With a new puppy in the family I find myself returning to basics – basic puppy training and basic theory for communicating effectively. Perhaps a review of the basics is in order for all of us!
We are communicating to our animals all the time. Whether we are intentional or unintentional, our pets are picking up on our energy and our telepathic communications. If you are intentional about just one thing on a daily basis let it be this: be specific and direct about what you are asking for. If we start with this premise, all other basic reminders follow naturally.
- Say what you want, avoid communicating what you don’t want. Ex: “Be quiet” or “stay calm” is much easier to express and more likely to be heard and understood than “stop barking” or “don’t jump on me.” Give them direction so they can succeed; phrase in the positive of the outcome we are seeking.
- Go ahead and set expectations, and do that BEFORE you need to make a correction. Ex: “Today I expect you to use the litter box every single time.” You can say this to your kitty first thing in the morning, before you even get out of bed, and continue to reinforce and remind through the day.
- Corrections are part of your life together, even when our animals are mature and have lived with us for a long time. Learning is an ongoing process. Ex: If your horse continues to have challenging trailer loading behaviors, remind her as you approach the trailer that this is a new day, and a new opportunity to load quickly and easily. A quick and easy load means getting to the destination for your trail ride that much faster, and won’t that be glorious!
- All day, every day, share your appreciation for your beloved animal companion’s role in your life. You can be specific about how they keep you calm, teach you patience, help you laugh, or your appreciation can be general with a simple feeling of “I love all that you give to me and the family.”
How do we communicate? I like to speak my communications aloud. It helps me formulate exactly, specifically, my intended communication. Sometimes saying a phrase out loud alerts me to a better, more productive way to express my intention. You can speak silently to your pets if that is your preference. Again, the key is to formulate specific intentions then simply feel them in your heart, body, and soul.
I am blessed to live in an environment with regular wildlife encounters. Just this morning I watched an elk cow and her newborn calf cautiously make their way around my house in front of my office windows, disappearing into the heavily wooded area to wait out the heat of the day. Not everyone lives with elk, deer, or fox as regular visitors; however wildlife is all around in the form of squirrels, birds, and butterflies, even in the busiest of city parks.
newborn elk calf
Is it possible to communicate with wildlife? Yes, of course, with caution. There are many valid reasons we may want to communicate with animals living in nature, and a couple communications that we shouldn’t make:
- We can express our gratitude and appreciation for their presence. This morning I commended the momma elk for her nurturing skills and ability to guide her teeny weeny to safety; more generally I express my awe and appreciation for their magnificence.
- I don’t ever communicate a desire for them to come closer or to trust humans more than they already do – this is not safe for them. I always appreciate and communicate at a distance and encourage them to remain at a distance as well.
momma elk and calf
It’s important we keep their instincts in mind. They need to eat, but are the potted flowers on or near our patio their only viable option? Usually not, so encouraging them to find excellent nourishment *which is meant for them to eat* is valid. As a counterpoint I explain that any plants very near a human dwelling has risk factors. Again though, I would only make this communication if I know there are other viable food options which are safe for them to find.
- I’m always fearful when I see wildlife near heavily trafficked roadways. It’s so tempting to tell them to run away from the road, but I would feel terrible if that communication put them in some other harm’s way. Be aware of the surroundings and do your best to encourage them to move “up the hill” or “into the trees” – encourage them toward something safe but only if you know where safety is.
- In the fall I send out a general communication to the birds as they fly to warmer climes letting them know they are welcome to return in the spring if they choose. Similarly, I tell other wildlife “have a good nap” as winter approaches. It probably doesn’t really do much for them, but I like feeling like I’m connected with nature in this way.
Communicating with wildlife is exciting and a great way to practice. Be clear what you are communicating and keep their instincts in mind. Enjoy!
By guest blogger Jackie, a client with a wonderful story to share.
There are pets and there are pets. We love them all, but occasionally we may be blessed with a magical connection. This time round, I wanted THE cat vs A cat.
My two cats and I have been in transition since Alfie arrived two years ago. He is smart and too clever, but as a result, was bored and restless. Pip was not interested in entertaining him. Although we were all content, the energy felt unsettled.
It seemed to me that a new being was the answer; I always enjoyed having a trio. Through Kelly, the boys’ needs were clarified, but this would be a challenge – we have two strong kitty personalities, plus my need for a soulmate, and a small NYC apartment – no room for conflict. Since Pip had a traumatic experience with an adult cat a few years ago, this needed to be a kitten.
Alfie, 2 years; Tess 6 months; Pip not pictured
The mission began in September. Fostering made sense, but neither of our two attempts was a match for all of us, and saying goodbye at the end of the fostering period was heartbreaking.
I moved on to shelters, websites, pet stores, Craig’s List. So many kittens – I kept a research notebook. I was frantic in my efforts. Nothing worked out, nobody felt right.
Kelly had one word of advice – patience. She assured me that the universe will send me this being. This virtue is not one of my gifts, but I gave it my best shot. Weeks passed. No cat in my Christmas stocking? Nobody called about a kitten in the blizzard? Seriously? How could he/she not want to be in my arms? If there were A cat for me, how exactly was this going to happen? JUST WAIT.
During this waiting period, I had two insights. First was the fact that the cats with whom I had meaningful relationships in the past chose me. Then, I realized that I was not paying attention to what really mattered – the big picture. Whatever that was, I knew I had not experienced it. JUST WAIT.
Then – I received a call from a rescue group I had met on line about a “special” four month old rescued kitten who had a rough beginning. They were looking for an owner who would be willing to work with her. I met her a few days later – I felt like I had known her forever. It was so calming, like being with an old friend. I knew her name would be TESS, and that I would be able to be patient and give her the time she needed to settle in.
Now a couple months later, Tess has completed us. She fills in our spaces. The energy in our home feels balanced. Alfie is happy to have a trainee for his many hobbies. Pip appreciates simply being admired. I have the lapcat who cuddles and looks deep into my eyes. Three cats seem easier to manage than two. They all walk around smiling and purring.
I choose to believe that Tess is THE cat for us. I also know that had I fought the timing, this may not have happened.
There are special challenges when introducing a puppy, kitten, or any young animal into an existing animal family. Every circumstance is unique and requires individualized solutions, and there are two recent client consultations which we can use as general examples.
A cat family is ready for a new kitty companion. The existing cats have been consulted before and during each foster experience which has helped the human to know what characteristics are most likely to work for all. Both existing cats have preferences: the younger of the two wants to be adored and in charge of the new addition; the elder prefers a female and needs his space. So now the human knows to focus more on female kittens, but how to assess if the kitten is capable of adoration of one and respect of the other? One of the existing cats has agreed to give a signal to his human when she returns from a kitten meet-and-greet. He’ll be able to pick up on scent and assess the kitten’s energy through his human. The human trusts her adult kitty and is grateful for his assistance.
A dog family has introduced a puppy to their two existing adult dogs with mixed results. The now “middle child” wants to get along with both, but seems to believe this will offend his existing companion. The other existing dog is feeling a bit put out and not appreciative of all the time the humans need to spend with the puppy. The family dynamic has shifted and this simply is not okay with her! After explanation and reassurance to both existing dogs that their place in the family has not changed, the family will be more conscious of spending individualized time with each dog in turn. Additionally, they will give supervised play time to the puppy and the middle child-dog separately when the offended one is out for a walk.
Whether the existing animals are feeling left out with less attention from their humans, are overwhelmed with all that never-ending youngster energy, and even for those who are thrilled with a new playmate/companion – reassurance of the existing animal’s place in the family is always helpful. Follow that up with the expectation that the routine and family dynamic WILL stabilize and become more predictable in time, and you are well on your way to a harmonious and happy animal family!
Whether you communicate with your pets yourself or communicate through a professional animal communicator, there are few things we can keep in mind for a smooth communication and the best results. These tips will be helpful for any communications – behavioral, well-being, physical symptoms, aging or end-stage communications.
Preparation – know what you want to discuss. A written list of questions and/or topics is very useful to keep the communications flowing smoothly. A professional animal communicator will appreciate your preparations. When the conversation begins it can easily “take on a life of its own” and key questions may be skipped over without a written roadmap of priority topics.
Clarity – is your request or expectation realistic? For example, are you asking your 20 year old cat to continue to jump up on the clothes dryer to eat her food? Tailor your solutions to your specific pet by taking their needs and current abilities into consideration. Circumstances do change over time, and so should our expectations.
Reality – have a range of possibilities or options in mind. Not all solutions fit every pet or circumstance and compromise may be the best solution. Once you understand what is going on with your pet, identify a few possible solutions and try them on for size. One or two of these solutions may work okay while another will be the best fit.
Keep it positive – phrase in terms of the successful outcome. Whenever we communicate with our pets, whether in an official communication session or just a quick communication in the flow or your day, be clear with what you are asking and phrase it in terms of the solution. A “stay calm” or “quiet” command when the doorbell rings lets your dog know what is expected in that moment.
These tips will help you communicate with your pets and will assist your professional animal communicator to stay on track and get the most from your communication session.
These days it is so simple to snap a photo with our cell phone or iPad. It’s quick, easy, and fun to capture a special moment here or there. It’s becoming easier to capture memories via video, too, but do we take advantage of the technology as much as we should?
When we flip through our phone’s photo gallery the memories of our adventures with our pets come flooding back. These photos are priceless and even more so when our pets pass on. But what about capturing the moment in video? Most phones have quick and easy video capabilities now. Are you diligent about capturing the silly moments, the precious moments, the unforgettable moments on video?
My video gallery in general is pretty sparse. I have awesome photos of all my pets and these remind me of wonderful moments in our lives together. Videos, however, bring our beloved pets back to life, even if just for a moment. Their unique noises, facial expressions, the way they walk, talk, eat, play, snore, stalk and hunt are captured forever. Videos capture the essence of who they are – their purity, love, and character.
The next time your animal companion is doing something goofy, sweet, or simply just being themselves, pull out your device and capture the moment in video. I promise it will be a cherished keepsake for you and your family for years to come.
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 changing. 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!
- 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!
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?