The 4th of July is right around the corner and now is a good time to be updating your animal companion about the firework plan. Do you have a firework plan?
A number of times a year Echo, (AKA Mini-Panther) and his person have a conversation to review what happens during celebrations that include fireworks.
Echo lives in a part of Seattle where fireworks are common. It seems the vibe of the neighborhood is: Anytime is a good time to light off a loud exploding object - football games, New Years and 4th of July. The explosions last until the wee hours of the morning and the big fireworks rock the house.
During their firework conversation Echo and his person review safety protocols, why the cat door will be locked for two days and why he will be stuck inside. Also, they go over what he should do if he is outside and a firework goes off. Echo is regularly told how many days it is until the fireworks start, and then the two of them share their dislike of fireworks and their mutual wish that fireworks did not exist or at least were silent.
Have you made a plan for your companions for the fireworks? 🐶 🐈 Please start talking to them now.
Also, if calming aids are needed, it's best to start using them now for they take a few weeks to build up in the body. Let your animal know why they are getting a new treat or powder if it is something completely new for them.
Summer oh glorious summer is here! Rain has been a close friend of summer here in the PNW and the gardens are a riot of color with a backdrop of lush green. I hope the summer in your part of the world is full of wonder and beauty. As we enter into this busy season remember to keep your animal companion in the loop of the activities you have planned for the months ahead.
If you are traveling and they are staying home, share with them the plan. Where you are going, why they aren’t going and who is taking care of them. Tell them everything. Do you have special events coming up such as graduations, weddings, parties or people are coming over? Share the news with them. Tell them who is coming and how long they are staying. Tell them everything.
And yes, I mean literally tell them out loud what the plans are and remind them as time goes by!
Animals read your energy, so speaking out loud to them is a bit different from speaking out loud to a person. They will interpret your messages through emotions and pictures which means you need to make sure to speak from the heart and be honest with them!
Talking with them as soon as plans are made helps them relax which means you can relax. And keep updating them if there are changes to plans.
Enjoy updating your fabulous furry family for an enjoyable summer!
On this Sunday before Memorial Day I thank each person in active military service, honor those who have served, and remember those who have fallen in service to our country. I also remember the animals working in active service, have served, or have fallen.
There are a variety of animals in the military- horses, dogs, pigeons, dolphins, bees and pigs (to name just a few). The list goes on and on! Animals help with transportation, pest control, morale ( as mascots and companions), medical evacuations, search and rescue, detection, scouting, guarding, and relaying messages.
To each animal and human in the military I bow, giving great thanks for your dedication to our country.
PSA from the animals
The animals are begging you to clearly tell them what you want from them, and to be conscious of where you are focusing your attention.
This message comes from a familiar theme emphasized throughout many client conversations this month with anxious animals or animals displaying undesirable behaviors. Animals are masters at reading energy, intention, and attention. Energy flows where intention and attention goes. Clarifying what you want gives your animal an idea of where the energy is flowing and a blueprint for how to stay in connection with you during anxious moments.
Let me share an example from my own life:
Sometimes my dog Prince will lunge at another dog while we are on a walk. I spent some time time figuring out what I want from our walks together, which I determined to be a sense of SAFETY. So I explore what safety means (and more importantly) how safety feels for me, and I broadcast this to Prince through my words and with my body.
In my exploration around the word safety I understand that safety means to me that my nervous system is resting, my breathing and heartbeat have normal rhythmic flow, my body is fluid and I move with ease, I am aware of my surroundings and I am present with what I see, hear, and sense. Safety means that my dog and I communicate with each other with ease while walking, meaning I am noticing his cues and respond and he is responding to me as well. Safety for every being in my home means that there is enough room and space for every being to rest easily and can move around the house with ease. I let my dog Prince know at the beginning of our walk that we are going to have a safe, fun, refreshing adventure. Because I have spent time figuring out what safety means to me, my body broadcasts the feeling of safety to match my words and Prince gets the message. If something happens that does not feel safe (say I did not read his cues and he felt uncomfortable around a dog and reacted by lunging), I let him know that that action was NOT safe, allowing my body to amplify my racing heart, my shallow breathing, the nervous system that is reacting and then I say for myself and him “Everyone needs to feel safe on our walks, you, me and any being walking by.” Using my breath and shifting my attention back to what safety feels like to me I am reorienting myself and him back to safety, and we can then continue our walk with ease.
Reorienting to safety reminds me to be more present on the walk and to pay attention to Prince’s body language and cues when another dog is approaching. so I can be broadcasting safety and staying in connection with him during moments of uncertainty.
There are many common and frustrating circumstances that can be addressed using this practice. For example:
Peeing/pooping outside of the box - Take time to explore why you are angry and clarify where you want the animals to pee and why. Is it for beauty, cleanliness and ease? You could send your cat a message such as this: "The litter box is the only place for peeing and pooping. I like the house to be clean and to smell good. Cat pee is not a pleasant smell I want in my house. If there is pee outside the litterbox I get frustrated and angry because I have to clean and the house stinks."
Barking - Take time to explore why you are angry and clarify when you want the dog to bark and why and communicate that with you animals. 'No barking!' is a phrase often delivered with a lot of energy towards the dog and to them it feels as if you are joining in. Remember that barking is a way of communicating for dogs. Do you acknowledge their barking? Thank them for letting you know the delivery guy is there! Explore how much barking is okay and let the dog know your comfort level (such as- 'two barks is enough!').
These are just a few examples. By taking time to clarifying what you want, your whole body can be communicating the energetic message more effectively to your companions. This is a powerful guide to reorient back to when there are things you don't want.
Have fun exploring and clarifying! The animals are grateful for your clarification because it fosters harmony and connection.