When an animal suffers a loss.

While driving down a local road, I noticed two young raccoons that had been run over. Then I noticed their mother sitting on the road shoulder. She was desperately trying to get to her babies, clinging to the futile hope that they might be saved. In that brief moment I saw the grief not only in her eyes but energetically surrounding her. As surely as a human parent grieves the loss of a child (or children in this case), this mother was sitting vigil over her offspring.

I don’t know how long her vigil lasted. When I passed that way again, hours later, she was gone. The carcasses of her children remained. I know that when she left, her grief hung over her like a cloud. She would carry it with her in the short term at least.

It’s been my observation that most animals grieve a short time and then get on with their lives. Survival is uppermost in their minds which provides a pretty good distraction. When I chat with them, they will talk about their grief if it’s fresh, otherwise it doesn’t come up unless I specifically ask.

You may be wondering why I am musing on this topic. It is because when I mentioned it to my husband he had trouble conceiving of animals grieving. He admittedly had not given it much thought. But after living with an animal communicator, Moi, lo these many years I found it surprising. It got me to thinking that maybe his was probably the attitude of a great many other animal lovers, so on behalf of the animals I wanted to bring it up for your consideration. If it results in a more compassionate response to your animal friend when they have a loss that is enough.

Horses and their quirky personalities

More than any other animal I’ve encountered, horses have the quirkiest personalities. They are each so unique in their own way. Sometimes entertaining, sometimes exasperating, often times sweet and oh so loveable.

Misty, my heart horse, is by far the quirkiest in the herd. She is an alpha mare (translation very bossy), yet there are times she comes to me asking for love and attention. She absolutely knows that she is my favorite and takes full advantage of that fact.

Misty: "I'm special and I know it."
Misty: "I'm special and I know it."

Because she is alpha I have to be careful to maintain my role as über alpha. When she pushes the limits I often give her the mare squeal, literally or figuratively, depending upon my mood. She gets the message either way and usually responds with submissive body language.

It wasn’t always that way, we traveled a bumpy road to get to this place, but now her challenges to my authority are infrequent. Which brings me to the reason for this post.

Each day when I go out to feed, I bring Rusty and Merlyn out of the pasture because they get a larger portion. Usually I can just motion for them to come through the gate and they oblige. Sometimes they need a little encouragement. Rusty is so easy going that I can just grab a handful of mane and guide him out. Merlyn sometimes takes more persuasion because Arlo, the mini, snarls at him and he’s afraid to pass by. He cracks me up. He’s the tallest and he’s intimidated by tiny Arlo!

After I get the remaining herd members settled with their feed I go out the pasture gate, leaving it open, so that I can drive the tractor through and fill the hay boxes. Most days I’m able to time it so that I can leave the gate open while I put out the hay and then close it after I drive the tractor back through. It’s a routine I’ve worked out that is quick and efficient.

Then there are days like yesterday where one or more of the herd starts eying the extra food outside the gate and moseys on out while I’m haying. On this day I saw Toro get the idea and start heading for the gate. I hollered over to him that he really should rethink that. He stopped, mulled it over, then turned and walked back to his own feed. Smart boy and such a sweetheart. It always surprises me when he acquiesces like that. He is, after all, the herd leader and takes his job seriously, bossing the others around, sometimes because he can.

Misty, on the other hand, has a very different attitude. After watching the Toro episode she decided that she would go through the gate and help herself to some extra food. I hollered over to her that she needed to get her butt back. She didn’t even pause, just kept moseying on out and helped herself. She knows it will take me a few minutes to drive back out and do anything about her flagrant defiance. She was also sending me the message that surely I didn’t mean the rules to apply to her: my black beauty, my special princess. Surely she was entitled to special privileges. Sigh.

With that I hustled on over and told her in no uncertain terms that she was not entitled to ignore my wishes and defy my authority. My little princess has to follow the rules just like everyone else. Off she went with no hard feelings. It’s just her nature. She has to test the waters every once in a while to see if I’m serious about remaining über alpha. I am.

I love that mare!

Doing energy work the hard way…remotely.

I’ve used energy work with my animals for many years. It’s a simple but powerful tool, one of many I have in my “toolbox.” I primarily rely on EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), but there’s often some variation using other modalities I’ve picked up along the way.

While sharing energy work, the animals provide feedback in a variety of ways: body language, expressions on their face, softening in the eyes, sometimes moving away when they’ve had enough.

I’ve also performed energy work with people both in person and remotely. Since people are able to give accurate and immediate feedback it works very well. But until recently I had not had occasion to use it remotely with animals.

That all changed quite suddenly when I encountered two separate pets in one week that needed remote energy healing. It was a bit of a challenge and was quite intense. But the end results were oh so satisfying.

One was a horse that had been traumatized by a barn fire next door. All the horses perished in the fire and, due to the weather, burial was delayed quite a few days. Generally animals deal with death very philosophically and rebound quickly. But in this case the humans involved were understandably in turmoil which increased the angst for this horse.

She was very receptive to my ministrations and reported feeling some relief at the conclusion. Her owner confirmed that there was improvement. Over the next few days she continued to improve.

The other recipient was a dog with a mystery malady. His behavior was off and he clearly did not feel well. He couldn’t tell me exactly what was wrong but together we worked through several issues using energy work extensively. By the end of our session there was only minor improvement. Usually energy work will have a residual affect so that one session is often sufficient. However, in this instance I felt more was needed. Each day I checked in with him to see how he was feeling. There was steady improvement and I continued to perform energy work for several days. The dog reported relief a full day before his owner did. That’s the residual affect in action.

I have to say it was an exhausting week focusing so much healing energy in such a short time but it was also exhilarating being a part of that process.

No doubt there are more than a few people who will regard this anecdote with skepticism. That’s ok. We each have to follow the path that feels true. For me I know that it works and am forever grateful to those who have gone before and shared these powerful modalities with us.

When animals communicate in visual images

Often during a communication session an animal will send me a visual. Not a picture, it’s more like a video.

You know how in the movies people have a flashback and they see themselves interacting with other people? The scene always looks in on them from an observer’s perspective rather than through their eyes, which you would expect if it’s a memory.

If Misty were to send this memory
If Misty sent this memory it would be from this type of perspective.

I am shown a visual of the animal as if I’m watching a scene in a movie. These visuals are always in color and are extremely detailed.

I have no way of knowing whether what they have shown me is literal or figurative. Is it an actual memory or a metaphor, symbolic of something else? I am just the translator and relay what I have heard, seen or felt.

If the visual is literal, things are very straightforward and the message is quite clear. However, more times than not it is figurative. Of course it is because it would be too easy otherwise, right?! As a communicator, this part can be really fun or extremely frustrating. There is no way I can accurately interpret the meaning myself. It requires the owner being open minded and doing a little sleuthing with me so that we can examine the clues and piece together the message.

I cannot emphasize strongly enough how important this step is. When an animal goes to the trouble of sending such detailed messages they want to be heard.

So why am I going on about this? Because people are naturally skeptical about communication. When they get a message that seems to make no sense it is very easy to walk away and decide that it was just so much nonsense. If that happens, they have lost the opportunity to get the very answers they were seeking.

Let me give you an example (details changed for privacy purposes):

Recently I was communicating with Abigail, a dog who had been acting strangely. During our communication Abigail sent me a number of very detailed visuals. I faithfully recorded them to share with her “mom,” Lydia.

Lydia was confused and disappointed as the behaviors in the visuals sounded nothing like Abigail. But she had asked about her previous dog, Jacy, who had transitioned. She wondered whether Abigail was the reincarnation of Jacy?

Abigail did not answer this question directly. But, since Lydia had asked about Jacy, I wondered if perhaps the visuals were from Jacy’s life or symbolic of her life. As it turns out, the behaviors were indeed reminiscent of Jacy.

Why didn’t Abigail simply answer the question about her identity? Perhaps she believed that Lydia needed more than a yes or no answer. The end result was certainly more satisfying than a simple yes or no.

I am very grateful to Lydia who was willing to take the time to work through the message to make sure she got the full answer that Abigail intended and to Abigail for sharing so freely.

Horses Train People

Have you ever noticed how our pets subtly train us? They are way more intelligent than we realize. When you step back and analyze, it becomes obvious they are using behavior modification techniques, and quite effectively. They are so good at it that often we just go with the flow with no awareness that our pet has just shaped our behavior.

I was pondering all of this after a recent incident with Jasmyn, our youngest filly. She is really enjoying the new run-in shelter I set up for the winter and spends more time there than the rest of the herd. They are not crazy about the acoustics and freak out every time the snow goes sliding off the roof. Jasmyn is the sensible one and does not let such trivialities bother her.

Being the brainy girl that she is, Jasmyn decided that it would be a great idea if I were to feed her in the run-in so she could eat undisturbed. She put her plan into action simply and effectively. When it came feeding time she left the herd and went into the run-in and waited. She knew I would  be coming there to put the buckets away and see her waiting. I did and was happy to feed her there. Step one of her plan was completed.

The next day as I was feeding I looked around and noticed Jasmyn was missing. I called out to her and heard her high-pitched whinney in return (she’s the vocal one in our herd). She was waiting in the run-in again. So of course I went in and fed her there marveling at her resourcefulness. She now has me trained to feed her in her own private dining room and I do it gladly. Step two completed, plan fully implemented, behavior modification complete.

What will she come up with next?

Because our feet are cold

This week in the Poconos temperatures dipped below freezing and remained there. It was a sudden change with which some two legged, as well as four legged, creatures struggled to adapt.

The horses were doing well as was Saphyre. But the birds were having a rougher time. This was brought to my attention by a little brown, quite chubby, bird. She was perched on Misty’s back as if it was the most natural thing in the world. She must have sat there for at least fifteen minutes before Rusty got curious and went over to investigate. This disturbed the little bird enough that she flitted over to Rusty’s generous rump and perched there.

Thoroughly entertained and intrigued, the humans headed indoors to warm up with hot chocolate and mostly forgot about the little bird.

Later that day as the horses were being fed I noticed yet another bird, this time perched on Toro’s back. How funny! This made me wonder whether the birds were trying to communicate some important message to me so I paused to ask.

Their answer: “Because our feet are cold.”

Sometimes the answer is truly that simple and sometimes we really need to take ourselves less seriously. It was a good lesson.

Interspecies Communication with “Frog”

Did you ever wonder about the life of frogs? Do they know that some people think they are lucky? What do frogs think about the state of the world?

I was pondering these questions and decided it was high time I just asked the frogs to see what they had to say. Their answers were not quite what I expected, but interesting nonetheless. So without further ado here is what the frogs had to say:

It is of little consequence to the frog what humans think. We live very much in our own space and time. Humans exist on the fringes of our world and we take little notice. We are not terribly disturbed by the state of the world. We notice that one season is different from another but do not concern ourselves with long range thought such as comparing one year to another. Many do not survive past the first year of life.

We are just enjoying the ride like shooting down a water slide. When we reach the end we get back up and jump into another incarnation and take the trip all over again. Our needs are simple and uncomplicated. We are optimists and look for the joy in each moment but are also realistic enough to know that survival rates are low for our offspring thus we produce voluminous egg sacks to ensure that at least some of our DNA survives.

We have a well-defined culture and observe certain rituals but otherwise are free to live, love and laugh. We like nothing better than feasting on plump, juicy flies. That brings great satisfaction as well as a full belly. What more could any frog want?

Should we allow pandas to die out?

Chris Packham, a British wildlife expert, incited a firestorm in an interview with RadioTimes where he opined that perhaps we should allow Pandas to become extinct.

Packham’s assertion that the Panda as a species “has gone down an evolutionary cul-de-sac of its own accord” is flawed logic. It is not the fault of Pandas that their habitat has been eaten up by development.

Packham is not very fond of the human race either and has been quoted as saying that he wouldn’t mind seeing us extinct. However, he does present a question worth examining. Should we intervene to preserve a species that is incapable of sustaining life? (Panda can no longer procreate without the aid of artificial insemination.)

Further, if one agrees with Mr. Packham, what are the consequences for other endangered species? This is turning Darwin’s theory on its ear. It’s supposed to be survival of the fittest not survival of the cutest.

Giant Panda, an endangered species

Of course, being an animal communicator my reaction was: Has anyone asked the Pandas what they want? What lessons are Pandas here to teach us? I decided to go to the source and get their side of the story.

Pet Chatter: What do Pandas think about their living situation and inability to procreate?

Panda: “We are the Panda and we say to you that our lives in the now are not what they should be. We were meant to live a more nomadic life, moving from one forest to another. We were once a great species who roamed many hundreds of miles. We lived in peace but did not hesitate to protect our own when it was necessary. Today we are so fat and inert that we are incapable of protecting even ourselves. It is sad to see our kind in this sorry state. The Panda that you know today bears little resemblance to our ancestors.”

“We were never meant to stay cramped in a small space. We need variety. Our lives are lived in limitation. We were once a noble species, vibrant and healthy. Because of our confinement we have deteriorated to nothing more than parasites. Without our hosts we could not survive. This is not the life our species was meant to live.

“What you call depression is rank among our members. It is difficult to find joy in our days, which are devoid of the pleasures and basic needs of our ancestors. We feel that ancestral thread and mourn the state our species has devolved to.”

“Is it any wonder that we have no enthusiasm for mating? How can we in good conscience sentence our young to this bland, boring, existence? It surely is existence and not living. You would not wish this on your enemy, yet you force us to exist this way. Please give us back our dignity. Let us live or die on our own terms. Surely that is a mercy that you can afford to us? If we cease to exist then that is as it was meant to be. Our spirits will be free to come back in other forms or not as we choose. You would be showing us a great kindness to end this madness.”

“If you do not stop forcing babies upon our females the day will come when there are no more beings willing to take the form of Panda and it won’t matter what tricks you use, we will no longer bear life.”

“We do not blame humans for the state we have come to, but we beseech you to consider our feelings and respect our wishes. Please.”

“Give us our freedom. We have become weak and dull. We are an embarrassment to our species. It would be a kindness to let us simply fade away.”

Pet Chatter: If it is so bad why do souls continue to incarnate as Pandas?

Panda: “Like all our incarnations we choose them for the experience. Some of us choose Panda because we have lived very exciting lives, perhaps too exciting in some cases, and this time we want something a bit calmer. It’s for the contrasting experience, you see. How can we appreciate being a whale, for instance, if we have never known the experience of being trapped in such a limited, puny existence? We do not choose to incarnate as Panda a second time. Once has been enough, although we suppose it is possible that one day a being might. By and large we find this unfathomable. That is why our species has declined. There are fewer and fewer who are willing to come and experience Panda life. One can only eat so much bamboo before one begins to choke on it. Life is to be savored and there is precious little savoring going on among Pandas.

Should you allow us to become extinct? Absolutely. What is the point in promulgating a species that is so forlorn and undeserving of the space they occupy? We were once a great nation but those days are long past. Allow us the dignity to close the chapter on this failed line. There are many other life opportunities for our beings to occupy. We will not weep when Panda is no longer a choice. Instead we believe it is the merciful thing to do. Our time has come and gone, it is just you humans who cannot accept that fact and allow us the dignity of passing into oblivion or the history books.

I must admit that I was stunned by this message. It was not at all what I expected. But after reflecting upon the big picture, I concluded that the simple fact is that Panda did not evolve to adapt to their new environment. It really doesn’t matter why the environment changed when all is said and done. It simply is different and clinging to the past closes off the future. The natural order of this progression leads to extinction. Panda has made the ultimate sacrifice to share this lesson with humans.

Animal Communication: Why do animals get hit by vehicles?

A reader posed this question. She had recently lost her beloved dog to the road and just that day came across a beautiful black and white kitten who had been killed. She just couldn’t understand why so many animals died this way. She was hoping to make sense of the senseless.

When I brought this question to the animals this is what they had to say:

“You must understand that animals are more impulse driven than humans. They don’t stop and look both ways. They have a purpose when they cross the road, or cross the path of a vehicle, and mostly they are totally unaware of the danger. Animals can learn to watch out for vehicles and even some wild ones learn this lesson and practice it quite effectively. But they can’t help being who and what they are. They are alive in that moment and have a desire in that moment and it must be fulfilled in that moment. That is all there is to it.”

“After being hit and transitioning they are often startled to find out what happened. There may even be some regret but they generally shake that off fairly quickly and move on to their next adventure. Their ability to be in the now comes in quite handy in these circumstances.”

So dear readers it seems the answer is quite simple. Does it lessen the feeling of loss? Probably not. But just maybe there is some comfort in understanding.

Parelli goes to the elephants!

Pittsburgh Zookeepers “keep it natural” with pachyderms.

All it took was one person to make a difference in the lives of the Pittsburgh Zoo elephants. When Zoo President, Dr. Barbara Baker, attended a Parelli Natural Horsemanship workshop she found the answer to the question she had been pondering: How to work with an 8900 lb animal safely and humanely?

Willie Theison, elephant mgr. & head keeper of the Pittsburgh Zoo

Traditionally elephants in captivity are trained with harsh, even abusive, methods. Occasionally one will rebel with tragic results. Dr. Baker had witnessed the special relationship one of her handlers had with the elephants and the Parelli methods encapsulated those techniques in a reproducible recipe that could easily be taught to other handlers.

Parelli methods use a combination of psychology and body language to build a language bridge between the species. This method has worked wonders on many thousands of horses. Parelli Professional, Jesse Peters, who took on the challenge, believed it could work equally well with elephants, as they like horses, are prey animals.

Thus far the experiment has been hugely successful. The elephants are responding with enthusiasm and lives are being changed. Click here to view the full story from Good Morning America.

As a Parelli enthusiast I was quite excited to see the methods translated to elephants. But as an animal communicator I was naturally curious to see what the elephants had to say. When I sat down to communicate with them, I found they had very strong opinions and were not hesitant to share.

What the elephants had to say:

“What fun. We enjoy having playmates rather than taskmasters. You want us to respect you, but do you give us the same courtesy? Respect means that some days we may not want to engage while others we may want to go for the gusto and thoroughly engage. We enjoy the mental as well as the physical exercise. Elephants are thinking creatures and too often in captive situations we are not given the option of thinking and expressing our opinions. We are told ‘go here do this… now.’ When you allow us to have an opinion it is far easier for us to go along with your ideas. Being asked feels good. Being told doesn’t.”

“If you ask and allow us to freely participate we may just surprise you with our ideas and creativity. Together we may create an experience far beyond what you ever thought possible. We are excited about this new dimension to our lives. Because we live in captivity we are necessarily stifled. This opens the door and gives us back a piece of our dignity and free will. Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge that we are sentient beings capable of having our own thoughts and ideas, not to mention opinions.”

If you found this information useful, please click the Thumb This Up button to spread the word. Thank you!