Scoutie the wonder dog needs a home- Is it your home?

We have fostered Scoutie for nearly four weeks, and in that time, he’s gone from a scared and snappy little fellow, with some resource issues and conflict control aggression, to a total sweetheart that I will miss hanging out with.

Scoutie is a dachshund/papillion mix (we think). He weighs about 15 lbs.  He is not quite knee-high.

Scoutie is four years old.  He may be little, but he hikes like a pro, and is, in no way, a shitty little dog. Scoutie is neutered. He has all of his shots.  And by the time he is adopted, he will have had his teeth done too.

I will miss his kisses and his happy dance. I will miss our little talks.

As much as I love dogs, I’m not one of those people that loves every dog and wants to hang out with every dog, and when I met Scoutie, I thought, Oh, you are a piece of work. 

For the first year of his life, he lived in a home that was unpredictable, where he was abused by a man and where rules were arbitrary. There is nothing that makes a dog more nervous (or human) than when rules are arbitrary and ever-changing.

Scoutie- after about a week and a half of fostering

It was so bad that a relative spirited Scoutie away. to a shelter, where the man who abused him came and got him back. Another relative took him and drove him several hours away to a rescue group.

This little dog needed a home where he was socialized with other dogs, regularly walked and groomed and disciplined. The lady who had Scout, while she is a nice gal, didn’t know how to deal with his behavior challenges. She let him get away with any behavior that he offered, and she didn’t build confidence in him. She couldn’t trust him to take him anywhere, and she has a lot of emotional challenges of her own that she regularly works through.

Let me just say- in a busy foster home, in four weeks, this guy has gone from weirdo to happy little dog.

He listens pretty well.

His resource guarding is gone.

When we met, I couldn’t touch him below his neck. Now I can touch him anywhere, without a problem.

I was told that he was scared of men, and a terror to cats and weird around dogs.  It turns out he likes men a lot. He is easily redirected from cats (where he pretty much just wants to hump them). He can now take a nap with a cat.  He properly greets dogs on walks, and properly plays with dogs at the dog park and at our house.

For the first three weeks, he was constantly worried.  He tired himself out with worry because he would stay awake all day and by 8 o’clock, he was so cranky and tired.  He’d want to be comforted but also be worried that someone was going to brush him or pet him or otherwise wake him up.  So he’d curl his lip and give a tiny snap if you tried to pet him.  He learned, after several conversations, that when you are tired, you go sleep by a person but not on them. If you are sitting on a person, they will pet you, and they will not like it if you curl a lip or snap. That’s not okay.

About a week ago, the switch flipped. Instead of worrying that everything is going to be bad, Scoutie now thinks that maybe things are going to be good.

I think we have gas station attendants and McDonald’s Drive-through, and the nice people at Lexi-Dog Social Club to thank for that.

That is the moment I love the most in fostering. I love it when the switch flips, and the dog relaxes and starts acting like a dog.

When you are not worried, you stop being difficult. You start being willing to try things- like baths and brushing, and getting your nails cut (not his favorite).  You start being the first out of the car instead of the last.

You try things that are not okay and are told they’re not okay, and you learn not to do them.  You also learn that being wrong isn’t a beating or the end of the world.  It’s just being wrong.

Scoutie does not need a home with a dog expert.  He’s through the hard re-wiring. Now he just needs a home where he’s loved, where he has a routine and proper expectations.  He would be great with another dog.  He is fine with cats.

He can’t live in an apartment because he is a little yippy when people leave. And a little barky.

I think young kids would still make him nervous, but my golly does this dog love teenagers. I have a senior in high school named Ike, and we often have to check and re-check his bedroom during the day to make sure that Ike didn’t somehow sneak home.  I have never seen such an enthusiastic dance than when Ike comes home.

Scoutie is great at:

-going to restaurants and pubs
– visiting people
-riding in the car
– walking on leash. We are working on not pulling.
– getting a bath
– going to bed in his crate
– running up to the door when we get out of the car.
– playing with other dogs

-Scoutie is working on:

– coming when called
-asking to go potty outside (he is much improved. We haven’t had an accident in three days!)

Scoutie doesn’t understand toys yet, but if introduced, I think he would like them.

Scoutie at the dog park

I’d love to find a home where I can get updates on Scoutie. I’d love for him to have a forever home where he is loved!  It’d be great if it was in the PNW.

You can be part of Scoutie’s new life.
Are you Scoutie’s potential forever friend and owner?

Contact me at bridget@petsaretalking.com and we’ll talk.

 

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Your First Animal Friend- A Way to Understand the Energetic Signature

Think back for a minute to the first time you felt close to an animal.
Who was that animal?

If you could use 3 words to describe that animal, what would they be?

My first animal friend was a dog named Blackie.
Blackie was a beagle/dachshund mix.  My parents got him when my mother was pregnant with my twin brother and me. He was my older brother’s  your mom is having twins dog.

Bridget, Cupcake, Blackie and Joel

The 3 words I would use to describe Blackie’s energy are:
virile ( dude was a wandering rogue with an eye for the ladies. He was about 20 lbs. of man-dog).
–  sweet (he loved to give kisses).
–  confident (if he got out of the yard, he would race away, looking behind us and laughing because there was no way we’d catch him before he was ready to be caught. Also, he was an unrepentant car chaser).
From the moment you looked at Blackie, or reached out and pet him, you’d know what he was about. He was the easiest dog to read.

Close your Eyes and Feel the Energy of Your Pet

You know your pet. You know what they are about. And sometimes you can feel their feelings. It’s not just observation.
Try this:
Close your eyes and put your hand on your pet.
Take a deep breath.
Relax.
Let the details of their energy flow to you.
See what shows up!
At its most simple, animal communication is just knowing the pet that’s with you. That takes curiosity and the ability to feel and listen.  Anybody can do it.

Morrie and my Mullet

Morrie was our alley cat. The people who lived down the street left him behind. We found him digging around our trash.
It was early spring in central Minnesota.

Every day, I’d put food out for him, and for the first few months, I turned right around and left.  He’d wait until he was sure I was gone, and then he’d eat.

And over time, I moved the food bowl from the alley to our driveway to the sidewalk to the steps of our house.
After a month or so, he’d let me sit in the driveway while he ate.

One day, he let me pet him. I had tried several times before, and he would run off, and I would worry that I wasn’t going to see him again.  And then we’d go back to me putting the dish down and going back in the house, and then slowly, he’d let me sit and watch him eat. We’d start over.

He took to following me around when I was outside.  And then one day, he walked into the house behind me. And he stayed.
He stayed another decade. He died of kidney failure when I was in college.
That’s Morrie and me. I’m rocking a mullet and a muscle shirt. It was the 80’s.
 I spent a spring and a summer getting to know him and not needing a thing from him.
I learned that he caught birds, not rodents.
He didn’t like a butt scratch.
He didn’t like it when people stomped their feet.
His energy was very clear and matter-of-fact. Not that I would have said energy at the time.
He was not the most affectionate of cats, but I always got the message that he really loved me.

Please understand, I couldn’t talk to animals then. If I had the ability when I was tiny, ( and really, I don’t remember), I didn’t have it as a tween.

But I could figure him out. Nearly every kid understands the energy of the animals around them. And once they learn not to pull tails or put fingers in ears, they know a lot about their animal friends.

You can get back to that place of knowing. You just have to relax, rest a hand on your pet and be there.  You can figure out their energy and then you can learn to talk with them. Anybody can. Of course you can.

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No One Believes They Can Talk To Animals (until they do it).

The very first time I tried to talk to an animal, I really tried. And I failed.

I had naturally done it the night before, in the middle of the night, when my dog Beaulah needed me.

But in the morning, no luck.

I squished up my face. I strained. Nothing. Beulah just looked at me, and fell back asleep.

It was another 9 months before that I heard another animal talk. A kitten that we were fostering had a very serious opinion about his name.

His words were clear as a bell, unmistakable.

I had no idea how I had heard them.

A few months later, I adopted an old horse, who was easy to hear, and spoke emphatically and often.  And in a couple of years, I had it figured out.

If you are concerned that you can’t talk to animals, you’re totally normal.

If you feel like you have no idea how you’re going to talk to animals, that’s totally okay.

The irony is that you already talk to animals. You always have been able to do it. And you’re probably not too bad at hearing either.

When it comes together, it feels so easy.  Remember learning to ride a bike or drive a stick-shift? Remember how hard it felt, how complicated it seemed?

And then you just started doing it, and now you can do it without even thinking about it. Animal communication is a lot like that. Almost exactly like that.

Riding a bike or driving a stick shift- it works so much better when you’re relaxed.  It’s so much easier if you settle into it.  Animal communication works the same way. It’s not about straining to hear. It’s all about very quietly, softly reaching out.

You can do this.

My next (and last) online class is starting May 6th.  Every Tuesday for six weeks, we’ll meet, learn, share and then talk with animals. You’ll learn how animal communication happens, how animals experience the world, and how you can be part of their world.

Between classes (held in a google + hangout),  we’ll meet and talk in our own private facebook group.

Each week, you’ll get another section of the Pets are Talking Intuitive Animal Communication Workbook, so that you can read along as I teach.  Each week’s hang-out will be recorded, so if you miss a class, you can stay caught up.

I hope you’ll consider joining us for this class. And, whether you do or not,  I hope you’ll remember that ease is the key to success. Anything stronger than a light tension pulls us right off the path.  You can do this.

I can’t wait to open registration! I expect to open the registration page very very soon!

 

 

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It’s not so much the talking, it’s the listening

The new dog is in the back, Michelle texted. His name is Joplin.

I let Lexie, Katin and Emilio out of their kennels and while they danced around and ran down the hall, I went to the back to let out Joplin.

A little grey dog in a little red bandanna, Joplin was confused and a little scared.

I am not supposed to be here, he said.

I know. I said. This is temporary.

He sat on my lap and gave kisses. He sent me mental pictures of a nubbly wool couch, and the soft hands of a woman.

I don’t live in a cage. And I like these dogs, but I live in a house.

I know. I said. I know.

I volunteer for Dog Loco Rescue.

Dogs from a California shelter take a ride up to Portland, Oregon. Lori Stewart Corey and her volunteer staff care for these pooches until the right home is found.

These pooches know that they are dry and warm and fed. They get groomed and loved on. But still, if you’re used to a nubbly wool couch and a specific pair of soft hands, the shelter experience (even at really nice shelter) is weird.

So, the best thing that I can do, as an animal communicator is listen. And give context where I can.

There are people who are looking for a home for you. And I don’t know who you’re going to live with, but I know that they will be nice. It won’t be the home that you were in before, but it will be good.

He sighed, looked in my eyes, looked down at the crook of my elbow and licked it.

Then he got off my lap and wrestled Emilio.

That was a week ago.

Last night, I walked into the kennel, and Joplin was still there.

How are you doing?

I’m good. Did they find me a home yet?

Not that I know of. But I know they are still looking. You doing okay here?

Yes. Everybody is nice here.  Do you think it’s going to take a long time?

What is a long time to you? I asked.

He showed me the sun setting and coming up, and trees turning from green to orange.  He showed me a hot panting dog, and then a dog hiding from the rain.  It seemed like a long time.

No, I said, I think it will be a shortish time. 

I showed him dogs coming to play and dogs going home (they stay at a Lexi-Dog Doggie Daycare). I showed the sun going down and coming up, and the dogs coming back and playing again. I showed that a few more times.  I showed the weekend, when volunteers come in and walk the dogs, and play with them. I showed a few more weekends.

I said, I bet it’ll take about 3 weeks or so. Maybe longer. Do you know what a week is? 

Yes. 

He ran after a toy I tossed, and brought it back. He rolled on the floor and let Emilio jump on him.

It’s so good to see him feeling peaceful and hopeful, and just hanging out waiting for his new home!

You can read more about Joplin here.

PS- My last online Intuitive Animal Communication Course registration is going live tomorrow. Do you volunteer with animals? I’m going to have a special offer for you!

 

 

 

 

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I am now going to rant about people who make bad choices…and are possibly addicted to rescuing.

A few days ago, I received this email.

Hello Bridget,

I have been seeking a communicator for my two dogs. I am hoping that you will or you know someone who can help me.

I have two female dogs who are sisters rescued from ____________. 

One has been diagnosed with kidney failure and the other is now peeing 6-8x a day on her bed.

It is over $200 for the tests to see if she also has kidney failure. They may both be put to sleep within a week. Though I can’t afford that either. I have spent over $2000 on the two of them in 2 months and am in danger of losing my house.

Would you be willing to talk to them and find out if they truly are in pain and need the daily medication? Are they feeling so bad they want it to be over? Etc

Their lives are on the line. I can’t even believe I’m considering having them put to sleep but the costs are enormous. If they don’t want to continue living as they are, etc.

I would appreciate any advice or help you can provide.

I don’t know this person. And I’m not 100% sure of this person’s circumstances. There is probably more to her story. So, to be fair, while this email is typical of the emails I get from the people I am about to rant about, I don’t know that she fits this category.

I do know that she has just hit up a stranger for pro bono work because she has a situation that she can’t afford.

If you are $2000 away from losing your  home, you have no business rescuing a dog (unless, like the homeless man I met last year, you are willing to put the treatment and well-being of your dogs over your need for shelter).

$2000 is, sadly, a drop in the bucket. In my household, I have a dog with $8,000 knees. I spend over $1200 a year just on pet food. And another $2-3k a year on vet visits and pet meds.

You certainly have no business rescuing two dogs from far away when you yourself live on the West Coast of the United States.  Even if a rescue paid to have them shipped to you, you took their resources with the promise that you would be able to take care of these dogs. And now you’re flustered because these dogs have medical conditions.

People who rescue beyond their resources, they frustrate the hell out of me, because most of them know better, and their reasons for rescuing have very little to do with the well-being of who they rescued.  They have to do with their addiction to the Rescue High.

Again, I don’t know if this person who wrote this email is addicted to rescuing. I know she’s hurting. I know she could have made better choices.

I am so utterly tired of the wing and a prayer approach to life.

It will work out is not a plan.

You want to help dogs but are lacking cash flow?

Foster a dog.

Or put pictures of adoptable dogs up on twitter or facebook.

Or volunteer at a shelter.

Maybe you have an elderly neighbor who has a dog that needs a walk.

There is so much you can do.

You want to help horses but don’t have the funds to keep one? 

Work towards legislation to keep wild horses free.

Raise money for horse rescues.

Clean out a barn or two.

There is so much you can do to make a difference that doesn’t require you to spend a cent.

Maybe it doesn’t give the same emotional high as pulling a little dumpling of a dog out of the euthanization line.

In the long run, you will save more animals.

And you will cause less heartache for yourself.

You will put yourself in a position where you can afford to rescue dogs yourself.

The world cannot afford to pay for your drama addiction. 

Notice your own bad choices. And stop doing them.

Stop shrugging your shoulders and wondering about the bad run of luck you’ve had.  Notice when that bad run of luck is you NOT listening to your intuition and instead making really short-sighted decisions.

Please Get This:

I am not talking to those souls who are really down on their luck or who are oppressed by a society that favors some more than others.

I’m not talking to fast food workers or grocery store workers or those who get up at six in the morning to collect cans.

Nor am I talking to those who have to work several jobs or who are looking for work and are discouraged.

Or those who rescued an animal when they had money and then experienced a spectacular economic free-fall.

I am talking to the rest of you that know better and continue to make short-sighted choices because quote you just can’t help yourselves unquote.  The ones who push down your voice of reason in favor of the rescue high.

I’m talking to those who are addicted to drama.

The people and animals who are really suffering- they suffer more because of your bad choices.  You prolong their suffering because you are being needy.

The energy workers you hit up- they can’t help other more deserving people if they are helping you out of a bad choice that you made.

I know that at the root of this, you’re someone who is trying to turn your own dark energy to light.

You’re someone who is troubled, who is lacking, who wants to feel something. I get that.

And a huge part of me comes forward and says Go with God. I hope things get better. 

And another part of me says Stop it already. Stop using your power to make things worse for yourself and those innocents that you pepper your life with.

Especially if you look behind you and see lots of moments where someone bailed you out because you made a bad choice.

And Please Stop Thinking Of Energy Workers as Good Fairies.

We are  not.

We are real people.

We have mortgages.

We have a limited amount of energy to give. The vast majority of us help more than we should for people who really need it.  As I write this, I am fostering a puppy who likes to pretend he’s a bed shark and bite the toe tourists at night.

 

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Horses, Stuff for Humans | 2 Comments

Ellie, Get your Grr…

Patrick and Mindy asked me to consult with their dog, Ellie.  Ellie is awesome.  She’s a straightforward smart dog.

She also was driving Patrick and Mindy a little nutty with her barking. And it didn’t help that she got her brother dog, Trek, worked up too. Continue reading

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What The Animals Have Taught Me

Animals are so straightforward. They don’t look too far outside themselves for the answers.

Animals need love, food, shelter. That’s it.

I was going to add exercise, but you know, that’s a domesticated thing. If you’re being chased by a lion, (or you’re chasing an antelope, for that matter), you’ve got no use for a treadmill.

Animals have the gift of knowing what they want, in the moment. That’s so cool.

And believe me, I get it. I get that humans are here to plan and steward, that if we actually followed the way of Walt Whitman and turned to live with the animals, we’d find ourselves cold, wet and hungry and pissed off.

BUT- wouldn’t it be cool to be in the moment? To lay down when you’re tired. And eat when you’re hungry. And play ball and frisbee, and yes, maybe mix it up with a dog that’s trying to hump you?

Why don’t we know what we want?

Why do we spend so much time chasing stuff we don’t want? Or buying stuff we don’t want and then working at jobs we don’t like to pay for it?

Animals trust their instinct. For better or worse. We don’t. We do anything but. We cerebralize our lives.  We process our emotions.  We live life without getting dirty.

What is that about?  

I’ve spent nearly 3 months not advertising my work with people. I thought I was just having some sort of resistance, that if I could just get over my writer’s block, I could open the doors again.

I’ve been spinning down since October.

I blamed myself. I have these gifts. I should use them. I should help people. Why am I not excited?

And then this morning, at 2:30 am (Thank you, Olive, for your late-night potty break), it hit me.  The help I’m giving people–> It’s not the help that people need. And as importantly, it’s not the help I want to give.

It’s not my instinct.

And suddenly, what had felt like a wet smoldering, within me, turned into real heat. 

I’m not here to hand-hold and get people through today.

I’m here to reset bones. I want to reset the spiritual bones.

I’m not a sugar tit.  I have something against sugar tits right now.

So, for my people clients, I say, unless you are ready to do vital work with me, to be brave and to really want to engage with life,  hire someone else.

If you’re ready to have your spiritual bones reset, and to start walking through life with purpose, I’m here for you.  For everybody else, my give-a-damn is busted.

If you’re not ready to tune into your instinct, and turn off the other voices that run your life, you’ve got something that you need to work out on your own.  And that’s cool. But don’t do it in my office.

There are people who need hand-holding right now. I’m not knocking them. But you might not be one of them.

Instinct matters. Gut matters. The world matters. Being a global citizen and making things better matters. Tuning into nature matters. Being connected matters.

That’s where I’m at.

And to my animal friends- Thank you! You can’t read this, but maybe someone will tell you.

And now, my instinct says it’s time for breakfast, and then a nap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Let’s Hear It for The Clean Read

When I leave a successful client session, I want my clients to feel like I’ve talked with their pets, and solved their issues.

I want to foster an environment of trust, so that they know, without a doubt, that I am talking with their pet.

I have heard skeptics say,

Beware the soft belly of Lotus the Cat. It's a trap! Unless you're her mom.

How hard is it to read a cat?  “What’s your favorite food? Tuna.  How do you feel about swimming? I hate it. What do you want to do right now? I want to go outside and catch birds.”

Skepticism has its place in our society.

Certainly, there are people in my line of work, who do cold reads, who only read animals in person, who take body language and owner cues and turn them into answers. 

A cold read is taking the subtle information that someone gives you and giving it back to them as fact.

It’s frustrating because some pet psychics (and other types) don’t even realize that they’re doing it. They actually believe that they’re reading effectively.  Or they cold read a bit, and then fill in the rest with their intuition, and the cold read contaminates the rest of the reading.

I am a huge fan of the CLEAN READ.

A clean read is a read where a person simply reaches out, asks the questions and returns the answers, without other information to cause speculation.

In person, a good psychic tries hard not to cold read. Observable information can get in the way of a clean read.

"Comfy" appears courtesy of LJhar6 via a creative commons license

For example, let’s say that you’re having a birthday party for your beagle. You’ve invited people guests, and a few well-behaved dogs.

Your beagle, let’s call him Buddy, is walking around with his tail a bit tucked and he’s panting a bit, and just in general, seems nervous.

A cold reader might say, Buddy isn’t used to so many people. (That seems like a natural observed assumption, right? (Nervous dog, lots of people))

A good psychic would ask Buddy, and might say, Yep, there are a lot of people here, but Buddy likes that, he’s stressed because someone left an unattended plate, and he ate a bunch of “green stuff” (I think, maybe, guacamole?) and he really needs to poop. 

or Buddy would like it if that guy would stop touching his dad’s trophies.

How to tell a clean read from a not-so-clean read

1. Clean Reads share personality features that match the pet’s personality. Clean reads sound like the pet.

I was recently helping a couple talk with their golden retriever. Lucy tends to wake up in the middle of the night. They were concerned about her anxiety.

It would be easy to make the assumption that they have an anxious dog, right?

But, they don’t have an anxious dog.

So, when I said, You know, in talking with Lucy, I’m not getting the personality of an anxious golden retriever. She doesn’t feel anxious to me.  

And one of them said, You’re right, she’s not one of those anxious goldens. We just can’t figure out what’s wrong.

If I was cold reading, I’d get a ping about “anxiousness” and find myself going down the trail of how to resolve the issues of an anxious dog (which are totally different issues than Lucy’s issues).

When I talk with an animal, the first clues I get are related to personality, just in the same way that when you talk to a person, you can immediately tell whether they are jovial or stand-offish or blustery.

It’s vital that I share that, first-off, so that the owner knows that I have reached their animal. In the (relatively rare, but it still happens) occasion where I am talking to the wrong dog, I want to recognize that as soon as possible.

If I say, Your dog is bouncing up and down so happy to talk. and the owner says, um…could you mean my neighbor’s dog?, I could certainly be ringing up the wrong dog!

Here are my lovely clients, Ramses and Izzy

A good psychic is going to trust their abilities to the point where if they’re wrong, they’re totally comfortable admitting it and trying again. No psychic has a 100% accuracy rate, any more than an interviewer or journalist has a 100% accuracy rate.  

2. Clean Reads are Not Dependent on Breed Information

A clean reader will not make assumptions according to a pet’s breed.

I have met Jack Russells (a breed with a well-known prey drive) who love to curl up with the resident kitties.

I have met Newfoundlands that hate water.

I know a cat that likes to eat melon.

And a rabbit who loves to stare at herself in the mirror.

I know a horse who thinks he’s people, who likes beef jerky.

If a pet psychic starts describing your pet according to their breed specifications, you’re probably dealing with a cold reader.

They should be able to tell how your pet is like its breed, and how he or she isn’t.

This is not to say that there aren’t breed similarities to keep in mind. Whenever I meet an orange cat, I tend to bring up the fact that the recessive gene for a cat’s orange color is also the same gene for small pre-frontal lobes.  Orange cats tend to have similar personalities, but there is a wide range of personality within the orange cat family too.

I know a lovely orange cat, Grimalkin, who likes to make jokes.

I live with a sweet orange cat who is excessively paranoid, and has OCD.

Do all orange cats like to make jokes? Nope.

Are they all OCD? Nope.

Do they have a tendency to be a little quirky? Oh yeah.

3. A clean read does not take into account the personality, affluence level, or geographical location of the human client.

Bo - the paranoid and OCD cat takes a nap

Some of my clients are wealthy. And some are famous. They may be people that you’ve heard of.  It doesn’t matter.

If a dog shows me a country road, but I know they live in the city, I talk about the country road.

If a cat shows me a cardboard box that he’s particularly fond of, and I know that his owner has great taste in home furnishings and money out the wazoo, I’m going to talk about the cardboard box. The cat knows what his box is made out of.  Why should I not trust that?

I once had a horse tell me that he was from Idaho. His owner was calling me from Indiana. I said, Did you know your horse is from Idaho? and he chuckled and said, Yep, I bet he wants to go back there and visit. Can you remind him how far the trip was?

4. A clean read will have bits in it that the psychic does not understand, but still relates.

I may not know why your cat continues to show me a gecko wearing a hat, who is staring at her from under the couch.

But if I tell you this, and it turns out that it’s your kid’s favorite toy and you’ve been looking for it, I sound a lot less like I’m crazy, don’t I?

Sometimes, it’s weird. Sometimes pets show me things that their owners can’t place and maybe I sound like I’m a little bizzaro.  That’s part of the job. It’s okay.

So, I will share whatever I get, in the way I get it, without speculation. Because that’s a clean read.

Let’s Hear It For The Clean Read!

I would love to hear about your experiences with clean and not-so-clean reads. And also, about other questions you have about being a pet psychic.

 

 

Posted in Animal Communication Consultations, Cats, Dogs, Featured, Horses, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Do you have a good relationship with your pet?

Our pets spend years working on being in relationships with us. They are (mostly) patient, (often) loving and (generally) enthusiastic as they try to be our friends.

And most humans want that too. We want to be close to our animals.

Olive and Gabriel (the new foster dog): heartbeats at my feet.

This is a good time for us to stop being lost in translation, and for us to relate to our pets as the dear members of our family that they are.

So how do we go about developing relationships with our pets?

I have a few ideas for us.

And I really mean US. My beloved dog, Olive- she’s suffering the effects of a too-busy human: one who doesn’t find the time for nearly enough walks, and then makes up for it with too many treats.  Currently, she resembles a swollen tick more than the cute little staffie that she usually is. The holidays did not help with this!

1. Stop and listen

90% of us carry on conversations with our pets.

Is this what it sounds like when you come home?

Ben-Dog is listening...

Heybuddyimhome!Howareyou?Good?Didyouhaveagoodday?Ihadagooddayexcepttrafficwas
prettybadandIdidn’tgettoeatlunchuntil2.Whatdidyoudoallday? whatshouldwehave
fordinner?YourehavingkibblebutwhatshouldIhave?

We just rattle on with whatever it occurs to us to talk about.
If you did this in conversation with a human, what would they think?

Try this out instead:

Hey Buddy, I’m home. (Stop, take a deep breath, relax, make gentle happy eye contact with your pet. Pet your pet).

How are you? (Stop, wait and listen for an answer. Take another deep breath. See if you can make your slow breathing and their breathing match up).

Good? (Stop. Open yourself up for this conversation. Your pet is loving this attention).

Did you have a good day? ( Stop. Picture in your mind your pet doing fun things while you are at work).

I had a good day, except traffic was pretty bad, and I didn’t get to eat lunch until 2. (Stop, You can make a mind picture about traffic and lunch if you’d like. Listen. Get a little empathy.)

What should we have for dinner? (Stop, listen. You’re telling your pet what’s coming next, which gives them a routine, which helps them feel more at peace).

I know you’re having kibble, but what should I have for dinner? (Stop, listen. Pet).

Just a 3 second break between each question causes two things to happen.  First- you’re slowing down and actually connecting with your pet.  And Second- you might just hear or see an answer from them!

2. When your pet does something you’d rather they didn’t, take a moment to think about their logical reasons for doing so, and then change the environment to make this less likely to occur.

Leo tries out the roasting pan.

On New Year’s Eve, my cat Leo walked into my bedroom, meowed at me, and then proceeded to take a very liquid dump in my new Suede Sperry Topsider Wedges!

I mean, why? WHY?!?!?  WHY WOULD THAT BE A GOOD IDEA?

Well, from his point of view, he had a few issues that I was not addressing, and he needed to get my attention.

Foster dogs are annoying (we had just received a new one that day).

Cats should get to go outside on New Year’s Eve, regardless of the drunk drivers and hooligan teenagers with firecrackers.

The door to the laundry room is closed, and Leo does not have access to his kitty box.

Leo had eaten a lot of chunk light tuna as part of the day’s celebration, and was now feeling the effects of it.

This is not a free pass on bad behavior.   Leo still got a first-class ticket to a night in the laundry room.

But if we can understand the logic for why our pets do what they do, we can often change it so they stop.

Once I figured out what Leo was upset about, I got why he chose such an urgent display of frustration.  Why he victimized my new suede wedges? He’s not saying.

Pets are not people. They rarely act in a vindictive way. Their logic is different, based on their species.

Every pet has a logical reason for why they do things that we’d rather they didn’t. Pets pee inside to protect the house. Cats pee on the guest’s luggage, as a welcoming gesture (pee makes the guest smell like the rest of us). Dogs chew our favorite shoes because they miss us and they smell like us (also they were bored).

67% of owners believe that they understand what their pets are saying and that their pets understand them. I think this is true. And if you need help figuring out why an animal does a certain thing, consider investing in an animal communication session.

3. Put that smart phone down-

Bo and Gabe wait for me to finish writing this post...

Smart phones are a nice short-term way to quell anxiety. Our time would be better spent, (and our anxiety would go away) if we took more time to rest and do nothing, and/or hiked or played with our pets.

4. Notice the win-win possibilities.

Olive needs walks. Bridget needs to take a break every 90 minutes or so. Bridget could use the fresh air and moving too.  Win-Win.

Maybe you’re lonely and your dog is bored- take an obedience class or join a flyball league.

Are you and your cat stressed out? Re-arrange your furniture to create a lovely spot where the two of you can sit together (preferably by the window where the sun can shine in and where your cat can watch the birds).

5. Create a routine and then pepper that routine with moments of interaction.

Pets love routine.

Soup at 6 please!

 

Routines tell your pets what’s coming next. They become something to rely on. This is especially true for animals that have experienced trauma.  Olive knows that dinner is at six o’clock. She starts reminding me about 5 minutes beforehand.  She lived for awhile on the streets not knowing when she’d eat again.  Having a specific time for dinner makes her happy!

One of my clients tucked her dog in every night, putting a blanket over him and his dog bed, and kissing him and telling him that she hoped he had good dreams.  He loved this part of his day.

6. Pay attention to how your emotions impact your pet.

If your pet is a “feeler” (think retrievers, pitbulls, maltese dogs, and orange or calico cats), they pick up and resonate whatever you’re feeling. They literally feel how you do.

Some animals love this. It’s their purpose.  If I’m having a sad day, my orange cat Bo will insist that he sit on my lap and make things better.

Other animals are unduly burdened by our emotions.  They exhibit stress behaviors, licking and chewing, shaking, being less social, not handling new situations as well, etc.

My cat is not my therapist. Susan is my therapist. My cat is my cat. It’s up to us to keep ourselves mentally well, and to know what our pets can handle emotionally.

No-one wants to burden their pets. And yet we want to have real relationships with them. This is where listening and paying attention can do us the most good!

(That being said, don’t try to “fake” an emotion. Pets are like kids. They figure this stuff out!).

 

7. Learn to talk with your pets

What I do, you can do. Very soon, I’ll be offering online and in-person animal communication classes. I hope you’ll consider joining us.

New Year, New Relationship!

I hope that this list sparks some ideas for you, and that you and your pets have a happy 2013!

Recommended Reading:

Beyond Obedience

Bones Would Rain From the Sky

Learning their Language

Straight from the Horse’s Mouth

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Featured, Horses | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Remembering Hunni

It seems strange to me that the first post I write in 18 months for Pets are Talking is about my own dog. I’ve been working with so many wonderful animals,  Cordelia, Noah, Grimalkin, Max, and Jackson and Jackson and Tabby and Magic and Norma and Athena  have reminded me how terrific it is to be graced by animals in our lives.

I want to share their stories, but first  I need to share one of my own.

Part of my job is helping people decide whether it’s the right time for them to put their pet to sleep. I ask the pet whether it’s their time.

Dogs, cats, horses, everyone has an opinion about whether it’s their time or not. Very few say, “Eh, whatever.”

So, last Friday, it was my turn to decide if it was Hunni’s time.

Hunni was my whip-and-retrieve-it, a whippet-golden retriever cross, the product of a purebred golden and whoever got in the back yard.

My beloved weimaraner, Max, had died. These puppies were advertised in the paper as golden retriever/weimaraner crosses. It seemed like a good sign.

I had to work that day, so my partner, at the time, picked Hunni out and brought her home.  I came home to find a tiny, blonde puppy with beautiful brown eyes.

You know, you should never let anybody pick out a dog for you.

They will invariably mess it up.

“What do you think?” He asked.

“It looks like her lights are on, but nobody is home.”

Her eyes seemed too bright, like she was on a perpetual dopamine high.

“I named her Honey,” he said. “Does that sound okay?”

I mean, she was honey-colored. But I don’t usually name my pets after food.

“That way I can say I have two honeys in my bed.”

At the time, I rolled my eyes. But now, I have a gag reflex whenever I think of that.

I made the mistake of correlating this dog with my partner, and as our discontent grew, this poor little puppy was ignored by my partner and resented by me.

She wasn’t my dog. I hadn’t picked her out. And she didn’t listen. And she wouldn’t fetch.

By the following January, my ex had moved out. And he left what I thought of as “his” dog behind. And he took my cat, Georgia.

I’ve talked before about how terrible Hunni was as a puppy. I renamed her “Hunni” because I started calling her “Atilla the Hunni”, due to her ability to conquer and lay waste to my shoe collection, my friend’s prescription sunglasses, the various knobs and stick-shift in my car. If it was plastic, it was history.

And my living room made a very convenient bathroom. And she learned how to turn the deadbolt on the door in the laundry room, to let herself and Guapo out during the day while I was at work.

My neighbors hated me.

This was before I could talk to animals. After thousands of dollars in training, and no results, I made a last-ditch effort and hired a pet psychic.

And she set me straight.

Hunni really liked me. She was happy that she didn’t have to go with my ex.  She didn’t realize that it was really a problem for me that she did her business on the living room rug.  And she would fetch, but not a ball, because a ball’s roundness bothers her. Could I find something with legs to throw instead?

That animal communicator solved our problems in about an hour and a half.

And then, my partner, Brian and his dog, Benny showed up. And those two were like peas and carrots from the beginning.

Hunni became (or maybe she always was) a sweet and kind dog, with mostly impeccable manners.

While she never quite got over the chewing thing,  she was my kid’s best friend, curling up with him every night, at the bottom of his bed.

She was a dainty little thing who hated sweaters and ketchup, but loved pretty much everything and everybody else.

For some reason, she really liked this little blue hat.  Here she is, annoyed with Beaulah for wearing her hat.

And look how she cute she feels wearing it.

We knew she was slowing down as she neared 12 years old. She napped more. She lost her hearing. She started having little accidents around the house.

About a week before she died, Benny stood over her and whined and pawed at her, something he never did before.

“I don’t think Hunni’s going to be around a long time,” I told Brian.

She cuddled a lot more. And she smiled a lot.  I gave her belly scratches every day, and she’d fall asleep after 20 minutes or so.

She had the best smile ever.

We thought we had more time. We thought she was just slowing down. We didn’t know she had cancer.

And then last Thursday, she stopped eating. And on Friday morning, we went to the vet, and an ultrasound showed that her belly was full of fluid. She had a hemangiosarcoma on her spleen.

She could have had emergency surgery to remove that spleen, but with hemangiosarcoma, she would only live, at most, about four months more.  It didn’t seem fair to put her through all that.

I called Brian, and we decided to put her to sleep.

She was ready. I had to drive home to pick up my son (who is nearly 15) so that he could say goodbye.  She laid down in the exam room and was in the same place when we came back 90 minutes later (I live a long way from my vet!).

Ike said goodbye. We talked about what a good dog she had been, and how much we loved her.

Then Ike left the room.

And then I felt her spirit go up. I suddenly felt this light, chest-cracking joy. “I’m okay!” She said.

Her body was still alive, laying there, breathing. That was strange. I wondered what was left when the spirit goes. I whispered “Hunni”, but she just laid there. She was a shell.

And when the vet came in to put her down, and he asked if I was ready, I said, “Yes.”

And she died, and he and I cried a little.

After she died, I thought I’d bring the other dogs in, so that they would know that Hunni was really and truly gone.

Benny came in, sniffed her once, and then started looking around the room for snacks.

Olive came in, sniffed Hunni, and tucked her tail between her legs, “LET’S GET OUT OF HERE!” she said. It makes sense that she responded that way. I mean, she can’t stand going to the vet, and here was her good buddy, dead. So we left, and got cheeseburgers on the way home.

Hunni was a little Lady.

Olive? Not so much.

Bo Helps Out

The next morning, my cat Bo was walking around the house meowing and banging on doors. He interrupted my healing call four times.

It was so obnoxious.

Finally I said, “What is going on?”

Bo asked, “Where’s Hunni?”

I forgot to tell the cats.

I told Bo that she had died and he said, “Why didn’t you tell me? I could have helped you! How are you? Are you okay?”

And then he jumped up on my lap and rolled around and purred and hugged my arm and just loved me up. I cried. And later, my son Ike told me that Bo had been his “tear sponge” too.

Is it easier for a Pet Psychic to put her pet to sleep?

Yes. I know the other side. I can tune into Hunni and still talk to her.  It helps a lot to have that inside view.

And no.

Saturday was okay, but Sunday was brutal. Our house was so quiet.

This morning Benny, my shadow, didn’t get up when I got up.

He stayed in bed.  Very unusual. He always gets up and follows me around. He stays close.

He’s nearly 11 and he’s a big dog. I know he’s not long for this world, but I am hoping that we still have some time with him.

This is the price we pay for having pets. And we can take comfort in a good end. And of course, like any owner, I feel a little regret for not always petting her when she wanted pets, or throwing a shoe at her when she was a puppy (not my best moment).

But it’s okay.

On Saturday night, I emailed a local no-kill shelter, offering my house as a foster home for a dog or two. We’re not ready for another dog of our own, but we can be a kind way station. We can give back.

Hug your pets for me tonight.

And Hunni, have fun on the other side. We know you will.

Posted in Dogs | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments