Wheels of Light Keep Turning!

Wheel in the sky keeps on turning 
-Journey

color-and-sound-holisitc-spiritual-energy-healing

Hello Bright Light!

I hope this finds you well at at peace in all ways.  Wow, we are nearly midway through the first month of the New Year!  Incredible.  So far, 2018 has not disappointed!  The energy has been incredibly expansive and focused, and our animal companions continue to teach me, and challenge me with love and humor 😉  More on that later.

Today I would like to share something really fun and enlightening with you!  Please get comfy.  Grab your coffee or tea.  Open your mind and heart.  And try a little willingness to learn something new for the New Year.

If you were not yet aware, I would like to share a bit about the energy of this New Year, and how you can bring this energy into your home, your shelter, and to those with whom you live, work, and care for.  Then this topic will quickly flow into a bit about animals’ energy centers, how you can learn from them, and grow together!


2018 is a Year of Mastery! 

In numerology (which I am a total novice at), 2018 translates into 11, which is what they refer to as a Master Number.  Master numbers possess great potential for learning and growth and can bring major transformations in our lives.  This is a powerful year for everyone and all beings on Earth.

The Universal Energy for 2018: 2 + 0 + 1 + 8 = 11  

Master Number 11 symbolizes high energy, inspiration, intuition, self-expression and personal power.  Master Number 11 is called ‘the Illuminator’, ‘the Messenger’ or ‘the Teacher’.  Master Number 11 also tells us that by connecting with our higher selves is to know and live our soul’s mission and life purpose.  2018 is also about partnership, connections, balance, equality, and flexibility!

You might be wondering, What the heck does that mean for me on a practical level?

Great question.  It basically means that we’re here to “master” the elements presented to us within the frequency, vibration, and “theme” of 2018.  Our strengths will be supported, but we will also be faced with more significant challenges.  However, if we are coming from an empowered place, these changes and challenges can be greeted not with fear, but with grace and ease.  This includes challenges with our animal companions.  Peace, joy, and expansion can be the epicenter of our lives.

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Energy Artist Julia – Big Cartel

More Insights Into the Energy of 2018:

The Master number brings with it an intensity that’s undeniable.  It’s generally observed that the Master numbers bring a higher spiritual purpose, no matter how you might define that.  The Master numbers carry a higher frequency and vibratory influence.  Energetically speaking, they’re always pushing you.  So in practical terms, the year 2018 is a year where the energy supporting and guiding all of us is rather intense.  Everyone will be getting the internal call to step it up this year.


What better time than now to embrace these energies?!?  That is part of why I am finally shedding my current (and past) fears of sharing the more spiritual side of things with the world.  This is part of why I am stepping it up NOW.   So, needless to say, not only is the Master Number Energy in the mix, but today is a very auspicious day indeed: 1/11/2018, which is probably why I am so inspired to share with you today! So let’s get to it!


Dog Shake Art_Energy_year of the dog_earth dog
Art by Iris Scott

The Year of the Earth Dog

The Chinese new year begins in February.  This will be the The Year of the Earth Dog.  Its keyword is ACTION.  Of the five Taoist elements Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood, this is the year of the Earth.  Stable, honest, practical, industrious, prudent, reliable, kind, and loyal are Earth qualities.  The element Earth enriches Dog’s character and adds needed stability.  The Earth Dog is endowed with some of the finest qualities of all the 12 astrology animals.  Since 2018’s element is Earth, this year is also about security and feeling grounded and safe.

Which leads me to the main point of this post:  Energy 


Beyond The Borders of Animal Training

As someone who has been an animal professional for nearly 20 years, I understand the need for, and the importance of humane, science-based animal training, species-specific enrichment, and species-appropriate husbandry.  I understand and the importance of animal care givers and companion animal guardians being fluent in specie-specific behaviors.  Knowing how to accurately read and correctly interpret an animal’s body language, and vocalizations is essential.  Knowing how animals learn and retain information is essential.  Understanding how and why force-free methods work is vital; applying these humane methods should be priority.  These science-based tools assist us in bridging the gap between species.

Conscious Companion_force free training_reptile training
Teaching my volunteers and interns at Audubon about science-based, force-free training

After decades of professional and personal experience, I am an expert in these areas.  I have seen the far-reaching effects of these compassionate, science-based methods, which is why I am very passionate about these tools!  I not only teach others how to use these tools, but I use them on a daily basis.  These are all necessary for any species of animal who is living in a captive environment, whether the animal is in our home or a facility.

But there is much more that we can work with and carefully manage that extends far beyond the borders ofanimal training,enrichment, and husbandry.  There are other elements at play that affect our animal family members, and the animals under our care at a shelter or facility.  This can be summed up in one word: Energy.

Energy Healing for Pets_conscious Companion

Energy is everything.

As I have shared with you before, my life is a balance of science and spirituality.  This is how and why we now have a beautiful harmonic home life.  This is why my clients find success for life.  This blending of modalities and holistic approach to medical and behavioral challenges has changed everything for the better … and for the Greater Good.

How we manage energy is an integral part of being a Conscious Companion.  Practicing personal energy management is important to the management and success of managing our animal companions. It is also connected to the health and well being of them as well.  Assisting our animal companions with their energetic challenges is also an important part of being an empowering animal guardian!  Recognizing our energetic challenges is also incredible important and empowering!

Science-based, force-free training is only one part of the “pet puzzle.”  Knowing this and acting on it in an empowered way is vital.  Although it is2018, we are light years away of where we could all be with regards to how we live with and care for animal companions. The world of animal behavior consulting and animal guardianship will eventually shift to a world that combines both science and spirituality; we will finally learn how to work with the metaphysical and the physical. These worlds are not separate. They are One. And if we want to have true success, true lasting bonds and true health and harmony in our homes, we will learn to utilize (and live in) both of these worlds.

The blending of science and spirituality is the work of the future.  That future is now.   Conscious Companion

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Checking and Balancing Chakras

One of the many ways that every animal guardian can come from a more empowered place and recognize potential pitfalls is by checking chakras!  No, that word is not the sound of a cat hacking up a hairball.  It’s totally legit. 😉 Hear me out …

All living beings have these.  Dogs, cats, people, dolphins, parrots, horses, rats, frogs, you name it!  If you’re alive, you have chakras!

animal chakras_pets

Chakras are energy centers/vortexes.  Chakras are conceived as an energy focal point, bodily functions, or psychic node in the subtle body.  Although this concept is found particularly in the tantric traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, countless holistic veterinarians work with pets’ chakras every day.  In yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda, chakras are often referred to for balance throughout.

The ancient Sanskrit word Chakra literally translates to wheel or disk.  It is literally a wheel of LIGHT.  And each chakra has its own color of light!     In humans, there are seven main chakras (currently recognized –but there are many more!). These 7 chakras align the spine, starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head.

Most animals have 8 Major chakras, up to 21 Minor chakras, and 6 smaller energy points known as Bud chakras (paw pads & the bud of skin at the opening of the ears).  Companion animals have an 8th chakra that we humans don’t have: a brachial chakra.  The main Chakras govern responses to surrounding energy.  The 3 chakras found in the lower part of the body (root, sacral & solar plexus) govern basic survival needs. The four chakras in the upper body (heart, throat, third eye & crown) govern mental processes and connection to higher realms.

Chakras expand or contract depending on a variety of circumstances (emotional AND physical health, environment, etc.).  Animals receive and distribute energy through each chakra individually, which makes them sensitive to subtle vibrations & changes within the atmosphere & their environment.  This invisible energy, called Prana, is vital life force, which keeps us vibrant, healthy, and alive.


What-Is-Chakra-1


It’s not Woo-Woo; it’s just new to you! – Conscious Companion


Windows to Wellness

Chakras are a window to wellness.  In both people and pets, the energy body (which involves the chakras) are connected to emotions.  So the energy body is like a blueprint or software which gives instructions to the physical organs.  These swirling wheels of energy correspond to massive nerve centers in the body.  Each of the main chakras contain bundles of nerves and major organs as well as our psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being.

Being aware of both your and your animal companion’s mental and physical health is vital, which is why we perform routine Chakra Checks!  In another post I will teach you how we use a tool called a pendulum to check the status of each one, every day.  For today, what I want to get across is this: When chakras are open and balanced all is well within body and mind.  BUT… when even one chakra is out of balance, it affects the entire system.

Here’s one example/insight into the Heart Chakra of a feline:

An open, balanced, and aligned Heart Chakra allows for loving, harmonious relationships, tolerance, and being deeply connected to their guardian on a heart level.
-A closed or imbalanced heart chakra can adversely affect behavior.
-It could also indicate there is a physical issue in the body.
-Heart chakra governs the heart, lungs, immune system & thymus gland.

Chakra-System-of-Cats


“Going from Ugh to Om”

So what does this mean for devoted animal guardians??  It brings us all to a very empowered place.  It’s an invitation to be more open, more curious, and willing to grow and heal … together.

Now.

Today a very dear friend and colleague who is a dog adorer-er 😉  gifted intuitive, Empath, and certified dog trainer is kicking off an incredible online class.   And it perfectly ties into today’s post.  Her class is all about the Wheels of Light, and how we can keep them turning!  In her 7 week class you will:

  • Learn an integrative approach to pet guardianship through the lens of mind, body, and energetic connection
  • Hear how true partnerships, heart-centered connections, and translating beyond your pets’ behaviors can help you and your animal companion heal, expand, and grow spiritually together
  • Discover how working with chakras, numerology, sacred geometry, animal symbolism and crystals can actually help shift your animal companion’s behavior like on-leash reactivity, separation anxiety, guest reactivity, barking, and accidents
  • Explore how your pet’s behaviors can provide clues to bigger energetic patterns in your life
  • Hear about a road map to how pet behaviors can give you specific insight into the healing that is ready to take place, including which limiting beliefs to process and which chakras they affect
  • Learn 3 questions that can help you call in more harmony, balance, and growth for you and your animal companion
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AUM or Om (Sanskrit: ॐ) is a sacred sound and a spiritual icon in Indian Dharmic religions. It is also a mantra in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism

In Denise’s groundbreaking class her focus will be mainly on canine companions and how our energy can affect them, but our feathered and feline friends will also be addressed as these topics arise.  It is going to be such a joy and honor to be a part of this important, ground-breaking, and incredibly empowering program!

As Denise clearly and beautifully states:

Energy connects us all.  The most primal way to communicate with our pets is energetically, but somewhere along the way this got discounted as a basic building block of dog obedience training and living a more connected life with your pet.  We are here to change all that, and redefine how we train, connect with, and relate to our animal companions.


I truly believe that you can make an unimaginable difference in the life of your animal companion by becoming an EMPOWERED animal guardian; you can BEcome a Conscious Companion, just as they already are.  You can move out of your comfort zone and be willing to learn new concepts, new ideas, and new insights.  You can empower them by healing and empowering yourself!  You can create an True New Year together!

Healing_empath_tips_pets_grounding_Conscious Companion_Amy Martin
Grounding together at the beach with my beloved Hocus

“We are more alike than different. We Are One.” 
― Efrat Cybulkiewicz

Disco, Dart Frogs, Cats, and Canines!

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Hello gorgeous!

Considering the current state of affairs around the world, I thought we could all use some levity.  We all need a break from the fear, hate, insanity, and the seemingly never-ending drama.

This post serves to give you just that.

As promised, I will be swaying between science and spiritual stuff U.F.N. 😉  Since my last post swung to the spiritual side, I thought we could dance to a different beat today!

And once again, I am grateful you are here.

I have to mention; the grammar nerd in me got a kick out of playing around with the comma placement in the title of this post.  If you were confused, this post isn’t about disco frogs, disco cats, or disco dogs, but it does involve these species, with a touch of the genre of music I just adore: disco!

disco shoes dancing retro

I appreciate that this genre of music isn’t everyone’s preferred choice.  But since I am a child of the 70’s I have a super positive association with DISCO that stems way back to childhood and well into high school.  From rocking out to The Bee Gees in the backseat, to breakin’ it down until the break of dawn with my girlfriends; Disco was my dope.

It was a natural high for me.  Even to this day, if I am in a funk, I play F U N K!  Disco can get me movin’ and groovin’ unlike no other music!  Play me some Soundgarden or Bob Marley and I am ready to rock-n-roll or love everything around me.  Put on “Super disco, disco breakin” by The Beastie boys, and I am amped!  But when real old school Disco starts to play … watch out world … my sass emerges and I am ready to shake-that-aaaaaa … !!!

Ok, you get it. 😀  The right kind of music can totally shift me out of a funk.  And as someone who has suffered from depression, anxiety, and chronic pain for more than half of my life, music is my medicine.

But I am not unique in this way.

We are all moved by the right kind of tune.  Music shifts our mood.  Chemical reactions occur.  Endorphins are released.  Music promotes positive movement,  and dare I say, healing?

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
― Bob Marley

 

Movement Shifts Energy.  When we physically move the body, it supports and facilitates the movement of Life Force Energy.  When the physical body moves, the energy shifts within.  This is not woo; it’s legit.  Science has yet to prove this fact, but Eastern cultures have known this for centuries.  Our western world is just catching onto this fact.  But this fact is not limited to humans.  Because physical movement shifts energy, physical movement supports the chakras of all living beings.  Animals of all shapes, sizes and species benefit from positive movement and motivation.

But are we, as animal guardians, providing this opportunity enough?

The body and mind are not separate, and we cannot treat one without the other.” ~ Dr. Candice Pert

 


Back in another life, during my Audubon Zoo Dayz, I was an Enrichment Coordinator. Providing species-specific enrichment for everything from parrots to poison dart frogs was my passion!  So now, providing this necessary, science-based enrichment for companion animals is second nature to me.  My hope, is that once you learn how, this will come naturally to you, too!  Knowing how to do this is vital if we want to provide a healthy environment for our animal companions to thrive in captivity.

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blue poison dart frogs (Dendrobates) enjoying novel multi-sensory enrichment (hunting for fruit flies out of a seasonal pumpkin)  Seriously. How adorable are they?

 


So what do poison dart frogs have to do with disco, cats, and dogs?  A lot, actually.

We now know that offering a coconut foraging feeder to captive Dendrobates (poison dart frogs) produces new behaviors.  This particular kind of enrichment feeder produces the greatest increase in frog activity in both traditional and new exhibits.  The increase in mobility is most likely due to a coconut feeder’s complicated nature, which randomizes the release of insects into the exhibit.  The complexity of the enrichment increases both mental and physical aspects of the frogs.

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Now think about how we can create something like this at home or in shelters, and why it’s so important.  If something as simple as placing prey (fruit flies) in a coconut feeder for frogs to foraging and hunt from, creates more desirable behaviors and healthy mental stimulation, what can we offer to our companion animals??

The possibilities are endless!

They key is to make things simple and safe, but challenging for the animal.  Create choice, offer control, and add complexity.   The goal is to elicit species-specific behaviors and to stimulate their natural abilities, senses, and enhance cognition.   This is what proper enrichment offers.   Enrichment is as integral to animal care as veterinary and nutrition programs.  The scientific principles in which structured enrichment programs are created are not reserved for lions, tigers, bears, and sea lions in zoos and aquariums.

Enrichment Is For Everyone.

And considering the high number of unhealthy pets in homes, increasing behavioral problems, and animals surrendered to shelters every week, I say we aren’t doing enough enrichment.  But we can change this.  And when we do it will shift everything.  Not only will we shift the energy within the animal, which will result in healthier bodies and minds, but we will create a more empowered way of living for each animal within the home.  We will also shift the energy between guardians and the animals.

We create a total shift for everyone on every level.


“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” ― Frank Zappa


 

There is enough craziness and fear unfolding around the globe.  Why don’t we bring some joy and humor into our home?  Why don’t we pull our focus from that insanity and consciously create really fun but safe ways to shift the energy with our animals?  There are amazing souls right under our nose!  Let’s engage with them more!  Let’s focus on the joy and love that’s waiting for us!

That is where we can choose to focus our energy.


Creating fun games that are tailored for the individual animal/group are one way that we can pull away from the drama and fear in the world and create harmony at home.  We can create our own music that moves us all!  Music moves us and gets us groovin, but what can we offer our animal companions to get their bodies and minds movin’ and groovin??

Enrichment.

I have talked about enrichment at great length before. But if you haven’t read those posts, here’s a quick run down on enrichment:

  • promotes naturalistic behaviors
  • stimulates the mind
  • increases physical activity
  • reduces stress
  • promotes overall health
  • increases an animal’s perception of control over their environment
  • empowers the animal with more choices
  • provides constructive ways to occupy their time

animal enrichment_zoos

Enrichment is “the act or process of increasing the intellectual or spiritual resources”.

All of that is so important, but one of my favorite by-products of proper enrichment is the bonds it strengthens. – both between animals of the same species and between different species.  This has been a powerful tool in our home.  One of our favorite ways to shift the energy of our group while building bonds that last is by providing species-specific enrichment every day.

For the 3.0 cats (3 males) and 0.1 dog (female) in our family, this was not only a way to shift stagnant energy in their body, but it was a tool to build a bridge between them. We created conditions to create a fun, harmonious, and happy home.  Hocus Pocus and King Albert once had a very combative relationship, but these kind of enrichment activities (and other tools) have dramatically changed their relationship to one based on trust. Physical challenges in older animals were addressed and healing occurred.  Minds were stimulated and stagnation faded.

Behavioral enrichment is the environmental enhancement of the lives of animals in a managed setting by providing them with mental and physical stimulation to increase natural and healthy behavior.

Now to the disco.

In the short video below, “Wake-and-Hunt” (not to be confused with Wake-and-Bake)  😉 you will see one example of how we do this.


“Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here!”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone


Of course the cats and dog aren’t dancing to disco while they do these foraging activities, but you can see how excited they are to participate!  Seeing their energy shift from stagnation to determination, and boredom to curiosity, is similar to shifting our energy via the right kind of music!  We just need to find the right tune and melody, so to speak, for each individual.

Seniors, in particular, really need to be encouraged to behave, explore, and be stimulated in constructive ways that mimic the experiences they had when they were younger. Nose work is one way that we can do that.


casey bdaty (2)
Casey, the critically endangered lowland gorilla enjoying his birthday carrot cake

For 18 years I have been creating I.E.P.s (Individualized Enrichment Programs) for animals of all shapes, sizes, and species, so it’s now second nature to me.  I often forget that this kind of program isn’t in everyone’s go-to-tool box.  But it should be!  I believe that proper, individualized, species-specific enrichment can be more powerful than basic training.

Choice, control and complexity are key.

Providing conditions in a captive animal’s environment (home, shelter, zoo) that parallels a life were they would normally have endless choices is empowering.  It’s life changing!  Science and experience have proven that by providing this for all species of animals living in captivity, we have the power to reduce and eliminate a myriad of medical and behavioral issues.  When we create conditions that enhance cognition, encourage movement, and improve overall well-being through resources that tap into the individual species’ senses, we can change lives!

With the right kind of movement and music to match the soul, we shift out of pain and suffering into bliss and joy.  – Conscious Companion

You don’t have to be a professional in this area.  You can learn how to provide safe and species-appropriate enrichment to the animals with whom you care for, in your shelter or home!  It does require some planning and creativity, but the effort pays off in the long run.  I will be creating a free E-Book that discusses this in greater detail, but for now:

You can View one example of how we created an I.E.P for one of our geriatric cats here. 

You can view another IEP for our younger cat here.

You can download an overview of our Guidelines for planning an Individualized Enrichment Program here.

Dog and cat foraging enrichment

You too, can create and provide this kind of fun but carefully created mental and physical stimulation for your animal companions every day.  Heck, even once or twice a week could completely shift so much energy in your home!  But before you do, please remember to ask these questions:

Creating enrichment program for CATS_What's the Goal_Questions to ask_Conscious Companion

 

We need to ask important questions BEFORE providing this kind of food enrichment.
A successful food enrichment program is goal-oriented and considers The Big Picture.

  • Do we have a goal in mind?
  • Is the enrichment for one cat? Multiple cats? A cat and another species?
  • What behaviors of each do we want to encourage?
  • How will these behaviors be encouraged?
  • Will the foraging enrichment be created (or purchased)?
  • Is it safe? (see unsafe/failed enrichment here)
  • How will we implemented it?
  • How will we evaluate the response and the effect?
  • Are there any diet restrictions?
  • Health issues?
  • Is there any oversight that should involve a feline nutritionist or a feline health practitioner?
  • Are we utilizing the 5 categories of enrichment? – If not, why?


“There are two means of refuge from the misery of life — music and cats.”
― Albert Schweitzer


You might have noticed that I am highlighting cats in this post.  I am because the majority of people believe that cat’s don’t need as much mental and physical stimulation as dogs.  But this is untrue and very harmful.  Another misconception is that senior and geriatric cats don’t need to get moving daily.   Friend, they DO!

Some Cat Stats at a Glance:

• Cats are currently the most commonly kept pet in the United States
• Cats far outnumber dogs in homes (96 million cats vs. 83 million dogs).
• Cats are mislabeled as low-maintenance pets.
• This leads to cats housed in suboptimal environments.

• Cats are the number one animal euthanized at shelters due to “behavioral issues”.
• Cats with medical or behavioral issues were the ones most likely to be re-homed to an animal shelter, (instead of being re-homed with friends or family members.)

When the environment of house cats don’t match the conditions they need in order to thrive, medical and behavioral issues arise.  Medical issues lead to behavioral issues which leads to a stressful household.  It can be a vicious cycle.  All of this can lead to a weakening of the human-animal bond, which often results in the owners surrendering the cat to a shelter, tossing the cat onto the streets, or euthanizing the cat.

Sub-optimal conditions are associated with increases in dozens of health and behavioral issues. Aggression, attention-seeking behaviors, and stress-related behaviors can be results of suboptimal conditions of captivity.  In fact, House-soiling is the most frequently cited behavior problem for cats, followed by aggression toward people. Below are just a few common conditions created by sub-optimal conditions for house cats:

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Joint problems
  • Chronic lower urinary tract issues
  • Behavioral and mental health problems

 

The Reality is that house cats and their conditions don’t match.

The conditions house cats are kept in are often the least natural to their species. Our feline companions are very similar to their closest ancestor, the African wildcat, in terms of their behavioral needs and instincts.  Therefore, the conditions of house cats should parallel those of their closest wild ancestor, the African wildcat.

Scent is another biggie that’s overlooked in companion cats.  A cat’s sense of smell is 40x stronger than ours.   Scent is crucial when it comes to social situations, locating prey, and  maintaining safety.  Scent is also crucial when it comes to evaluation of food.  If more cat guardians gain a better understanding of the vital role that scent plays in a pussycat’s life, they can use this tool to enhance their feline friend’s life!

“Importantly, a better understanding of cat chemical signals has critical applied implications, as scent (and marking) plays an important role in many species-typical cat behaviors, problem behaviors, and can also serve as enrichment if properly understood and applied.” – Vitale Shreve and Udell

Providing various scents for cats to find is very enriching to cats. We can use everything from catnip to canned food.  Some other great options are  silver vine, honey suckle, local bird feathers, potting soil, beach sand, etc.  Encouraging cats to harness these innate abilities and natural instincts is necessary.

Senior and geriatric cats, in particular, really need to be encouraged to behave, explore, and be stimulated in constructive ways that mimic the experiences they had when they were younger.  Nose work (like you saw in the video above) is one way that we can do that every day.   When we set the scene for a cat to use his/her exquisite senses we are helping our house cats to live a life worthy of their ancestors. We are allowing house cats to THRIVE.

That is why we provide these kind of fun enriching activities every day!

Albert foraging yard

The goals of enrichment are to offer a sense of control by allowing animals to make choices and to stimulate species-appropriate behaviors

Animal guardians can learn about who their pet is as a species. We can learn their individual hunting styles, personal preferences, and dislikes /fears.  Guardians can provide proper species-specific conditions inside their home that parallel the animal’s natural life in the wild.  People can learn how to help their companions to thrive inside!

We can change lackluster homes into thriving environments!
We can enhance the lives and longevity of our animal family members!
We can enhance the bond between animals and their guardians!
We can build bonds between every species in the home!
We can keep animals in homes.
We can Build Bonds That Last!


My challenge to you is to allow yourself to let go of the drama and stress of life by creating a peaceful kingdom at home.  Let laughter and joy become the centerpiece of your home.  Create memories that last, well after your beloved moves on.  Create harmony by enriching their environment … and yours.

There doesn’t need to be any pressure.  There is enough pressure in this crazy world; we need not add any to our life.  The idea is to create therapeutic, enriching, and fun activity time together every day.  We all need more fun!  Funk it up!  Help them get their groove back! And yours! Create the time to add in more playtime, more ways to bond, and to release the stress of life.  Together.

 


You know you ought to slow down

You been working too hard and that’s a fact
Sit back and relax a while
Take some time to laugh and smile

Lay your heavy load down
So we can stop and kick back
It seems we never take the time to do
All the things we want to do

The S.O.S Band (video)


 

I am curious.  What kind of fun mental and physical games do you play with your animal companions?  What has worked well?  What kinds of exciting enrichment opportunities will you create this week together?

My hope is that you will choose to create moments of joy together and memories that last forever.  My hope is that you will create your own musical masterpiece together and dance to your own tune.  My hope is that you will turn to your beloveds when the world is too much with you.  My hope is that you can find peace within your animal kingdom at home.

Be well.

Be at peace.

Let your heart be light.

Let your animals be your greatest teachers.

Let go and remember to laugh with the ones you love!

Abstract background blue,yellow and orange


 

Recommended Videos and Links:

 

“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.”
― Arthur O’Shaughnessy

 

A Fear-Free 4th?

“Fear is a stranger to the ways of love.

 – A Course In Miracles

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A Peaceful Sunset Near Our Home

Happy July!

Wow.  How are we already past the midway point of 2017!?

Hello Summer! And hello to you!

It’s been 3 months since I shared here.  So much has happened since the last post .  After our beloved King Albert transitioned into Spirit, life has been a roller coaster of sorts.  Saying goodbye to him was a heartbreaking and familiar path, but this time the path was paved with life-changing insights and experiences.  So much love, learning, healing, and growth has happened in the process.

But that’s not what I am sharing with you today.

As I discussed in an earlier post, my life and work is now a blend of science, metaphysics, and spirituality.  My last post was a bit of both, and rather lengthy.  Today’s post is science-based and short-n-sweet to save us all time. 😉

Let’s get to it!

The fourth of July (and Canada Day) are almost here.  If you have been following this blog since the get-go ,  you know that I write about this dreaded day at great length.  The 4th of July is a favorite day of celebration for many people, but let’s be honest:  It’s a day of terror for many animals.  The Fourth of July might as well be renamed “4th of July Fright Night”.

If your cat is cool with the cacophony of clangs, I commend him.  If your dog digs having strangers over with a symphony of explosions, and scary sights and scents, I bow down to her.  If your parrot, ferret, pig, or horse is unphased by the big bad booms around their dojo, they are the minority.

Most animal companions are not cool with the Fourth of July.

If you have worked with or lived with an animal, you know that most are frightened of loud or startling noises.  Even the ones who enjoy being around new people can be pushed to their limit.  Strangers in your home during the holiday can stress out even the most subdued souls.

Even if your animal companion has not displayed fear around these family events before, the sights, scents, and sounds on The Fourth of July could easily bring out their most intense fears.  And these fears don’t pass after the festivities are over; they can manifest as physical issues well after the event.

It can be a living nightmare for many.

💥 So, what’s a devoted animal guardian to do?!?
–> BE AWARE.
–> PLAN.
–> PREPARE.
💥


Here’s the Good News: Family festivities on the 4th of July don’t have to become Fright Night to our animal companions!  There are many things that you can do to help your animal family members successfully cope with the Big Bad Booms and Bangs!💥

Let’s Get to Sharing!

Below are resources that I have been sharing like wildfire for weeks on our Instagram Twitter, and Facebook pages. Check em out!  And if you have friends, family, or colleagues that would benefit from this information, by all means, share it!

“For it is in giving that we receive.” ― Francis of Assisi

Last weekend,  a gifted colleague and I gathered forces to create a live call-in event for families.  The intent was to empower people and their pets by sharing tools, tips, and techniques, and also to dispel myths.  This event was created to help animal guardians across the country to prepare for the Night of Assault on the Senses.

It was a huge success.

Countless people had NO CLUE that it’s really OK to comfort the animal when they are afraid; how and why food can and should be used as a tool to modify fear;  why medication is often very helpful;  holistic tools that actually work; how to identify and create safe hide outs; why play is powerful.

All of these topics were new to many.

People were so relieved to learn that they do have the power to help their pets!  People learned how and why these tools are vital to having a night that’s fear-free on the 4th of July.  During the live event we discussed:

  • Sight, Scent, Sound, and Tactile senses 101
  • How & Why we should desensitize them to loud noises NOW
  • Signs of Stress in parrots, cats, and dogs
  • How to properly use FOOD to modify fear 🥓
  • Why cats behave certain ways when they feel threatened
  • What you can provide to help them feel safe and secure
  • Why “bolt holes” are critical for dogs and cats
  • Holistic Tools to use
  • Why you might want to consider contacting your vet now
  • How your energy affects your animal companions
  • Why Acepromazine should NOT be used
  • Why we SHOULD comfort the animal when they are afraid
  • How enrichment activities calm the mind
  • Why we want to Dial UP the Dopamine
  • How to prepare your home for safety & security
  • Why we need to create an “Energy Hangover” environment  after the 4th to prevent trigger stacking

 

Pets_cats_Senior cats-4th of july_pets fireworks_fear free_Conscious Companion
Identifying AND providing “safe places” and “bolt holes” is essential!

If you missed the live event, you can listen to the replay:

✳  via Dropbox
✳ via Free Conference call

 

 

After the call,  I complied a list of Positive Resources for Animal Guardians.  The intent was to provide free resources to help families across the country to have a Fear-Free 4th. If you are interested, you are welcome to  download the PDF and share it with others.

Conscious_Companion_Giving quotes_parrot Training_parrot behavior_Giving tuesday


So that’s some of what’s been on my mind the past couple of weeks, which is why I was motivated to share with you today.   I hope this is helpful.   And I hope you know that it is possible to have a Fear-Free Fourth of July.

You can do this!

If you have questions or concerns, shoot me an email, or comment below. 🙂

Good Vibes Only_Conscious Companion


For those of you who are new to this blog, welcome! I am so grateful you are here! For those of you who have been here since the beginning, and for those who are interested, here are some other exciting projects in the works:

  • I am closer to completing my first children’s book (gah!)
  • A video series on how to positively leash train cats of all ages & stages via force-free techniques (with an emphasis on senior and geriatric cats!)
  • Kids-In-Cali Animal Communication workshops
  • Dog and Kid Safety workshops for our Marines at Camp Pendelton
  • A video series on assisting aging cats with force-free medical care at home
  • Connecting with Animals on the Other Side – a complimentary program for pet parents who are struggling with death, loss, and grief
  • Empaths with Pets: how highly sensitive people can learn from their animal companions

As I am guided I will be sharing more about each of these with you here in the future.  In the meantime, check out these free resources so you and your beloveds can have a Fear-Free 4th of July together! 🎉

With infinite Love and Gratitude,

Amy and the animal menagerie🐾


Knowledge is power.  Information is liberating.  Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family. -Kofi Annan

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