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. When 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?
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.
I 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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
I 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.
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.
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.
- Next time you have your microchipped pet in for their well-check exam, ask the veterinarian or vet tech to scan the chip
- Match the chip number to the number you have in your file at home
- Call the chip company and confirm the number is properly associated with your contact information
- 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!