Just Pretend

As I scurried from room to room finishing up my evening chores, my husband remarked on a movie he was watching. A western, with an all star cast flashed across the television screen. I stopped to take notice. The main character was being held at gun point by several vigilantes. Another man held a knife to a dogs throat repeatedly threating to kill it despite the pleas of it’s owner.  I gasped. ” I can’t watch this!” I cried. Tuesday our hound dog, nestled asleep in her kennel for the evening, sat up and cocked her head at the TV. The cries from the dog and no doubt my anxiety over watching it had woken her from a sound sleep. I quickly exited the room. As I finished the dishes in the kitchen, I could hear the faint happenings of the saga emanating from the bedroom. The dog had not only been stabbed, but apparently thrown off a cliff in front of it’s owner. I was immediately glad I had not seen this.

As I put my youngest son to bed my husband called upstairs frantically. Something was wrong with Tuesday! I rushed down stairs to find her hacking horribly. We helped her through the episode, looked for any obvious signs of obstruction and settled her back down for the night. However only moments later she repeated the episode. I pulled her from her kennel and checked her color and other vitals to find everything completely normal. Tuesday is one to carry rocks and sticks on the farm, so my thoughts turned to something she may have ingested. I palpated her stomach to find it supple and relaxed with no pain. Tuesday reached out with her long tongue and licked my face followed by a thumping of her tail. All seemed okay. She reentered her kennel and laid back down. I settled in next to my husband who was still watching the western, thankfully the traumatic scene’s now over. Thirty minutes passed. The dogs now blissfully asleep.

Out of the blue, Tuesday sat up and started choking. I jumped out of bed to assist her through it. I again checked her all over. This time I stopped to “ask” her what was wrong. She looked up at the TV. The “peanut gallery” aka as my husband, put his two cents in.     ” You can’t “ask” her what’s wrong … stop … she’s not going to tell you!” Apparently I was dealing with one of his moments of skepticism. Tuesday stood shaking looking up at the television. I again asked her what was wrong. She told me she was worried about the dog. I immediately realized she was talking about the one that had suffered a horrible death in the movie. I tried to explain to her that it was “just pretend,” but pretend did not compute to her. She looked at me, then the TV, then to me again, whined and shook. I showed her the dog completely “fine,” but that too didn’t seem to make her feel better. Once again we settled her back into her kennel for the night, turned off the lights and went to sleep. However two hours later we were again woken by the same hacking and choking. Chris groggily got up, took her outside and laid awake with her for two hours with no further episodes. We left her outside of her kennel to roam the house as she pleased thinking this may “help.” However, this only reminded us why she is kenneled at night in the first place. Tuesday barks at EVERYTHING, all night long. Our next step was to invite our 65 pound dog to share the bed with us. This worked for a short period of time, but each time we dozed off to sleep she would repeat the choking episodes. More than once we considered taking her to the emergency hospital.

As I laid awake holding her, she continued to flash images of the dog in the movie. This HAD to be what was bothering her so much! I showed her images of dogs being trained to do stunts and tricks and reiterated that the dog on TV was “just pretend.” But Tuesday had picked up more than just the dog. She had picked up the anxiety behind the dog being killed. From my anxiety over watching it, the anxious cries of the dogs owner in the movie and the dog itself all played a role in the anxiety she had picked up. I knew what I needed to do in the morning and that was to check her for trapped emotions. And sure enough Tuesday had trapped “anxiety” in her stomach. I cleared this for her and she has been fine ever since.

Bows, clothes, and strollers … oh my!

From afar, it was hard to determine if the stroller an older man was pushing was one of human consumption.  As he grew closer, navigating the hilly terrain, It was quite obvious the occupant being tossed haphazardly from one end of the stroller to the next was his “pet.” As I peered into the zippered compartment, the man’s “Schmoodle,” a new accidental designer breed I have yet to hear about, stood shaking from head to toe. ” This guy is a mess!” the man remarked. ” I don’t know what to do with him. ” He doesn’t like to go for walks. he doesn’t want to be held, he only likes my wife and she’s out of town.” Apparently the stroller was the “only” way this dog got from one place to another.  I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the dog, especially as I watched my friends puppy run and jump at the end of it’s leash, taking in all the sights, smells, and quite a few new friends that had stopped for a pat.

More often than not, our furry friends are just trying to appease our wishes with the cute outfits, bows, and yes even strollers. It is estimated that we spend 66 billion annually on our pets. That is Billion with a capital B. When designer food wasn’t enough, the industry moved onto toys and beds and collars, and now methods of transportation. Just when you think they couldn’t possibly come up with anything new, pet spas have become the biggest rage. From blue berry facials to massages, money is no object for man’s best friend. And if that’s not enough, stop by your local coffee shop to treat your pet to a “Puppucccino.”

But does it really make our pets happy or does it make us happy? Believe it or not, there IS a difference. Your pet is content to be your companion, to receive love and reciprocate it. Placing your dog in a stroller and taking away it’s natural instincts of wanting to smell seems almost cruel. Sure a bow placed by the groomer may look “cute,” but ask yourself how often do you walk around with bows in your own hair? Does your dog walk into it’s own closet and ask to be dressed ? You get the picture.

If your pet could talk … ahem, they DO … this is what they would say. Put away the accoutrements and spend time with them. Because in the end, its all we want more of anyway.

 

Deer in the headlights

The morning started off like any other. Trying to get three boys out the door for school is a kin to herding cats. A sweater I decided to wash, then dry last minute was not ready, so I grabbed an old sweat shirt with the idea I’d change for my youngest son’s Santa breakfast later.

The sunrise, a beautiful ribbon of purple and orange streaked across the sky teasing us with the possibility that this day may be spectacular. My oldest son Adam needed to get gas in his car on the way to school so I tried to encourage him to leave before us. However, like most days, Adam chose to follow instead of lead.

Living in the country we are blessed to see a host of wildlife on any given day. As winter approach’s, so do the deer. Fields that line the road can be seen littered with doe and it’s not uncommon for them to jump out unexpectedly in the road. Keeping one’s wits about you at all times is a must. As we approached the top of a hill, we noticed several deer grazing to our right. Amongst them was a magnificent white buck. We were in awe.

A sudden flash came out of the corner of my left eye and then an impact. I righted my car. My son Sam screams ” OMG, what did we hit?” But I knew. A deer had hit us. Had jumped right into my vehicle as I traveled 50 mph down the road. I was in shock. I jumped from my vehicle and ran down to where the deer lay on it’s side. I sobbed tearless cries into it’s neck ” I am sorry, I am sorry, OMG, I am SO SORRY!” I called my husband and wailed, ” Bring the gun, OMG, bring the gun, Help me!” He had to calm me down to find out what was going on. I sent Adam ahead to school, still too in shock to realize my other two should have joined him.

I held the deer in my lap. At first her neck, twisted in the wrong direction, looked broken. I prayed with everything I had for her to pass quickly. I pulled her neck around and she actually sat up. I caught my breath. Maybe she was just stunned. However I couldn’t get the image of her tumbling off my car out of my mind. I wrapped my arms around her, speaking softly telling her how sorry I was, that she was okay. We both sat in shock waiting for my husband to arrive. But when he did arrive, the gun by his side,  it was quickly returned to his vehicle. He saw what I did, the glimmer of hope. ” Please” I begged ” Don’t shoot her, I think we can save her!” He bent down next to her as we both assessed the damage. Although now sitting up, she still looked bad. Needing to get my kids to school for mid term exams, I was forced to leave him there to make the decision.

As I returned to my  mini van, I noticed just how much damage had been done. The whole left front of my car had been totaled. Just then I realized how lucky we were. If Adam had gone first in his smaller car and been hit, he could have been killed. If the timing had been off by a couple of seconds, the deer would have gone through my windshield and no doubt killed me. Still shaking, not so much from the damage of the vehicle, but for the fate of the deer, I set off to school. Halfway to school I texted my husband to find out what he decided to do. His text read: I could not shoot her, call me. Real tears came then, SOBS. I called. He explained that he had to go to a meeting or else he would have stayed or even tried to transport her back to our farm. He instructed me to go back and see what I could do for her as soon as I could. I rushed back.

I found her exactly where we left her. Her body laid still, but shallow breathes followed. I lifted her head into my lap. I held her and stroked her body. I scrolled through my phone for my large animal veterinarian. If she couldn’t save her, at least she could humanely euthanize her. A car passed without stopping. Then another. A pickup roared by then swung around. A young man stepped out and asked if I needed help. I explained what happened. He told me he was a hunter and checked her all over and compassionately told me she wouldn’t make it. He offered to get a gun and take her. I told him I’d stay with her until he got back with his gun. Another car stopped. An older lady stepped out and upon seeing the doe, tears sprang to eyes. She said she had a pistol, but knew she couldn’t use it. She used to be a hunter, but many years ago after killing a doe she swore she’d never kill another. Another car stopped. Obviously a grown woman siting with a deer in her lap on the side of the road was quite a sight. A worker from a nearby farm asked if there was anything he could do. He offered to take the deer to a quiet place to pass peacefully. But the deer’s fate was sealed. I just held her and kept her calm. Shock, exhaustion and her injuries had caught up with her. Now it was time to help ease that for her.

If you are looking for a happy ending in all of this, I am afraid you won’t find it. Life can be ugly. It can be heart wrenchingly sad when you least expect it. I can’t help, but think of the impact this doe had on a lot of people today. Each taking away something different. The hunter who tried to save a life first before taking one. The older lady who was remorseful for her past. A worker’s compassion for people and animals that allowed him to offer help. Even the passerby’s that didn’t stop. And what did I take away from this … I held a wild animal in my arms as it took it’s last breathes in this world. I chose to show it love in it’s very last moments of life. And love is the greatest gift of all.

Take That!

The audible displeasure of my husbands voice could be heard echoing throughout the house. Uh oh, I thought, this could only mean one thing. Our pug Kiki had decided to leave her mark somewhere. I knew the lines to follow as if I had written the script myself … “How old is Kiki now? She isn’t potty trained YET!? ” It was best not to argue, but to find the source of the problem and quickly rectify the situation. But finding no problem, I had to ask. “She pooped in my office!” I stiffed a smile. ” Damn dog! I JUST had her outside!” my husband continued.

I launch into my familiar lecture that Kiki’s actions were a personal vendetta against him. He retorts back ” But it’s YOUR office too!” I am quick to point out that she pooped by HIS DESK, not mine. But my husband isn’t giving up that easily, citing several recent incidents in which Kiki had made mistakes in the house.

But that was the point. These were recent incidents and they all seemed to be directed at my husband, despite him thinking otherwise. I knew exactly what caused Kiki to “act out.” Most evenings after dinner, my husband and I will retire to the bedroom to watch the evening news. At any given time, our bed may house anywhere from our three human boys, 2 dogs and/or a cat, or all of the above. Kiki’s favorite spot is on my husbands lap. Not just ON his lap, but in his face begging to be scratched. He will love on her for several moments, then ask her to lie down. She will repeatedly worm her way back up asking again and again for the same treatment. When she doesn’t comply with my husbands wishes he will lovingly pet her and tell her how she has “no brains!” Now I have warned him about this time and time again. I have told him, SHE KNOWS what you are saying. You would think that a man, married to an animal communicator would at least stop and heed my warning, but no, he doesn’t believe me.

But the fact of the matter is, Kiki DOES know exactly what he is saying and not liking it  she knows the one way to get back at him. Goes to show, that Kiki not only has brains, but she uses them.

The Proof is in the Pudding

When an owner confirms without a doubt, the information I am relaying, then there is just no questioning that I am connected to their pet.  Let me just add, there has been many occasions when I just can’t believe it myself.

Take for instance, a friend and successful race horse trainer in Miami, Florida who started using me for some of her race horses. I have never been to her stable in Miami and know none of these horses other than by name, age, sex and possibly color. Yet, I can come up with exact details that can’t be explained unless the horses told me themselves. Many times I only receive pieces of information that need the blanks filled in on. Once, A horse showed me that while racing he could only  “partially” see and was confused. He gave me the feeling of wearing partial blinkers. Not knowing there was such a thing, I asked. The trainer had literally JUST put half blinkers on this horse for the first time. Another horse kept giving me an odd sensation on his tongue, but only when racing. The trainer had just started tying his tongue down because he displaced it when running.

One of my favorite stories happened when I was in the middle of a Zumba class. I glanced down to see a text from my friend, but couldn’t address it until after the class. The text included  some information on a horse, name and age only.  I texted back and told her I’d read the filly when I got home. However shortly after, I received a text back stating  that the horse had already been purchased, but thanks anyway.   Laughing, I told her I’d “connect” with the filly  and let her know what she had bought. 

The first thing the filly made me feel is her right eye was smaller. The orbit bone was crushed and her sinuses were pushed in on that side. I found some trapped emotions and went about telling my friend. Her text back astounded me. She couldn’t believe it. It was THE ONLY thing that concerned her about purchasing this filly. Her right eye was smaller, a possible accident to that orbit bone when she was young.  She followed the text with a picture of the young horse, the right eye noticeably smaller.  Now come on. My husband who teeters between “that’s amazing” and you have a “great imagination” couldn’t even ignore that one.

Upon a recent visit to the hairdresser I struck up a conversation with a nearby patron about animal communication and clearing trapped emotions. Deep in conversation, I found myself following my new found friend into the shampoo room continuing to talk as her hair was being washed. I inquired about the name of her dog and after asking to see a picture, that quickly, I was “connected.” I immediately felt an odd sensation on my bottom left tooth. I conveyed the information to his owner. Her eyes got wide. “No way!” she sat up, hair dripping ” NO WAY … he has a tooth right there that didn’t grow in right! NO WAY!!!!” I went on to tell her that he tells me his shoulders are broad and his feet turn out. She scrolled through countless pictures to show me exactly what he was talking about. This impromptu connection impressed her so much, she went home, opened her dogs mouth, snapped a picture and sent it to me as proof.

Whether it’s a clients dog whose “favorite” thing to do is watch TV on the couch … yes, this was a recent answer to “what is my dog’s favorite thing.” ( I was “shown” a TV and a couch and the owner confirmed he liked watching SpongeBob! ) or helping a veterinarian get to the bottom of a puzzling lameness, I can’t help but be thankful for the blessings bestowed upon me to help our furry friends.  

 

Little animal, BIG voice

You’d somehow think that animals that can communicate, must be of some size and importance, but this is not always the case. Take for instance a small mouse I encountered in a pet store.

My purpose for the pet store visit was to purchase dog food. However as I made my way to the register I was enticed by a cage full of mice whose antics had captured quite a few onlookers. Several mice were attempting to run on a single metal wheel placed in the middle of their habitat. One mouse in particular, just held on tight, as the others spun him around and around upside down.  Not only did I find this behavior amusing, but I found myself enthralled by this mouse’s personality. Once the mice became disenchanted or perhaps just plain dizzy from their acrobatics, the small grey and white mouse found his way to the side of the his cage to say “hello.”

I told him how much I enjoyed “the show” and remarked how cute he was and prepared leave. ” Please take me with you! he pleaded. Perhaps I could have ignored the plea and continued on my way, but I had heard this little guy and as small as he was, he had a big voice. “PLEASE!” he continued to beg. It didn’t take much for me to give in and before I knew it, I was holding my new little friend in the palm of my a hand. I can’t explain the energy this little guy had, but the moment I held him, I knew he was something special.

On my way home, I began to come up with just the right name.  I kept “seeing” an image of a rocket or a planet, but couldn’t place why. Then realizing this little mouse was sending me images of what he wanted to be named, I started guessing. Rocket? ” No” he replied. Star? That wasn’t it either. Finally keeping with the outer space theme, I said the word Comet. “That’s It! That’s what I want to be named!”  “Really?” I asked. ” Do you even know what a comet is?” Apparently he had heard someone use the word in reference to some pictures near his cage and he liked it. I recalled seeing a box with space images on a shelf near his cage, but at the time, I did not take complete notice of it. Now it made sense. So Comet it was!

Comet not only had a BIG voice, but a personality to match. He didn’t want to be a caged mouse, he wanted to be with me always. I taught him to “hang out” in my pocket as I taught riding lessons. He even liked to go for rides on the back of my corgi Elle’s back, much to Elle’s dismay. However, not long after I got him home and settled, I saw Comet start to favor one of his back legs. I checked it out thoroughly, only to come up with no answers. As each day passed, the leg got worse, until one morning I woke up to find the source of the problem. He had a deep abscess that was now down to the bone. I immediately took him to the vet. Through antibiotics and supportive care I was able to save my friend just in time.

I asked Comet what happened to his leg. His reply fascinates me to this day. ” Another mouse bit me at the pet store and I knew it was bad.” He went on to tell me that another injured mouse had been removed from the cage never to return. Hence why he was so adamant on me taking him home that very night. He knew that if his leg was too bad, then he would die or be taken away to where his cage mate went. Comet’s life was “in danger” and he knew it. He also knew he needed to communicate someway, anyway he knew how to save his own life. I just “happened” to pick up on it.

 

Pick Me

A perk of living and working in southern California, was spending most Sunday afternoons with friends at the Del Mar race track.  On this particular afternoon, I was invited to stand in the owners paddock to watch as the horses were mounted and led out onto the track. As I took in the beauty and power of each horse ready to run, I noticed a small unassuming filly in the mix. She looked half the size of the other horses, almost pony like. I turned my attention back to the rest of the field when I heard her speak up.   ” Pick me! Pick me! ” I turned toward her as she cocked her head in my direction. ” Pick Me, I WILL WIN this race! Pick Me!” She repeated adamantly. I questioned her silently,    ” Oh you’ll win will you?” ” YES! Pick me” she repeated as she was led out onto the track.

I excused myself from my friends to place a small bet. I was asked why in the world I would “waste my money” considering her size, but something told me she knew.  And do you know what? That filly won the race!

How did she know? And why was she trying so hard to get her point across? Perhaps the filly was reading the thoughts of the spectators. After all, she didn’t look the part. Was it the doubt she picked up on that drove her to win?

This story reminds me of the little engine that could. It just goes to show you how powerful your thoughts are.