Category Archives: Healing for Animals

writings about all things healing for animals

On the passing of our beloved animals


// “If I have any beliefs about immortality it is that certain dogs I know will go to heaven, and very very few people.”

(James Thurber)

“…love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”

(Kabil Gibran)

“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.”

(Saint Francis of Assisi)

“It is a fearful thing to love what death can touch.”

(Anonymous)

“The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man’s.”

(Mark Twain)

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”

(Will Rogers)

“If there is a heaven, it’s certain our animals are to be there. Their lives become so interwoven with our own, it would take more than an archangel to detangle them.”

(Pam Brown)

“If you have a dog, you will most likely outlive it; to get a dog is to open yourself to profound joy and, prospectively, to equally profound sadness.”

(Marjorie Garber)

“A good dog never dies. He always stays. He walks besides you on crisp autumn days when frost is on the fields and winter’s drawing near. His head is within our hand in his old way.”

(Mary Carolyn Davies)

Intentional Grooming

What is Intentional Grooming?

Intentional grooming is taking the “task” of grooming your pet and making it into a bonding and learning opportunity for you and your pet. How many times have you gone to the barn to ride and just taken out the brush, hoof pick, and comb and just gone through the motions? Or how many times have you grabbed the flea comb and brush, and combed your cat while she hissed and yowled?

Intentional grooming allows you to bond with your animal, learn more about their baseline body health, and is an excellent preventative measure for discovering health issues that your pet has, that otherwise might go unnoticed until it is painful and expensive.

  • Set your intention. Take a deep breathe and relax, and say to yourself (or to your pet) “My intention is to connect with my pet and take the time to really notice what I am doing and how it effects him.”
  • Sit with your pet for a few moments. Don’t just dive in. Pet them, give them a few scratches, and just talk to them and let yourself relax as well. The more you are both relaxed, the better the grooming will go.
  • Let your pet smell the grooming items. Just hold it to their nose to let them sniff. Animals rely very heavily on scent to give them information about their surroundings. This gives them a chance to identify what it is, and shows them respect that you understand they need this.
  • Purposeful petting. Run your hands intentionally all over their body. This does not have to be a long process, just gently and fluidly run your hands from head to tail, including going down their legs. This lets them know you will be touching their whole body, it awakens their senses, and actually gets the blood and energy moving in their bodies.
  • Feel. While you are running your hands on her body, notice the tempurature, fut texture, bony points, and anything that feels different- hard, soft, swollen, etc. The more you do this, the more you will know the intricacies of their body. Then, if there are variances, such as a tempurature change, or a bump, you will feel it right away. This can help you to find things such as cuts, swollen joints, lumps, items stuck in their fur, etc.
  • Observe. Watch your pet as you do this. Do they flinch at a sertain point? Put their ears back? try to move away? Start purring lounder? Do their eyes soften? This lets you know what they like, don’t like, where it might hurt. If they seem uncomfortable in general, you may be going to fast or too hard, especially with a comb or brush. If they seem to really like an area, spend a few moments there as a treat.
  • Follow-up. If you do feel something unusual, watch-it and call a vat if you are concerned. I have several client and friends that have found potentially dangerous things early on and were able to treat them before they became a larger problem.
  • Groom. We also want this to be functional, so certainly brush, groom, pick. Just keep an eye on what you are doing and the responses your pet gives you. They are actually very good at communiating, and the more you do this, the more subtlties you will notice, and the better you will understand your pet in all areas of your life together.
  • Consistency. Do this often. Depending on the breed of animal, you may need daily grooming or just once a week. Take the time to learn this for your oet if you don’t already know it.
  • Enjoy! You will find that you create a stronger bond with your pet. Animals who you to hate grooming ill look forward to this time. Sensitive animjals will thank you for moving slower, or lightening up on your touch. That chronic itch that Fido has? He will be delighted that you found just the rioght spot!

 

The More Techincal Stuff

Grooming is more than just making your pet look good. Petting, brushing, picking, and combing actually stimulate the circulatory and energy systems in your pet. When you groom regularly, you will notice a shinier coat. This is beacuse it stilumates the body to process and elimiate stagnant energy and waste that accumulates in the folicles, skin, muscles, etc.

Do you have a horse, dog, cat, etc with cold legs or feet? Spend extra time on their legs. Rub up and down, take extra time with a soft brush, give them a little massage on their limbs. This will increase the circulation to the area and help improve blood flow!

Learn more about how this all works at my website http://www.equine-touch.com.

Try Energy Work with Your Pet

Animals love energy!

Animals love energy. They respond well to it, as they are open to the true healing it brings. Animals have an innate understanding of what helps vs. harms them, and they live on a vibrational level that is more sensitive than our own. Even though they will get the most benefit from a trained, attuned energy worker, try sending them some of your own! Intention and awareness is all you need.

To learn more about energy work (Reiki as an example) for animals, click HERE. As a summary, we are all made up of energy, and when that energy is in balance, we are healthy, active and resilient. When that energy is out of balance, we become sluggish, and can become sick. Taking time to clear the static energy from our systems help it to remain bright and well functioning. Sending healing energy to your companion can help break up the ‘stuck” parts and help it to flow throughout their body.

As an added benefit, you are helping your own energy whenever you do this!

Steps to try energy work

Once you realize that you have this connection with your animals, you will have a deeper, more authentic relationship with them. If you try this and it does not seem to work, don’t give up. Keep trying and it will come. Your intention is the most important part of this!

1. Get your self in a comfortable position

2. If you meditate, do your routine

3. If you don’t have a routine, try this:

  • Sit quietly, and just focus on your breathing.
  • Think of breathing from your belly, not just your chest.
  • Think of your breathe going in and out of you as white light.
  • If thoughts come into your head, gently acknowledge them and let them go.
  • When you feel a sense of peace and relaxation, open your eyes.

4. In a calm manner, sit down near your pet, walk into their stable/field/etc. Just hold out your hands and let them smell you. Don’t push the contact, they will tune into your calm state and be curious why you are paying so much attention to them :).

5. Envision energy going from you to them. It can look like a white beam of light going from your hands, or even your Solar Plexus (your belly). It may be a color, or it may look like a chord. Go with whatever pops into your head.

6. Focus on that image- think of it sending healing, pulsing energy from you to your pet. Think of this energy as pushing out the static parts and filling that space with health and vibrancy.

7. Notice what your pet does- if they become more relazed, simply keep doing what you are doing.

8. If they seem irritated or move away, try a different color, image, or step back a little.

9. Since animals are so sensitive, if they seem uncomfortable, if you are touching your animal, try holding your hands a little away from them. Back away until you notice that they are not uncomfortable anymore (for example, their ears go from being back, to flat, to forward or neutral).

10. Just enjoy it! Spending this time with your pet can greatly improve your relationship.

11. If you feel a shift in the energy, or the animal gets up or walks away, they are done. This is good, don’t feel that they are rejecting you. It means they have taken in all the enrgy they need at that time.

12. Some animals will walk or pace around, which is fine. Moving helps them process what is happening,

13. Thank your animal and yourself!

Animal Boundaries – Respect Them and Get Respect Back

 An Example of Your “Energy Field”

You are standing in line at the post office, and the man behind you is standing very close, shifting his weight, and then coughs. It feels like he coughed right on the back of your neck. You shift forward, and he shifts as well. Has something similar to this ever happened to you? How did you feel? Comfortable? Anxious? Annoyed? Maybe even left the line? This is an example of your energy field acting as a boundary. You have a “bubble” around you that acts as a barrier to other peoples’ (and animals’) energies.

Examples of Animal Boundaries

These “bubbles” around the horses represent the different layers. Some animals have an “average” boundary, while others, like a mare and foal, will have a larger boundary, and will defend it. Animals are extremely sensitive to the energy around them. If they are a predator, they rely on sensing their prey. If they a prey, they rely heavily on sensing when danger is near. Yes, they all have a more keen set of senses than humans, but how does that gazelle just “know” when that lion gets close, even when down wind? Can you feel your own energy field?

Here Are Two Experiments

1. Close your eyes and place your hands out in front of you palms facing. Keep them shoulder width apart, then slowly, with your eyes closed, bring them together. Notice when you feel like something is in between them, like you are holding a bubble of air. That is your energy field.

2. Stand in the middle of a room. Have a friend walk at you very fast, as if they are not going to stop and will run into you. When do you start to feel uncomfortable? Notice slight changes in your stance, breathing, muscles tensing, etc. So now think about this with the animals in your own life.

For example, cats. Do they respect your boundary? I know mine takes every opportunity to sit on my newspaper, scratch her face on my book, or place her cold wet nose on my face in the morning when she wants we to get up and feed her. It does not matter if I push her nose away, or pick her up and set her beside me as opposed to on top of my newspaper, she keeps right on at it. WHY? She is not getting a clear sense from me what my boundary is. I am not speaking her language. So next time your cat graciously displays her hind end a little close to your face for comfort, hiss at her. That’s right, hiss at her. Does she respond? If not, hiss louder and clap. See what happens. I promise she won’t get mad at you, or take it personally. Those are human emotions. Think about cats with each other- they hiss at each other quite often, then you find them cleaning each other a few minutes later.

This is interesting, but what I am supposed to do with this information?

Pay attention to it. Listen to what they are saying. It will improve your relationship with your beloved friend.

•If your dog puts his ears back and lowers his head every time you go pet the top of his head, think about what he is saying. “I don’t want you to touch my head, it makes me uncomfortable.” Try petting his shoulder or chest instead.
•If your horse turns and heads the other direction when you walk up to him in the field, try coming at him from a different angle, or zig-zag up to him. Stop the moment he puts his ears partly back or turns his head away from you. Stand for a moment and wait for him to look at you again. Then take another step forward.
•Need to give your cat a bath? Okay, you got me on this one. Let me know if you figure it out… (as a side note, my cat literally walked across my keyboard as I typed this one!)
•Does your bird sink to the back of her cage every time you go to refill the water? Try just sitting near the cage without “intruding” on her space for awhile. Does she pay attention to you? Come to the front of the cage again? How do I know what they are saying?

There are some great books out there, I have some listed at the bottom of this page. If you get the basics down, you can truly improve your understanding of what your pet is trying to tell you. I am not claiming to be an animal trainer, the point is to get you to have an understanding of basic communication with your friends so you can have a better relationship.

My suggestion is to spend time watching them with their own kind. Go sit in the pasture with your horse and his herd and just watch. It is quite fascinating. Take your dog to the dog park and just watch as she interacts with the other dogs.  Note: They will rarely touch each other on the top of the head. If you don’t have multiple animals, go to a doggy daycare, pet shelter, or reputable pet store. (Yes, I realize the risk of coming home with a new friend is high, but please be careful if you go to a pet store! Make sure they don’t support puppy/kitty mills!) Watch animal planet.

Often times, different animals are saying a similar thing, in their own way- Please respect my boundary.  The most common offense humans make is coming up to an animal too fast- we walk straight up to them, hands aiming right at their face, we are loud, we clang their dishes around, etc. Animals approach each other in that fashion if they are telling the other “move, get out of my way, back off, get away from my baby, etc.”

Give it a Try!

I hope you find this information helpful. I am on this journey too, and have a lot to learn (especially with cats!). Animals are forever teaching us things, and if we listen, we are rewarded by their wisdom. I started out wanting to understand more about the energy fields around animals when I realized how sensitive horses are, and I took a workshop that focused on this. Animals are straight talkers. They say what they mean, and don’t take anything personally. They have an amazing ability to communicate just by reading the energies around them, and I believe if we were more like our four-legged, feathered, scaled, and clawed friends there would be a lot less miscommunication in this world. Enjoy getting to know your animal partners better!

Books I Recommend to Get You Started

Author: Desmond Morris – he has written really good, basic books about cats, dogs, and horses (as well as humans, but that is a whole new topic!). They are called “Cat Watching” “Dog Watching” and “Horse Watching”.

Titles: “The Dog Owner’s Manual: Operating Instructions, Troubleshooting Tips, and Advice on Lifetime Maintenance” and “The Cat Owner’s Manual: Operating Instructions, Troubleshooting Tips, and Advice on Lifetime Maintenance”. Both are funny, instructional, informative and just really fun to read.

Author: Linda Kohanov- “Riding Between the Worlds” This book gives amazing insight into the world of horses. She gives some great stories about their boundaries and what we can learn.

Authors: Cesar Millan – All of Ceasar’s books are great, but I would start with “Be the Pack Leader”.