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Moving With Your Pets

Let’s get right to the fact of it: moving from one home to another is stressful, exciting, and a lot of hard work. Moving is pretty challenging for humans too!

Stressful – Our pets pick up on our energy and while they may not know exactly the details of what is about to change, they know something is house drawingchanging. Talking with your animals when you start to pack boxes is fine, however, a quick and simple conversation even earlier may be helpful. Whether you communicate through your animal communicator or you have a heart-to-heart directly with them, let them know in simple terms that you are looking for a new home for the whole family. Emphasize that of course they are going with you and you are taking the entire family’s needs (including theirs!) into consideration. This will help them remain calmer, and calmer pets keep the whole family more relaxed during this uncertain time.

Exciting – The prospect of new beginnings can be very exciting for our animals. I talked with a family of four animals recently, two of which were very much looking forward to the upcoming move. The dog saw the move as a new beginning with his relatively new family and an equalizer for the environment to be new to all the dogs, not just him. The cat was looking forward to new places to explore and hide. Communicating before the move can be especially helpful for cats, giving them advance warning to allow them time for closure in the home they know and love.

Hard work – many of our animals take on the job of helping us, their humans, in our day-to-day living. Whether their specific role relates to nurturing and caring for our emotional well-being, keeping us entertained and laughing for our good health, or reminding us in their not so subtle way that we’ve strayed from our routine and need to get back on the proper (according to them!) path, they are taking care of us. When we are planning then executing a move to a new home our energy, stress level, and routines are different which cause our pets to work even harder in taking care of us. This can really throw a deeply empathic pet out of balance. Explanation and support during this time, as well as your attention in keeping their routine as familiar as possible, can help the pets and the humans. A request to the pet to help their beloved humans to settle in the new home gives them a purpose and can help them settle more quickly too.

If you are contemplating moving your family to a new home, keep your pet in the loop from the beginning and let them participate in their own special way. The whole family will be happier for it!

REMEMBER:

  • don’t delay in updating your pet’s contact information for their microchip
  • update your contact information with your vet or take time to interview and select a new veterinarian in your new state/country right away. Provide the new vet with health and vaccination records. Don’t wait for an emergency to do this!
  • get a new tag for your pet’s collar with their new address and updated phone numbers ASAP! Outside pets will enjoy getting to know the neighborhood and may be just around the corner but uncertain which new home is theirs!

Communicate with Rescue Animals

A large part of my animal communication practice is dedicated to animals who have been rescued by loving families. Many rescue animals come into their new families emotionally healthy; however some rescued animals have a past experience which requires time for healing.

Every animal has different emotional needs which can be worked with. Some rescue animals have fears or separation anxiety to overcome. Some have more complex difficulties due to the treatment they received in their past. Generally a little time, patience, and lots of love will make a huge difference in this special being’s quality of life.

It’s important to address the individual topics for the individual animals and meet them where they are. There’s no one-size-fits-all communication when it comes to rescues, however there is one communication that all rescue animals benefit from hearing and understanding. rescueWhen you know that it is a true statement, simply conveying to your newly rescued animal that they are now in their forever home is an excellent first step in continued bonding and growth in your relationship. Holding that concept as soon as you know in your heart that they ARE in their forever home will go a long way in helping your new animal companion to feel at home, safe, and ready for this phase of their life. This doesn’t mean spoiling them and giving them everything they want! But there is safety and security in hearing and understanding that they are now in a home filled with unconditional love.

Rescue animals generally need and deserve an abundance of patience, especially in the first few weeks and months of coming to live with you. Sometimes there are behaviors that simply need guidance and consistent, gentle correction. Often, however, these behaviors can be more effectively managed by understanding at least a portion of what the animal has been through which quite possibly leads to the behavior.

There are many topics or issues that may accompany a rescue animal, and they are not all difficult! One topic routinely stands out for me when working with animals who have been rescued: their deep appreciation and gratitude for their safe and loving new home.

Have you hugged a rescue animal lately?

Beware of Household Medications

With permission from my animal communication client, following is an email I received earlier this month. It contains an important reminder for animal guardians regarding medications which are extremely toxic to pets. I encourage us all to remain diligent in keeping any medications out of the reach of pets.

Thankfully, due to the quick reaction of these guardians and appropriate care at the ER, these pups are good as new.

medicationI want to share a lesson we painfully learned this week. Thursday evening we noticed [our 2 year old puppy] falling and acting a bit lethargic. We had no idea why this would be going on. We searched the house and found an empty small bottle of Naprosin. Naprosin is highly toxic to dogs and can cause perforating gastric ulcers and kidney FAILURE. We called the poison hotline and immediately took both our dogs to the emergency vet. They spent 48 hours on IV fluid therapy and stomach coating medication in ICU. They had excellent care and I am so relieved to say they came home last night. They will have one more kidney function blood test tomorrow morning and they have a clean bill of health! It is so easy to leave a bottle of everyday medication within reach. I just want you all to learn from our stupidity and I hope this never happens to any of our or your pets. Take care and give your furry friends a hug!

 

How to Hold the Energy for Our Pets

What does it mean to “hold the energy” when we are with our pets? It’s selecting a concept and feeling it, breathing it, believing it deeply in our core. It takes some focus because out in the world there are distractions. When we can remain conscious and consistently directed at our chosen end-result, however, the results follow.

Let’s practice: Fluffy has had some litter box mistakes. Her vet has given her a clean bill of health and a professional animal communicator has identified Fluffy’s reasons for the occasional mistake. You can help her remember to always use her litter box by “holding the energy.” Visualize Fluffy walking toward, then into her litter box. Feel what you believe a cat would feel stepping over the edge of the box, into the litter, relieving herself, then leaving the box feeling comfortable and satisfied, knowing her humans are pleased that the family home is remaining clean and fresh-smelling.

If Poco the horse is exhibiting behaviors which, through your vet or an animal communicator, you understand as boredom, you can “hold the vision” or energy to direct Poco to a job to keep him interested and out of trouble. Know first in your mind what activity you believe will work for Poco, then hold the energy – envision the activity and imagine how it feels for him to engage in that activity – to reinforce your desire for a healthy and balanced and happy horse.hold the energy dog

After a communication consultation in which your dog Rufus has agreed to work on remaining calm and quiet when the doorbell rings, you can reinforce this new way of being by “holding the vision” of a calm and quiet pooch when you know someone is about to arrive. Imagine the doorbell ringing, Rufus hearing that, and perhaps looking toward the door, waiting for you then accompanying you to the door with a calm and quiet demeanor. Envision your guest walking in and Rufus getting big pets and praise for being such a good, quiet, calm boy.

Notice in these examples a common thread – no matter what we are reinforcing, we “hold the energy” of the end result we desire. It is important in this exercise of holding energy to let go of the past mistakes, demeanor, and behaviors and stay completely focused on what you know to be possible. One successful result gives you a perfect example to use in your next reinforcement exercise, then you have two successes to build on, then three, and so on.

It can be challenging at times to find a way to hold the energy positively without consideration of past behaviors, but you’ll get the hang of it. Do be sure your desire to “hold the energy” isn’t overshadowing the need for a trip to the vet or to understand the deep-rooted rationales your pet may have for a certain way of being, but if all systems are go, then enjoy your practicing!

Pets Say the Funniest Things

Do you remember that television show “Kids Say the Darndest Things” hosted by Art Linkletter back in the 1960s?  It’s true, they do. Kids are uncensored and honest and sincere. I love that about them. That’s probably why I love communicating with animals so much – they are also uncensored, honest, and sincere. And boy do they say some hilarious things! Indulge me as I reminisce.Linkletter

I remember years ago working with Milo for the first time. He had been licking his foreleg for months and his human hoped we could understand why. This was a unique one for me and continues to be the only time an animal has explained that the lick sore is “his friend” and this is his way of showing affection. And yes, we were able to convince Milo to greet his friend in other ways and we haven’t had to talk to him about this topic since.

Sometimes animals convey funny things with no words at all. Ferguson was asked what he thinks of his companion Billy? Eye roll. That’s all.

There are several animals when asked to consider a different behavior who give me the proverbial arms-crossed-in-front-of-the chest demeanor. How can I not chuckle at that attitude?

A puppy in training to be a service-dog was asked by her guardian if she knew what she was training for and if she wanted to be a service companion? “I love it; I’m going to be star!” she replied with no apology for her confidence. Indeed she did graduate from service-dog training and it is clear that she is a star and loves every minute of her job.

It shouldn’t take me by surprise anymore, but I still laugh when a pet answers a request such as “could you consider changing this behavior?” with a simple and definitive “nope, I can’t.” Usually there is no accompanying attitude. It’s just their answer. Okay, we can work with that!

It is my desire and style to be very respectful of the animals I work with, and yet sometimes I just can’t help it and little chuckle comes out. They don’t mind; some tell me they chuckle at us humans too!

Pet Emergency Info Sheet

Someone sent me this Pet Emergency Information Sheet and while I don’t know who created it or for exactly what purpose (I would give proper credit if I could) I feel it is valuable and needs to be shared.

Emergency Info Sheet 1I have just completed the form myself and I plan to keep it in my emergency box which I keep with me in my car during high-danger months. In the unlikely circumstance that I would be evacuated or kept from returning home during an evacuation, I will have all the relevant and critical information, including a photo, to give the sheriff or firefighters in order to have them identify and retrieve my pets.

My other consideration is to have this form filled out in the, again unlikely, event that my dog should go missing. It takes a little bit of time to gather this information and when a pet is missing we may not be in a state of mind to find all this information quickly.

Lets take the time now to gather this information and keep it in a place where we can have access to it in case of emergency and at a moments notice. I know I will rest a little easier as wild-fire danger escalates this summer, knowing that I am prepared to do all I can for my beloved pets during an unexpected circumstance.

Final Stage of Life Conversations

The topic of the final stage of our pet’s life is hard to think about. I suspect there is a part of us that believes we may bring about the end sooner if we admit that it is approaching; however, discussing with your pet it’s end of life can be the best, most fulfilling discussion you’ve ever had with them. The opportunity to express your deep love and appreciation for your pet while you can still enjoy more time together is priceless. These discussions are helpful in understanding the animal’s desires for assistance to pass or not, for comfort requests in the final days, and for pouring out our heart to our animals who know us so well. Beyond that, there is a relief and release when you are “on the same page” with your beloved animal companion in their remaining days, weeks, or months together.

shadow man dogFrom the animal’s perspective there is a relief and release as well. Many animals are masters at caretaking us, their humans. What a relief for them to know that yes, we will absolutely miss them terribly when they pass, but we are preparing ourselves for that inevitable time. They most likely will continue to take care of us but now with a knowing that we will be sad, but okay. It is a lifted burden of concern for them.

The conversation is simple, and the details of the conversation will evolve as time passes. Initial conversations may be reminiscent of favorite activities combined with an expression of your love and gratitude for the wonderful memories. As you become aware that your beloved companion’s time may be short you can include your desire to take care of them now as they have taken care of you through the years. This is giving them permission to relax and release their caretaking responsibilities, assuring them that you need time to practice while they are still with you to guide. Finally, when you have reached your final time with your companion, be true to yourself and to them. They’ll know if you are not being sincere. Cry if you need to, and admit that you will miss them like crazy and be sad for a while. Then assure them that you will be okay eventually and you want them to be out of pain and free of their body that is no longer working for them. Give them permission to let go.

These are not easy conversations to have, however I can tell you from my experience that these conversations are extremely helpful for our animals as they are preparing to transition from the physical to the spirit world. I have heard from many humans that these conversations help make a devastating time a little more bearable when we, the humans, know that we have expressed our love and deep gratitude to our beloved pets while we still can.

 

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.