Tuesday, March 7, 2017

We have a new webinar - Understanding Aggression

It’s that time again - time for a new webinar. The topic will be on Understanding Aggression and how to deal with it when it’s your pet. There are so many things that will factor into why a pet is aggressive. They could be protecting territory (or themselves), they could be in pain, they could have anxiety. They could have also had an abusive or neglectful background. All of these things can make for an unhappy animal. Not every animal coming from a neglect or abuse case turns out to be an aggressive pet (look at some of the survivors from Michael Vick’s dog fighting operation. One became an Agility competition champion).

At the bare bones of it all, one place aggression stems from is fear which means there is no trust and there is no confidence. This is why setting boundaries is important and why you, the owner needs to be consistent in those boundaries and training. This does not mean you need to be hard handed with your pet at all. Far from it. You need to be firm, focused and matter of fact. If you find that you have some fear based issues, you can begin to mitigate them by being kind and firm (note: I did not say wishy- washy).

This and other factors will be discussed during the webinar on March 23rd at 7:30EST. We will discuss the Top 3 reasons why your rescue may suddenly become aggressive. How you can work with your pet and change their reasons around. Finally, we’ll offer resources you can use to continue resolving the issue.

We’d love to have you join us! Register here to provide your e-mail address. You must confirm your e-mail address at the end to complete the registration. The day before the webinar - we will send you the link.

Looking forward to seeing you then!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Moving Beyond the Breed - Understanding is Everything

Recently, I had the distinct honor and privilege to have a communication consultation with a colleague who had just adopted a Shar Pei. My colleague and her spouse are experienced pet owners and they wanted me to check in with the new furbaby to check on his background. He had a lot to say.

He was placed in the rescue system since he was 9 months old (he is now 2 years old) from his breeder because, as he saw it he wasn’t desirable out of his litter. He was rescued by another rescue organization and was adopted out to his first family who unfortunately, were not experienced dog owners. They called the rescue constantly asking for advice, and ultimately returned this pup because he was “aggressive”. From this dog’s point of view - he wants to learn and his first family didn’t understand him - at all. He was confused in terms of what his first family was asking of him. So, he didn’t understand and would wind up not doing as he was asked because they weren’t asking in a way that he could understand. So, his family spent more time and energy being in distress. Plus, Shar Pei’s snort when they breathe - so the former owners could have misconstrued that as a growl.

This dog is one of the sweetest, kindest beings I have ever had the pleasure to meet. He went on to tell me that while he will not start a fight, he will finish it if he must.

When this pup came to my colleague, he knew that these folks knew what they were doing and he was so much more comfortable with them. He knew he was home. They know how to guide and teach him about the world around him (his formative years were spent in a shelter, so he’s got some catching up to do). They also know and understand how to train a potentially “stubborn” dog with positive reinforcement and solid leadership.

Shar Peis tend to have the reputation of being a steadfast guard dog. Which they are - they are fiercely loyal to their people. This is their natural instinct. This reputation is also misunderstood and translated into being “aggressive” or “mean”. In the hands of an owner who is fully present and understanding of what they have, a natural guard dog can be socialized successfully and not only be a good canine citizen, but an active member of their community.

When you adopt a pet, understand what you are getting into. If you are rescuing a pure breed, do your research on what their natural instincts are. If you adopt a mixed breed - pay attention and be present to what the dog does naturally. Ask yourself what you can do to help nurture those instincts. And don’t get caught up in the idea of a specific dog breed. As an example, the majority of Pit Bulls are sweethearts, not every Labrador Retriever likes to swim, and German Shepherds may take a lot more work than you might think.

Understanding all aspects in all things, goes a long, long way. If you have adopted a pet and would like to learn more about their past history contact us.

To follow the adventures of my colleague and her new pup click here.

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Things We Do for Love

Valentine’s Day will soon be upon us (or already is depending on when you are reading this). The holiday is usually marked with greeting cards, flowers, special dinners and of course - chocolate (which needs to be kept away from your animals). Some people like to give their pets special treats, food, or a new toy.

One of the best things you can do with your pet is to engage in their favorite activity, whatever that happens to be. Most dogs enjoy a longer walk in the woods with their people. If the woods or a trail isn’t feasible for where you are, then change up the route you take your pet. What matters to them is that you are with them and both of you are having fun. Activities like walks and playing games help strengthen the bond you have with your pets. For cats, playing a good game of chase nurtures their predatory instinct.

As an Animal Communicator, when I have asked a clients pet or pets what they want their owner to know is that they want their “spark to be lifted” and to have more joy and to be happy with them. They live life to the fullest and they love us unconditionally, 24/7.

What are some of the things you like to do with or for your pets to show your appreciation? I’d love to hear from you! Send an e-mail and tell me how you celebrate and appreciate your pet!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Quick Tips for Moms with Pets, and the Pets are Running the House.

Many times in my travels I speak to women who tell me about how their pets (usually their dogs) are out of control or they simply don’t listen to them. They have their hands full enough with kids in the house and keeping everything under control. They also tell me they don’t have the time or energy to do more extensive walks or do any additional training etc. Here are two quick steps to help you regain control and set boundaries for your pets so you can have a little more peace and order in the house.

First step is you need to be the leader, the one who controls the resources and enforces boundaries. Pets need boundaries to be set and enforced. In the absence of boundaries and rules, they will make things up themselves (which usually results in something of their choice being chewed up). Leadership does not mean yelling a reprimand or being abusive. Leadership is calm, focused confidence that you are running this program. All good things come from you. When you tell your pup to sit – it is in a “matter of fact” tone. A consequence to not doing an action is the pup doesn’t get the treat they want.

Which leads me to the second step – they need to work for their treat or their food. At meal time, your pup or pack should sit before the bowl touches the floor. Some people insist that their dogs wait in another room while the human family eats at the table. If they are going to go outside for a walk, have them sit first. The reward is getting to go outside. The point here is they must listen to you. If there are kids in the house – the whole family must be a united front when it comes to boundaries.

Otherwise, the pup or pack will play you off of each other.

After all of this implementation, if you would still like help with your pack or pup please click Here for our Client Qualification Survey or Here if you want to get started!

Friday, October 28, 2016

It’s Ok to Grieve

Last week I posted about understanding and supporting your pet when they grieve. Today I want to talk about when we grieve for a pet that has passed. For a great many people the attitude of a pet passing was simply “What a shame, it’s just a..(fill in the blank), you’ll get over it” Or the majority of the human race feels that animals are not worthy of a deep grief from a human. Luckily, that attitude is changing as is our global consciousness towards animals. One example is for K9 police officers who are killed in the line of duty - are given a funeral with full honors. Even Bretagne, the last search and rescue dog during 9-11 walked through a line of firefighters on her final walk before being released to the Rainbow Bridge Click here for her story.

When we make an agreement with an animal - regardless of species to share their lives with us and us with them, we make unspoken, yet understood promises to and for each other. We forge a “contract”. In this contract, we promise to care for them, give them food, shelter, medical care and to become a part of the family. They promise to give us their all, to be our teachers, our companions, our guardians and our comedians with unconditional love. One of the promises we must always make, and one that we must always agree to, is that when they ask us for the final release, then we must honor that request. We cannot and must not let them suffer. To do so would mean we would go back on our promise.

During the time of the contract, our animal companions truly become bonded to us and are family members - 100%. It stands to reason that the bonds of love are also forged during that time. When a furry family member passes, our grief is very real and very valid. Everyone grieves in their own time in their own way. The important thing is to let your grief flow the way it needs to. There are a few online resources for grief support groups. Or if you’d rather punch pillows/cry/scream that’s ok too. Remember to be gentle with yourself during this time. No one can tell you when you have grieved enough.

One thing to always remember - the bonds of love are unbreakable. While the physical form is gone, spirit and love are endless and eternal. Pets who have recently passed will hang around for about a month or so to make sure we are ok. So, don’t be surprised if you think you see your pet out of the corner of your eye or from behind the curtain.

If you have recently suffered a loss of a beloved animal companion and you need extra help Please contact us.