Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category

Doing energy work the hard way…remotely.

Monday, January 30th, 2012

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

Friday, January 20th, 2012

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.

Communicating with pets after their death

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009
Yellow Tabby

Yellow Tabby

I am fascinated by communications with pets who have transitioned. Having left all the worldly cares behind some are off and running towards their next life experience. Some pause to watch over their loved ones who need comfort as they grieve. Still others need time to recuperate. The experiences are as varied as the creatures themselves.

Owners so often agonize over making “the decision.” Is it the right time? Am I being selfish to wait? Animals understand intention. If the intention is good then they can easily make peace with your decision.

I am reminded of the transitioned dog I communicated with who was in shock. There was no warning. Just a quick trip to the vet and it was over. It would have eased her transition had her owners spent just a few minutes explaining to her what was about to happen. But even then she was able to get past it and explore her new world.

A cat I visited with shortly before his death was simply furious at finding himself trapped. He fussed and fumed and struggled with everything he had in him until he became resigned to his impending death. The next time I communicated with him he had transitioned and was totally at peace. His only concern was for his grieving “mom” who was inconsolable that she had been unable to find his body. He wanted her to understand that the body was no longer important and to please not try to find it as that would only cause her more pain. He urged her to adopt another feline soon and move forward rather than stay stuck in the past with her grief.

There are many more stories, some I will share in future posts. But, before I conclude, I wanted to pass along a message from the spirit animal’s perspective on the topic:

They feel the burden of your grief and worry like a string tethering them to your world. It is up to the human to do their part to let go and allow their pet to move on. Letting go is more than just making the decision to euthanize. It is thanking them for their presence in your life, for the joy and memories. then letting go and moving on with your life. You do no honor to your pet by remaining stuck in grief and depression. If you need them to spend time with you in spirit they are perfectly willing to do that, most of the time. Again you must allow it and then acknowledge their gift. Appreciate that they are giving more of their attention to you than to moving on and do not take advantage of it. Use the time to pull yourself together and move on. Know that they are perfectly happy for you to find another pet. In fact you do them great honor by doing so. It means that you are willing to open your heart to another and share the love as you did with them. You can do them no greater honor.

Do not agonize over whether to get another pet. If you feel another would fit into your life then go ahead and do it. The sooner the better as you will begin the healing process and then your transitioned pet will be able to move on that much quicker. If they feel they left you worse off than when they found you they will feel dishonored.  It’s like a black cloud hanging over them. It means they did not do their part in your life to prepare you for moving forward. They do not want to hold you back. They want you to continue growing and expanding just as they are. That is the greatest gift you can give them once they have crossed over.

Have you communicated with a pet who has transitioned? Was it what you expected? Did it give you comfort? I’d love to hear your story. Please click on comments below to share your experience.

Oh those doodles

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

We’ve all seen those ads in the paper. The perfect family dog. They must be amazing, practically magical, just look at how valuable they are. Doesn’t your family deserve one?

Retrievers are wonderful family dogs… unless you have allergies. Poodles are nice but they’re too frou frou looking. It sounds like a good idea. Mix these two great breeds together and you get a fabulous retriever that is hypoallergenic, right?

Not exactly.

Standard Poodle in a show trim.

Standard Poodle in a show trim.

There simply is no guarantee which attributes the offspring will have. Some may have the perfect nonshedding, hypoallergenic coat, others may be a combination. Aside from the allergy issues, there are a myriad of health concerns that may come from one or both sides of the equation. Hip dysplasia and seizures are just two of the conditions the breeds share. Dogs from lines having such devastating health problems should not be bred, let alone crossed with another dog carrying the same genetic traits. Reputable breeders will replace a dog if genetic defects appear. They want and need to know so they can adjust their breeding program accordingly.

“Designer” mixes are on the rise. There are labradoodles, goldendoodles, newfydoodles, even saintberdoodles (huh?!), just oodles of doodles. Isn’t it interesting that what they have in common is the standard poodle? If the poodle is so special why not just get a Poodle? They are very smart and versatile. It’s possible to purchase a purebred, health tested poodle for less than a doodle.

If it’s the frou frou thing that has you bothered fuhgeddaboutit. There is no rule about how to keep the coat, unless you plan on showing. Your dog doesn’t need bracelets or poms or poufy top knots. In fact you can clip them short all over for a very low maintenance style.

Standard Poodle in a short trim. Photo by Sherri Regalbuto

Standard Poodle in a short trim. Decidedly not frou frou.

Photo by Sherri Regalbuto.

So “doodle” if you must, but do your homework. Investigate the lineage of both sides of the equation. Make sure the dogs have been health tested. Ask about replacement if genetic problems arise down the road. If your breeder does not stand behind their puppies you need to know that before you fall in love with that cute little ball of fluff. Remember, today’s designer dog is yesterday’s mutt. (It’s not just poodles that are getting all mixed up. Click here for more on this topic.)

After you’ve found your perfect dog, don’t forget to have your favorite communicator help smooth out any bumps in your relationship. It can make all the difference.

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Oh breeder what hast thou wrought?

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

I was watching a program one evening about the history of various dog breeds, including the Standard Poodle (naturally). One of the spotlighted breeds that I knew little about was the French Bulldog. I learned that through selective breeding of smaller dogs with a more smushed-in face, the modern Frenchie lives a short life complicated with respiratory and heart problems, some even pass out from physical exertion. In fact they are so debilitated that they cannot procreate naturally. They MUST be artificially inseminated and the puppies are delivered by cesarean section because the female hindquarters are too small to deliver naturally.

French Bulldog

French Bulldog

I don’t know about you, but I was stunned by this information. Why would you continue breeding an animal with severe health problems, doomed to a life of discomfort, if not outright suffering, that cannot even procreate without assistance? I have heard of other breeds that are so allergic to grass that they must live on concrete. How have breeders gotten so off track that they believe it is good practice to continue this way? Isn’t the whole point of selective breeding to improve the breed?

Of course a huge part of the problem is consumers who do not educate themselves and purchase debilitated animals. When you think about it, that’s extremely shortsighted. Who wants to end up with a pet they adore that runs up vet bills (so high they have to remortgage their house), and then dies at an early age anyway? When you bring a pet into your family don’t you want that pet to live a long, robust, life and create lasting, precious memories?

When you take a step back and look at the big picture, French Bulldogs are an abject lesson in Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection. Left to their own devices they would never have evolved in this manner and if they had, they would be extinct.

Please do your part to encourage higher standards in breeding. Research the breed you want. Then deal with reputable breeders who do health and temperament testing. Find out whether they are involved in improving the breed or catering to silly whims such as those that produced the poor French Bulldog.

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Is my pet psychic?

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Often people observe behaviors in their pets that make them wonder if their pet is psychic. Dogs, in particular, prompt this question.

Our dog, Saphyre, is no exception. Usually twice a week my husband calls for me to pick him up after work. The time varies and sometimes the day varies but she knows it’s him on the phone and gets all excited about “going to pick up daddy.”

The term interspecies telepathic communication refers to the way in which animals of various species are able to successfully communicate, and that includes humans.

Animals don’t have all the cares and worries that we humans do, which leaves their minds open to allowing telepathic communication. It’s as natural to them as breathing. They are constantly communicating with us and sometimes we even listen.

Humans, on the other hand, usually have too much chatter in our brains to “hear” the telepathic messages. Too many of us spend our days multitasking, simply overwhelmed, just trying to get through the challenges as best we can. It’s only when we stop the noise, clear our minds, and focus that we are able to communicate with our four-legged friends.

It takes time and practice to become proficient, as with most skills. That’s where animal communicators enter the picture. We are so passionate about interspecies telepathic communication that we have taken the time to develop our ability and will happily function as translator between you and your pet.

So the simple answer to the question “Is my pet psychic?” is yes. But let me toss the ball back to you, dear reader: Why do you ask? What is it you really want to know? Are there certain behaviors that prompt the question? Is there something specific you want to know? Are you concerned that your pet is reading your mind? Please comment below or email me so that we may continue the dialog. I really want to know.

It's a toxic world, especially for our pets.

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Toxins surround us to the point that it is nearly impossible to avoid them. Even those fillings we got as kids are toxic, leaching into our systems causing who knows what damage. Our water is so toxic that we buy bottled water hoping it’s pure, but that’s not necessarily true either.

I try to avoid toxins as much as possible and that practice carries over to my pets. As is so often the case, this enlightened attitude came about as a result of life with my four-legged friends.

My beautiful mare, Misty, developed vaccinosis after just a few years at a boarding barn that required semi-annual 7-way vaccinations. It began as an elevated temperature accompanied by swelling at the injection site. Each successive round of vaccinations brought with it a worse reaction until she developed a full-blown case of laminitis.

During this time I was diligently researching options trying to find an acceptable alternative to meet with the barn owner’s approval. (Moving wasn’t an option at that point.) Finally I found my own vet who concurred with my assessment that it was vaccinosis and prescribed no more vaccinations ever for this mare.

With that battle behind us, I expanded my research into detoxing and better nutritional alternatives to the junk food typically served at barns. It took six months to bring Misty back to health from that last set of shots, but we got there. Thankfully it wasn’t long after that I was able to purchase my own place and bring her home, safe at last from the dangerous, out-dated, ideas of that barn, no matter how well meaning.

I was reminded of this episode recently when I read the account of a beautiful, standard poodle who died horribly, painfully, after being sprayed with weed spray. From what her owner was able to piece together, she approached the fence, probably barking, to protect her puppies who were all playing in their private yard. The person spraying turned the spray directly on her in an act of incredible cruelty and stupidity. Unfortunately this part of the story was only pieced together after the fact and after her suffering had ended. It’s unlikely she could have been saved, even with immediate treatment, as those powerful toxins were inhaled and absorbed through her skin to begin their destructive work on her entire system.

RIP beautiful girl

RIP beautiful girl

Would this person have sprayed the dog in the face had he known it would kill her? Perhaps, but I’d like to think he would have made a better choice had he been educated on the dangers of the toxins he held in his hands.

Shortly after hearing this story, I came across a post from Dr. Mercola’s site about summer time dangers to our pets. While a bit late in the season, the information is still valid and worth sharing. I hope you’ll take a moment to read and educate yourselves and please spread the word. You just might save a life.

Blessings to you dear pet lovers.

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Pet Identification: Microchip vs. Tattoo

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

My pet is missing!

That is the worst nightmare of a caring pet owner. When our old border collie, Joshua, was spooked by fireworks and ran off, we thought we’d never see him again. He was twelve at the time and infirmities were setting in.

We searched the neighborhood, put out flyers, contacted the SPCA, posted to online groups and anything else we could think of. Joshua was wearing an ID tag from North Shore Animal League where we had adopted him from, but he had lost it somewhere in his blind panic. Fortunately for all of us, a kind woman found him and alerted the SPCA who then called us. Three days later we had our precious boy back and were blessed to have another two years with him. We were very lucky.

According to the American Humane Organization’s website:

  • 56% of dogs and 71% of cats that enter animal shelters are euthanized. More cats are euthanized than dogs because they are more likely to enter a shelter without any owner identification.
  • Only 15% of dogs and 2% of cats that enter animal shelters are reunited with their owners.

When Saphyre, a standard poodle, joined our family, we wanted to have her permanently identified so if she were ever lost we would have the best chance at recovery. The options we considered were Microchip and Tattooing.

First I researched microchips, the popular choice. Once implanted they are permanent and shelters will check for them. Vets, shelters and some rescue groups offer chipping for a range of fees. There is no battery involved. All that’s required is a scanner and Pet/Owner Identification is easily retrieved.

However, I also learned there is anecdotal evidence that chips can migrate from the injection site and they may cause cancer if a sarcoma forms around the chip. Owners are advised to regularly check the area of the implant for tenderness or swelling. Hard to do if the chip has migrated.

Chips are not visible to the naked eye. The pet must be taken somewhere that has a scanner and that scanner must be the universal type that can read all kinds of chips.

Logic tells me that inserting a foreign body into an organism could lead to problems. There have been reports of nerve damage and even death from improperly inserted chips. These cases are rare, but that is little comfort if it is your pet that dies.

Veterinary Oncologists quoted in an Associated Press article, Chip Implants Linked to Animal Tumors, concluded that more study was needed and that anyone considering a chip should be apprised of the risks.

Next I researched tattoos. I learned there are two main registries: Tattoo A Pet and National Dog Registry. They are easily identifiable from the lettering of the tattoo. Authorities are familiar with these registries and call the appropriate one and the registry supplies contact info for the animal’s family.

Tattoos can be applied by a vet or someone authorized by the registry (often they are groomers). The tattoo is applied either in the ear flap or along the rear inner thigh. There have been reports of dogs having their ears cut off to eliminate tattoos so the thigh has become the more common site.

The procedure takes just minutes and requires no anesthesia. Once applied it is easily visible to the naked eye. The drawbacks are that darker skin may be harder to read, the area should be kept shaved for best visibility and the tattoo may fade over time. Fading can easily be addressed by reapplying the tattoo so that issue is negligible.

For Saphyre we opted to go with a tattoo. I contacted the registry and got the names of some local tattooists, made the appointment and vóila, Saphyre was permanently identified as part of our family.

Our Saphyre

Our Saphyre

The procedure really did take just minutes. The tattoo instrument reminded me of an engraving pen. Each letter and number were simply drawn on leaving a large blotchy spot. Saphyre never whimpered or otherwise indicated discomfort beyond being restrained on the table. When the ID was complete, the area was swabbed, revealing an easy-to-read code that uniquely identifies our Saphyre. Filling out the paperwork actually took longer than the tattooing.

If you choose to have your pet permanently identified, I encourage you to take a little time and research your options. Choose the best one to meet your needs. Then you can rest easy knowing should your pet ever get lost, there is a greater likelihood you will have a happy reunion and beat the statistics.

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My foray into fostering

Monday, August 24th, 2009

His name was Beau. He was purportedly a shepherd mix. Maybe, but there was definitely some Bull Mastiff in there. He had a huge head which I was soon to learn he used most effectively.

I had decided to try fostering dogs after reading repeated pleas in my local paper. Our county SPCA had closed down and local rescues were doing their best to fill the gap, but they needed foster families to house them.

I also thought it would be a great way to see if a second dog would fit with our family. You see we have this wacky, hyperactive, standard poodle, Saphyre, who we absolutely adore, but her antics can sometimes be a bit much. A companion for her could be exactly what we all needed. Fostering seemed like the perfect way to find out.

Beau was about 80 lbs of sweetness and love. He wanted to kiss everyone and was just happy to be part of a family. He and Saphyre hit it off immediately. They wrestled with intensity and then collapsed until the next time. Yesssss!

Saphyre & Beau wrestling

Saphyre & Beau wrestling

However, like with all things there was good and bad. Beau did not like being confined, even in our generous fenced yard. He immediately began digging under the fence and escaped repeatedly. Once he was loose there was no catching him until he was done with his adventure. Worse, Saphyre escaped with him so there were two dogs running around wildly.

Luckily we have a lot of rocks which I immediately began hauling and placing around the fence. With all the rocks in place and the yard appearing secure, I let the dogs out again. Beau very shortly put that big head of his to good use pushing the rocks! The ones he didn’t push he flung, some as much as two feet, as he went to digging past them!

After more chasing down loose dogs, and some very scary moments involving the road, they were once more captured. This time I hauled small boulders. These were large enough that I had to use a lever and tractor to gather and place. At last, success!! The dogs were now safely contained and we could begin to enjoy our foster boy.

One thing I noticed was that Beau did not respond to his name. I checked with the rescue group and learned that he had been found wandering the streets. The shelter had given him the name Beau and he had lived primarily in a kennel before going into foster care. Little wonder he didn’t respond to the name. (Being an animal communicator comes in handy at times like these.) I asked him what he would like to be called and heard Sampson. But he didn’t answer to Sampson so I tried Sammy. That was it! When I called him Sammy he visibly relaxed and came to me.

We had a really nice couple of weeks before Sammy found his new family. They made sure to reinforce their fencing before his arrival, and by all reports, he is a perfect fit.

Don’t you just love happy endings?

Farewell little poodle

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

I’ve previously posted about Nyla, the little poodle who went to live with the draft horses. Little Poodle finds home with Giant Horses and Update on the Little Poodle

Nyla had a great life and lived each day to the fullest. She was adored by her family and never taken for granted. She made it her mission to rid the farm of ground hogs and excelled at the task. Much to her chagrin, she had even begun having short “rides” on the horses. Her guardian delighted in seeing Nyla sitting on the back of the gentle giants.

Sadly, Nyla was recently killed in a trailer accident when she decided to go visit her friend, Noella. Her family was devastated and asked me to communicate with her. They needed answers and some closure and I was privileged to be able to act as their conduit.

When I contacted Nyla, she was spending time with two dogs (Princess and Mystery) who had previously lived with her family. They had been there to meet her when she transitioned. Nyla communicated with me both in words and pictures. What Nyla shared with me is below in bold blue. Her guardian’s comments are interspersed in italic green.

She’s hanging out with Princess and Mystery. They are swapping stories about the horses. Mystery particularly wants to hear about the ground hogs. Sitting under a shade tree just relaxing and visiting.

It’s just like Mystery to enjoy hearing about ground hog hunting. She always stood by and cheered Princess while she hunted. It’s fascinating to know Princess and Mystery teamed up on the other side – just like they did in their life with us – to help Nyla.

Nyla says she’s sorry. She just wanted to see Noella so badly and wasn’t as careful as she should have been. She didn’t feel pain. There was just a thud then dark and floaty. Next thing she remembers is being in this new place. Princess and Mystery were there when she woke up and explained what happened. That helped because she was confused. She’s not sorry she crossed over, she rather likes it there. But she is sorry that she broke your heart. She treasured your time together and would not have deliberately hurt you like this.

Nyla’s choice of words, “break your heart”, is significant. I have not said those words to anyone, but Nyla. When Princess and Mystery passed, my heart was broken, but not by them. However, this time, it feels as though Nyla directly broke my heart with her abandoned recklessness.

I appreciate and accept Nyla’s apology. My pain is soothed knowing she, too, treasured the life we shared.

She loved sitting in your lap. It made her feel so special. She wonders if you understood how important that was to her?

Nyla was so undemanding, so perfectly independent – I never refused her need for cuddles. She was irresistible. I’m so glad it meant something special to her. It seemed as though she was here to make everyone she met feel loved and needed.

She says please don’t be sad. She would like you to remember how happy you were and hold onto that. Don’t let the sadness block out the good memories. It’s ok with her if you get another dog but pick a good one so you will be happy together for a very long time.

Our hourly joys were so intense, they easily out shine the pain of my loss. As for my next dog(s), I am already scanning the possibilities.

She says she’ll come back to you if you want. She would enjoy another lifetime riding on the quad and sitting in your lap. It was a good life and she appreciates that you gave her a chance at such a good life.

Nyla will always be welcome in my life. She knows my breed, age, gender, size and price specifications. I wouldn’t want to bore her by asking her to return with the same temperament and personality. Instead, I  challenge her to find a way to improve on her already perfectly perfect self.

As soon as she is ready, I want her back in my life.

Her thoughts are still a bit jumbled from the shock so there wasn’t much else but she will fully come back to herself in time and be capable of more fruitful conversation. She’s sorry to be so slow but that’s just the way it is right now.

I will continue to talk to her and enjoy her presence, no matter where she is.

Thank you, Debbra, for giving me such a beautiful message from Nyla, my perfectly perfect poodle.

With gratitude,
Gayla of Serenity Equestrian Center
Photos of Nyla, Princess and Mystery