Thursday, May 10, 2018

Earth Changes and Our Pets

There is a lot going on energetically on our planet right now.  Higher vibrational energy has been coming in more frequently than in the last several years.  Geo storms, solar winds, solar flares and spikes in the Shumann resonance scale are becoming a regular thing these days.

Some people don't notice anything with the energetic activity but if you are sensitive to energy, chances are you are going to be feeling something.  It may show up as a dizzy spell, nausea, fatigue, a headache, unquenchable thirst, anxiety, etc.

Being aware of the energy and how it effects us can be helpful  . . . it can keep us from worrying about our health and keep us from rushing off to the doctor's office.  I am not saying you shouldn't see a doctor if you feel inclined to do so . . . I just want to share what effect these surges of energy can have on us physically so we can begin to monitor ourselves as well as our pets.

Animals are even more sensitive to energy than most of us humans so they are feeling all of this too.  I have heard many accounts of animals acting strangely or out of the norm for them.  Cats hiding under the bed for no apparent reason, dogs with tummy upset or less of a desire to play.

It scares people and they wonder if they should get their pet to the vet right away.  The thing I have observed is that - with both humans and animals - if a "symptom" is persistent, it's probably a good idea to check in with your doctor or veterinarian but if the symptoms come and go, it's more likely a reaction to the shifts/surges of energy that are taking place right now.

If all of the sudden you can't keep your eyes open and have to lay down for a nap in the middle of the day but you feel fine the next day, it's probably a reaction to the surges of energy.  If your head starts pounding or you hear ringing in your ears but it goes away in less than an hour, it's likely a reaction to the energy. If your pet doesn't want to eat dinner but had no problem eating breakfast the next morning, then it's probably a reaction to energy.

With the increase in frequency of this energetic activity, we are likely to see more and more of these "symptoms" showing up, so the more we can monitor ourselves and our animals, the more empowered we'll be.  Remember, if symptoms come and go, it's less likely something to be concerned about.

Only you know if it is something you should be concerned about - with yourself or your pet.  With these influxes of energy, one of the best things we can do is making sure we are taking good care of ourselves.  Sleep as much as we need, drink as much water as we can, eat food that is nourishing to our bodies and spend as much time in nature as possible.  If you do all those things, you and/or your pet will probably feel a whole lot better whether you are sensitive to energy or not.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

What Do You Want More of In Your Life?

The definition of selection perception is:  What you focus on expands.  To me, this is a vital thing for us to keep in mind, because whatever we focus on, we are going to get more of. If we really want to have a better life and a better world, it's imperative that we pay attention to where our thoughts go throughout the day.

So, what do you want more of in your life?  Whatever it is, it will be helpful to keep focusing on that.

As an example, if I find myself very frustrated when I am on the receiving end of poor customer service and I keep thinking about the bad experience over and over, guess what I am probably going to experience again?  Yep, poor customer service.

But if I had a good experience of customer service and I focus on how nice that was, guess what I am likely to experience again?  Yep, good customer service.

So what if you didn't have a good customer service experience?  You can focus on how you would have preferred the experience to go.  Even though it didn't happen, putting our attention on what we WANT instead of what we don't want will draw in more of what we want.

It sounds too easy to be true doesn't it?  Yet, it really IS that simple.  What we focus on expands.

As you go throughout the day, notice where your thoughts go.  Are you thinking about what you are happy about?  What you are grateful for? What you wish for?  Or do you find yourself slipping into thoughts about what frustrated you and what disappointed you?

The choice is ours - we can think about whatever we want - it's just important to remember that our thoughts will keep creating our reality.  Do you know what you want more of in your life?  More peace?  More harmony?  More acceptance?  More appreciation?  More joy? Whatever it is, keep putting your attention there.  You might be amazed at the results!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

If Only We Could Stop Judging One Another

I believe very strongly that our thoughts and emotions create our experiences.  The cool thing is we have a choice what we do with our thoughts and emotions.  We can focus on positive things or we can focus on negative things.  We all have that free will choice.  I just wish more people would choose to avoid focusing on the negative.

It is heartbreaking to me to see how judgmental we have become towards others.  It seems that at every second people are ready to pounce with all their judgement and negativity.  Not only does it hurt the person on the receiving end, it also hurts everyone else who sees it, hears it and feels it as the ripples of negative energy go out into the Universe.

I have been seeing this a lot in animal groups lately.  These are groups that were formed to help animals and yet they spew unbelievable negativity and judgement at the very people who are reaching out for help.  People who have a litter of puppies they need to find homes for, people who need to rehome their pet because of life circumstances, people who can't afford medical procedures that their pet requires.

Each time someone posts in these groups looking for help, there are people ready to bombard them with their judgement . . . I read things such as:  people shouldn't be allowed to have a pet if they don't make a lifelong commitment or if they can't afford it, people shouldn't ever, under any circumstances, surrender their pet to the shelter because it's a sign they are a terrible person, if you haven't spayed or neutered your pet you are an irresponsible awful person, etc.

Yes, in a perfect world all animals would have forever homes and owners who knew how to care for them but we are not in a perfect world.  We are in a world where we are all learning as we go and doing the best that we can with what we know at any given moment.

I think the reason why I am especially saddened by the bashing that occurs in these instances is because every single dog I ever had, (with the exception of our first dog Maggie who came from a pet store) came to us from one of the frequently judged circumstances.  If each of those dogs had stayed in their first home, I would have never had the joy of living with and learning from each one of those incredible dogs.

Brandy came to us because a neighbor's dog accidentally got pregnant.  Do I support spay and neuter programs because of the volume of unwanted pets in the world?  Absolutely I do and at the same time, I can't imagine my childhood without Brandy.

Clancy ended up with us because someone dumped him on the street.  He ended up being rescued by the dog groomer who did Brandy's hair.  She put up fliers, checked the lost and found at the shelter and no one was looking for the beautiful Westie mix, so she decided to find a new home for him.  Fortunately, that home ended up being ours.

Murphy was our next dog.  He had been hit by a truck, which broke his leg in several places.  The man who owned him could not afford the surgery and asked the vet to just put him down.  The vet couldn't do it though so she paid for the surgery herself and then looked for the right family to adopt him.  I am not going to sit in judgment because the man couldn't afford the surgery.  I am only going to be grateful that the vet decided to do the surgery anyway and that she found US because Murphy was a wonderful addition to our family.

After that came Mickey, who had been dumped at the shelter with untreated medical conditions which my parents addressed for years after they brought him home.  If someone hadn't given him up, we would have never had this sweet and wonderful new dog who also helped keep Murphy on his toes.

Each one of these dogs played such an important role in my life.  I was profoundly and beautifully affected by each one of them.

In the bigger picture, maybe they were meant to come into my life and that was why their previous families were in the positions they were.

I think about Kino and how different my life would be right now if his previous family hadn't surrendered him to the shelter.  Sure, I complained at first that he was never trained or socialized but the truth is, I don't know their circumstances so I don't know why Kino ended up like he did.  Maybe there was a family hardship that prevented them from being able to focus on him during that first year.  I do know that I would rather focus on the love and joy he brings into my life, rather than focusing on judging the people he used to live with.

I wish we could look at these situations with the eyes of compassion instead of judgement. I wish we could remember that we don't know all the circumstances behind pregnancies and pets ending up in shelters.  Throwing out harsh judgements against others doesn't do anything to improve the circumstances and doesn't do anything to help the people or the animals who are in these situations.

As I said at the beginning, I believe our thoughts and emotions create our experiences so if we constantly sit in judgement of others, I believe we will continue to manifest more negativity.  The choice is ours.  My personal choice is to try to keep viewing things from a place of compassion.  And I keep hoping that more people will do the same.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What Is My Purpose?

There are many people who have been grappling with the question:  What is my purpose?   We want to have a fulfilling life and we often wonder "Why am I here?" What am I supposed to be doing??

Sometimes there is a subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) pull from deep inside . . . pushing us to connect with a stronger sense of purpose besides working to make money so we can pay the bills.

I came across a quote the other day that addressed this question in a way that really touched me.  I don't know who the author is, so I cannot give credit where credit is due but still wanted to share this.

Note to self:  

"What is my purpose in life?" I asked the void.  

"What if I told you that you fulfilled it when you took an extra hour to talk to that kid about his life? said the voice.  

"Or when you paid for that young couple in that restaurant?  Or when you saved that dog in traffic?  Or when you tied your father's shoes for him?  

Your problem is that you equate purpose with goal-based achievement.  God or the Universe or morality isn't interested in your achievements . . . just your heart.  

When you choose to act out of kindness, compassion and love, you are already aligned with your true purpose.  No need to look any further."  

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Flea Season Is Upon Us

In recent years, it seems to have become more and more difficult to manage the flea situation.  Medicine that used to work doesn't seem to have an effect anymore and the drug companies keep coming out with stronger and stronger medications for flea control that I fear are more dangerous to our pets.  Since I don't feel comfortable putting a lot of chemicals on my dog or myself, I am always searching for more gentle ways to combat fleas.

One thing I started giving Kino were garlic capsules, as I read they would deter fleas.  I know there are lots of people that say garlic is bad for dogs (that it is toxic) and there are also a lot of sources that say it is fine in smaller doses.  Given that I have used it successfully for years, I figure it's safe to share this here.

He used to get capsules that I bought at the health food store and that worked just fine for us.  Then someone told me about a company called Springtime ( that makes chewable garlic tabs called Bug-off so I decided to give them a try.  They work just as well and the plus is that I don't have to hide a capsule to get Kino to take it, I can just hand him the chewable pill.  If you are currently looking for something like this, they are running a great sale right now. (buy 2 bottles, get two free).

I also came across a recipe for a homemade flea shampoo.  Kino just got a bath today with this special shampoo, which he was NOT happy about it at all.  (For several hours afterwards, he wouldn't even look at me).  Thankfully, his issue isn't with the shampoo, it is the combination of water and being constrained.  No matter how much progress we make in other areas, getting a bath is still not something he likes or wants.  His tendency to growl at me during the process makes me edgy and short tempered so I think it's safe to say, we both dread the bath thing equally BUT it is a necessity that we have to endure.  At least with our special flea shampoo, we have a better chance of keeping him comfortable post-bath.

For those of you who are interested, here's the recipe:

Get a bottle (I use an empty shampoo bottle) and put the following things in the bottle:
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup Dawn dish soap

Shake it up and you are ready to go!  They recommend leaving it on for 5 minutes before rinsing it off.

Fortunately, Kino finally got over being mad and was willing to look at me again (and smile for the camera). I'm sure the treats and ball playing helped quite a bit with his forgiveness / attitude adjustment.

Another option that I came across is to diffuse a few drops of essential oil (lavender or cedar) and put it on a bandana that you then tie around your pets neck.  I add this into the mix at the height of flea season. Not only does it help keep fleas away from him but it makes him smell pretty darn good too.

I am sure there are other options out there as well - those are just the ones I have been playing with so far.  Would love to hear what other natural remedies you have used to manage fleas on your pets!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Resolving Behavioral Issues

After my last post, I had several requests for more detail about resolving behavioral issues and their underlying causes.  Given how many layers there can be underneath a behavioral issue, I thought it might be helpful if I shared an example from my own experience with Kino.

Kino was never fun to take in the car because he barked his head off if we drove past a dog or a cat.  His barking was so ferocious, I had trouble being a safe driver which was unnerving to me.

I knew one of the underlying causes was that he was not socialized with dogs or cats in the first year of his life. He also had a very intense prey drive that probably escalated with the long hours he used to spend by himself outside every day before he came to live with me.

Resolving (or at least improving) the behavior required several different approaches, as there were various pieces to the puzzle.

We started using basic positive reinforcement techniques to adjust the behavior.  Keeping a bag of treats in the car, if I saw the dog or cat first, I offered him a treat and could usually keep him distracted long enough to get past the "offending animal."  :-)   We used this approach with mild success.  Kino is very smart (and a bit suspicious) so it wasn't long before the very act of offering him a treat made him start looking around for what I was attempting to distract him from.  Next I attempted to reward the good behavior before he had a chance to be bad, so if he noticed a dog but hadn't yet started barking, I offered him a treat while praising him for being so good!  "Thank you for not barking Kino, you're such a good boy" was something I said all the time, all the while hoping he didn't break down and go ballistic anyways.

While we had some success with the training/treat approach, he was still having outbursts in the car so I needed to look a little deeper.

One of the other things I have learned about Kino is that he is a dog who wants what he wants when he wants it.  When he is delayed in getting what he wants, he tends to have some sort of an outburst or tantrum.  Sometimes I find it amusing but usually not.  I had been using consequences as a way to help him see that his behavior directly impacts his ability to get what he wants.  Ultimately my goal was to help him to feel empowered, while also helping him learn some self control.

I decided it was time to implement a consequence for car rides.  I explained to him that if he could refrain from barking at dogs while we are in the car, he could continue to enjoy having his head out the window but if he lost control and started barking, he would lose his "head out the window privileges."  Given that sticking his head out the window is on his Top 3 list of favorite things to do, this particular consequence was a good motivation for more improvement.

With those two methods in place, we had experienced about a 70% improvement in Kino's car behavior and having him in the car was much more enjoyable than it had been in the past but there was still 30% of the time where I wished I had left him at home.  I sensed there was more for us to figure out.

One day, after a particularly unsettling barking episode, I sternly told Kino that I was not going to take him in the car anymore if he was going to bark unnecessarily at everyone.  Ok, honestly it was more than stern.  I yelled at the top of my lungs.  I was so maxed out by his barking.  And one second later, I looked at myself in my rear-view mirror and I began to laugh.  For as much as I didn't want to admit it, the truth was that he was mirroring me.  He wasn't the only one who occasionally barked unnecessarily in the car.  I myself was no angel and was known to swear at other drivers who darted into my lane and made me slam on my brakes and it wasn't uncommon for me to complain loudly to myself when other drivers were clueless on how a 4 way stop works.

Animals often mirror our behavior as a way to show us what adjustments we need to make.  I know this and yet, I was unable (or unwilling) to see that Kino wasn't the only one barking in the car.  I thanked him for being patient with me and told him that I would try to do better.  In the subsequent weeks, I made a huge effort to be more mellow in the car.  I sent positive energy to people who were driving unsafely, reminded myself that chaotic activity at a 4-way stop didn't need to ruin my day and guess what?  Kino got even better in the car.   That was the last piece of the puzzle and it seems his behavior wasn't going to improve until my behavior improved.  I am very grateful that I finally saw and accepted what he was trying to show me.

Neither of us are perfect, so there are still days where one or both of us slips up but on the whole, we are both doing better and being in the car is much more relaxing and fun for both of us.

Do I wish I could have just said to him "Kino, I don't want you barking when we are in the car" and have that resolve everything?  Of course!  Wouldn't that be fabulous if it was that easy?!  But the truth is  that it is usually more complicated than just simple communication.  There are always reasons our animals do what they do.  The key is to understand those reasons and keep working at it from those various angles.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Can You Tell My Pet To Stop Doing That?

In recent months, I have seen an increase in the number of clients who have requested that I tell their pet to stop doing something.  I wish it was that easy but the truth is, regardless of how well I can communicate with animals, I can't just tell them to stop doing something or to behave differently.

When an animal does something, they do it for a reason, so unless we understand and address the underlying reason, we won't have much luck changing a behavior.

I put the underlying causes into three categories:

1.  There is a medical reason.  An example of this is last winter, while I was enjoying the first couple sips of my morning coffee, Kino walked over to the table and peed all over my jacket that was hanging on the back of the chair.  My first reaction was to be mad.  He has been potty trained since the first week he came to live with me and he knows better!!  But my second thought was, "There has to be a reason he did that" . . . and sure enough, Kino had a bladder infection.  We treated the infection and he has never peed in the house again.

2.  There is an emotional trigger.  Many of my clients have adopted their pets from rescue organizations or shelters, where a lot about their past isn't known.  Depending on what type of experiences an animal had prior to coming into our lives, they may have emotional reactions to similar stimuli.  Many dogs were not socialized, so their reactions to other dogs (or cats or squirrels or people) can seem over the top and even scary sometimes.  Dogs that were left alone all the time may have separation anxiety now.  Kino was obviously left in the yard all the time because when we went into the yard, if I took even one step towards the back door, he'd go flying across the yard and into the house, wild eyed and frantic.  It took about 3 years to decrease his fear and build his trust.  I can now go back into the house while he is in the yard and he doesn't panic or charge for the door.  Sometimes an animal is upset about something. A change in the household, whether it's a new pet, a child going off to college, a divorce or a remodeling project, can often bring about new "unwanted behaviors."  Understanding how your animal is feeling about the change and working with them to address their concerns can often bring a positive shift to those unwanted behaviors.

3.  They are trying to teach us something.  Animals come into our lives to teach us things - things that will help us be better versions of ourselves and have an easier time in life.  It is helpful to look at our animals behavior and ask ourselves "What could he/she be trying to teach me?"  One of the most common "lessons" that I have seen with my clients is animals who are trying to teach their guardians how to set boundaries.  Do you set up consequences (and stick to them) when your animal does something they shouldn't?  If not, that might be the thing they are trying to help you get better at.  (Animals give us the opportunity to practice setting boundaries with them, so we have an easier time setting boundaries with the people in our lives as well).  Do you have a pushy animal who constantly wants attention, to the point where they are starting to get on your nerves?  Chances are they are trying to get you to put yourself and your needs higher on your priority list.  Setting some boundaries for "Me Time" is often all it takes to resolve the needy dog issue.  I know it may sound crazy but I have seen it enough times that I am no longer surprised.

Our animals always have a reason for what they do.  If we can understand what is going on underneath the behavior, we have a much better chance at addressing it.  Something for you to ponder this week:  What do you think your animals are trying to teach you?