care providers. It occurs to me, however, that some of us may hold back a bit with our veterinarians when discussing the information that has come forth utilizing animal communication with our pets.vet w rabbit

I know there are many animal health care practitioners – veterinarians, techs, DVM specialists, alternative practitioners – who recognize and utilize the value of animal communication. Many refer their clients and many use animal communication services themselves. How do we know when the health care practitioner is familiar with and a fan of animal communication services? How do we pass along valuable information received from our beloved animal companions via an animal communication consultation?

I usually answer questions about disclosure of using an animal communicator with two or three comments, in no particular order:

  • Maybe your vet IS familiar with animal communication. If you suspect that possibility (most holistic veterinary practices are open and even encouraging of many non-scientific resources) try to bring it up next time. If they are a fan of animal communication then you are on your way to an even more rewarding partnership with your animal’s health care practitioner.
  • It’s not so important to disclose *how* you got the valuable information from your pet about how they are feeling; it is important that you convey that information in some way. We can talk that through in a way in which you are comfortable, and in which you are not holding back viable and potentially valuable information.
  • All of us are entitled to a respectful relationship with our health care providers. Even if the veterinarian doesn’t use animal communication as a resource, most will listen to the information provided directly by your pet. If not, and since communicating with your beloved animal is important to you, perhaps this is a good time to evaluate other animal health clinics to find one which is more closely aligned with your priorities.

When you are in partnership with your animal’s health care providers simply relaying the symptoms as you know them, whether from your personal observation or from your pet’s description of how they are feeling, is key. Whether you mention that you’ve worked with an animal communicator is secondary. Follow your intuition and if you do choose to divulge your use of animal communication to your health care practitioner, you might be pleasantly surprised with an enthusiastic acceptance and sincere interest in what your animal companion has to say!

Flower Essences tele-class ~ Adminstering to Pets

flower essenceIf you are an animal guardian and have wondered

  • what flower essences are
  • the benefits of usage
  • topics for usage
  • individual essences
  • blended essences
  • how to safely use flower essences for our companion animals

then this 45-minute informational tele-class may be for you. We will discuss the benefits and how to safely use flower essences for our pets. For more information and to register visit the Articulate Animals website.

Frequently Asked Animal Communication Questions

questionDo you wonder what people ask their pets during an animal communication consultation? Every animal communication session is different, however here are a few questions that come up regularly.

“Is my pet happy?” or “Am I meeting all my pet’s needs?” It doesn’t seem to matter if this is the first time a human is communicating with their pet or if they regularly communicate, this is a very common question. We want to know if we are providing a quality experience for our animal companions, and if there is room for improvement. Sometimes there is room for adjustment; sometimes the pet indicates happiness or jumps to another topic. Still, it’s always a great question to ask even if the pet expresses complete contentment every time.

“Have we been together before (i.e. in another lifetime)” or “Will we be together again (i.e. will my pet come back to me)?” There’s no doubt about it, there are animal-human relationships that could be quantified as the human version of soul mates. Sometimes the bond is so intense and the relationship so effortlessly joyful we feel that there must be a past connection. Often there is. Even more frequently I get the question about a future connection with a beloved pet who has passed away. It is very possible to request, support, and even encourage our pets to consider coming back to us in a new body. Sometimes the animal needs time in the spirit world before they are ready to consider this possible next step, but it never hurts to make the invitation!

“Why do you do x,y,z?” This is usually a curiosity question with no need or intention to change the behavior, just the human’s opportunity to know their pet better and to more fully engage with them in their world. Very often a portion of the response has something to do with “because it’s there” or “because that’s what I do!” In our human minds we quickly realize (usually) when a behavior doesn’t achieve the desired outcome and it’s time to move on. I find that animals, however, live in the moment and usually in a state of hope and belief that things can change at any time and therefore a big payout may be right around the corner if they keep doing that special thing they do.

“How do you spend your time at home during the day without me/us?” I think most of the time this question from the human is asked because we want our precious companions to have the best experience possible while living in our family. Some animals use this time to patrol and “do their job” of maintaining the perimeter; some use the time to rest up so they are ready for fun and games when their humans return. Some express mild (or not so mild) anxiety or a level of alertness, and some request a companion – stuffed or alive – to play with through the day. Every animal has a little different take on their time without their humans and it can be a wonderful gate-way question to a better understanding of their personalities and their needs.

“Any messages?” There are as many responses to this question as there are animals. Some use this opportunity to make requests for food, comfort items, or exercise. Some take this as a sign that their human is ready for wisdom or guidance and that can range from “I worry about you not sleeping enough” to “it’s time to start that thing you’ve been thinking about.” It can be shocking and even a little disconcerting to recognize just how well our animals know and love us, and yet it is also very comforting to know that we’re not going it alone.

This is just a small sampling of the kinds of questions humans ask their animals. There are many other regularly asked questions and topics that are directly related to behaviors, the human-animal relationship, physical health, emotional balance, aging issues and how best to provide comfort as they prepare to pass on. When our intention is to better understand and provide the best possible care for our pets, any topic is fair!

Refer an Animal Communication Consultation

Do you have a friend who loves their animals and yet they have a few challenges with their pet that they would like to better understand? Perhaps you believe this friend would greatly benefit from an animal communication consultation and you have been looking for the right time to talk to them about it. Now is the right time, and YOU will get something in return!whispering

I am pleased to announce the return of a referral program at Articulate Animals. If you are an Articulate Animals client or will be soon, you are eligible for this referral program running through 2013. There are a couple of ways in which you can participate:

  1. When you refer new clients to Articulate Animals I will gratefully notate a referral discount on your account which you can use for your next animal communication consultation. If you prefer you can donate your discount to my “referral bank” which will benefit families and pets whose household budget doesn’t accommodate a much needed communication consultation.
  2. Let me know of a deserving family who would greatly benefit from an animal communication consultation but their budget does not allow. As the referral bank accumulates discounts these deserving families will be offered a discounted or complimentary consultation for their pets.

Full program details can be found on the Articulate Animals website.

Does Your Cat Have A Story To Tell?

Has your cat been spending a lot of time in your home-office recently? Have you checked the InCatmojiternet to see what s/he is up to? It could be that your kitty has been posting to this new social media site for cats only. Yep, you better take a look just to make sure you and your feline companion aren’t (or ARE!) featured here somewhere.

There are more and more animal sites, blogs, and services available and I can’t list them all but this one captured my heart. Check out Catmoji and maybe it will speak to you too!

 

Important Lessons from the Animals

Any animal lover will agree that there is much to be learned from animals. My animal communication clients often share stories of how their beloved pets teach them unconditional love, patience, tolerance, and humility. Those are big lessons, to be sure. There are other lessons as well; lessons which may not be as frequent or obvious. I will do my best to relate some of those stories from animals that I admire and greatly appreciate.

Daisy

Trust. Daisy had extreme sensitivities which presented as fear reactions. Interesting, strange things like the click of the power button on the stereo (even when the volume was off) or oncoming headlights when driving after dark, had Daisy quivering and rolling up into the smallest ball she could become. Daisy has learned to trust her beloved human and many other humans as well. Daisy was able to let go of her difficult experiences in the past, realizing that every experience going forward is a new one and can be approached with a fresh perspective. Daisy was even able to trust her human enough to welcome a canine companion to her home. What a valuable lesson from Daisy – our fears are valid to us, but great things happen when we trust, let go of the past, and treat each day as a new experience!

Sid

Heartfelt connections. In his final days, Sid’s only remaining request was an opportunity for deep, heart-to-heart, uninterrupted quality time with the human he had spent his whole live with. Sid knew, and teaches us, that in the end the most precious commodity is a loving connection.

Parker

Every moment is worth living. Parker was a fun-loving and active guy who really wanted to squeeze the most out of every moment, and encouraged his human to do the same. When Parker was ready to let his body go, he was given a choice between quality, quiet time at home with his human or going to a mountain cabin with extended family. Parker’s choice, of course, was to hike in the mountains, lie in the cool mountain stream, and lick snowflakes off his nose. Parker expects all of us to squeeze every bit of life out of every moment.

Katy

Purpose. Katy had a wonderful life with her rescue family and was very much at home, but Katy would bark in the back yard for extended periods of time, looking and waiting for … something. When Angel moved in with the family and needed special attention, Katy was asked to please help take care of Angel, to teach her how to be a dog. Katy’s response? “I’m on it! I’m going to be a *great* sister to Angel! That’s a perfect job for me!” And it was. We all, animals and humans, need a purpose that we can live into. Katy continues to fulfill her purpose, and she truly is the best sister that Angel could ask for. And her barking episodes? Now they are nearly non-existant.

Bossco and Jezebel

Take a risk. My own Jezebel insisted that it was time for a canine companion. She led us to Bossco, a retired sled dog who could devour little Jez in two quick bites. When I pointed this out to her she said “com’on mom, he’s the one for us. Take a risk!” I did, and without a second of regret. I live Jezebel’s lesson to me every day and my life is fuller for it!

In honor of the animals, let’s spend a moment to absorb the lessons, big and small, that our animal companions share with us. They are there for the taking – we just need to slow down and watch for them!