How an animal communication session works

small white dog on blue and white chair
An animal doesn’t have to sit on a chair in my office to talk with me … though that might be fun. (Photo by Dominic Buccilli from Pexels)

As an animal communicator, I help animals of all species and their people solve problems and improve relationships. But the animals don’t come to my office, sit on a sofa, and tell me what’s bothering them. They can talk to me remotely from their own homes — no Zoom, WiFi, or appointments needed.

That’s because communicating with animals uses that “sixth sense” all humans and animals have. It’s how you know your kid is either in trouble or causing trouble. It’s how your dog knows you’re on the way home. It’s that niggling feeling that, despite logical evidence to the contrary, something’s not right. (How often has that proved to be spot-on?)

Yet any professional practice functions in the world of methods, procedures, and accountability. Here’s how mine does.

The animal, the question, and a prayer

When I begin an animal communication session in my northeast Indiana office, I have the animal’s name, species, age, gender, and usually a photo. The animal himself can be anywhere. I also have one or two questions or concerns the animal’s person wants to address.

But first, I say a brief prayer asking God to help me listen effectively, and relay with accuracy, fairness, and kindness what the animal needs her person to know. I ask St. Francis, patron saint of animals and the environment, to be with us as well.

Then I hold an image of the animal in my mind and gently tune into her energy. Once the animal responds — I generally get a sense of a head raised or ears at attention — I silently introduce myself and ask permission to communicate with her. I say her person has asked me to talk with her about (whatever the issue is) and help if we can.

I’ve never had an animal refuse to communicate, but I have had a few “uh-oh, I’m in trouble, aren’t I?” responses. I assure them this isn’t about being in trouble. It’s about listening and finding a way forward.

I might ask: “So it sounds like you’ve been peeing outside the litter box. Can you tell me more about that?” Or: “You’ve been seeing some boxes around the house and your people have been pretty tense lately. (Your person) wants me to tell you more about what’s happening. We want to know how you’re feeling about it and find out what you need right now.”

Being heard means everything

Then comes the most important part of all: listening with a clear mind and an open heart. Sometimes what the animal has to say will come in words, but more often I get images and emotions. I might get an image of the dog or cat moving away from an angry man inside a house. Or I might see a young girl grooming the horse and sense the horse feeling very relaxed and loved. I take notes in longhand.

I relay anything the person wants me to tell the animal and ask what the animal needs. Almost always, some action steps the person can take emerge. It could be a different location for his litter box. It may be a visit with a particular person or another animal as her life is drawing to a close. In any case, I assure the animal that I will do my best to help, that his human loves and appreciates him very much, and that he is infinitely loved and cared for by God.

I thank the animal for communicating with me. Then I end the conversation pretty much the same way I’d end a phone call — I say goodbye and disconnect. Then I write up my findings and email them to the animal’s person — always with encouragement to take what resonates and leave the rest.

If you have questions or would like to arrange a session for your animal friend, please feel free to contact me.

Pet ingestion question? There’s an app

veterinary-85925_1280 - Pixabay

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Wondering if it’s OK to give a particular food or medication to your cat? Maybe your dog got hold of a human medication, and your vet’s office is closed. A Google search yields contradictory answers.

Dr. Mari Delaney, a veterinarian of 25 years in Elmira, New York, has developed the Vet Protect app. It gives you a quick, expert answer on foods, medications, and things like borax ant traps. It also gives you a vet bill estimate on the toxic items. Users are invited to request items that are not on the list.

Dr. Delaney developed the app after treating a 10-year-old Rottweiler whose person mistakenly gave her Aleve. With aggressive treatment, the dog recovered, but it easily could have gone the other way.

I learned about the app while hearing Dr. Delaney interviewed on Dr. Bernadine Cruz’  The Pet Doctor podcast, and downloaded it myself. You just never know when you might need help in a hurry, and I liked Dr. Delaney’s approach and energy.

As a gardener, I wish the app included more plants … but that might be something to suggest. Vet Protect is available on iTunes and Google Play.

Three ways to love your pet and our world


Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Sometimes it feels like the problems faced by the animals of this world, and the environment we all live in, are so huge and so far gone that there is nothing we ordinary individuals can do.

Admittedly, as an empath I may be more prone to this occasional overwhelm, but I know I’m not alone. You may have just seen a news report or social media post about a disaster, environmental policy reversal, cruelty case, or fearful prediction that made your heart sink, too.

Consider this, though: If you have adopted an animal, you’ve already exercised the power to save lives and alleviate suffering. Like the young man throwing one beached starfish after another back into the ocean after a storm, we each save the world by doing what we have the power to do.

The practice of Reiki helps me do that by first getting out of the muck of fear and into a place of peace and balance. Only then can I hear God’s still, small voice. Then I can discern and do something useful, whether it’s a Reiki session with a rescued horse or a small change in the way I care for my own animals.

In the interest of ditching the defeatist crap in favor of practical solutions that add up, here are a few ideas. (I receive no compensation from any business mentioned; these recommendations come free and clear.)

1. Be wise about waste

Speaking of crap, pick up after your dog. Yes, you. Yes, really. Earth Rated makes biodegradable poop bags you can easily take on walks. They come in all sizes, some lavender scented. You can even get them in a little dispenser that clips to the leash. It preserves neighborly goodwill, saves shoes, and helps keep contaminants out of our water.

For cats, I recommend disposable, biodegradable Nature’s Miracle litter boxes. (Avoid the cheap imitations if you don’t want a peepocalypse.) You can use the biodegradable bags for the daily scoop, put the whole box in a biodegradable kitchen bag after four to six weeks, and put it in the trash. It uses less litter, avoids plastic litter boxes and liners, and you don’t have to scrub or disinfect.

There are many litter choices on the market beyond the clay or clumping varieties. Recycled newspaper, pine shavings, sawdust, and wheat are some of the options branded as earth-friendly, but I found no independent reviews or studies on this. Since both veterinarians and cats have preferences regarding cat litter, ask your vet before you switch. Then gradually mix in the old with the new. Be prepared to switch back if the new is not to Her/His Majesty’s liking. Litter box boycotts are not environmentally friendly.

By the way, I’ve found Bac-Out to be a good, nontoxic choice for removing pet stains and odors.

2. Play well, play fair

As the lottery commercials say, please play responsibly. A pet toy may not seem to have much impact on the environment, but ethical sourcing and sustainable materials make a difference. Durability makes a difference too; it’s frustrating to find the perfect toy, only to have your little darling destroy it in an hour.

Cheap plastic impulse buys happen to the best of us. However, shops such as Green Doggoods here in Fort Wayne, Indiana sell quality, eco-friendly pet toys. (Green Dog also carries the aforementioned poop bags.) Without much extra effort, you can make more eco-friendly choices, support a local business, and give your beloved animal the best.

Also remember that for cats, nothing beats a cardboard box or a randomly tossed paper wad. Both are recyclable.

3. “Put away the chocolate” notes and other memory tricks

Chocolate is a delight to us, but toxic to our four-legged friends. So any chocolate you receive for Valentine’s Day or any other occasion needs to be kept out of their reach.

It’s easy to forget to do this. When our attention is in several places at once, it’s easy to leave a box of chocolates out. Or not notice that somebody has slipped out the door, a gate was left open, or a water bowl is empty.

Again, small efforts can yield big returns. We can get in the habit of entering and exiting carefully and making sure the gate latches. We can put a “Return to cupboard” note on or inside the the chocolate box. (The little cheat sheet that tells us which truffle is which would be a good place.) We can put reminders to check the water bowl on our phones.

Being more aware of what we’re doing is better for our and our animals’ overall well-being. And in one of those “we are all connected” philosophies we might find tiresome but true, that can’t help but make for a better world.